A short an simple review for a now "classic" Nintendo IP.
Nintendogs made its debut in the Nintendo DS back in 2005. At the time, the "Pet Simulation" genre was in full swing, with the last success of inovator sites such as Neopets, and the soon coming advent of "kid RPG" sites like Club Penguin.
Nintendogs by no stretch is a realistic pet simulator. At the same time, it's just good enough,
You can take you can choose from a variety of breeds: this has little to do with anything other than visuals. Upon gaining a pet, you're *forced* to use the (lacking) microphone feature in order to get the pet to respond to and remember your voice. It's annoying, but you only have to do it once.
You can then interact with your dog in a variety of ways you would real pets: walks, feeding, disc training; and some ways not-so realistic, such as dressing is elaborate hats and glasses, dancing, and again, walks (wile a normal activity, the way it's executed is odd: you draw a small route on a grid-city using the touchscreen feature, choosing to bring your pet to a variety of locations such as shops, parks, and training areas)
You can also pet your dog, toss toys, etc, all via touchscreen. You can compete in "shows" such as racing, "talent shows" (performing tricks), and "disc catching." to earn money, badges, and other rewards for your dog.
Bathing your dog is a different story. There's something to brushing away "dirt," buying expensive shampoo, and using a low-poly showerhead to cleanse your dog until it sparkles, prompting it to strut around its room proudly. It's cute and addictive - you can almost smell its clean fur and sense its happiness, having been bathed.
Earning money is a tad difficult - sort **** thing, but I believe it to be a flaw that persists beyond that, which may frustrate the player that they can't do X or Y because it costs 9000 in-game currency, and you can only earn 1000 in-game currency once a day IF you win the highest tier in any competition (which often requires expensive gear to train with and use)
It's good enough in that features provide enough of an interface to interact with your pet in a fun and manageable way; it's lacking in just that - you're limited to the confines of your small home.
COnsider the era. It was a handheld; the advent of smart phones and sophisticated mobile gaming had not yet reached it potential. It was nearly the world's first step in 3D-mobile gaming - so, again, it was good enough.
Graphics are fuzzy - generally comparable with Nintendo 64 and Playstation1 era graphics, but sharper, and more colorful in tone.
The fur graphics are surprisingly well done considering the systems capabilities.
In all, it's visually great for a 3D title of the -era-, and I'd argue still holds today for its cartoonish charm, simplistic style, and clever tricks for making a more "realistic" look than would be done without a knowledgeable insight into 3D programming and design.
Interface can be a bit confusing at first.
It also has a house decorating feature - which is expensive in game. It only allows you to (basically) change the wallpaper, however. It some ambiance sometimes too - like if you choose the Mario Bros. house (Super Mario Bros. theme), space ship ("space sounds"), or beach house (crashing waves, seagull, sea ambiance)
It's a small cartridge, so naturally it's easy to lose. If lost, you have no way to recover your hours of work you put into your pets, their accommodations, etc. And you'll be sad because your puppies are basically dead :(
In conclusion: decent simulation - you'll spend hours getting to know and getting attached to your virtual pets.
Sadly, they cannot exist beyond the confines of the cartridge. You cannot transfer to new iterations of the title (as for now), and the only supported platforms are the Nintendo DS family of systems, which are destined to die out someday.
My recommendation: it's good, but don't play it. Newer titles in the series, such as for 3DS, includes more features, improvements, etc, and offers the ability to buy CATS. So that's good.
It is, however, a cheaper option. So if for some reason you cannot gain access to a 3DS or 2DS, and you still have your Bulky DS handy... it's worth a try.
The interaction with the virtual dog is done extremely well on the Nintendo DS, and even if you pride yourself in your masculinity it's hard to resist these adorable critters romping around on the handheld. With all the things that you can do and collect in Nintendogs, though, it doesn't feel like it's enough.
With all of those unique traits, I wish there had been more ways to show off my little troopers. An "Animal Crossing"-style society and level of interaction would have been a perfect fit. [Oct 2005, p.124]
Nintendogs captures the essence of puppydom in its adorable stars and genuine charm, but focuses so much on being a cutie that it forgets to be a game. DS owners thirsting for companionship will certainly find some here, although it’s really just a virtual pet without enough interesting gameplay enhancements.
The game that gave birth to the pet sim gaming industry, this game is FUN. Caring for a virtual dog might sound boring, but Nintendo makes it into something that is downright enjoyable. However, the same formula gets repetitive VERY quickly.
This is a game for elderly people and young children, and at that it succeeds in spades. But for a core Nintendo fan, you either adore it or it bores you. I side with the latter. A solid game, but nothing that a hardcore gamer would freak out over.
Perhaps I'm the wrong audience for this kind of game, but to me I felt like every part of this game was a pretty poor imitation of what I imagine real dog ownership is like. Everything feels pretty artificial, and while that's not incredibly abnormal for a video game, nintendogs has few other redeeming qualities.
SummaryPlayers care for and train their puppy by petting it, walking it and buying it supplies to play with. As a puppy competes in obedience and agility trials, owners can win money to purchase other puppy breeds. The pups will vary in gender, coloration and personality. Players purchase one of several breeds available at the beginning, then s...