Littlest Pet Shop Friends
isn't a poster child for great control, but I don't suppose anyone was expecting that. In addition to the animation issues, pets move slowly, and there is no running option. At least there is no "run faster than a slow jog" option. You never have to go far between quests, but it still would have been nice to have more variable speed, a jump, a roll, anything to mix things up while you travel. It probably wouldn't be so bad if your pet didn't slow down even further when you bump into a wall or an object, or another pet. Speaking of bumping into other pets, they won't move out of your way for anything. Instead, you'll be stuck pushing them out of your way ever so slowly, or waiting for them to move. Neither option is much fun, even in this bright and colorful world.
There are "play" hotspots scattered across the world, but these simply trigger pre-set animations. For example, if you hit play next to a log, your pets will roll around on the log in a pre-programmed animation. You don't get different animations for different pets, so there's really no incentive to try these play spots more than once.
The mini-games feel just about as responsive as the rest of the game as far as controls go, but they seem to be forgiving enough to where it doesn't become frustrating. You're only required to do a few different "waggle" motions throughout the course of the game, so that's something you can also get the hang of eventually.
There are codes included with the game that you can input into both the Wii game and a free browser-based online Littlest Pet Shop game. The codes will get you a few things like a free trial of the "premium" version of the online game and a special pet. Honestly, the online game just looks better than the 3D Wii version. It may just be that the style of the franchise is just better suited to 2D flash than to 3D on a console. Or it may be that this just wasn't the best 3D execution that could have been done.
It's hard to be excited for this game, and it's hard to imagine it holding even the target audience's attention for very long. There is potentially a lot to do, but it just doesn't seem like there's much point in doing it over and over. The addictive quality of something like Animal Crossing is not to be found here by far. The biggest Littlest Pet Shop fans may be excited for a while, but I wouldn't expect it to last.