Nintendogs - NDS - Preview
Virtual pets are a fad that seemed to last just as long as the virtual pet itself. Instead of having to take care of a living, breathing animal the virtual pet games allowed you to have a pet without all of the mess. Now Nintendo is entering the ring of the virtual pet market with Nintendogs but it's possible Nintendo will capture the attention of the young and the old. With the power of the Nintendo DS the experience of Nintendogs is unlike anything else you may have tried in the past. It’s new, exciting, amusing and very entertaining which is something hard to say for the majority of games released now. But it’s not fair to call Nintendogs a game it’s more of an experience.
The premise behind Nintendogs is you are responsible for taking care of a dog within your Nintendo DS. Yes, that is correct. You have to take care of a dog with your Nintendo DS. But this is where Nintendogs is interesting because the DS allows you to interact with the dog in ways that have never been done before on a gaming system. For example if you want your dog to play with a ball you use the touch screen on the DS to throw the ball. The dog will then run after the ball and play with it until you take the ball away. I’m a sucker for dogs (I’ve got two) and I was cracking up throwing the ball around using the stylus and watching the dog play with the ball.
Since the Nintendo DS has the touch screen, several of the games you play with the dogs are done with the touch screen. Playing ball and throwing a disc are just two activities that can be done with the touch screen. The touch screen isn’t the only interface available on the DS because the microphone can be used as well to play with the dog. I had to blow into the microphone on the DS to blow bubbles to the dog which the dog then went after just like one of my dogs would in real life. Yes I’m man enough to admit it to everyone reading this article. I was blowing bubbles to a virtual dog at E3. It was fun and I would do it again without a second thought.
Besides playing with the dogs you can also teach the dog to do tricks by voice commands. You can also train the dog to compete in dog shows and agility contests. Another interesting feature available will be the ability to socialize with other dogs with other DS owners. Nintendo even mentioned how you can record voice messages for your friends with the game to leave for your friends. All of these features sound incredible and could snap hours of time away from gamers everywhere.
The only big issue I have with Nintendogs right now is the fact that your dog will always remain a puppy. Sure puppies are cute and fun (well at least just looking at them anyway) but it would have been nice to see the dogs grow. But that's why they make sequels, right? Look for Nintendogs late this year and remember to take care of your dog. Your dog is your dog and my dog is my dog.