|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||Pet In TV|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Virtual Pet||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||November 1998||Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Whatever will the Japanese introduce to us next? Not content with having hooked our kids on keeping a virtual pet in their pocket they now produce a CD that firmly plants an overweight Tamagotchi in our games consoles.
Pet in TV takes the idea of owning an electronic virtual pet and then expands on the concept. Basically it's a Playstation version of a Tamagotchi.
The graphics are adequate. The scenery is generously splashed with
color but can be considered very basic when standing alongside most other
next generation titles. For example lining up Pet in TV (PiT) against the
likes of Spyro is definitely a no-contest.
It's a crying shame because rather than being born into a large 3D world your PiT inhabits several small themed environments and must teleport between each zone across a series of platforms. Each platform may be littered with obstacles but is actually quite small in area (about fifteen paces square). There are no backgrounds as such therefore it is quite beyond me why the scenery just disappears into thin air on so many occasions. Thankfully the camera angle may be controlled by using the shoulder buttons which helps to eradicate the aforementioned problem.
I would assess that the audience being aimed for is probably the under tens's. Especially with the PiT having an appearance that would hold an infants attention for a longer period of time than, say... Duke Nukem would. He/she/it is shaped like an egg with frog-like eyes protruding from the top of it's head. PiT has skinny arms and legs but rather large feet and wears a small backpack that will carry object three times it's size. PiT may be dressed up with several outfits that can be collected on his travels. I am unsure of the global term for the teat like object that has been shoved in it's mouth (I used to call it a 'dummy') but it serves a purpose in that PiT never cries. Ahh... a baby that makes no noise... luxury.
Sounds and Effects
The sound effects are all rather cute and cuddly. The PiT has a wide range of gurgling sounds that give an indication of it's present mood while each foot step has the popping sound that is made when you tap the palm of your hand over an open mouth. The music is simple, jolly and effective. There is no talking within PiT which is disappointing considering the age of the audience being aimed for, as I don't expect many under three's would be capable of reading the on-screen text.
First you must choose the PIT that you wish to raise, each with
their own personalities. In effect this becomes the difficulty setting and
offers further longevity to the 'game'. There are five different
characters, some are easy to handle. Others are lively and cheerful,
honest and quiet, slightly off-beat and eccentric, cautious and sensitive.
Once you have decided on your pets genetics then it's time to give it a
four lettered name (yeah, I bet you would!). Let's call it SPIT. Yeah,
Spit the PiT sounds fine.
Spit will immediately begin thinking for himself. Arriving on the first of over fifty platforms Spit will quickly construct a large blancmange home with matching jelly ornaments at either side of the entrance. Once erected Spit will enter his house and meet with Dr Y, the maintenance utility in charge of recovery, diagnosis and item processing. Whenever Spit becomes tired (fairly often) you must take him back to his home where the miraculous Dr Y will feed, rest and check his brain for damage!?!?
From here on in you must take responsibility for teaching Spit all about life's up's and down's, right's and wrong's, do's and don'ts. Your PiT will regularly ask your opinion on decisions that must be taken, such as which direction to travel, how to bypass an obstacle and what to do with an object. Effectively it becomes a simple game of 'yes/no'.
There is a practice area where your PiT may learn the basics rules of life. As Spit approaches each object he will request an opinion. On sight of food he will first try to kick it. You must tell him NO! He will then attempt to push it. Once again NO! After smelling it, jumping over it, touching it, beating it, throwing it, turning it upside down... Spit will eventually eat it. YES! Once you have acknowledged that this is the correct method to react to that certain object then the PiT will remember what to do the next time it is approached. After a short while your PiT will grow weary and request to go home where he will become rested and refreshed.
There are many things to teach your PiT as he must overcome many hazards such as switches, bridges, walls, jumps and the rather nasty pile of 'dog shit'... "No, no, no, dislike. Wanna go home!"
Value for Money
After a couple of hours I quickly bored of Pet in TV, but then I am not the audience it is specifically being aimed for. It's not so much a game as a learning instrument. Young children will love it and parents should enjoy playing alongside them.
be fair Pet in TV is aimed directly towards young children. In fact I
have recently received much correspondence where parents (usually the
fathers) are desperately looking out for a game that would be suitable
for the under three's.
Of course we all know that they only want a Playstation for themselves but need first to convince their good ladies that it would be beneficial to their child's learning process. That's fine... because I bought my son a Scalextric racing game when he was only nine months old. Wicked!