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Portables (Games) Businesses Nintendo

The Non-Game That Barks Like A Game 31

Posted by Zonk
from the woof-woof dept.
Well thought out games blog Lost Garden has a design analysis of Nintendogs. In his estimation, gamers who are shrugging this off as "another Nintendo toy" are doing themselves a disservice. From the article: "There is nothing on that market that compares to Nintendogs. If you dig into the game mechanics at an abstract level, it has surprisingly more in common with a RPG than most virtual pet games. Yet hardcore gamers make a snap judgement and instantly assume it must be a Tamagotchi-style game. This is an unfortunate mistake that limits our understanding of the game design."
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The Non-Game That Barks Like A Game

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  • If anything... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bob-o-Matic! (620698)
    I figure it is worth a few bucks just to see what all those Japanese kids are raving all about. What, you haven't bought something just to be in the "in crowd"? Coming from Nintendo, you have better than even odds of it being pretty good.

    Now, if only I had a DS... My wife owes me a replacement for breaking the screen in my GBA SP :(
  • by XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @08:59AM (#12811709)
    Dissing Tamagotchi was not needed. Tamagotchi is the most interactive 3 button game out there, anyone can tell you that.
  • I think Nintendogs looks awesome, and I'll be in line to buy it when it hits the US shores, but it's not original. It's not a new idea. Nintendo is not really innovating.

    Pet Simulations aren't a new genre.
    http://www.tamagotchi.com/ [tamagotchi.com]
    http://www.petz.com/ [petz.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      RTFA, it says Nintendogs *isn't* a pet simulation like Tamagotchi.
    • by pnice (753704) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @10:26AM (#12812640)
      I am excited about Nintendogs although I agree that the game isn't exactly original. You listed some good examples but one game that no one seems to mention when it comes to Nintendogs (or at least no one mentions it on slashdot) is Dogstation for the PS2.

      I've played Dogstation and it was pretty fun at the time (I really like obscure, non-mainstream games...the crazier the better) and although this game had a Tamagotchi like feel to it you still had to teach the dog to poop and pee, walk it, raise it, breed it, play with it, feed it and play mini games with it. I'm curious how close Nintendogs will be to Dogstation. I mean, even the name Nintendogs (part Nintendo / part dogs) is like a direct rip from Dogstation (part Playstation part dogs) Look at these pictures from the official dogstation webpage and compare them to Nintendogs.

      http://www.konami.co.jp/am/dog/index.html [konami.co.jp]
      http://www.konami.jp/am/dogstation-dx/index.html [konami.jp]

      Actually, I'm going to see if the author of the story (that says there is nothing on the market like Nintendogs) and see if he has played this game and what he thought of it.
      • Portable (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MagicDude (727944) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @12:08PM (#12813954)
        Yeah, but the Dogstation wasn't for a handheld system. With Nintendogs, you can play with it for a few minutes at a time on the bus or waiting in line or whatever. It seems like this kind of pet sim game works better in short doses where 100% attention isn't required. If you're playing on the bus and get bumped by someone or have to get off the bus, you don't risk losing life on your character becuase you lost focus for a second or something, so it's a kind of game which works well in a crazy hustle bustle of being in transit or whatever. Plus it's ultra-cute, so it plays well in public compared to playing Ultra Gore Fest 4.
        • Like I said before, I am excited about Nintendogs and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Nintendogs and Dogstation both seem to be the type of game that you can play for a minute, save and put down again. I like the portability of Nintendogs for sure...and the option to share with other people will be a big part of the fun I think.

          For some reason the picture I linked to on the Dogstation page was part of the table so it reverts back to the main page every time you try to load it but go to this page http://www.kon [konami.co.jp]
        • And if there's another DS around with the game, you can lets the dogs play with eachother (according to some vids about the game).

    • So, you've never played this game. Yet you feel like you can pass judgement on it as non-innovative.

      When hybrid vehicles came out, did you believe they weren't innovative, because "cars" have already been out for a long time? Do you not think it is possible to innovate an existing genre of games?

      • Yes, I have never played this game. Yet the author of TFA comes out and almost nominates this game for sainthood. While Nintendogs has many added mini-games and gameplay techniques that weren't present in some earlier 'pet' games, it seems to me that it is, at it's heart, a game much like the ones I referenced before.

        So do you feel that you can pass judgement on the game? Have you played it? You have risen rather quickly to it's defense. I never said it was bad, but I have read too many articles in

        • You have risen rather quickly to it's defense.

          Tell you what, I'll PayPal you $1,000,000 if you can go back into my post and tell me where I rose to the defense of Nintendogs.

          I've read a tiny bit about it. I haven't played it or even seen it in action. So... I've decided to actually refrain from making comments about it. Yes, I'm not your average Slashdot poster. ;-)

          • I must say, M.C. Hampster, you're one up on most of us then. :)
            Or something like, Are you new here?

            I guess I inferred your defense of it because of how your reply sounded to me. Forgive me, I've been under attack from my IRL friends about Nintendo, I must be projecting them onto everyone.

            You should go check out some reviews and/or movies though, it does look really really good, and will probably sell lots of DS systems.
            • I guess I inferred your defense of it because of how your reply sounded to me. Forgive me, I've been under attack from my IRL friends about Nintendo, I must be projecting them onto everyone.

              It seems to be instinctual these days to react to people as if they must be fan-boys, since they are so in season right now (next gen systems revealed). I, however, am not one, but your reaction was understandable.

              You should go check out some reviews and/or movies though, it does look really really good, and

  • Not available in the US until August.
  • I have not played Nintendogs but for all I have seen I can see that it is just a copy of these games:

    http://petz.ubi.com/ [ubi.com]

    Intelligent-like virtual pets, I have the Dogz in my computer, although I started playing it some time ago just as a reserach experiment (I am on AI research) I found it not really entertaining. For the AI point of view it is nice, as the Creatures game series (http://www.gamewaredevelopment.co.uk/creatures_in dex.php [gamewarede...ment.co.uk])
    and The Sims... but I think it is not inovative at all.
  • I really dont see the point of the article, it goes a long length explaining whu Nintendogs is not just a pet simulation but a game thats nice and dandy but.. Wait a minute, isnt a pet simulation a game? since when? is some kind of crazy app, screensaver then?

    Actually just replace "Nintendogs" with "Tamagotchi" in the entire article and except for some nifty extra features (like voice recognition and learning tricks) it's basically the same.

    Besides what is wrong with Nintendogs being a pet simulator? yea
  • I haven't played it myself, but I do happily own a DS. Im sure its a pretty cool game. I can see why people would be quick to label it 'awful' because there is no shooting or stuff like that. :) Its probably worth buying a little later on, Ive never really been into simuation games, except Need for Speed 2 for DS.

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