|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SCE London||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 7 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Andrew Groen
There are two types of people in this world. There are those who think that the new EyePet animals are simply the most adorable thing they've ever set eyes on, and there are those who find them to be a gross affront to genetic engineering. I happen to fall in the latter category. Seriously, what on Earth are these things? They look like apes cross bread with bears, with human faces. So I'm calling on Sony today to give us an explanation for where these horrible creatures come from. Their button noses may be adorable, but we wont be fooled. Equal rights for EyePets, now!
But despite my personal feelings on the matter, Sony has decided to bet big that most of the world falls into the other category. And considering how much of their PlayStation Move marketing campaign focuses on the EyePet, they'd better hope they're correct.
Following in the footsteps of enormously popular non-games like Nintendogs, EyePet can't be said to be a game in the traditional sense. There is little in the way of goals or objectives. Rather, players get a fuzzy new pet to play around with and take care of. In essence it's all of the nice things about owning a pet without all of the horrible things that everyone forgets about until its too late (disobedience, clean up, etc.)
EyePet's big innovation is that there are actually things you can do with your EyePet besides show him off to bored classmates. Relative to something like Nintendogs, EyePet has a host of games and other activities you can do with your fuzzy companion. None of them are particularly interesting or fun, but it's better than tossing the same frisbee 10,000 times. For instance, one of them involved tracing an outline of a toy airplane using the Move controller. Once completed, your little EyePet suits up for aviation action and begins flying around. You control the height and speed at which he flies with a small radio controller (Move controller) and try to pop as many balloons as possible with the propeller. It's not particularly engaging, but it'll give you something to do with your EyePet.
One of the biggest problems with EyePet is the visuals. Usually this doesn't really affect the entire game, but in this case it really grated on me. The issue is that the EyePet is beautiful, bright, colorful, and well-animated. That sounds like a great problem to have, but it becomes annoying because of the grainy, washed out look of the Eye camera. Because of that, you have this colorful, bright creature running around on a dull, ugly background.
EyePet is supposed to simulate having that pet in your living room, and yet the developers neglected one of the most significant immersion tools available: aesthetic consistency. If something in the environment doesn't look like it belongs then it brings you out of the experience.
The PlayStation Move is capable of great things (as we've noted in many of our other Move launch game reviews) so why couldn't some kind of trick of the camera be used to solve this issue. Surely, there is some kind of visual filter they could have used to either make the background cartoony looking, or make the EyePet look just as grainy as the camera portrays the background. Off-the-shelf webcams can do this, so why can't Move?