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EyePet Review

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Ben-Dutka
(@ben-dutka)
Honorable Member
Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
7.4
Sound:
7.8
Control:
7.7
Replay Value:
7.2
Overall Rating:
7.6
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
SCE
Developer:
SCE Studios London/Playlogic
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Miscellaneous
Release Date:
September 14, 2010


Okay, maybe it’s just because I’ve been inundated with “cute” for the past week. I’ve got Atelier Rorona sitting here – which features a “cute” anime style, as fans of the series would expect – and I just completed reviewing Blade Kitten , which included another healthy dose of cute. So maybe I’m being too hard on EyePet for giving us a too-friendly professor that reminded me of nursery school, or when I say the game’s longevity rests too strongly on cutesy dress-up and virtual caretaking. It’s clear that this particular Move product is designed to be very family-friendly, and only the kids will spend a significant amount of time with it. Besides, it’s another example of how well Move works and you can’t help but smile at that goofy, charming little creature on the screen. There’s a whole lot of good here and if you have kids in the house, EyePet is definitely recommended. If not…well…

As you could tell from the available media, you’re not merely looking at a screen full of pre-rendered visuals. Thanks to the PlayStation Eye, you and your surroundings will actually appear on the screen, which is quite the impressive display of current technology. The only downside is that for such an experience to be truly effective, everything needs to be set up perfectly: the Eye needs to be at just the right level (otherwise, your furry virtual pet won’t react accurately to its surroundings), and you really need a fairly large plot of clear floor directly in front of the TV. This wasn’t much of an issue for me, but I can see how set-up could prove to be time-consuming for many. Other than that, everything looks good; surprisingly good, in fact. The EyePet is sweet enough to give you diabetes and seeing its bright, cheery reactions are a joy to behold; the overall attraction of the game really is very high.

As I sort of hinted at in the intro, I just couldn’t handle the professor (the guy who helps you along at the start), but thankfully, I was able to leave his preaching behind after playing for a bit. I also found some slight problems with the sound effects; it may have been my TV or how Move is arranged or something, but the effects weren’t always on point. It’s sort of difficult to explain but let’s just say it was noticeable, which means I sorta have to mention it. But what you do hear is perfect for the situation; EyePet’s sounds go along nicely with his undeniably appealing charisma and personality, and the audio typically enhances and bolsters the experience. For a game designed around virtual immersion, this is essential and despite a few slips and drawbacks, Sony got this part right. As usual, though, I did want more musical accompaniment.

When you first start, you get this little egg, right? And you actually have to coax the little guy out of there; be gentle now! When he arrives, you can teach and play to your heart’s content, all the while experimenting with new gameplay features. The best part of EyePet is his true-to-life reactions to your environment – remember you’re basically seeing your living room and its inhabitants on the TV – and how the little guy steals your heart over time. For instance, if you let him sleep for a while, he’ll actually start to dream about his time spent with you; sort of like a montage of your virtual toying and frolicking. I most enjoyed watching the animal respond to most anything; even someone walking by can cause him to leap out of the way in childish awe and fear. But the meat of the game centers on the 60 various challenges, designed to be attempted over a span of 15 days.

There’s good news and bad news here: some of the challenges are easily attempted and easily conquered, while others may seem confusing at first, especially to those of a younger age. And when I say “confusing,” I’m not talking about the actual goal of the challenge (that’s always pretty simple), but the required motion and movements involved. Sadly, it made me feel very, very stupid when I couldn’t quite figure out how to get the Gold medal in a seemingly straightforward challenge. This could be a subjective problem, though, and I will freely admit to that. The good news is that the Move controller always seemed to be extremely accurate, and the challenges themselves are often entertaining: these include catching food in mid-air, flying a plane around, or even dressing EyePet up in various costumes. The latter obviously aren’t all that tough, obviously, but trust me…I think some later challenges might frustrate kids.

