EyePet & Friends PS3 Review.
If you have a young gamer in the family and already own the previous title, there's probably no concrete reason to purchase EyePet & Friends, however if they have never played the EyePet series before, than this is definitely the title to investigate if they want that virtual pet.
Review Date: Dec 2011
Reviewer: James Wright
EyePet & Friends
The virtual pet simulator for the
PlayStation 3 returns with EyePet & Friends that not only allows younger
gamers the ability to care and play with their virtual pets but thanks
to the new Move controller of this console, interaction is considerably
As opposed to the previous game, the biggest change to
the series is the introduction of a second player and more importantly,
a second EyePet. Not only does this allow two gamers to play together
but now your virtual pets can also play together which is rather spiffy!
Some of the interaction between the pets is definitely quite amusing and
it definitely adds a unique element to the series.
However before you can engage with your EyePets, you first need to
configure your PlayStation Camera and Move. This can become a fiddle
process, especially if you don't have adequate gaming space or correct
lighting which can cause problems with the configuration. Fortunately,
we did not have any issues with the setup process, although the whole
process is a little convoluted and if your move your camera, you need to
start the whole configuration process again... ugh!
Once configured, we
were ready to test our augmented reality experience which in turn almost
makes it appear that these creatures are on your living room floor. It's
a clever trick of smoke and mirrors that works well.
Before you can start playing with your EyePets, you first need to hatch
your virtual egg. Like the previous game, you use the Move
controller as a heater in order to "hatch" the egg. As you position the
move controller around the egg to heat it up and then use your hands to
gently rock the egg, something interesting happens and just like magic,
a baby EyePet is born. There's also plenty of customisation options
available for your EyePet so you can make it quite unique which gives
the player some ownership over their creation.
With that said, the Move controller is used to do just about everything
with your EyePet from giving them showers to playing a variety of
mini-games with them but you also need to use your hands as well. As you
see your living room floor or wherever your PS3 is setup on the TV, it's
quite surreal seeing it as you gently pat your EyePets or interact with
them on the floor. Even though it is a gimmick, it's actually quite a
fun gimmick that younger gamers will simply adore.
Whether you're giving your EyePet a shower with the Move controller,
feeding, purchasing it new items such as clothes to wear or making a
trampoline with your virtual pet to jump on, there's plenty of tasks
offered to the player. My favourite mini-game was the helicopter flying
and although it looks a little lame, it was actually too cute for
school! Bulldozer basketball/pool is also fun, especially with two
EyePets as they drive around in bulldozers to score points.
However the real challenge for the younger game in EyePet & Friends is
to ensure that they look after their pets and although you cannot hurt
your pet, you do need to ensure that they are fed, washed and played
with to be happy EyePets. Another cool aspect of the title is that you
can even create your own items for your EyePets such as toys and
playground equipment which can even be shared or downloaded from
online. This definitely opens up the replay value of the title.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, there is not much to EyePet & Friends and the highlight
like the previous games are the virtual pets themselves that look quite
realistic, especially with their fur, the realistic facial movements and
its interaction with the gaming environment. Toys and the mini-games do
look a little cheap but quite colourful, however the EyePets are the
stars of this game. There is also some slowdown in the title as well,
especially with some of the games that use a certain type of special
effect like fog when you give you EyePet a shower.
The music is fun that
is reminiscent of children TV shows and the sound effects
are fun but sometimes quite over the top, especially the cute little
critter noises that the EyePets make. They sometimes sound like a kitten
crossed with a bear and then a chicken! The most annoying facet of the sound is the
announcer who is once again too annoying and condescending.
In the end EyePet & Friends is an interesting game but it does have this
been there, done that attitude. Although there are some new mini-games,
the main crux of the gameplay is almost identical to the previous title.
The biggest change to this title is the inclusion of two-players which
does open up the title for some fun gaming, provided you have another
player available. If you have a young gamer in the family and already
own the previous title, there's probably no concrete reason to purchase
EyePet & Friends, however if they have never played the EyePet series
before, than this is definitely the title to investigate if they want
that virtual pet.