The PS Vita has given us every conceivable creature from worms, squirrels to spitting hamsters. We’ve had more animals starring in gaming than found aboard Noaks Ark. Now Spiral House and Sony’s XDEV Studio delivers a doggie heaven to the handheld as pups wreak playful havoc in PlayStation Vita Pets. Super cute and super cuddly, each little bundle of fluff could have even made Chairman Mao go weak at the knees.
First off this is an adventure game – it’s not only about grooming, feeding and other general dog maintenance. You will need to shower your newly adopted pet, dress him/her up in ridiculous outfits, throw twigs and get him/her to perform like a circus clown (but I think you already knew that bit). Where PlayStation Vet Pets really displays its beauty is the game’s story campaign.
Choosing your loveable best friend for life from the different breeds is your first dilemma as they all look so loveable and cute. Each pup displays their ‘choose me’ face and plays on your heart strings. Your home is the base for the game and it’s here where you’ll need to return mid adventure to attend to your demanding pups needs. Feeding, showering, clothing and training can all be accessed here. Don’t worry, you’ll instantly get the hang of the game mechanics – this is not rocket science.
Once you venture outside of the back garden gate the game gets really interesting. Suddenly it’s a different ball game. The adventure is a mystery based around a deceased King and his loyal dog named Cosmos. Unearthing buried maps and hidden keys by the King open up new areas to explore and lead you further into the mystery. Solving puzzles, getting lost in mazes and bombing down a disused mine really make this a diverse gaming experience. Also, remembering to scoop up your poop makes PlayStation Pets a perfect action adventure with a twist. Incidentally if you don’t clean up your mess it’s off to the dog house and a fine from the in game currency.
It’s not all plain sailing as your little mutt will need to develop his/her skills in order to continue the journey. This is also where the grinding comes in. To advance, certain skills and abilities will need to be performed to Level 3, so it’s a case of replaying these again and again to get there – very respective and uninspiring work indeed. Sort of a bit like 6am dog walks, necessary but a pain in the ass. Also gaining buddy points can take the shine off this puppy’s coat. It’s here that the once cute talking pup suddenly becomes a tad annoying and having an option to purchase a muzzle would have been heaven. Oh my Dog. But I’m sure the younger gamer would not even notice such vocal grating.
PlayStation Vita Pets does has some jaw dropping moments; the Kings Journal is a perfect example of showing how much love and care has gone into the game. This journal looks like it came straight out of Tearaway, and is really something to savour and return to. The sound track is beautiful also and gives a further polished feel.
PlayStation Vita Pets really does whisk you off to a lovely place where everything is so sweet and innocent. Despite its minor hiccups we have a game that gives both younger and older gamers something to bark about.
Lizard rating 7.5/10