Review: Nintendogs – By Garp

Garp has just finished his review of Nintendogs, for the Nintendo DS.  Here it is, enjoy:

 

Nintendogs
Publisher - Nintendo
Developer - Nintendo
9/10

Nintendogs-517

 
Shigeru Miyaomoto enters the DS scene with a splash as the general producer of Nintendogs. As the game was a mega hit in Japan, it was obvious that it wouldn't be long before it came over to the United States and to Europe. On August 22, 2005, Nintendogs invaded the United States and sold over 250,000 units in its first week. The question is, can 250,000 units be wrong? Well, that depends on what you're looking for.

There is a bit of a debate as to whether or not Nintendogs is truly a video game. It's certainly interactive and it is featured on a game console, but it's very much a simulation. That said, I guess if you consider SimCity to be a game, you can consider this a game as well.

Some people may be familiar with a company that went by the name of P.F.Magic which put out a series of titles for the Windows platforms known as Catz and Dogz. They even branched off into Oddballz and Babiez for a little while, though those were far less successful. As time went by, these pet simulators added the option of "coloring" your pets, talking with them, and using the mouse in different ways to interact with them. It would take a lot of effort from someone in order to convince me that Shiggy didn't, at one time, play those Dogz games considering the similarities that are here. There are a fair number of differences, too, though.

The DS is all about control, so we'll take a look at that first. It is solely controlled through the microphone and the touch pad. Quite literally, the face buttons do absolutely nothing. You'll grab, pet, swing, and otherwise manipulate everything with your stylus on the bottom screen and also communicate with your dog, albeit in limited fashion, through the microphone. The stylus controls are really a given and work well, even when doing something such as jump rope or throwing a flying disc, but the microphone controls are something different.

Don't get me wrong...the microphone works quite well and the voice recognition is quite stellar, compared to prior offerings on the computer! That's part of the problem, though...you won't want to put your dog into an obediance contest while you're out in public, unless you want to advertise to the world that you're playing Nintendogs. Shouting out "Sit down", or "lay down" or "spin spin" can come off as really ridiculous in a real hurry, and it's an experience that you probably won't want to repeat. Luckily, with the exception of the contests, you can do most controls simply with the stylus. Just keep the contest for the privacy of your own home.

There are a number of gameplay modes worked into this game, with everything ranging from lounging around the house, going out for a walk and going to the park or a discount pet store, practicing on an agility course, throwing around a flying disc, and finding trash lying on the side of the road that turns into presents and are quite well wrapped, surprisingly. (Hey, it's a game..it doesn't have to make sense) There's also the contests where you can show off how good your dog has gotten (and make some money), stores to visit, baths to give your dog(s), accessories to outfit them with, and the kennel to pick up more dogs. For a game that is excellent at being "pick up and play" there is a surprising variety available.

Graphically, you're not going to be upset with this game. While the draw distance is disturbingly small (only extending around 12 yards or so) the graphics within them are decent to good. Obviously, the focus of the graphics are in the dog models themselves, which are quite good and capture the feature of each type of dog admirably. Occasional jaggies and edges appear, but it's nothing to detract from the game. There are nice touches as well, such as the fact that the water bowl for one dog is much smaller than the water bowl used for three. Also, if you take a large dog on a walk it will find smaller sized packages while smaller dogs find larger ones, keeping the scale of each sized dog.

The sound is a bit of a toss-up, as some of the tunes are fairly catchy and others are just plain annoying. There is a nice variety, though, depending on where you are which is quite welcome.

While I typically like to play a game to completion before doing a review, that just isn't an option in this case. It would be nice to see the dogs grow up, but at least with this release of Nintendogs they remain puppies throughout the entire course of the game. I did spend two detailed weeks with it in order to see if the gameplay continues to innovate or if it becomes boring in short order, and I'm pleased to say that I still look forward to spending a little time with my puppies each day. There is a continual stream of features that are unlocked or discovered when taking your dog out for a walk, as well as other dogs to purchase and train as time goes by. I don't know how attached you'll be to the game a year from now, but it will certainly provide a month or two of entertainment to those that are interested in this type of game, if not more. If you hate dogs or you hate simulation games, however, you should stay well away from this title.

Overall, this game gets a 9/10. While it could have added a bit more detail and it would have been nice to see the dogs grow to adults, what there is already in the game is a heck of a lot. Well done, Nintendo.

