Review by SapphireWarg
"Oh My! Your Game Appears to Be Repetitive!"
Vacations are fun, but long car rides aren't, when nothing new happens. That's why I made a hasty decision and bought The Sims 2: Pets for Nintendo DS, my favorite on-the-go gaming system. I've always wanted to be a vet, and what could be better than customizing my own character and taking care of sick cats and dogs with no risks or chances of getting sued? This sure looked like fun....
This game, unfortunately, has very little story. You're the new vet in town (although nothing really leads up to becoming a vet), and you have to heal sick animals, so you go up in rank and get more patients. And, that's pretty much it. This vet game lacks the exciting plot it could've had.
As vet, you heal sick cats and dogs, while taking care of your own pet. Once in a while, a patient comes in, complaining that his pet is sick, smells, or simply looks bad. After diagnosing the pet, you either send it to a specialist or take care of it yourself, which takes about one to two minutes of your time in real life. The pet's owner comes back after a while, and if the pet is healed, you get some money and a higher reputation.
The animals, which supposedly have different personalities, all react the same way to the stethoscope, medicine dropper, soapy sponge, x-ray machine, shower head, and brush - they try to crawl and jump away from them. All animals can also be cheered up by petting them (or you can upset them by slapping them), but it takes more time to cheer up a pet than it does to scare the (imaginary) pants off it. You'll find yourself pausing frequently to pet each animal a lot, even during the most basic parts of the examination.
You do earn a nice bonus if you teach the pet tricks while it's in your care. However, the tricks are the same for cats and dogs, and this part of the game becomes old quickly.
But your vet Sim has needs, too. You'll spend more of your time sending your Sim to the bathroom, making it take a shower, cooking it meals, having it sit on the couch, or sending it to check the mailbox than you will interacting with the animals in your care.
And finally, for your business and Sim to survive, you need to go online quite a bit (in the game, not for real) and purchase medicines, food, pet clothing, and new equipment, which is a bit expensive, but appears in your inventory instantly.
The controls aren't bad, and most of the time you'll be using the touch screen. The touch screen lets you tell your Sim what to do and you use it to select menu options and interact with animals. The directional pad lets you scroll around over your house, and the A, B, X, and Y buttons let you zoom in and out and rotate the over-head camera.
A useful feature, the queue, lets you set up a list of things for your Sim to do, making things easier for you. Let's say you want your Sim to use the bathroom right after it showers, and have it wash its hands after that. While your Sim walks to the shower, you tell it to use the bathroom, and then tell it to wash its hands. It will do all of these things in order, and without pausing. This is quite helpful in the game, when you don't want to follow your Sim around constantly.
Everything looks pretty nice, and the pets are especially cute. The 3D graphics hardly slow the game down. Just one little thing, though: when you try to mix two different coats on dogs or cats, it merely looks like the animal's been dipped into a large bucket of paint.
The music doesn't change on its own in the game, but a CD player in your house allows you to change the track that plays.
The game never ends! You can play until you get bored. Depending on how much or how little you enjoy this game, it could be anywhere from fifteen minutes to several weeks and beyond.
With a game that lacks a story and variety in daily tasks, this is hardly worth playing over again.
I'm seriously glad I brought other things to do on my trip, because this game was a big disappointment. A DS game that lets you play as a vet is a great idea, but this was the wrong way to go about it. Animal lovers and young kids may enjoy this game, but anyone else curious about the game should just rent it first. It's not worth thirty dollars if it's going to sit and collect dust after a few hours of playtime.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/08/07
Game Release: The Sims 2: Pets (US, 10/31/06)
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