Took a small break for the Halloween special I wrote up the other night, so let’s get back into my evaluation of the Playstation Move, shall we?
This was one of the titles I was most excited to acquire once we knew we were getting the PlayStation Move. I knew that my youngest in particular would be fascinated with the idea of a virtual pet to take care of, but I had a feeling it might go over well with the other kids as well. They adore our cats, they all like the variousg ‘virtual pets’ games like Nintendogs or even Pokemon. The idea is pretty simple – you hatch a monkey-like EyePet and name it – and then you go about playing with and caring for it over time. Each new real life day brings about some new activities and challenges, giving you an incentive to come back to the game regularly.
All of this is done while integrating the PlayStation move in a variety of ways, from hosing the little guy down for a shower, warming and rocking his egg to get him to come out and more. This also integrates the PlayStation Eye by showing you and your living room – a sort of virtual world for your EyePet to play in.
Graphics – 8:
The little EyePet is cute. Seriously, this game is saccharine sweet overload. He’s all cute, and fluffy and playful. He’s also a very expressive little guy, and he animates pretty well. The various toys and tools for interacting with him are pretty straightforward, but they do the job. The crazy professor like guy’s overlaying video gets the job done, but I found him pretty freaking annoying to be honest with you.
Once again, the poor quality of the PlayStation Eye ‘shines through’ – delivering my living room in badly colored, hugely pixelated glory. Man that part looks rough. If the camera was better, the immersion would be so much better as well.
Sound & Music – 7:
For better or for worse, the scientist/guide that talks you through things generally describes things pretty well, but he sort of bugs me at the same time. The EyePet himself makes little chirp and coo sounds that are cute, if sometimes a bit repetitive. The rest of the music and sound effects are not bad, but they are fairly forgettable.
Gameplay – 8:
The Move controls once again show their precision as most of the mini-games and activities play out very nicely. They seem pretty accurate most of the times. There were a couple of activities where I was trying to get him to do things, and he would drag a bit, but for the most part the EyePet remained pretty engaging. The menus were a bit of a chore to get around in my opinion, and I sometimes did things without knowing what I was doing because the tutorial had not covered the activity yet. That did not happen real often, mostly because my youngest played the game a ton and was walking me through it.
Intangibles – 7:
The formula for unlocking things and discovering more activities is actually a good one. The actual process of playing with your pet is more engaging than I expected – this is definitely not the type of game I normally play. Still, I’d rather wrestle and pet one of my cats, truth be told. The other problem – once you have played for quite awhile, and done what there is to do, there really is not much reason to go back to it. My younger two in particular played really regularly for about two weeks, an hour or so a day. Problem is, they’ve hardly played again since.
One small annoyance for me was setting up the PlayStation Eye – it was not meant to be as high off of the ground as where I have it set up for my other games, so my positioning in relation to it was a bit odd.
Overall – 7.5:
If you are a fan of virtual pets or really just need cute pet overload and can’t have the real thing, this experience is probably a bit more immersive than most. It’s really, really not my cup of tea, but then I bought it for my kids, and all three played for varying lengths of time – though none of them ‘completed’ all of the objectives. I would probably say it is designed for a very specific audience and while an interesting sort of experiment, not something I would recommend paying full price for unless a kid really wants to try it.