Nintendogs was a revolution when it was first released on the popular DS console so it’s no surprise now the 3DS is here that Nintendo has once again tipped its head to the side and released a new version. What we wanted to know was if anything was new about this title and if it was worth purchasing again, especially if you already have the DS version?
Obviously a new major selling point with this title, as with all the other launch titles is that you can view it in 3D, therefore taking your pet for a walk, watching it poo, stroking your pet and playing games with it, can all be done in a much more realistic feeling fashion. Saying that, there isn’t really that much different about this title that you won’t already know about.
Basically the game starts off by allowing you to visit the kennels; from here you can choose the animal of your choice by meeting all the puppies and kittens on offer and stroking them until you decide on the one for you. Once the meeting and greeting pleasantries are out the way, you will then name your animal and take it home, where you can bond, feed it, wash it and of course teach it tricks.
This is all very sweet of course, although to be honest it doesn’t really sound that much fun right? Well, wrong actually, although looking after a virtual pet is probably not quite as good as a real one, you really do begin to care for your little pixelated animal, meaning you will probably check on it every morning to make sure it’s been fed and taken for a walk, you don’t want it wee-ing on the carpet after all.
The thing about Nintendogs is that it’s very easy to play; you can teach your pet new tricks such as sit and paw, take them for walks and even buy furniture without too much fuss. Making money is also fairly easy as you can enter competitions, such as frizbee throwing, and once you get the hang of that and other competitions you’ll soon find yourself raking the cash in, meaning you can buy that sofa you always wanted.
Nintendogs main downfall is that there isn’t really a great deal to do, while also isn’t really any sort of tough challenge. It’s just the sort of game which drags you in and then, if you like looking after cute pets, keeps you hooked – don’t expect to be frustrated at any point though.
There are a few new features which at least make this title worth looking at ahead of the DS version if you don’t have it already. Nintendo has added in compatibility with the AR Cards, what this means if you can actually bring your pet into your real home via augmented reality; just place the card down on the floor, wherever you fancy, and watch as you pet comes to life in your living room. You can even take photos of your pet in your home using the 3DS camera, in 3D if you wish. This is a fairly neat feature and is certainly one that you will be showing off to your friends.
Another addition to the game is the built in pedometer, allowing you to walk about with your pet in your pocket as you go about your daily chores. Coupled with this is the StreetPass feature, turning this on will allow you to have your pets interact with other people’s pets, should they pass you in the street with an activated 3DS. This feature allows you to swap photos, presents and you can even opt to go to the park and play with them, although that’s a virtual park I’m talking about.
Graphically the game is definitely an improvement over the DS version, the pets fur looks very impressive, while they also seem to act very realistically, giving you all the more reason to grow attached to them. The voice recognition is also improved, meaning when you tell your pet to do something or call its name, then it will actually listen (although maybe it was just me that had issues in the last version thanks to my Scottish accent).
Nintendogs certainly won’t be for everyone, it’s easy to pick up and play, doesn’t really hide any of its features for later, and also isn’t very challenging. Once thing this game is though is addictive, and very very cute. So if your kid is begging you for a pet and you don’t want the responsibility, then buy a copy of Nintendogs and Cats for 3DS and watch as they fall in love with a virtual pet instead.
You can buy your copy of Nintendogs & Cats here.