Nintendogs: Lab & Friends
Review by Otacon001
"Nintendogs: Nintendo's next step towards world domination."
Welcome to Nintendo's newest and freshest innovation! If you purchased Nintendogs, you recieved a quality product straight from one of those hundreds of shipped boxes, each full to the brim of Nintendogs copies. If you purchased Nintendogs, you probably also at one time questioned this purchase....seriously questioned it. You probably let the free lunch bag talk you into buying the product. Just kidding...
Before I begin the actual review, I'd just like to make one thing very clear: this is a simulation game. It is virtually pointless for me to write a review for a simulation game, since the whole point of simulation is to create different experiences with different gamers at different moments. My personal experience is all I have to share with you, and that's hardly enough to convince you to purchase this game. Please keep in mind that if you are not a fan of simulation games, or you simply don't think that taking care of a dog would be much fun, Nintendogs is not for you. This said, I do recommend at least trying a demo at your nearest game retail store, even if you have no plan to purchase it.
I took Nintendogs home with a variety of emotions. The first and foremost being, "Damn, I should have gotten Advance Wars DS." When I got home, however, I found that Nintendogs looked and played differently than I expected. The game has gorgeous graphics, and the dogs act like they exist. It's great fun! I couldn't wait to begin training my dog from the moment I brought her home.
**GRAPHICS - 8/10**
Kudos to you, Nintendo. For the first time in my experiences with the Nintendo DS, I actually had to stop and look for graphical flaws in order to notice any. Everything is nice, smooth, and realistic. I enjoyed this realism, and it certainly adds to the atmosphere of any simulation game.
**SOUND - 6/10**
As far as music goes, nothing great here. I would rather have my Creative Zen on, anyway. Sound effects in the game are pretty much what you'd expect: dogs barking, dogs whining, dogs lapping up water, dogs crunching dry food, etc. The real feature of sound is the whole idea of talking through the external microphone to communicate with your puppy. It's pretty interesting! You can teach it to respond to your voice!
**GAMEPLAY - 7/10**
Another successful simulator from Nintendo, but why am I so much more addicted to Animal Crossing than this game? The point is, Nintendogs is successful for what it is: a dog simulator. This said, Nintendogs is not for everyone. It portrays the life of a dog and the life of its trainer, going through the trials of everyday life and then some. As mentioned above, you have the ability to communicate with your dog via the external microphone. You'll be able to teach your dogs tricks and train it to respond to your voice to perform these tricks. You also have to keep an eye out on how much money you have, because you'll certainly need plenty to keep your dog happy and healthy. Not to mention, you'll need some cash if you have any intention of owning multiple dogs. By the way, this game is in an interesting form of real-time simulation. This doesn't mean you have to wake up at four in the morning to feed your virtual dog, but it does mean that the dog usually grows hungry and thirsty overnight. Of course, while you play the game, a clock appears on your screen, so you can keep track of real-time flow. Don't feel that you're neglecting your dog because you have to turn off the game...Nintendo's clever new form of real-time kicks in here. It's a difficult thing to explain, really.
**REPLAY - 7/10**
As in any simulation, you should be wanting to come back for more. Nintendogs succeeds in this, but not in a way that I would have hoped. Things get very repetitive, and often annoying.
**RENT or BUY?**
Some have their minds set on this game. If so, buy it. Others who are a bit unsure of what they want, I would rent it first. Otherwise, you might end up like me, thinking, "Damn, I should have bought Advance Wars: DS!"
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/05
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