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Review: Break a sweat with 'EyeToy: Kinetic'

By Sid Lipsey
CNN

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Act as your own personal trainer in Sony's new exercise game "EyeToy: Kinetic."

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(CNN) -- Sony apparently feels video games should do their part to promote weight loss and physical fitness. It's teamed up with Nike on "EyeToy: Kinetic," a new game that turns the PlayStation 2 into an interactive in-home personal trainer.

"Kinetic's" wow factor comes from its use of Sony's EyeToy -- a small video camera that plugs into a PS2's USB port -- to project your image onto a TV screen and into the game.

You can watch yourself as the game's chipper virtual trainers, Matt and Anna, guide you through warm-up, stretching, cardio, conditioning, kickboxing and yoga-type routines.

The game uses this hi-tech setup to gauge your movements and provide continuous feedback.

"EyeToy: Kinetic" offers a range of conditioning programs, but it's the cardio workouts that are the most fun.

One of these sequences puts you on the video screen as you bounce, reach and jump to tag blue-colored orbs that fly at you from every which way -- all while you dodge red-colored orbs that come at you in equally random fashion.

Like most video games, this more-challenging-than-it-sounds activity will have you cursing every time you mess up. But this one provides a nice way to work up a sweat.

"EyeToy: Kinetic" lets you do an individual workout routine or embark on an all-encompassing, 12-week training program that charts daily progress. It even knows when you skip a day.

Sure, "EyeToy: Kinetic" can't fully replace the pleasures of working out in a gym, where you can get personal attention while surrounded by the good-looking and physically fit. (If your workout requires eye candy though, "EyeToy: Kinetic's" Matt and Anna are oddly attractive in a pixilated kind of way.)

But the novelty of seeing yourself work out on-screen with help from an engaging, if electronic trainer, does not wear off easily.

The experience nails the secret to any successful workout routine: It's so much fun, you forget you're exercising.

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