Nintendogs: Lab & Friends
Review by elsquanto
"Very much superior to owning a real dog"
For my 25th review, I decided that I would review one of Nindendo's great young franchises, the Nintendogs franchise. I came upon this game while perusing a local magic shop in Southeast Bombay, and was immediately drawn to the cover. Sadly, because I cannot read Indian, the game was unfeasible for me. So, I ordered the game on April 3rd, and when I came back on a 22 hour flight to New York, it was ready. (Plane ride was bad, but the stewardess was hot at least.) In the end I must give this category a 9/10 due to the excellent food.
And now, onto the review.
Nintendogs takes place in a fantasy world in which nothing is real and anything is possible. You are an ominous, 8 foot tall carnivorous dinosaur and you must raise the Labradors (and friends) to become the utmost dogs they can be. Actually, come to think of it, this game doesn't really have a story. We'll call it a 7/10
The graphics in Nintendogs are quite interesting, and at the same time, extremely interesting. Reviewer wolverinefan has been quoted as saying that Nintendogs uses mainly the stylus in control, but also uses the A and B buttons. While this is true, I disagree. To the best of my opinion, Nintendogs uses the A and B buttons as well as the stylus. We will see who is correct on Wednesday.
The graphics in Nintendogs are also quite realistic. Hair on the dogs looks reasonably like what hair on a dog would look like, an interesting effect probably not intended by the developers. The dogs, although only appearing in Labrador and Friends format, are quite multi-varietied and are well balanced, as one dog cannot gain a significant advantage over all the other dogs. I would say that the dogs are all pretty much the best dogs ever. Yes they are. 9/10
Gameplay is the most important category of all, and it is where Nintendogs truly shines. The entire time I was playing Nintendogs, I kept thinking to myself, how much similar to a real dog could it be. I have experience with goldfish and I have shot a few squirrels with my BB gun, but could I really be trusted with a fake dog? I quickly found out, the answer was a resounding no. Nevertheless, I persevered, and pretty soon I was able to make it by the title screen.
This one time, I was in science class. There was a girl sitting next to me, and I kept making jokes about Chlorophyll. She was very intrigued by the jokes. Then I slipped a laxative into her drink and she ruined her pants and had to throw them in the woods.
I was immediately granted with the site of several wide mouthed grinning Labrador puppies, eager to get out of their pen and into the pen at my house. Fairly soon, I was sitting there, petting my puppies and teaching them tricks like sit, lay down, and 360 Indy Backflip. I scored several hundred points, reinforcing my decision that Tony Hawk 2 was actually better than 3. I soon was able to enter my dog into competitions, where he totally let those other dogs have it.
I soon found out that the type of competitions I was at was illegal, so I took it to the competitions that the great gods at Nintendo had developed for me. Pretty soon, my pup was ducking through barbed wire fences and stealing Playstation's, just like his owner. This is without a doubt the best game invented since Alexander Hamilton introduced the world to beer pong. 11/10
It was at this point in the review where I decide controls is make game correctly to the ultimate button. The buttons are mapped out in an easy to understand fashion. The start button, ironically, brings up the start menu. The stylus allows you to interact with your dog and practice cursive handwriting. The A and B buttons are signals which send A and B commands to the game. Jurassic Park is on, and I can't get the sound of that goddamn trapped baby Tyrannosaurus Rex out of my head. Luckily, the rest of the controls are spot on, and allow me to give them a remarkable score of 8.567/10 Unfortunately it is not added to the final score.
What I have always loved about Nintendo, is that they are very good at making video games simulating ownership of pets in a Newfoundland Labrador Dog type variety mechanism. While every dog has its bone, not every dog gets the bone like Nintendogs, which manages to allow this sentence to drag on and make 800 words and besides, this is particular a great buy, or even a rent, maybe even a buy followed by a sell, in Conclusion, I give the game a solid 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/17/09
Game Release: Nintendogs: Lab & Friends (US, 08/22/05)
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