EyeToy: Antigrav is an entirely different sort of game. For a start, it's exceptionally light on the monkey content; if we were the type for paranoid conspiracy theories, we'd say that Sony's crammed every available video game monkey into Monkey Mania and thereby deprived much more worthy games of their due allotment of hairy pranksters.
Ahem. Enough about monkeys.
You've probably seen Back To The Future Part II. If you haven't, it's certainly easily available, be it at the local video store or DVD bargain bin. Go out, watch it, and come back to this review. It'll still be here. Anyway, there's a section in BTTF II where Marty McFly travels to the future - 2015 to be precise - and steals a little girl's pink hoverboard. Hoverboard related stunt antics ensue, along with a holographic shark, and, because it's a Back To The Future movie, somebody called Biff comically ends up buried in manure. AntiGrav's pretty much exactly like that, except that you're not an 80's fashion tragic in a puffy jacket, there's no manure to be seen, and the stunts are more of the extreme-Tony-Hawk-could-probably-sue style. Oh, and the hoverboard isn't bright pink, either. Should I start again?
Skate games are nothing exceptional; hit the trade-in bin at your local video games emporium and you'll be digging past millions of the things while you're desperately trying to find that incorrectly priced copy of God Of War. Where Antigrav mixes things up is in the control method, which is totally via EyeToy. Unlike previous EyeToy games that gave you visual cues for control of a core character - Sega's Superstars title being the most obvious example - Antigrav doesn't offer you an on-screen mirror or outline of your body to help control the action. From a distant perspective, the display looks just like any other third-person skating game. What the EyeToy camera does is lock onto your head and shoulders and use your body movements to guide your skater, gaining and losing speed, grinding rails and busting out tricks purely by interpreting your physical movements. As there's no little mirror image or outline for you to play by, this is a somewhat challenging matter.
An illustration is necessary here. While you're reading this, hold your head perfectly still with both arms stretched straight out to your sides. Remain completely, absolutely still. Now, get someone to start a stopwatch. Wait five minutes. Does it feel as though your head is going to tumble off onto the floor? Or did you just give up a few minutes in? Either is acceptable in the context of Antigrav, but the problem lies in the fact that extended play sessions are, to put it nicely, knackering. It's also not helped by the EyeToy not being the world's most precise camera, or the inevitability of someone wandering into your field of play, turning your intricate trick pattern into a flailing mess of arms, legs and broken skulls. Patience does yield some rewards, but at the same time they'll show up the flaws in the camera and game designs, making Antigrav one only for the hardcore crowd.
That's not to say that there isn't potential in Antigrav. Yes, it's tough going, and if the last time you were in the presence of the word "fit" it was because the meat in your kebab was passed as "fit for animal consumption" then you'll struggle a lot. It does lose some appeal for not being easy to either pick up or learn how to play, and it's certainly not a fun party experience in the way that the vast majority of other EyeToy titles have been. There's no doubt that AntiGrav is better than Monkey Mania, and as an indicator of future game ideas, it's quite good - but the number of gamers with the necessary physical skills and patience for AntiGrav itself will probably be very small indeed.
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