The virtual pet scene hasn’t been that big as of late. You’re able to find a plethora of games in this genre for your smartphone, but most lack the finesse to really hold your attention. PlayStation Vita Pets attempts to do what games such as Nintendogs on the Nintendo handheld systems has done for the genre by harnessing the power and unique capabilities of the Vita to provide gamers of all ages with a much meatier pet simulator.

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Vita Pets starts off by presenting you with four breeds of dogs (evidently you can only choose from a selection of dogs, which contradicts the title of this game somewhat) to choose from. Each dog oozes character and personality and you’ll instantly connect with these adorable creatures, that is until they start speaking.

Yes, these anthropomorphic animals will constantly be talking to you throughout the game, telling you what they need or want to do, and expressing how much they’ve missed you while you were away or just spouting something random. While I was taken aback by this at first, it did end up growing on me, for about the first half hour of the game. The main issue here is your pets end up repeating the same phrases continuously every 30 seconds or so and at some point I just turned the voices off, which is a shame – as the voice acting is pretty good.

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Once you’ve chosen your pet, you’re whisked away to your home where the majority of the activities take place. Here you’ll interact with your pet and partake in a number of fun little games and there’s even a closet where you can dress your pet up in all manners of weird and wonderful apparel. One of the more interesting rooms is the gateway into our world. Using the augmented reality features of your Vita you can make it seem as if your pet is really there with you. It’s an interesting distraction, though it’s nothing more than a gimmick.

Partaking in activities with your pet, such as playing catch or a game of tugging not only earns you points that can be used to purchase items from the store but continuous interaction levels up your pet’s skills in that particular area. For example, playing tug often with your pet levels up his tugging abilities, this is used when your pet needs to pull something.

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These skills come into play during the game’s biggest hook, its adventure mode. Vita Pets has a lengthy campaign which makes this game stand out from the rest. You’ll be able to explore quite a large forest in search of treasures left behind by an ancient king and his dog. The story is by no means ground-breaking, but it is serviceable and has a youthful charm to it. Along your journey you’ll be sniffing out trinkets from the ground and solving a number of puzzles. It’s an impressive feat considering this is a pet simulation game, and I applaud the developer’s efforts. Unfortunately those efforts are undermined by some serious pacing issues.

Exploration of the forest is an on-rails affair. You keep your finger on the screen and you will gradually progress forward. This forward movement, however, is extremely slow and feels really cumbersome. I understand you’re able to better take in the environment and appreciate the finer details but the speed with which you progress is just a little bit faster than a tortoise. It really makes exploration feels like more of a chore than anything else.

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This is not to say that there aren’t any enjoyable moments within this campaign as there were times where I actually found myself engrossed in the current situation, but some sections are only available once your pet’s skills are at a certain level, so you’re forced to grind if you want to continue, adding to the tedium. It’s a shame really as the idea itself is solid but execution is deeply flawed.

PlayStation Vita Pets is a game that has many good ideas and had the potential to be a stellar pet simulator. It has pretty good visuals and animations and the soundtrack is catchy and suits the game well but the incredibly slow pace and overbearing voice acting hurts it in the end.

Last Updated: June 18, 2014

PlayStation Vita Pets
PlayStation Vita Pets does an admirable job of trying something new, but unfortunately the slow pace of the adventure mode acts as a counteragent to its good ideas.
6.5
PlayStation Vita Pets was reviewed on PS Vita
63 / 100

48 Comments

  1. Did you lose a bet Umar?

    Reply

    • Monado

      June 18, 2014 at 12:39

      I respect all games. Doesn’t matter what the genre is…even if the game involves rubbing a virtual dog on my Vita screen. My screen has so many smudges on it now

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 18, 2014 at 12:39

        “rubbing a virtual dog”

        O_O

        Reply

        • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

          June 18, 2014 at 12:40

          Heavy petting. 😉

          Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 18, 2014 at 12:49

          No pussy?

          Reply

          • Kensei Seraph

            June 18, 2014 at 13:08

            Cats are DLC.

          • Hammersteyn

            June 18, 2014 at 13:13

            I love cats

          • Monado

            June 18, 2014 at 13:15

            Me too. Seriously, there are times I miss my cat

      • Sith JJ

        June 18, 2014 at 12:47

        I’m not going to ask

        Reply

        • Monado

          June 18, 2014 at 12:48

          It works best with your index finger

          Reply

          • Sith JJ

            June 18, 2014 at 12:50

            Of course.
            Wait, what?

