Today’s review will be a double-header featuring EyePet and Invizimals: Shadow Zone for the PSP. Both games incorporate the use of the official PSP camera attachment and are both augmented reality games.
Having a little experience on the PS3 Eye, I had some foreordained expectations that may not have been completely fair. I fully expected the camera to work as shown, however, I expected lag, lighting issues, blurry images…all of which I did not get. The camera was quick, precise and quite clear. Not one time did I have to move to the perfect lighting scenario or some large flat surface to get the games to function. With that said, the price, picture quality, and picture options are fairly large cons just for the PSP camera alone for general picture taking.
Hardware aside, read on for the individual game reviews.
*Both games were provided by SCEE and were reviewed hands on the PSP by PS3blog.net.
EyePet is the perfect augmented reality idea, however, having such a game on a “handheld” really detaches the user from the experience. Augmented reality games are meant to be interacted with by, most notably, your hands; but while holding onto a PSP trying to aim at the “magic card,” that’s pretty much impossible.
The EyePet is adorable and does bring some charm that is hard to ignore, but the game lacks much of its natural fun and interaction that the PS3 version displays.
I, personally, think of the game as a new version of Tamagotchi, without the death of your pet. You still need to groom, feed, play with, and put your pet to sleep. Some of these things are adorable, while others are soporific.
In the end, I find myself wondering why this game is on a handheld at all, even though I did get some enjoyment out of it. Children will be less likely to find faults in this game than adults, I believe, in the long run.
My final Score based on my experience. 5.5/10
This game is slightly more interactive and tugs on your imagination as you play a little more so than EyePet. Invizimals are invisible creatures that live throughout the world and you are in charge of finding, capturing and fighting them against each other.
To find Invizimals, you walk around with the PSP, scanning flat surfaces, listening to the sound that imitates the noise of a Geiger Counter. Once an Invizimal is found, you place the trap (pre-packaged card) on the table and try to lure the creature onto it. After doing so, slapping the card will capture the creature for your use.
It seems that bright colors are one of easiest ways to find some of the rare creatures. The problem is, not all of us have brightly colored decor, so paper, books, post-it notes, etc will suffice, although it feels like you’re cheating when doing so.
While the gameplay is more more immersive, I find I have the same problems with this game as the EyePet, and that’s trying to be interactive on an augmented reality game while trying to hold onto a handheld at the right distance and direction.
I think many Pokemon fans would still enjoy this game and would find a way to cope with the awkwardness of holding a PSP in one hand, while slapping the trap card in the other.
Final Score: 65/100
This review is based on a retail copy of the PSP version of EyePet & Invizimals: Shadow Zone provided by SCEE.
Written by: Eddie
- Contributing Editor