previews\ Feb 18, 2003 at 7:00 pm

My Street - PS2 - Preview

My Street is about a bunch of kids who get together and play games.  The demo did not reveal much more of a story than that, and based on the targeted audience, I'd say that's probably the extent of it.


Among the seven games the kids play are Marbles and Dodge Ball.  Those games were the only available in the demo, though the final version will include an RC Racing game and a puzzler that looks like an upside down version of Bust-a-Move, along with three others.  Games are accessed via the neighborhood playing field.  While exploring the neighborhood, you can't jump, play with the swing set or interact with any of your surroundings.  Similar to how the 3D game functioned in the Sonic collection game for the Saturn, the whole point of the neighborhood is to provide players with a colorful, 3D environment that resembles the atmosphere a child sees when he or she goes outside to play.


Upon finding another playful child, the kid will ask you if you want to play a game (in this case, Marbles or Dodge Ball).  Choose yes and the mini-game begins.



The Marbles mini-game is like one giant multiplayer pinball machine.  There are things to hit and bounce off of, but your goal is to grab the marbles (using your giant marble's magnetic force power) and drag the smaller marbles to the goal.  If you fall or are knocked off of the table, points will be awarded to the player who knocked you off (unless you fell of on your own, in which case no points will be awarded), and a few seconds will be allowed to pass before you can continue playing.  Only two buttons are used for this mini-game -- X and square, the former being used to turn on your magnetic force, the latter giving your marble a power boost that gives you the strength to whale yourself at your opponents and send them flying.


Dodge Ball

This mini-game is a little slow for a game of dodge ball.  As can be expected, in Dodge Ball, you don't shoot baskets or throw touchdowns; you stare your opponent in the eye and throw the ball as straight as you can.  That's how points are derived; by hitting your opponent.  There isn't much more to it than that.  You can pass the ball between teammates, and jump for an aerial throw, but that's it.


The computer offers plenty of challengers, but My Street is intended to be played with your real friends -- or complete strangers -- online or offline.  All you need is a multi-tap to engage in multiplayer action with nearby friends and family (up to four people can play simultaneously), and all you need is a Network Adaptor and an Internet connection to challenge gamers online.


By the end of the short demo, it was clear that while this is a good game, it is definitely geared toward a very young audience.  It's better than Mario Party (and most other party games, for that matter), but it's still a "party" game, one that uses simplistic mini-games as a means of entertainment.  I'll have to play the final version to know for sure, but at this point I'd say that My Street is great for kids who are looking for a collection of fun, multiplayer mini-games.  Older gamers who have enjoyed other party games should give this one a rental, or wait for the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine to offer a demo.

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