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Nintendogs (DS) artwork

Nintendogs (DS) review


"At first glance, Nintendogs looks to be a joke, a seemingly ridiculous game worthy of scorn. Upon experiencing its contents, however, people will be shocked, faces will turn, and a perpetual flow of comments about it being cute will overwhelm. Not to be mistaken for a traditional game, Nintendogs is like no other, a shining example of how Nintendoís longing for innovation has truly paid off. Being in the form of a dog sim, this innovative title allows caring, petting, walking and playing with..."



At first glance, Nintendogs looks to be a joke, a seemingly ridiculous game worthy of scorn. Upon experiencing its contents, however, people will be shocked, faces will turn, and a perpetual flow of comments about it being cute will overwhelm. Not to be mistaken for a traditional game, Nintendogs is like no other, a shining example of how Nintendoís longing for innovation has truly paid off. Being in the form of a dog sim, this innovative title allows caring, petting, walking and playing with your favorite virtual breeds.

With three different versions of the game on store shelves, a variety of breeds are available. And from the get go, things get right on track, as everyday tasks are required to keep your dog happy. After picking a name for your dog, the built in microphone is used to record your voice. After a few successful tries heíll come to your voice only. This simple but brilliant stroke of genius gives Nintendogs some life; interaction is the key to success.

Of course, before you notice anything else, the truly stunning graphics will jump out, boasting smooth textures, real-life animations, and some of the best overall visuals the DS has to offer. Every breed of dog looks strikingly like its real-life counterpart, taking you back to the day your dog was just a pup. And in Nintendogs, itíll stay a pup forever.

Initially, repetition was what critics saw that dragged down the experience. However, taking your dog on a walk, and finding a new toy while youíre at it, will simply make you smile. It is the little things that make this game shine. Donít ask why, but every little new discovery you make in Nintendogs adds more fun to the mix. Training your dog at the local park with a Frisbee now brings more perks. Get good enough and you can place good olí Ralph in a contest. Nab enough Frisbees and youíll make some much-needed money. Frisbee contests not enough for you? Try some obedience trials, or maybe even some agility tournaments. There are so many new things to find, and youíll simply have a blast doing it.

And every dog has buddies, right? Well, in Nintendogs, you can wirelessly connect with a buddyís dog. Who knows, maybe heíll bring a present? Compare your dogís skills with your friendís and allow them to get to know each other. After leaving, your dog will have a profound sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment after having a riot with another dog. And thatís what separates this game from the rest of the pack: the fact that you genuinely care what your dog is feeling. Trust me when I say this: if you canít play your DS for a day or so, youíll worry about how Skippyís doing and if he needs some food or a bath. Take that for intimacy!

If all this exhaustive material is not enough, consider the fact that you can upgrade your house, allowing more luxurious locales for your dog to tinker around with. And thanks to an intuitive response time from the microphone, everything from asking your dog to sit to making it lie down will be executed with ease. Moreover, upon successful execution of a command, you can pet your dog with the stylus. Watching his face light up with joy may very well be the cutest thing Iíve witnessed in a video game.

But if second thoughts are passing through your mind about whether this game is for you, keep in mind that I had to be convinced to get this one. However, all I needed for convincing was twenty minutes with my friendís dog and I needed this game. I donít care if you are a first person shooter enthusiast or a platforming guru, Nintendogs will be money well spent. Throw your dog a rubber mushroom, and then watch him fetch it and bring it back to you with giddy excitement. That beaming smile of satisfaction on your face will be all the proof in the world that this one is good.




Rating: 9/10

mrmiyamoto's avatar
Community review by mrmiyamoto (September 09, 2005)

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