Nintendogs (Nintendo DS) - Review by skarma
Don't say you've never heard of it. It sold phenominally in Japan and even in the US. Hell, the Japanese don't even call it a game. nintendogs could be described as a 3D upgrade the the hit PC sellers 'Dogz' (or 'Catz' (or 'Babyz') ), but in reality it's so much more. Nintendo have gone in a lot of different directions after the launch of the DS, look at Daigasso! Band Brothers or Electroplankton. Dog simulators have been around for a while, but seemingly this has been the true dog simulator that the nation loves. It is completely different from the PS2 title 'A Dog's Life', in which you directly control a dog. You are the owner of a dog in nintendogs, and it wants to be loved.
Gameplay in nintendogs? Teaching it tricks, taking it for walks, stroking your dog and watching it piddle (although that isn't exactly a bit of the gameplay). Sounds great doesnt it? All of it (except for the camera angles) are controlled with the touch screen and microphone. The microphone is probably one of the main reasons why it's so fun. You pick a dog from 6 (for each version) and give it a name with the microphone, which can be used to call it over. Then you can start playing with frisbees (or flying discs as NoE like to call it) and other fun items. Then its time to teach it! Your dog can learn a variety of tricks, from the basic sitting to breakdancing. It can learn about 15 or so tricks, probably more. All of these are executed with the microphone, well, your voice to be realistic. You can then enter it in competitions (Frisbee, Obidence and Agility Trials (obstacle course)), take it for walks where it marks it's territory, finds presents and meets other dogs, and generally have fun.
Everything in nintendogs is controlled with the stylus and microphone. It's as simple as that, like most DS games. The distance and direction of the frisbee for example is determined by the force and direction you throw it in. It's oh so simple.
Clearly some of the best on the DS right now. The dog models themselves look real (apart from you don't get to see there 'bits') and are adorable and huggable. The town you live in and your house is very nice, although some of it is whited out so there is no slow down. You will love your dog because it looks real and get attached to it. Each of the 16 dogs have 3 different colours and look life like.
Sound is very noticible in the game, each dog has a different type of bark reminiscant to it's real life counterpart. Some satisfying sounds like the driving of the Mario Kart (yes you get to control a Mario Kart for your dog to chase). Music in the game is barely noticable, except on the walk. Theres a few music tracks in the game, except when you actually play records. You can unlock music to play in the background, but it all flows very smoothly with the rest of the game.
nintendogs is a unique game that you either love or hate, it's appeal might wear off after you play it alot, but then again it might not. If you love dogs, you'll love nintendogs. It's as simple as that.
Pro: Gobsmacking visuals
Con: Appeal might wear off
Final score: 9.1