Completing the challenges unlocks toys and clothing, which sort of gives the game a collectible completionist feeling; i.e., “I need that Gold medal ‘cuz I want this particular item!” This can take some time but maintenance is another big aspect of the experience. See, your pet needs to be fed, bathed and given affection and exercise on a relatively frequent basis. You can get an idea of how EyePet is feeling by performing a status update and he’ll let you know if you’ve been neglecting him. You can even send a progress report to the institute – the same institute that gave you the egg at the start – and good marks result in more new toys and clothes. This is the part I personally found to be a little repetitive and unfulfilling; no matter how accurate things get, a virtual pet can’t be compared to a living, breathing furry friend. Then again, kids are living in a world that relies more and more on electronic companionship so I might just be an old fuddy-duddy who doesn’t “get it” entirely.

That being said, the interaction between yourself and EyePet is tremendously accurate and responsive, and I think that’s what counts most. And because of the Eye camera, the game isn’t just reading the movement of your hand; it will also read your feet, head, etc., which makes the whole experience that much more dynamic. I will say that my cute little pet wouldn’t always respond to something I did, but maybe he’s just being a little temperamental…pets won’t always jump through hoops just ‘cuz you want them to, you know. Either way, the technicals are more than solid, it looks great, EyePet is adorable, and overall, the game is accessible and good for the whole family. Most of my complaints may be more subjective in nature but I can’t really help that. I will still recommend it as a fantastic Christmas gift for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

EyePet is for little girls. I hope I don't see 17+ year olds in EyePet unless it's family Fun.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
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BTW For the question I chose 3 or 4. Just the best ones.

FIFA 2011
Medal Of Honor
The Fight Lights Out
Call of Duty : Black Ops Prestige
see 3 or 4 😀

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
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...what does this have to do with the review?

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

Hey Ben, is it hard for a 3 years old to play?

I was planning to buy it for my nephew as it said 3+ years, but your final comment made me worry it might be hard to play for a 3 years old.

What do you think?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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Guest

it should be ok if the kid is playing with someone that can teach and help them. there is a lot of reading needed to figure out the goal. its usually a simple to an adult single sentence, but to a kid that cant read it might as well be background.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

3? ...not sure. Not sure he'd even understand what's happening on the screen.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

World, you getting this game?

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

I doubt it. Call it "butt-pet", though, and I'm sure you'd be all over it. But don't worry. I'm sure Jawknee-boy would take up on some, all-night "co-op", too..

Sorry, I know that was childish, but i gotta have a laugh from time to time, too.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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You know that guy at the party that frequents from conversation to conversation but never really gaining anyone's interest due to his lack of interesting dialogue? Yeah, that's basically the perfect description of what you just posted and I'm sure you in real life.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
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my daughter just turned 6. she got this for her birthday from me. she loves it and wants to play it all the time. i am impressed with it and i will admit to playing it after she goes to bed. im almost jealous kids now adays have the coolest toys. the game is geared towards caring for a real animal which is cool. teachin they have to feed them and keep them clean as well as play with them physically and mentally.

the part where you use your own drawing was a little tricky to get to work the first few times and drawing with move takes getting used to for sure. all in all it was a good investment in money as she has been wanting it for almost a year.

also Ben no mention of the part where you can take pics or video of yourself interacting with your eyepet. they are only 20 seconds long video but that is still 20 seconds of gold to my daughter. she figured out how to upload them to my hard drive from the game which is kind of funny.

as well as the customizing of the pets fur. you can get pretty crazy with the patterns and colors overlaping.


Last edited by frylock25 on 9/27/2010 1018 PM

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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I'd get this for the kids but I'm just not keen on buying the Move. Besides, I don't want the kids on my TV anyway.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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This looks like a great game for the children. You guys should read the penny arcades review for it. They both loved it. Plus the strip isnt bad either.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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I plan on picking this up to play with my daughter. She should love it.

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Posted : 27/09/2010 12:00 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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Wrong article El Machete.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/09/2010 12:00 am
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