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The Non-Game That Barks Like A Game

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the woof-woof dept.

Portables (Games) 31

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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31 comments

Slash is broken :( (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12811301)

Helpppppppppppppppppppp i might be forced to do some actual work.
(front page not updating at all - this was found via search)

If anything... (1, Insightful)

Bob-o-Matic! (620698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811309)

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 :(

Question about your sig ... (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814251)

I remembered just enough of my high school Spanish to roughly translate your sig, and google confirmed it ... is there some slang involved? Nice phrase, but it seems like I must be missing some cultural reference ...

Re:Question about your sig ... (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814723)

I presume it's a reference to an (apparently fake)interview with the president of Nintendo from a while back, where he told Balmer to lick his tiny yellow balls. http://www.gamerah.com/noticias.php?bias=180 [gamerah.com]

Re:If anything... (1)

bitkari (195639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822029)

What about One-Button Dragon's Lair?

no thanks (-1, Offtopic)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811578)

Whether it IS more than just another stupid tamagotchi-style game or not is irrelevent to me for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I won't buy a DS until / if ever there is a game lineup I feel is more worth my time.

Secondly, whether it's more than a gimmicky fad of a game or not, whether it's a bit RPG-ish or not... I hate fads and gimmicks, and there are tons of highly acclaimed RPGs that I still haven't had a chance to play yet.

My time is precious, and as I said there's tons of great games that I haven't played yet, so if you want to pique my interest enough to get me to invest a little of my time in your product, skip the BS and the gimmicks. They worked when I was a kid, but as an adult I just don't have time to check out every stupid little bullshit fad.

I am sick of Nintendo rehashes! I loved Nintendo since the NES, the SNES was my favorite system of all time, but these days Nintendo seems to release more versions of its handhelds than they do original games to play on them! Frankly, I find it disturbing that so many people get so excited about being able to get a GBA in their favorite color, so much so that they'll drop another $70 on a new GBA when they ALREADY HAVE ONE! And, not that graphics are that important to me, but a lot of their damn rehashes appear to use the same sprites as the original NES versions.

</rant>

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant. But since it has, I'm going to go ahead and post it and hope to see some interesting viewpoints from others.

OTOH, I am really excited about the upcoming Gamecube titles, to say the least. So it's not all news for me as far as Nintendo is concerned.

Re:no thanks (3, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811920)

Uh, wtf dude. The DS is not just a new version of a GB.

Second, from everything that I have been reading, Nintendogs is not just a gimmick.

And third, even if you think it is, that is no reason to discard it. Tetris was just a gimmick, even more than Nintendogs stands to be. Hell, even Pac-Man can be considered a gimmick.

That is what games are based around. Something fun, something catchy, something gimmicky. If you look deep enough, every game has a gimmick that it is holding on to.

Totally uncalled for (3, Insightful)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811709)

Dissing Tamagotchi was not needed. Tamagotchi is the most interactive 3 button game out there, anyone can tell you that.

Re:Totally uncalled for (1)

Reorax (629666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813171)

I dunno...what about DDR with the down button broken?

Re:Totally uncalled for (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814323)

Two button Snake beats it.

Re:Totally uncalled for (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#12819653)

One-button "SFCave" beats that.

Play it here (Java required) [liquidcode.org]
I just got 2199, see if you can beat that...

Neat but not original (0)

ChibiLZ (697816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812159)

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]

Re:Neat but not original (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812340)

RTFA, it says Nintendogs *isn't* a pet simulation like Tamagotchi.

Re:Neat but not original (3, Interesting)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Portable (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814498)

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.konami.co.jp/am/dog/index.html [konami.co.jp] and click on "Dogs" on the left hand side. That is what they look like as puppies...not that horrible example that shows up on their main page. Look at the puppies under "Dogs" and tell me those aren't Nintendogs cute. You can't deny the Dogstation cuteness factor.

Re:Portable (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816693)

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).

Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813311)


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?

Re:Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (1)

ChibiLZ (697816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816410)

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 the past few weeks that claim this title redefines not only video games, but religion and most of the laws of physics.

I think we can all relate to the over-promise and under-delivery of the video game market these days... maybe I'm just being too cynical.

Re:Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816960)


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. ;-)

Re:Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (1)

ChibiLZ (697816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12817657)

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.

Re:Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12818905)


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 will probably sell lots of DS systems.

I described it to my wife and she didn't seem interested, but I might pick it up anyway for her. It sounds like something she will like. I'm waiting for Metroid Hunters, Animal Crossing and Mario Kart before I finally get my DS.

Re:Wow, +5 Informative !!!!11one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12818118)

Yes, I'm not your average Slashdot poster. ;-)

You're so very cool, and your vagina smells fresh and pretty.

Not out in the US yet (1)

BladeRider (24966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813157)

Not available in the US until August.

Re:Not out in the US yet (1)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822509)

Psssst... What about Europe?

*Crowd Laughter*

Review (0, Offtopic)

atarrri (580364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12815462)

I just played it a bit and I have to say I'm not impressed. It's nice to see people making games for free but there just really isn't very much to this game. Don't be fooled by the graphics and sound, this plays nothing like a Mario game, basically it's a Jetpac clone with ripped off graphics and sound from Mario. The gameplay is very repetitive and though fun for a few games it quickly loses its charm. There are plenty of better freeware games that don't get slashdotted because they use original ideas. For an example of a very fun original freeware platform game that involves a jetpack check out Cave Story: http://agtp.romhack.net/doukutsu.html [romhack.net]

Re:Review (1)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 9 years ago | (#12815849)

wrong article, dude!!

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12819789)

This qualifies as news?

Dogz? Catz? Petz?? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12821956)

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.

So?.. tamagotchi is a game. (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822992)

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? yeah is a hi-tech tamagotchi.. so? tamagotchi was just a small blob in the middle on the screen that went poop from time to time. Nintendogs features a cute state of the art animated 3d dogs (pups to be precise) with pretty good AI is not hard to see why they are attractive or popular.

Note to the author: stop being in denial and posting articles about it. And no your gamasutra essay didnt convinced anyone. (at least not me) if it has a control and abstract (simulated) objectives and rules to meet, what do you know? it's a game.

Sounds cool (1)

omega21 (841796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12869588)

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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