Final Glimpse: No more buying dog food, no more leashes, and no more yard duty.
I have never been a fan of dogs. My first (and only) dog, Rufus, was quite a souring introduction to the world of canines. He always wanted to play fetch when I wasn't in the mood and was never anywhere to be found when I was bored and needed something to do. Don't even get me started on how long it took me to get him house trained. Quite simply, he was a nightmare. So you can guess how unenthusiastic I was when I first heard of Nintendogs
, a virtual dog simulator for the Nintendo DS. I first dismissed the title as a Japanese fad, but as time marched on my interest grew. Finally, after witnessing Shigeru Miyamoto's Nintendog openly engage in a rather suggestive sexual act in front of thousands of people at the Nintendo E3 press conference, I decided it was time to get hyped for the stateside release of this innovative title.
is an open ended experience with no real goal or end-game. Players select a breed of dog, name their pet, and basically spend the rest of the game playing with their virtual representation of man's best friend. However, anyone who has experienced the game will tell you it's not as boring as it sounds. There is a lot to do in Nintendogs
, and many of the activities rely heavily on the DS' unique capabilities. The most notable feature is the inclusion of voice-recognition. Your dog will learn to recognize his name, as well as a slew of commands. When you first create your dog, you will be asked to say its name a couple of times to calibrate the voice-recognition software. When your dog does something that is considered a trick, a light bulb will pop up in the corner of the screen and you will be asked to record the name of the trick. At this time, it doesn't appear the game will include any preset voice commands. You will need to create your own, which will benefit the accuracy of the recognition tremendously.
The touch screen will be used to manipulate just about anything in the Nintendogs
world. You can rub your dog, throw a Frisbee, or even abuse your poor pet with your stylus. Touching your dog plays a huge role in the process of obedience and learning new tricks. For example, you can teach your dog to shake hands by grabbing his paw and shaking it often enough. Additionally, any and all toys that you purchase in the game are controlled with the stylus.
What good is all of this training without any place to use it? Throughout Nintendogs
there are competitions that your dog can enter. Winning the competitions will earn you a variety of rewards such as medals you can hang in your room. You will also be able to play with other dogs using the wireless LAN capabilities of the DS. At this time, up to four dogs can play with each other at once, but unfortunately there are no plans to bring Nintendogs