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Joystiq presents

A look back at Nintendogs

While they eagerly await the release of the DS Lite this Friday, the fine folks at Eurogamer have taken it upon themselves to review Nintendogs: Dalmation & Friends and, in doing so, reevaluate the praise they heaped upon the game when it was first released. Though they still find it to be an innovative and remarkable achievement, they also discover that the repetition inherent in raising a puppy can be somewhat ... dogged.

Nintendogs certainly makes for an excellent showcase of the DS' technical abilities, but it's considerably less effective as a game. The interaction between polygonal puppy and player is amusing, even fascinating at first, but keeping your best friend happy soon starts to feel like a chore. And chores are never fun.

We already struggle to cram a few games into our hermetically sealed schedules -- a game that depends on you and requires constant attention doesn't quite fit in there. As a result, we now find ourselves in a situation exactly like the one Eurogamer is faced with. "The fact is, we haven't touched our original copy of Nintendogs for months now. As painful as this is to admit, our puppies are probably now completely, irretrievably mental and riddled with fleas. We're too frightened to boot up the game and find out, haunted by visions of their emaciated corpses being stripped to the bone by gargantuan rats (even though we know that Nintendogs cannot actually die on account of how much it would upset the kiddies)."

Poor Gonzo. If only your little puppy eyes could see my cold and uncaring heart.

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


6-20-2006 @ 4:45PM

NotAwesome said...

I lent my DS to my bf a couple of months ago when he went out of town for 3 days. He didn't bring Nintendogs and this was during a time when I worried more about keeping my pooches fed, watered, walked and happy.

So I borrowed a friend's DS for a couple of minutes to check on them, expecting sullenness, fleas and guilt. But they were all in the same state I left them 3 days prior: beautiful, full and quenched.

I don't remember, but I think I read somewhere that sticking your Nintendogs cartridge into a different DS is like starting over without having to go to the pound or re-training. My accidental discovery seems to confirm this, though I should test it again to be sure.

So try using another DS with your Nintendogs cart and see if they are magically returned to the state you last left them in. Makes the chore of caring for them less bothersome.


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6-20-2006 @ 7:24PM

[email protected] said...

I agree NotAwesome, I had the same surprise today right after I eagerly took off the packaging from my brand new DS Lite. My doggies had no flees as I expected, and were pretty happy, to tell you the truth. They were super clean, fully fed, and quenched when I put them in my new DS Lite.

So, using a new DS does give a new life! Well, not really...

OK, now, with the article, I agree that I realized that it was kind of lame to train this puppy after a while, and trust me, I was waiting for this title like a kid in front of the XXXmas tree. Nonetheless, I surpirse myself, every now and then, turning my little pups on to see how nasty they are... It amuses me.

So, YES, it's a fun but very short fun and addiction, but it's also a little cute game that you can show to kids and to adults to let them know that not all video games have to be violent. It's a message that NINTENDO only has been tring to promote these past generations (i.e. the console generation).


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6-20-2006 @ 8:41PM

Marc said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but, wasn't this game SUPPOSED to be for people who aren't into games (non-gamers)? This could've been a "training" tool for kids that want a puppy.

So If you think about it, gamers and possibly hardcore gamers are obviously going to find this non-game feeling like a chore after a while.

(but don't feel too bad about your starving puppies, they aren't real no matter how cute they look)


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6-20-2006 @ 8:49PM

Marc said...

"(even though we know that Nintendogs cannot actually die on account of how much it would upset the kiddies)"

Actually, the next Nintendogs game should have the puppies die. This would make the player feel guilty and feel responsible, just like with a REAL dog.

I can see it now....
*turns on game after 3 months to find a corpse. Mario comes out of nowhere and gives you a long speech on taking care of your animal (in broken english, with the phrase "a" after every other word). Then a message saying "No animals were harmed in the making of this game (except your own)" comes up. Finally the game resets itself.*

Yup, just like with a real dog.


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6-21-2006 @ 3:54AM

Jayenkai said...

Nah, Mr Resetti would be much better. Nothing like being traumatised by the death of your puppy, then shouted at endlessly for not looking after your dog.


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6-21-2006 @ 4:42AM

Tobias said...

Strange, is the NDS Lite released on Friday (23) in the rest of europe? The release date for us in Sweden is set to tomorrow, that is Thursday (June, 22). Not complaining but thought there would be an simultaneous release across europe.

Oh, and btw Nintendogs = Tamagotchi = repetitive
(just my take on it, haven't played it yet)


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6-21-2006 @ 11:48AM

Francois said...

I must sincerely agree with Eurogamer's new review of Nintendogs. Even though I still think Nintendogs is one of the best games of 2005 and an impressive and innovative title, it does become like a chore after a while. So does Animal Crossing and other daily games (it's part of the reason why I'm a bit reluctant to jump into Brain Age). I don't mind the repetition all that much, but I don't have much more than one or two hours each day to play video games, and I don't necessarily want to spend that time training my Nintendogs every day. Yet, if I don't, it becomes near-impossible to progress in the game, which makes it more than a little frustrating. Some days I would feel like I had to play Nintendogs rather than feeling like I wanted to play Nintendogs. I'm currently on extended break, and I don't know if I'll ever have the will to go back to the daily training grind.


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6-21-2006 @ 1:48PM

Gonzo said...

Did I miss something?

Awwwww. Did someone name their nintendog after me? Thank you.

Or was it the Muppet, or Hunter, or a drinking contest?
Never mind, I thought I should feel flattered.


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