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October 20, 2010
EyePet Move Edition - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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EyePet Move Edition is out now.
Much like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and The Matrix Reloaded could it be that EyePet on the PS3 was been hyped up so much that it could never meet expectations? After playing the original release in 2009 we had to say that it didn't meet expectations, or get close really. Despite the PS3's power the game lacked polish and responsiveness that we expected, and while we never reviewed the game it wouldn't have scored too well, perhaps around 60%.

Now a year later and Sony have released EyePet Move Edition which ditches the card placed on the ground to track objects for the much more accurate Playstation Move controller released a couple of weeks ago. Does this new control method improve the game? It certainly does. But does it make an average game great? Read on to find out...

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The EyePet's can be fully customised.
There is no story to this game. It's a virtual pet which you have to feed, play with, and keep happy. Upon starting the game, and a few brief introductory camera setup moments you are then given an egg. it requires some warmth to grow, and then needs to be rocked and finally a couple of claps (the camera has mics in it too) to have your creature - which is sort of a half-monkey, half-cat - hatch. It's at this point that the main issue with the camera and technology raises its head. The accuracy of the camera is fairly good, however it's still not perfect as the egg moves with your hands sometimes, and not on others (perhaps I didn't have the "rhythm" down). Anyway you do tend to improve with a little practice, and but it seems strange interacting with nothing tangible.

After your pet has hatched you can then start to play with him. Wiggle your fingers in the air and he'll jump up trying to catch them, on the ground and he'll pounce on your hand. You can pat your pet, stroke him, surprise him by creeping up behind him and so on. It's pretty entertaining stuff, but for how long? Well fortunately EyePet includes a Pet Programme which gives you chores and tasks to complete every week. How long you'll keep this up for though is questionable.

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Damn, the critter is damn cool.
Of course it is possible to fully customise your pet. Select his fur length, his colour, if he has patterns on his fur (spots, stripes, zig-zags and so on), give him some clothing to wear. While you can't change his size, the range of options is impressive and you'd be hard pressed to find two pet's looking the same after people make the customisation.

As we've seen over the last year the developers have been quite active in supporting the title through add-ons to customise your pet. While many you have to pay for (only a dollar or two) Sony have also released plenty of free content and we expect this will continue in future.

Unfortunately there are some areas where the game seems to be lacking. First of all, as with the original release, it can be a chore to get some of the tasks completed - be it due to inaccuracy of the controller, the program itself, or primarily the lack of detailed task instructions. The Playstation Move version does improve accuracy, making things a little easier. Another big opportunity missed is online connectivity. I was pretty amazed to find that you can't connect with other users online to have the pets interact - even a room where the camera isn't used would have been fun enough. Also disappointing was the lack of photo and video sharing from within the program. I see EyePet as a great family game both within the home, and the wider community. It just feels confined at the moment.

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This is EyePet on the PS3.
Visually this game is pretty basic. Besides displaying the immediate floor space thanks to the PSEye camera the Playstation 3's visuals come into effect via the objects you'll interact with as well as the pet. Firstly the little creature is just damn adorable. He's superbly animated with a massive rage of motions and poses. The objects are pretty standard with little excitement factor. Still what's here is certainly up to the task.

Sound in the game is pretty uninspiring overall although there isn't anything here you would call broken of offensive to the ears. The little critter himself is a cheery fella who makes little chirps and squeaks and exudes personality through these noises, but beyond that there's some standard sound effects and some forgettable music.

EyePet is such a hard game to review... It's clear that Sony are aiming this as a family friendly game but for me playing with my own cat, a much more tangible object (physically, perhaps not mentally!), is more fun. Still millions loved Tamagochi and Nintendogs so there's certainly a market for the virtual pet experience. Fortunately the Playstation Move enabled version is a much improved experience over the previous (2009) title.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSYou can't help but fall in love with your gorgeous, customisable, wonderfully animated fluffy pet.
SOUNDYour pet sounds great, beyond that effects and music get the job done.
GAMEPLAYHmmm, it's fun, a bit inaccurate, but the right person will love this. Move controllers help.
VALUEIt's released pretty cheap, but you'll want Move controllers. You'll play for hours, or days. Who knows?
OVERALLEyePet Move Edition is sure to get a big market, and deservedly so. It's technically impressive despite the odd annoyances, and kids will love this pet-sim styled game.

Talk about EyePet in this forum topic now.