Garp has just finished his review of Nintendogs, for the Nintendo DS.  Here it is, enjoy:

 

Nintendogs
Publisher - Nintendo
Developer - Nintendo
9/10

Nintendogs-517

 
Shigeru Miyaomoto enters the DS scene with a splash as the general producer of Nintendogs. As the game was a mega hit in Japan, it was obvious that it wouldn't be long before it came over to the United States and to Europe. On August 22, 2005, Nintendogs invaded the United States and sold over 250,000 units in its first week. The question is, can 250,000 units be wrong? Well, that depends on what you're looking for.

There is a bit of a debate as to whether or not Nintendogs is truly a video game. It's certainly interactive and it is featured on a game console, but it's very much a simulation. That said, I guess if you consider SimCity to be a game, you can consider this a game as well.

Some people may be familiar with a company that went by the name of P.F.Magic which put out a series of titles for the Windows platforms known as Catz and Dogz. They even branched off into Oddballz and Babiez for a little while, though those were far less successful. As time went by, these pet simulators added the option of "coloring" your pets, talking with them, and using the mouse in different ways to interact with them. It would take a lot of effort from someone in order to convince me that Shiggy didn't, at one time, play those Dogz games considering the similarities that are here. There are a fair number of differences, too, though.

The DS is all about control, so we'll take a look at that first. It is solely controlled through the microphone and the touch pad. Quite literally, the face buttons do absolutely nothing. You'll grab, pet, swing, and otherwise manipulate everything with your stylus on the bottom screen and also communicate with your dog, albeit in limited fashion, through the microphone. The stylus controls are really a given and work well, even when doing something such as jump rope or throwing a flying disc, but the microphone controls are something different.

Don't get me wrong...the microphone works quite well and the voice recognition is quite stellar, compared to prior offerings on the computer! That's part of the problem, though...you won't want to put your dog into an obediance contest while you're out in public, unless you want to advertise to the world that you're playing Nintendogs. Shouting out "Sit down", or "lay down" or "spin spin" can come off as really ridiculous in a real hurry, and it's an experience that you probably won't want to repeat. Luckily, with the exception of the contests, you can do most controls simply with the stylus. Just keep the contest for the privacy of your own home.

There are a number of gameplay modes worked into this game, with everything ranging from lounging around the house, going out for a walk and going to the park or a discount pet store, practicing on an agility course, throwing around a flying disc, and finding trash lying on the side of the road that turns into presents and are quite well wrapped, surprisingly. (Hey, it's a game..it doesn't have to make sense) There's also the contests where you can show off how good your dog has gotten (and make some money), stores to visit, baths to give your dog(s), accessories to outfit them with, and the kennel to pick up more dogs. For a game that is excellent at being "pick up and play" there is a surprising variety available.

Graphically, you're not going to be upset with this game. While the draw distance is disturbingly small (only extending around 12 yards or so) the graphics within them are decent to good. Obviously, the focus of the graphics are in the dog models themselves, which are quite good and capture the feature of each type of dog admirably. Occasional jaggies and edges appear, but it's nothing to detract from the game. There are nice touches as well, such as the fact that the water bowl for one dog is much smaller than the water bowl used for three. Also, if you take a large dog on a walk it will find smaller sized packages while smaller dogs find larger ones, keeping the scale of each sized dog.

The sound is a bit of a toss-up, as some of the tunes are fairly catchy and others are just plain annoying. There is a nice variety, though, depending on where you are which is quite welcome.

While I typically like to play a game to completion before doing a review, that just isn't an option in this case. It would be nice to see the dogs grow up, but at least with this release of Nintendogs they remain puppies throughout the entire course of the game. I did spend two detailed weeks with it in order to see if the gameplay continues to innovate or if it becomes boring in short order, and I'm pleased to say that I still look forward to spending a little time with my puppies each day. There is a continual stream of features that are unlocked or discovered when taking your dog out for a walk, as well as other dogs to purchase and train as time goes by. I don't know how attached you'll be to the game a year from now, but it will certainly provide a month or two of entertainment to those that are interested in this type of game, if not more. If you hate dogs or you hate simulation games, however, you should stay well away from this title.

Overall, this game gets a 9/10. While it could have added a bit more detail and it would have been nice to see the dogs grow to adults, what there is already in the game is a heck of a lot. Well done, Nintendo.

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