My Street

My Street

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 3/19/2003 for PS2  

My Street reminds me of a sequence from an old Simpsons episode. Marge is having a difficult time of motivating the kids to do the yard work so they decide to take a trip. What’s the big attraction at their destination? The yard work simulator, and to a lesser extent, the yard work simulator simulator. It’s very indicative of what Sony’s latest title is offering, virtual versions of games and activities that aren’t really special and in all honesty, are borderline mundane. The only thing that’s missing here is Virtual Pogs.

False starts aside, I had a renewed interest in the game after my copy of the game arrived in my mailbox. After all, this game is chocked full of potential and the fact that Mario Party 4 was far from stellar made this game seem more and more appealing by the minute. Toss in some online play and you have what appears to be a winning combination. But then again, you can’t read a book by its cover.

Seriously, how difficult is it to get three friends together and set up a game of marbles? Alright so the game adds its own twist on it but that doesn’t necessarily make it great. The wannabe Tetris, titled chemistry here, isn’t really all that fun and the volleyball aspect of this game makes DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball’s volleyball look like a work of art. The game’s only saving grace? The R/C cars and the lawnmower races which both play like a good old game of Off-Road from the NES days.

There’s dodge ball thrown in there too and (I kid you not) chicken herding, a game that essentially boils down to running all over the place and pushing buttons at random. None of the games are really exciting nor are they truly memorable. It’s in this respect that the game falls flat on its face, both in terms of appeal and execution. The online premise is great, but only if the games being played are fun. I was hoping for a sort of Mario Party concept but what I got was one of those cheap 7-in-1 games that you see advertised on the Home Shopping Network.
The seven games: marbles, chicken herding, volleyball, dodge ball, lawnmowers, chemistry and R/C racing outstay their welcome fairly quickly, if only for the lack of variety found in each of them. You can race around the same four tracks for only so long before you become tired and ultimately bored with the game. Sometimes the game does show signs of promise but the AI in the offline game is rather laughable and will prove to be a challenge to only the most simple-minded of gamers.

There’s an interesting story mode in place but again, the execution falls flat. You’ll have to do certain things in order to participate in games. For instance if you want to participate in the lawn mower races you’ll have to find the appropriate kid who runs it (the farm girl of course) and she’ll tell you what you need to do. After you find some gas you’ll be able to participate. You really don’t have enough time to find the stuff and play the games thanks to My Street’s puzzling time system.

Then you realize that there’s a single-game mode where you can play the games at your own leisure. This mode’s inclusion really negates the story mode’s purpose as it places all the games at the tips of your fingertips instead of having to work to unlock them.

To its credit the character design is pretty nice. Each mini-game has a suitable character to go along with it. A Jamaican beach bum who lives in (what else) a beach hut mans the volleyball game while the geeky kid runs the chemistry game. What the game accomplishes in character design and variety is really diminished when it comes to personality and dialogue.

The kids have tons of things to say; too bad none of their words are really meaningful or entertaining. In fact, most of the time they don’t even sound like kids but instead, sound like adults who are trying too hard to fit in with their teenage children. To put things into perspective, every kid in the game sounds like he or she is doing a bad Eugene Levy impersonation. Lines like “you don’t have the bling-bling” will have you cringing every time you hear it.

I was hoping that the online aspect would save the game but sadly, that’s just not fun either. I couldn’t even find anyone to play with and had to resort to asking a writer from another publication to sign on just so that I could test the game. As a positive the game does run pretty lag-free but that’s most likely attributed to the relative emptiness of the game.

While the concept and idea behind the game is pretty cool I can’t help but give the game a low rating. Sure I love the premise, I mean who doesn’t dream about being 12 and running around the school yard every now and then, but while it may have sounded good on paper, it’s rather abysmal in practice. It’s not fun for children, it’s not fun for adults and it’s definitely not fun for the teenagers. Unless you’re searching for a reason, albeit a weak one, to justify the purchase of your network adaptor, avoid this one at all costs.
Well the R/C cars and lawnmowers are pretty fun, but 7 mini-games can only take you so far.

Rating: 5.6 Flawed

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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