Developed by: Nintendo Published by: Nintendo Release Year: 2005 ESRB Rating: Everyone for Comic Mischief For: Nintendo DS Nintendo released Nintendogs in late August of the year of our Lord 2005. Nintendo has never been one to shy away from innovative, and new gaming experiences. Nintendogs most definitely falls into that category. The goal is to play with your puppy (or puppies). The player is also able to train the puppy in obedience, frisby, and obstacle course. There are competitions where money can be earned. An another way of making money is finding presents while taking a walk with the puppy. The Nintendo DS has brought a lot of interesting innovations to the world of video gaming, and Nintendogs definitely takes advantages of the machines capabilities. GAMING EXPERIENCE:
The gameplay is spot on perfect. Puppies in the game act just as they do in real life. It is eriee that I came to think of my puppy \'\'Champ\'\' as a real live animal. If I had forgotten to feed him, I would get up turn on the DS, and feed him. The voice activation works really nice, and it will play back the commands you are using that relate to the trick. The petting of the puppies actually feels real, with the exception of not feeling fur. Which for those with allergies is a way for them to interact with a puppy without causing them a physical determent. Some puppies are harder to train than others, and that will show when they do not always obey. I found the higher my trainer rating, the better behaved the puppies were. The two screens of the Nintendo DS are utilized well, and swapping of the puppy from the top to bottom screen is handled well.
The graphics are done really well in most aspects of the game. The models for the puppies really add to the realism. There are two parts of the graphics that I noticed to be minor subtractions. First, the lines of fences in the background are not always straight. It takes a real discerning eye to pay attention to the scaling in the background, but it is there. The second problem is the background houses themselves, for they did not always match the upper screen map, usually around corners. The backgrounds also seemed pretty plain in most cases.
The sounds are perfectly done with puppy sounds, and the sounds of items. Tennis balls that are thrown have the proper bounce sound. The puppies will bark, and whimper just like real puppies. The music was always pleasant, and enjoyable. Throwing a vase, and hearing it break will bother you even more when you find out how much you could have gotten if you would have sold it instead.
The controls are in your hands, after all much of this games controls are on the bottom touch screen. If there is any problems with the controls it is going to be the gamer, and not this game. I used my finger(s), the stylus, and the thumb piece; and they all controlled well.
This game can be played for months. It is important to note that you will not be playing this game for marathon periods. Just like a real puppy, these digital ones get tired after about forty-five minutes to an hour. In all honesty though, that seems to work well with this game. How long can you really pet a puppy, play with doggie toys, and teach him/her tricks?
Violence: This game is totally violence free. You are not even allowed to discipline the puppies. It is important to note that my puppies never once misbehaved so there was no need. There is no blood or gore.
Language: Nintendo has been very friendly to families in this regard. Nintendogs is no exception. There is no language I found that would embarrass you. Some of the other dog trainers (that you run into while walking) will sternly tell you to pick up after your puppy, but they are never profain. They sound more like the political correctness police to me. Occult Themes: Absolutely none. Sexuality: Sexuality is not a part of this game. Nintendo proves a good game can be developed without any references to sex. The puppies never grow older, and there is no canine sexual activity at all. The puppies will sniff each other, lay sideways on top of one another, and other forms of snuggling ? however it is not what I would call sexual in any way, shape, or form. Moral/Ethical Issues: There are none that come to mind. Puppies will lift a leg to go to the bathroom (no genitals are ever shown), and they will squat to take care of the other business. It is up to you the gamer if you pick up the doggie doo-doo or not. Like I mentioned previously NPC\'\'s will chastise you for not picking it up.
This game has to be one of the most wonderful tools for parents. How many kids ask their mom and/or dad for a puppy? Quite a few. At thirty dollars (or less) Nintendogs is a wonderful tool to determine if your child is in fact ready for a puppy. The puppies have to be fed two times a day, need a lot of love/attention, and everything costs money. If your child can not handle a Nintendog for a month, they can not handle the real thing in my humble opinion. As a game Nintendogs shines as something innovative, and fun. Not everyone can wrap their mind around this style of game, all I gotta say is don\'\'t knock it until you have tried it.