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Eye-Toy: Groove Review
By | August 3, 2004

It doesn't take a Wade Robinson to figure out that a sprinkle of rhythm is all you need to enjoy Eye Toy: Groove. As the title implies, the second installment challenges players once again to shake their arms, move their hips and ultimately kiss their last shred of pride to the curb.

Don't sweat the fact some of you may move like you've got two left feet or can't pull off modern-day dance moves like The Running Man to completion. All you need is a bit of rhythm and the will to play. So whether you're a Soul Train sensation, or the stiffest player alive, time and practice can lead to an addictive groove and hours of enjoyment.

If you're already a proud Eye Toy owner, Groove will only set you back about $30 bucks. Although if you're a new user, the bundle can be purchased for $49.99. Setting up the game follows the same set up as its spiritual predecessor, Eye Toy: Play. Simply move your coffee table, your pets, and that treasured copy of Ape Escape before you set it off.

Groove on

Structurally, the interactive aspect of Groove is nearly identical to its counterpart, albeit the timing is substantially more critical. Even with the multiple skill settings, it might take a few practice sessions to adjust. Players must hit the "hot spots" on the screen in order to advance their ranking. Failure to hit the zones can lead to motion quota prompting you to get your rating back in check or else the game is over. Thankfully, I only encountered that situation once; my lowest score being a C, leading me to question my own hand/eye coordination skills. Dance routines aren't required despite the obvious vibe to show off a bit of rhythmic flair. What's especially cool is the brief "Freestyle" sessions flash on the screen. During this time, the game records your original dance moves (or whatever you choose to do at that moment). At the end of the session, the segment plays back and you can choose to save them to show off to your friends or erase them from existence…which I found myself doing once or twice.

It never occurred to me just how rusty my steps were until I saw myself on the screen. As a result, one could literally just stand in place and still achieve the same results. Great news for those who um…may get too pre-occupied with their onscreen performance.

The disc features over 25 songs in total, including vintage hits like "We are Family", performed by Sister Sledge to Paul Oakenfold's sensational track "Rubberneckin". Some tracks you'll enjoy more than others, depending on your personal tastes. Madonna's oft-criticized track "Music" just doesn't move me nearly as much as her single, "Die Another Day" which I'd gladly prefer as an alternative.

Friends don't let friends dance solo

It should be noted that Groove won't feel nearly as enjoyable playing by yourself. Don't just grab one friend, get a bunch of them together and power the game up. Like Eye Toy: Play, this installment begs for multiplayer interaction and thankfully, there's a variety of modes to accommodate. With the summer season in full swing, Eye Toy: Groove is the perfect interactive multiplayer package for existing users and dance fanatics alike.


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