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Nintendogs + Cats 3DS Review (Australian Exclusive) - -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 7.9
Sound 7.0
Value 8.1
Distributor: Nintendo
Jessica Gordon


Nintendogs + Cats
Golden Retriever & New Friends + Cats

Even though Nintendo are resting on their gaming laurels with this game... Nintendogs + Cats is still one of the cutest games ever made. At its deliciously friendly heart of gold, Nintendogs + Cats is almost a carbon copy of the previous DS game, however with the new graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS, it really takes the premise of owning a virtual dog to a whole new level. Even though the original game (for me) was quite gimmicky, I actually grew board of it, however with this revamped 3D makeover, I instantly fell in love with the game and even while writing this review, my brain is wondering how my little virtual animals are going.

Like its predecessor, players must adopt a pet from a reputable pet breeder (kidding) at the pet store and then take their virtual pet home. However before starting the game, players are given the opportunity to play with a variety of dog breeds until they pick their new puppy as you scratch and pat these adorable little critters. Once you have taken your new puppy home, it's time to teach them the basics. For example, you first need to name your dog and thanks to the in-built recorder of the 3DS, it will record your voice while you say your puppies new name. Mine was "Bella" and each time I said her name, she would respond and come up to me. Even though this sounds cool, what made it cooler was the 3D effects of the 3DS that really makes these virtual animals come to life as they jump on the screen for your attention. The voice commands are also used to teach your dogs tricks such as sitting which requires the stylus to show your pet how it is done initially. In relation to voice commands, this game allows your animals to learn more words than the previous game which does open up the scope for some interesting gameplay options.

Once again like Nintendogs on the DS, you need to ensure that your pet is fit, healthy and happy as you feed them, play with them, buy them toys and take them for walks. Whether it's throwing a ball, cleaning up their virtual poo or taking them on the street for a walk as they attempt to chase birds, the realism of this game is unparalleled and Nintendo should be commended on such as a realistic experience. The touch screen however is the main interface used to interact with your puppies as you play with them, teach them new tricks or dress them up, if that is your style. It actually works quite well.

As a female gamer, there's plenty of fashionable accessories to purchase for my little troupe of virtual pets and they're so adorable!!! Seriously though, the key to making your puppies life enjoyable is to ensure that they are pampered and by making them go in competitions, you are awarded money which can then be used to purchase additional items for your pets. Whether you're throwing Frisbees or taking 3D photos of your dogs or gently patting your dog until they fall asleep, it is one game that most people will be able to go back to time and time again to see how their pets are doing or purchase a new pet to start again. The inclusion of cats into the game does break things up a little and they do behave a little differently to dogs but for me, I'm strictly a dog person.

Even though you've pretty much seen it all in a few sittings of the game, Nintendogs + Cats definitely highlights the amazing 3D technology of the Nintendo 3DS. From what I have seen, this game is easily one of the better releases that truly showcases this technology. The 3D depth used in Nintendogs + Cats does make the animals look quite surreal at times as they put their paws on the top screen or commence licking it. However like some other games on the 3DS, the 3D technology isn't that great in brightly lit rooms so thankfully you can adjust the 3D effects via the slider. Add in some over the top animal noises and a few sound effects here and there and Nintendogs + Cats is a very well made game as opposed to some of the competitors attempts at virtual pets and babies. But like Nintendogs on the DS, the 3DS version of the game will always be the definitive pet simulator on this console.

In conclusion, Nintendogs + Cats is definitely made for the girl/woman gamer, although I'm sure boys and guys will get a kick out of the title as well. The gameplay is quite simplistic at the best of times, hence the ability that this game can be played by all ages and my only issue is that there could have been a few more tweaks to what was available to the player. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed Nintendogs + Cats and whether it was programming or my overactive imagination, it seems like each animal that you take home has their own personality. For those who like to nurture animals and play with them, this is definitely the perfect solution or if you want a game to show off the power of the Nintendo 3DS, this is the game for you.


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