Eyepet & Friends (PS3)

Small furry critters all over my TV.

SquareGo Magazine make me play with some Eyepets…AGAIN.

My experiences are documented on their pages here.

Alternatively the full text is below:

Eyepet & Friends

Sony
PS3
3/5
Eyepet & Friends

There’s a strange and perverse joy that can be found in treating game characters badly. Once, after a long period of playing an unusual game, I noticed that the scruffy-yet-charming onscreen character had begun to look shabbier than ever, flies buzzing around, with other signs of dirt and neglect. I marvelled that this sort of Tamagotchian upkeep was prevalent in a game. What’s more, when I finally did steer Deadly Premonition‘s FBI hero York to the bathroom for a fresh suit, a shower and a shave, I recalled what it reminded me of – Sony’s Eyepet.

It’s been two years now since the first Eyepet game graced the PS3 with the chance of owning your own camera controlled, TV bound monkey/rat/kitten creature. In that time it’s had to compete with the fuzzy cuteness of Microsoft’s rival title Kinectimals. Luckily for Sony, their Wii-like Move peripheral came out to rival it, and much like several other novel PS3 titles there was a free update to add Move controls to the game. Whilst this had the beneficial effect of doing away with the cumbersome and occasionally broken image-card which the camera detected, the full scope of possibility was left dangling and unfulfilled.

So here we are two years down the line. Have Sony re-envisioned the Eyepet game with a sleek new design, heaps of wonderful innovations and all-new gaming glory?  Not really. While there are improvements and many changes, they are aesthetic rather than game-changing. Gone is the kindly boffin-scientist with his friendly manner and welcoming glee, replaced by an English elevator-voice who instructs in a pleasant, vaguely patronising fashion.

The games and activities are still all there: the feeding, washing, drawing and styling parts of Eyepet are only altered in one respect -they take longer to load. Thankfully there is a better menu system which means you can get straight to your child’s favourite activity rather than having to plug through all of the others in order to unlock an enjoyable pastime. With the Move controller the feeding game is no longer broken and the familiarity will keep wee ones in a comfort zone, but overall you would expect more.

The big novelty in this release is in the “and friends” part of the title. This time round you can have a pair of the little hoojibs larking with each other in a perfectly safe and family manner. However this obviously requires a second Move controller and there is a notable slowdown in the game when things get hectic with two onscreen.

Still missing is the chance of any online interaction with other player’s Eyepets and beyond that it’s business as usual.  To be frank, if you already own Eyepet and have the Move download there’s very little here that warrants buying a full price release.  However, if you haven’t got Eyepet and have kids of the right age and disposition then you could do a lot worse. Just don’t expect them to play it for more than a few days.

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