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My Street PlayStation 2

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Idol Minds
Released: Out Now
Price: £39.99

2003 has been a very good year for the PlayStation 2 console. Not only have sales passed the 60 million mark but there have also been a significant number of impressive games that have been released, some of which have support for the online system. My Street is once again an attempt at something different, a game unlike any other you would have for your PlayStation 2. It certainly succeeds in being different but does it hold together as a good game and really deliver an enjoyable experience? Let's find out.

My Street puts you in a virtual neighbourhood as a 10 year old child. The game consists of a Story mode, Play mode and an Online mode. Seeing as the Story mode is the heart of the game we'll look at that first. Before doing anything though you'll have to create your own character and there is a generous amount of customisation options open to you and you can make your character as sane or as wacky as you like. The only irrelevant element of the character customisation for deaf gamers is the choice of voice that your character will have. Once you are all done and dusted here it's off to play the Story mode.

The Story mode begins with your mother telling you there are only a few weeks left before school starts on the 24th of August (the game begins on the 6th of August) so you'd better get out there and make friends. Actually the children are more like adults in that in order to be your friend, they want something from you. My Street is a kind of a party game and in order to be able to play a child's particular game you are going to have to obtain certain objects for them and to get these objects you are going to have to do other tasks, well you get the picture.

My description actually makes the game appear to be some kind of adventure game but in all honesty the story mode suffers from feeling like one chore after another. The days pass so quickly too. Your child won't wake up before late morning and the other children won't play after 6pm so even though you can stay out much later you won't be able to do anything. What makes the Story mode feel redundant and even less appealing, is that the Play mode lets you access the 7 games without the need to earn them. The Play mode can be played against other humans though and you can even place handicaps on older gamers to even things up a little. If you want to play online against three others you can, although the online mode doesn't really offer anything extra over the Play mode and it's rather limiting with only 7 games.

So there are only 7 games but what are they? Well there is Chicken Herding that looks like a well known SEGA game that used to be given away free with the Dreamcast. You have Volleyball which actually isn't too bad, simple but enjoyable. There is also a magnetic marble game called simply Marbles, RC racing, a tetris style game called Chemistry Set, a game called Lawn Mowers and Dodgeball. There isn't really a poor game in the bunch although none are particularly memorable. Before you play any of these games you get to look at the rules to find out what needs to be done. In Story mode you'll have to complete the Marbles game before you will have access to any of the others.

Graphically My Street is rather peculiar for a PlayStation 2 title. The colours are vivid and dare I say Nintendo like and the children are kind of caricatured in that they have oversized heads, hands, and feet. The street and houses all have some degree of cuteness about them too. Essentially then the game looks like it was created for young children. Whilst you are roaming around the neighbourhood the camera remains behind your character although you can manipulate it with the right analogue stick. Overall the game looks OK and suits the style and mood of the game.

My Street is OK for deaf gamers. The conversations in the Story mode are subtitled and you move the conversation text, which is large and easy to read, along by pressing the 'X' button. Before you play a game you get to choose 'Whatever' (which means that you are ready to play) 'Describe it' (which brings up the rules for that game in text) and 'Nah' (which means you don't want to play). Throughout the games your opponents will make child like insults and these are not subtitled. The Play mode has no subtitles at all (except for the rules) but this doesn't really matter as it's just the same insults that you have in the Story mode games. Online chat is done via text (although there is no support for a keyboard) so there should be no problem there.

My Street is one of those titles that doesn't appear to fit into any particular genre (which is not a bad thing) and doesn't fully suit a particular target audience (which is a bad thing). There are not enough mini-games for My Street to really be recommended as a party game and whilst the 7 mini-games that it contains have more depth than the usual mini-games found in other party games, there are not enough of them that are particularly memorable although if they were all excellent it still would not offer enough variation with there being only seven of them. If there had been around 25/30 games then it would have been much more enjoyable.

Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10
My Story doesn't really offer enough to be considered a noteworthy title. Only 7 games and a rather lacklustre single player Story mode spoil the game to a large degree. None of the games are bad though but only a few are really good and the Online mode suffers because of the lack of variation in the games.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Not fully subtitled but all the important information is shown in text and nothing is missing that would prevent you from understanding the game.