Review by Sonic01864LUE
"A good game that should last a while"
Nintendogs is a pet simulator game. The concept is very similar to, the original digimon, digi-pets, and tamagachi's. Nintendogs takes that concept and adds more features.
Gameplay-8-There are a few aspects here to touch on.
Caring- You need to care for your dog. Feed it. Clean it. Walk it. Simple. It'll run away if you don't.(Yes it'll come back) Overall its not that demanding. Not much to review there.
Training- You can teach your dog tricks. Which in it self is sort of a give in, considering you are playing with a dog. But its made unique by the fact that after you have the dog do the trick via the stylus, he can perform it on his own when you tell him to with your voice. Most people have had bad experiences with voice recognition before. But it actually works very well if you follow some simple guide lines. (Don't speak to close to the mic, don't use things that sound the same, don't try it in a noisy enviorment like car) Also note that the default setting for mic sensativity was high. So you may want to lower it to normal. I've had minor problems with the dog not obeying comands. But the traing is very well executed. Note that you can only teach 3 tricks a day. I assume this is a move to prolong gameplay.
Competitions- You can have your dog compete in challenges such as an obedience competition, a disc throw, and a agility trial. All are very basic and usually easy to pick up and play. Obedience trial is done having your dog perform a trick in a set amount of time via your voice.(No stylus use here) then you are judged by how well you do.(There is also a freelance part part you do whatever to impress the judges) The disc throw is very basic throw the disc and have the dog bring it back. You are judged on distance. (You gain bonuses for jumping and running catches) LAstly the agility trial is when you lead your dog through an obsatcle course As Seen On TV. IT consistes of simple hurdles, a tunnel, poles that the dog weaves in and out of, and a sea-saw. All of which are easy at first if the dog is agreeable. You move up in rank each time you win until you win the championship. So these are executed simply but they have enough depth tobe fun. Note that you can only do 3 of these a day also.
Walks-Alot of the gameplay occurs because of these walks. You draw a line on a map that I assume is randomly generated. Then you walk that path. The background changes slightly based on where you are(Not enough to brag about but its a nice touch) and also a walk at night will be at night in game also. When you are on these walks when you walk through a "?" on the map you will recieve either a gift or meet a CPU dog and his owner who will give you a gameplay tip. When you find a gift it is something that you can use with your dog, ex. a new ball or a article of clothing. Most of the games fun is just form watching the puppy interact with some of this stuff. My dog Gir, a Shiba, is terrified of a stick and wears glasses. Yes he is afraid of a wooden stick. Each dogs personality being different, helps prolong this aspect of the game. These can only be done ever 1/2 hour.
Other Things- The limits placed on what you can do in a day really limit the amount of fun you can have at one time. But I'm siting at home all day now this shouldn't be a problem later. When I have things todo other than games. Also he menu set-up for things like trainer info could have been done better. All menus are done on the touch screen which is not a bad thing at all. It works very well. Just some short cuts could been put in place. Overall gameplay gets an 8 out of 10 mostly due to limits on daily activities but some people are entertained all day anyway.
Sound-9-There is no music when the dog is sitting at home. Unless you find a record and play that. But those usually aren't very good music. Something along the lines of animal crossing could have worked. But the Background sound effects are great. when it sounds like a car went by the puppy get scared Normal city sounds come out great on the DS speakers. Most Dark barks also come out well with dogs making unique sounds.
Graphics-9-Not much to say here. It looks great. No complaints. Take a look at a screen shot because it doesn't change much form that. People have complained about the white area on the edges of the ground. This is just a style. But it does annoy some people. (View any screen shot to see what I'm talking about)
Overall it is very well done and the only real flaw is how the game limits what you can do in a day, It makes sense why this was done but it will still annoy some people.
I'd also like to add in 2 more things.
1. This game is not for everyone. Some people see no point in things like this. So it best to see if you enjoy something similar to this like the chao in Sonic Adventure2: Battle before you rush out and spend $30.
2. This game will get old with time. You will get bored with it. It is unavoidable. It last me about 3 months. If you want more gameplay than that then buy a different game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 08/25/05, Updated 12/23/05
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