Nintendogs

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Nintendogs
Dalmatianfriends.jpg
European box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Kiyoshi Mizuki
Producer(s) Hideki Konno
Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s) Hajime Wakai
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Digital pet
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Nintendogs (ニンテンドッグス Nintendoggusu?) is a real-time pet simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. It was first released in Japan, and was later released in North America, Australia, Europe, and other regions. It was originally released in three different versions: Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends (Shiba & Friends in Japan), and Chihuahua & Friends. It has been re-released twice since then, first as a bundled release with a special edition Nintendo DS with a new version called Nintendogs: Best Friends, and then later as Nintendogs: Dalmatian & Friends.

Nintendogs uses the DS's touchscreen and built-in microphone. The touch screen allows the player to pet a dog, as well as to use various items that can be found or purchased. These range from balls and frisbees, to toys, to grooming supplies to keep the dogs happy. The microphone is used to call to the player's dog by speaking the name given to the dog in the beginning of the game as well as to teach the dog tricks such as "sit" or "roll over". Players can bring their dogs on walks and to the park if they so choose. They may interact with other players in multi-player by using the DS's wireless linkup. It also uses the DS's internal clock and calendar to allow the dog to grow hungrier or dirtier based on the elapsed time.

Nintendogs received critical acclaim. It has an aggregate score of 85% at Game Rankings,[3] and has won many awards, including the 2006 Innovation Award from PC World and Best Handheld Game from the Associated Press. As of March 31, 2013, all versions of Nintendogs combined have sold 23.94 million copies worldwide, making it second on the Nintendo DS best-sellers list, behind only New Super Mario Bros.[4] Because of Nintendogs' success, Nintendo has made several related products, including Nintendogs toys[5] and a series of Nintendogs trading cards.[6] At E3 2010, it was announced a sequel, titled Nintendogs + Cats, would be released for the Nintendo 3DS.

Gameplay[edit]

Using the touchscreen, the owner can play with, train, pet, walk, brush, and wash a virtual dog.[7] With the microphone that is built into the DS, the player can create voice commands which the puppy will understand and, if properly trained, follow.[8] Dogs can be walked to the park where they can practice their disc catching skills, and to the gymnasium to practice dog agility.[7] The game features two brands of currency: money and "trainer points". Money is used to purchase items, whilst trainer points grow or shrink depending on the actions of the player. As points accumulate, more dogs become available for the player to adopt, and more background can be purchased to decorate the player's in-game house. By walking their dog, players earn trainer points; the amount of points varies depending on the length of the walk, and activities participated in on the way, such as contest training. While walking, question mark icons on the map point out areas that may contain neighborhood dogs or presents, though presents can be found unmarked as well. The player's dog will usually bark once when encountering a "?" mark icon that is a present, and usually bark twice if it is a neighborhood dog. When encountering another dog and one's trainer, the player's dog may fight or play with the other.

Only three dogs may be kept at the player's in-game dwelling at one time, and five dogs may be stored at the "Dog Hotel". The dogs may also be swapped, dropped off, and picked up at any time. The player may not have any more than eight dogs at a time, but dogs may be donated to make space for more pets. The dog can be cared for by being fed with different types of food and groomed with varying items. As time passes without the dog being cared for, its condition will slowly deteriorate, as it becomes more hungry and dirty. The condition of the player's puppies can be found by clicking the dogs' name. Hunger is listed as Full, Normal, Hungry, and Famished. Thirst is listed as Quenched, Normal, Thirsty, and Parched. The condition of the dog's coat is listed as Beautiful, Clean, Normal, Dirty, and Filthy. If its condition is neglected for long enough then the dog may run away, eventually to return, sometimes with a present.[citation needed] Dogs do not age, meaning they remain as puppies.[9]

