Review by UberSweet

Reviewed: 09/19/05

Comprehensive Nintendogs Review

Nintendogs is one of those games that can win anyone over who plays it for a few minutes. The puppies are extremely lifelike, making you feel attached to them; the way you feel towards a real dog. Nintendogs is almost a perfect dog simulator. You walk your dog, you feed your dog, and you wash your dog. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the game is necessarily fun. This is not the kind of game where you play it for 3 hours straight; it’s made to be played in 15-minute bursts. But even playing this game isn’t fun once you’ve explored everything, and there isn’t much to explore. This game is purely a rental; there just isn’t enough meat on its bones.

The concept of this game is you can raise your own virtual dog. At first, you must select one, out of the six dogs at the kennel. Once you choose the dog you want, you go back to your pad and play with him/her. Once your new dog calms down, you name it. You first make the dog come to you, and you have to say the desired name for your dog into the DS’s microphone. Once you say it enough, he/she will come to you whenever you say it. You can also teach your dog tricks by petting it with the stylus and doing specific things with it. You also pet your dog with the stylus. Taking walks is also important, because you can meet new dogs on walks, and come across new toys for him as well. The toys vary from tennis balls to Mario Kart toys that you can control.

Everyday, you can enter your dog into three contests everyday. There are only three contests, and they are Frisbee trials, Obedience trials, and Agility trials. You have to train your dog(s) in three different areas, all very tedious and boring. For the Frisbee trials, you have to go to an empty park by taking a walk, and repetitively throw the Frisbee, until the dog gets better at catching it and bringing it back to you. When you return from your walk, you can teach it new tricks, which is incredibly repetitive, and even gave me a headache. Once you make your dog perform a trick, you say whatever you want into the microphone that you want to name the new trick. Do this 5 more times, and your dog will learn the new trick. The problem is, you have to say it exactly the same each time, and if you don’t, you have to say it another 5 times. Once you feel your dog and you can make your dog do these tricks on command, you enter it into the obedience trial, where you perform the tricks in the order the host wants you to. Lastly, there is the agility trial. You first go to the gymnasium to teach your dog how to jump and go through some tubes. Once your dog can do this easily, you can enter the trial. If you beat the trial, you obtain cash to buy some things for your dog. It’s just too repetitive. Also, this is the entire game; imagine how time consuming this game is with three dogs. It’s just not fun.

The one remarkable thing about this “game” is the graphics engine. It’s amazing; I had no idea the DS could pull off such realism. The reason anyone can fall in-love with their virtual puppy is because they look so life-like. All of the different puppies act differently, and have their own bark.

The amount of detail that went into this game is incredible, and you have to love the fact that it runs at 6o frames per second. Lastly, the physics engine is also remarkable. When you throw a tennis ball, it acts like a tennis ball. It’s incredible.
In the sound department, well, there is no department. All there is, is some annoying barks and yelps, and elevator music when you take a walk. There’s just no sound, along with no difficulty, and control. You use your stylus in very minimalist activities, such as petting, and, uh, petting. There is also the microphone. Lastly, this game has no real difficult parts; it’s more frustrating than difficult. Luckily, it does have a nice pick-up and play, which does help its repetitive gameplay. But, once you get three dogs, caring for each and every one of them takes way too long. So it’s easy to start to play this game, and it’s even easier to stop playing it.

To some, this game is probably considered to be very fun to play all the time. Some might even compare it to Animal Crossing, although AC has much more meat on its bones. I haven’t played it since the 3rd day since the release date. I just got bored with it. There are better games to be addicted to, such as Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Nintendogs is just not one of them.

Score: 6.5/10

Since this “game” is so unconventional, the whole add up the numbers and find the average doesn’t work. A game like this is should be purely based on gameplay, and since it’s not gameplay heavy, it really loses its initial charm.


Rating:   3.5 - Good

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