          • Hammersteyn

            June 18, 2014 at 12:51

            rub rub rub?

          • Monado

            June 18, 2014 at 12:55

            The faster you rub the more you please your dog

          • Sith JJ

            June 18, 2014 at 12:56

            You’re still talking about an actual dog here, right?

          • Monado

            June 18, 2014 at 12:57

            I think so…I mean….well the dog kept asking me to stroke it…So I think so. Dogs talk right?

          • Hammersteyn

            June 18, 2014 at 12:57

            Red rocket!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 18, 2014 at 13:00

            What has been read… can never be unread HAHAHAHAA

      • Rince&exhale

        June 18, 2014 at 12:53

      • Hammersteyn

        June 18, 2014 at 12:54

        Hehe, helping Darryn with his research are we?

        Reply

        • Monado

          June 18, 2014 at 13:01

          LOL Unfortunately I can’t speak about such classified topics

          Reply

    • Rince&exhale

      June 18, 2014 at 12:42

      HAHAHAHA!

      Reply

  2. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 18, 2014 at 12:41

    Wow Umar… did you insult Geoff’s metal lunch box collection or break the arm off one of Darryn’s batman figurines? 😛

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 18, 2014 at 12:43

      I think he told Gavin that PewDiePie is a Liverpool supporter.

      Reply

      • Rince&exhale

        June 18, 2014 at 12:44

        You go too far!

        Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        June 18, 2014 at 12:45

        Daaaayyymmmmnnnn!! 😀

        Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 18, 2014 at 12:49

        Wow

        Reply

      • Monado

        June 18, 2014 at 12:50

        I would never hurt a man this way

        Reply

      • Sith JJ

        June 18, 2014 at 12:51

        Liverpool is a sports team right?

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 18, 2014 at 12:52

          Yup, they play rugby last I checked.

          Reply

          • Sith JJ

            June 18, 2014 at 12:53

            Ah. For a moment I was going to sound stupid and ask if it’s synchronized figure skating.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 18, 2014 at 12:56

            I thought it was extreme low-altitude sky diving.

        • Kensei Seraph

          June 18, 2014 at 13:06

          I thought it was an acting troupe?

          Reply

    • Monado

      June 18, 2014 at 12:47

      LOL Is it so hard to think that I would want to rub virtual dogs?That I would want to spend my time rubbing virtual bellies

      Reply

  3. Sith JJ

    June 18, 2014 at 12:47

    Umar!!!

    Reply

  4. Rince&exhale

    June 18, 2014 at 12:47

    Wow man, this must have been the consequence of some very horrible action man! This is on a par with Darryn’s My Little Pony review.

    Reply

    • Monado

      June 18, 2014 at 12:58

      LOL To set the record clear. I did not lose any bet. I did not insult Liverpool for being a kak team and never winning anything, I did not say batman is not a superhero because he has no super powers…Nothing of the sort

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 18, 2014 at 12:58

        Thank goodness you didn’t say those things. Can you imagine?

        Reply

        • Monado

          June 18, 2014 at 13:00

          Yeah I mean I would have to review Farmville if I said Liverpool is probably one of the worst performing teams out there

          Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 18, 2014 at 12:58

        Kudos all the same, nice review.

        Reply

        • Monado

          June 18, 2014 at 12:59

          Hehe thanx 🙂

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 18, 2014 at 13:01

            Yep, I agree with Hammer, very cool review lol

          • Monado

            June 18, 2014 at 13:02

            Lol In all honesty, this is more of a kiddies game, I won’t lie though, Vicky has been a faithful pet while I reviewed this

  5. Hammersteyn

    June 18, 2014 at 12:50

    I would like to see Pyramid Head in some sort of Pet Simulator. Toss him victims, teach him new sword tricks, etc.

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      June 18, 2014 at 13:05

      That would probably sell.
      Make it for Android and iOS and you could make millions.

      Reply

  6. Sith JJ

    June 18, 2014 at 12:57

    I just want to put this out there…since no one will say it…
    I had no idea that’s what Umar looks like. Was not expecting that.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 18, 2014 at 12:58

      That’s not even his final form

      Reply

    • Monado

      June 18, 2014 at 12:58

      Yeah, it’s not my good side though. I didn’t brush my hair when I took that pic as well

      Reply

  7. Pieter Kruger

    June 18, 2014 at 14:48

    Cant you get Kinectimals for free on tablet?

    Reply

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