I just installed the software from the PC pack, and I wanted to give you guys a full review.
Here's what you get in the PC pack:
- 1 Tamagotchi Connection V4.5 (globe pattern on shell)
- 1 Tamagotchi mousepad (very cute, makes me wish I used a mouse)
- 1 tree-shaped microphone. It plugs in to the microphone port on your computer, not USB or anything like that
- 4 small plastic figurines of Mametchi, Violetchi, Memetchi and Kuchipatchi to stick on pegs on the microphone, as decoration
- 1 CD-ROM of software
Any Connection Tamagotchi will fit in the holder of the tree-shaped microphone. I put my V1 in there. So I haven't activated the V4.5 that came with the PC pack yet. There is no special functionality or interaction between the PC pack V4.5 and the software. It's sort of just a bonus, in my opinion. So I'm happy that I don't have to jump ahead to the V4.5 without yet trying the V3 or V4.
The software is very cool. The most interesting part is the voice recognition. There is a brief speech training session where you are asked to say stuff like, "you are pretty" and "practice moves" and "do you need help?" into the microphone so it can learn your voice. Then you can start interacting with an on-screen character. You can pick from six different characters: Mametchi, Memetchi, Ichigotchi, Gozarutchi, Violetchi and Kuchipatchi. They are animated and sit in the window. When you say things like, "Time to dance!" they will respond and do a little jig or whatever. Each character has four commands.
The interesting part is training it to open programs. You go through a setup process where you pick an application for it to open, speak a phrase of your choice into the microphone, and it will learn to respond to that phrase by opening the application. You say, "Hey buddy, <command phrase>", and it does it. Very neat.
It's a little too optimistic about the amount of training. My apartment is kind of noisy with my windows open - lots of traffic sounds and things - so it gets my commands wrong a lot of the time. But still, once it's trained up, it'll be very useful. Right now I have it set up to open all my instant messengers and my browser. When I turn on my computer, I can just open "Tamagotchi" and then not double-click anything again.
There are other features on the CD-ROM that are less exciting to me, but perhaps exciting for you. (I basically bought it for the voice recognition stuff so the rest of it is gravy.)
It comes with some puzzles. I just finished one at the hardest level... and it's buggy.
The last piece doesn't fit, no matter how you rotate it. It's actually mirror-reversed. Hilarious.
It comes with some desktop wallpapers. I like the one I downloaded from Tamagotchi.com though. I'm using the one with the field of eggs.
There are some pages that you can "colour" in, using an interface.
There's a section called "Printing Goodies", where you can design print-out stationery using Tamagotchi graphics. I like print-out stationery, almost
as much as I like store-bought stationery, which I buy in unjustifiably large quantities.
So I don't know when I'll ever print out any of my own.
There are also three cute screensaver animations. They're cute to watch in the little "theatre" of the program, but I wouldn't recommend them as actual screensavers, since much of the scene isn't animated. There's activity in the centre of the screen, but the rest is stationary scenery. So it won't actually "save" most of your screen any better than just leaving it on. I prefer saving the energy and letting it turn itself off after a while.
There are a bunch of games on it too, and they look kind of fun and challenging, and they involve voice interaction too. But they're timed games, and I'm talking to too many people on MSN/in the chatroom to be able to play them.
So I'll review them some other time.
If you have any questions about the PC pack, post them here and I'll try to answer them!
I just tested out the microphone for other uses, like recording my own voice for like my little one-person karaoke parties
and it's pretty good! Much better than the headset I was using. The volume is pretty good and it doesn't have issues with breathing noises like the headset does. Of course I'm sure it's no match for real microphones, but if you're using free stuff that came with other software like I am, it's not so bad.