the demo is on Xbox Live. the game is surprising me. i'm like the last person to like the virtual pet genre (never understood why people like Nintendogs, Tamagotchi, Kinectimals, etc.). the demo is also out now for Kinectimals.
the augmented reality in Fantastic Pets is really nice. you see yourself in the room and the pet is running around the room and around you. so you do motions like in Kinectimals and the pet will follow your orders. I can't effuse enough about how cool it was to be in the same room as the pet. And it'll take pictures of you playing with your pet. More Kinect games should do augmented reality!
and they put these glowing things over your hands so when you move around, the light trails around. but the surprising thing is when you put your hands in your pockets, the game still knows your hands are there in your pockets even though they're not visible and puts the sparkly glowing things over your pockets.
it also has an augmented reality game where you're hitting pinatas. and it's not just in a 2D plane like an Eyetoy game. there are some pinatas in front of you and behind you. I didn't realize this until I was swinging on not hitting them. So if you think you're used to this stuff because of Eyetoy, it takes a bit of adjustment.
And there's a ball toss game (not augmented reality) where you throw the ball through some rings for points and your animal retrieves it.
the animation is definitely smoother (both the video feed and the game graphics) in the demo than in the promo video.
the graphics aren't amazing like Kinectimals but the game seems more fun. I didn't really play Kinectimals (only played the demo) so it wouldn't be fair for me to judge it as a whole. But I think kids will definitely like Fantastic Pets more. It seems easier for kids to control too. Some things in Kinectimals requires a person to read or to understand the characters English accent which is tough for the little kids.
The demo is pretty decent but the augmented reality is pretty crappy. I want to see that animal jumping on my furniture, not just walking around. The way kinect "sees" things, i don't know why that isn't possible. Ball toss seemed pretty bad, I don't know why it is so hard for devs to nail throwing a ball, Kinect Sports seems to be the only one to be able to do it right.
I like it more than Kinectimals. No stupid flying non stop talking hamster. I think the full version has potential to be pretty awesome with all the things you can allegedly "add" to your pet.
I think kids will really like the idea of taking pictures with their pets. It would be awesome for the pet to jump on the furniture. I agree with that. But considering this is the first augmented reality title for Kinect, it's looking good so far. I thought the ball toss was pretty good. I was getting it through the rings I wanted which is impressive. It wasn't as random as the ball toss in Kinectimals.