Three new video games are designed to make you sweat

By MATT SLAGLE, AP Technology WriterThursday, November 17, 2005 1:07 AM PST
There's nothing too physically demanding about most video games. A few manufacturers, however, have decided the only proper way to enjoy one is to break a sweat.A look at a some recent titles where getting off the sofa is a prerequisite to playing:EyeToy: Kinetic(Rated E, $49.99, PlayStation 2)
"EyeToy: Kinetic" from Sony Computer Entertainment intends to be a personal fitness trainer for the 21st century, with mixed results.As with Sony's previous EyeToy games, "Kinetic" uses a USB camera peripheral to superimpose an image of yourself on the television screen, tracking your body movements.Setup was a bit of a chore. It took me a while to properly focus the camera, and I had trouble getting it to consistently track my hands, arms and legs.You'll need plenty of square footage, too. I had to clear out the sofa and coffee table from my living room to make way for all the lunging, kicking and general flailing about.When "Kinetic" worked as advertised, it was fun powering through the included four "fitness zones," such as combat mode, where you have to punch and kick colored spheres as they bounce across the screen.The advice from the male and female digital trainers doesn't go much beyond mundane encouragement like "You're doing great!" And without a heart rate monitor or other scientific gauge, I wonder how precise and personalized this sort of training can be.Though it's going to cost a lot more, anyone who's serious about fitness will probably get more out of a gym membership."Kinetic" is a good idea if you're looking for a way to break up your existing regimen. At times, I forgot I was getting a decent workout, and that's no easy feat for someone like me, who only runs if I'm being chased.

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