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Neopets: Petpet Adventures Review

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Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 14, 2006 Also On: None

Neopets will likely be one of those things in ten years that people will ask “what were they thinking?” It started out as a website (which still exists) and has blossomed into this franchise property that has toys, trading cards, shirts and yes, even its own cereal brand. It is no wonder that Sony would try to capitalize on this fanbase, possibly to challenge Nintendo’s Pokemon craze and steer youth to the PlayStation brand. Unfortunately for Sony, I am quite sure that Petpet Adventures is not the game to do it.

I’m not even going to go into the story of Neopets. If you are a fan of Neopets, you probably already know. If you are not, all you need to know is that this is an action-RPG. All of the combat is in real-time and the whole concept of leveling your character (or gaining experience) is part of Petpet Adventures. Instead of playing in random battles to gain experience (an annoying, tedious process in other RPGs), you gain experience by completing training by a trainer in each city. You pay an entrance fee and earn upgrades if you win.

Most of the game revolves around completing small quests like delivering items, clearing areas of enemies, among other actions. Running errands does not make a fun game, but the combat is relatively fresh for an RPG (which I don’t normally enjoy, by the way). The quests are usually pretty basic but can consume a massive amount of time. In that sense, I guess it is a good thing the game is linear and requires you to complete a certain area in most circumstances before proceeding.

The worst thing about Neopets Petpet Adventure is the menu system. You are going to constantly be fumbling through it to equip things on your belt, which can only hold a certain number of items. The menu system has several sub pages within it, such as weapon, items, journal and magic. You will have to scroll through these all the time, which can be a time-consuming process on top of quests that are already long enough. A reference for the area is the map, also located in the menus.

I actually found the action to be pretty decent, surprisingly. Combat varies between melee (swords, sticks, among other weapons) and long-distance (bows and magic). The biggest problem with combat is the A.I. There are two problems, actually: they are both stupid and precise. Sometimes you can hit them from afar and they will not do anything, killing them. Other times they will see you and once they start attacking, they rarely miss. Combat seems unbalanced a lot of times as you do not know what to expect. All I can suggest is to save often.

For someone that does not like to play RPGs, Neopets Petpet Adventures is a good game to play, even though it is not something I would buy for myself. You won’t get hooked playing it day after day, but once you start playing, you will find it hard to put it down, in part because of the long missions. The graphics look good on the PlayStation Portable and the action is solid, but some key flaws (menu system, A.I.) can make things frustrating. Fans of the Neopet craze should check this out and for RPG fans, this might be a respectable purchase on the PSP.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7
Written by Kyle Review Guide