EyePet Hands-On

We get a look at the inside of our virtual pet with powerful X-rays in this update to last year's monkey-grooming simulator.

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Last year, EyePet was released in Australia and Europe, filling a hole in gamers' hearts with a lovable monkey-like creature that enjoyed being groomed and performing fancy tricks. You interacted with this fictional puff ball via the wonders of the EyeToy combined with a plastic card that created all sorts of magical objects in-game. Jealous American players could do nothing to satiate their own desires for a virtual plaything and were forced to pine away for EyePet's eventual release in their own country. That time will finally come later this year, but the months spent between its original release and its stateside debut will bring with it one major change: PlayStation Move support. You are no longer forced to interact with this mythical creature with a cold, uncaring card. That functionality has been swapped out for Sony's new Move controller, and we got a chance to try it out for ourselves.

Fictional, monkeylike creatures, like every other animal under the yellow sun, get dirty over time. Cruel as it may seem, it's just nature's way. In EyePet, you must groom your foul creature when its fur gets matted and gross, and we got a chance to douse it in life-giving water. By using the augmented reality feature present in many Move-enabled games, the controller we were holding in our hands magically changed to a shower nozzle onscreen when we selected the clean option. Unlike an ordinary housecat, the EyePet creature loves being bathed, closing its eyes as the water cascaded down his furry head. It even opened its mouth to have a drink, which is strange because hot water is anything but refreshing. The nozzle moved and swayed realistically as we twisted and contorted the controller.

Once he was wet, we had to dry our furry pal. We swapped out the water-gushing nozzle for a hair dryer and gave the furball the beauty-salon treatment. Once it was clean and fluffy, we were free to play around with a few non-cleaning instruments. We replaced our hair dryer with a bubble-making machine that forced our little creature through a rigorous muscle-building exercise. Even the best of us are not immune to the charm of bubbles, and the little monkey exhibited its love of floating spheres by leaping around the room, popping them with its razor-sharp nails. If we swung the Move slowly, we could create a huge bubble that could actually trap the little guy inside. Once it was situated in the bubble, we could cause it to rise high in the sky with a flick of our wrist, though it was unperturbed being imprisoned inside a watery shell.

Using the PlayStation Move, we could also write onscreen, and our pet would copy whatever we drew onto his personal pad of paper. There are different modes within this drawing section. You can always draw whatever you want, but your drawing is imbued with different properties depending on what mode you select. Car, plane, boat, balloon, and puppet are all available options, so no matter how lousy your drawing ability is, the game will mash your creation into a working airplane (for instance) that can be ridden by your adventurous pet. Once it's airborne, you can point at the screen to direct its flight, tapping the button to make the propeller spin or stop completely. Controls during this section are still being fine-tuned, but the monkey didn't seem to mind that he was part of a work-in-progress.

The last object we conjured was an X-ray device that let us see the insides of our trusting pet. Here, we could check its stomach to see if it was hungry, check it's brain to see its creativity, and check other organs to make sure it was happy and healthy. There are more surprises in store for EyePet fans later this year, but what we saw so far is every bit as adorable as it was last year, with more-precise controls. EyePet is due out this fall, though specifics have not yet been revealed.

Discussion

12 comments
samysupersniper
samysupersniper

im ps3 fan so i think that this game just by the cover can be kind of girly ,but it actually looks pretty cool. the things that u can do with ur pet are super amazing and very grafic

dmonee
dmonee

This is one of those things, that I think will take awhile to catch steam. The Eyepet seems like a cool concept, and will probably be cool to show people that do not know what it is. It also seems like it will be a cool family game. The kids will def. like it, and probably the wife. This will justify my PS3 purchase last year. Give me a fitness game and my wife will probably get her own PS3 to use it. i like what Sony is doing, even if it is a ripping off of Nintendo of sorts. It seems as if Sony capitalizes on all great tech ideas. From HOME to MOVE it has all been done before, just not on a videogame machine, so props Sony for taking the risks. Other than that, I think NATAL is going to have problems. For starters, The 360 peaked 2 years ago, graphically and gameplay wise. Now you add a ghost controller that captures movement to these already dated games and it spells a recipe for disaster. Xbox 360 is beyond the point of taking risks. With the PS3 competing at a level playing field now, leaves the 360 with no margin of error. There are already reports that Natal is one and done. Even their headlining games don't feel right with the invisible controls. this is not going to happen for them. The PS3 price point will spell the end for the 360, and this is coming from a former owner of one.

Blackbird34
Blackbird34

Oh, I forgot to mention. The tank battle demo I mentioned is from about 2 or 3 years ago. There's a video of it in action on youtube. Cant remember the exact name but I think if you type in "ps3 tank battle" or "ps3 tank battle eye" then it should bring it up.

Blackbird34
Blackbird34

I'd like to see Sony use that "drawing" recognizing technology for more than just this. They have an awesome tank battle demo where you could draw you own tank on a piece of paper, hold it up to the Eye, and it would put it in the game for you to control. As cool as Eyepet is, it's just not for me. If I was older and had kids, this would be cool for the family to mess around with. But I think I'll pass on this game. And before someone calls me a troll, keep in mind that I said "as cool as Eyepet is". It's really cool and interesting, just not my forte'.

SuperfastSonic
SuperfastSonic

Is it just me, or are virtual pets getting a little bit too realistic.....creepy. 0.o

Halloll
Halloll

online pet battle ftw

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

I wonder what else extra they gonna give us hopefully it'l be interesting

Hayabusa17
Hayabusa17

like the first eye toy that was pretty anoying

mitchmacca92
mitchmacca92

Hopefully the game will actually work with the 'move'. That annoying card along with hand gestures were rarely recognized by the camera.

lyanowu
lyanowu

"we could check its stomach to see if it was hungry, brain to check its creativity, and other organs to make sure it's happy and healthy." A bit creepy but still intesesting.

shadow13524
shadow13524

i think its cool to have an animated pet to play with. its better than Nintendo dogs for DS.

madd_hatter
madd_hatter

I've been following this one for a while now, but now that it has implemented the PS:Move, it might just make it that more interesting. We'll see.