For anyone who's ever been a fan of Neopets, the Tamagotchi-like online virtual pet that you can play with, feed, and trade and buy things for, this is the game for you. Or, actually, for your pet. The Neopets have their own pets, called Petpets, and that's who you'll be playing as in this game. You have a choice to play as one of four Petpets (Doglefox, Mazzew, Meowclops, and Krawk), who try to help your owner Megan, escape from the evil powers that have taken over Petaria. She has thrown the wand of wishing into another dimension, and you have gone after it to fetch it and bring it home. The catch: the evil henchman who has been chasing you and Megan has also sent his two evil Petpets after you and the wand as well.
For anyone who's not a big fan of the Neopets brand, this game isn't just about cute fluffy characters and magical creatures. The gameplay is very similar to that of Pokemon: you walk around and try to pick up objects, and fight other characters at a slightly faster pace. As you develop, you will have access to more spells and weapons and tokens. Use these to trade up to higher levels and hone in on your skills while fighting the mini-boss in each level (or land) in order to improve to be able to move onto and succeed in the next level.
You need to be able to watch your points (health, hunger, intelligence, and so on) so that you don't go into a fight being too tired and hungry. You can pick up some cute clothes and accessories that will help you out along the way. While walking around lands to find weapons and food may seem somewhat boring to some, there are many side-quests that you can take on as well. Most of the levels include some kind of a mini-quest, which can range from simple tasks (like trying to help the farmer get rid of some pests and then help him find his son), or something slightly more complicated (having to solve a riddle and then find several objects to bring back to him).
The graphics and game design are very well done here. The graphics are definitely better than expected and they don't falter at all. The aerial view works very well, and the lands are nicely designed to be somewhat pastoral and very peaceful, especially near the beginning. The game design itself was enjoyable, and the storyline actually fun and sometimes even challenging to complete. The sound quality was also very good, and the music didn't get very annoying at all.
Being new to the PSP, manoeuvring the controls was slightly difficult at first. After getting the hang of it, though, it became quite simple. It will take some getting used to in terms of how to properly use the items in your quick belt, but after a bit of training you'll find it to be a breeze.
For overall gameplay, it plays well the first time through. The main quest takes about twelve hours to complete, longer if you choose to do the mini-quests. The character you choose at the beginning doesn't really matter, as the gameplay is practically the same for whomever you choose to be. Should you decide to play again, try using different characters and different battle strategies, even if only just to see a different character in the cutscenes than the ones you have previously played. Also, see if your Petpet character can pick up a Petpetpet for themselves - their very own pet to join them on their adventure.
Overall, Petpets is well done in terms of the storyline, and in its audio and visual attractiveness. The hard part now will be trying to market this cute game to the more hardcore, Halo-type crowd of gamers. But even with the magic and spells (and even some cool weapons), the Petpets themselves are just too cute to pass up.