Nintendogs features a variety of contests, which are the player's main method of earning money and trainer points. There are three contests: Disc Competition, Agility Trial, and Obedience Trial. In each of them, there are 5 classes: Beginner, Open, Expert, Master, and Championship. Each contest is commented on by two men, named Ted Rumsworth and Archie Hubbs. (It was said that Archie sometimes eats dog treats.[citation needed]) If the player's dog places 3rd or higher in whatever class who is in, the dog will proceed to the next class, where the contest increases in difficulty level. Prize money earned differs depending on which contest has been entered, what place is finished, and the class the dog is in. If the player does not place at least 3rd, they will be dropped to the previous difficulty level, unless they were in the Beginner class, at which point they will remain there.[citation needed] Dogs that are especially dirty or hungry are not able to participate in contests.[citation needed]

Nintendogs supports a link-up method through the Nintendo DS's built-in wireless networking capabilities. A player can link one's system with that of another person who owns a copy of Nintendogs to let the players' puppies play together. This is called Bark Mode.[10] If connected with a player who has a dog not in the current player's kennel, that dog will become available.[citation needed] Also, players can use an item called the "White Record" to record a message. This can be used to say something to the other player.[citation needed] Dogs may also carry a present to give away for good to the other player.[citation needed]

Development[edit]

Nintendogs began as a technical demo on the Nintendo GameCube long before it was considered for the DS. It made its way to the handheld when the DS was still in development. Shigeru Miyamoto originally came up with the idea for the game when he and his family bought a dog, which inspired him to create the project.[11] The game's producer, Hideki Konno, looking for a game to take full advantage of all of the Nintendo DS's features, decided on a dog simulation game. Nintendogs, first called Puppy Times, was originally designed to have 15 different versions, one for each breed of dog. Satoru Iwata suggested this to convey the feel that the player was choosing a dog from a kennel. However, the debugging process for each version would have been too time consuming to be feasible. After going back and forth between numbers of versions, they eventually settled for three, with six dogs each and the rest available after completing in-game goals.[12]

Reception[edit]

Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.27%[3]
Metacritic 83/100
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B+
Edge 7/10
Eurogamer 8/10
Famitsu 40/40[13]
Game Informer 8/10
GamePro 4.5/5
GamesMaster 82/100
GameSpot 9.1/10
GameSpy 3.5/5
GameZone 9.3
IGN 8.8/10
VideoGamer.com 8/10

The game has been well received by critics, with an average score of 85% at Game Rankings.[3] In the May 2005 edition of the Famitsu, a popular Japanese gaming magazine, Nintendogs received a perfect 40/40 score. Only four other games had attained this score at the time.[13] It also received an 8.5 out of 10 in Nintendo Power.[citation needed] Game Informer gave Nintendogs an 8 out of 10, reflecting on the game's lack of an ending.[14] Game Oracle gave it 85% and a recommendation saying that unlike most sims, it has a lot of depth.

Awards[edit]

In addition to recognitions from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, BusinessWeek, and the Chicago Sun Times, Nintendogs also won a wide variety of awards.[15]

Sales information[edit]

In the first week of its release in Japan (April 18, 2005 to April 24, 2005), the three versions, Shiba Inu & Friends, Miniature Dachshund & Friends, and Chihuahua & Friends, sold 75,000, 49,000, and 44,000 respectively, totalling 168,000 units. This title game also boosted the Nintendo DS system sales by over 4.2 times the previous week to 95,000 units, up from 22,000.[26] It was the 91st best-selling game in Japan in 2008, selling 142,591 copies combined, with lifetime sales of 1,850,984 combined.[27] Nintendogs also had very successful launches in North America and Europe, with first week sales of over 250,000[28] and 160,000[29] respectively.

On March 23, 2006 at GDC 2006, Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata announced that international sales of Nintendogs sales had reached 6 million.[30] By March 31, 2008, the game was the best-selling Nintendo DS game published by Nintendo.[31] As of March 31, 2013, the combined sales of all versions has reached 23.94 million and it is now second on the Nintendo DS best-sellers list behind New Super Mario Bros..[4]

Impact[edit]

In 2010, 1UP.com included Nintendogs in their list of five "Essential Newcomers" of the decade, describing it as one of "five revolutionary new games" of the past 10 years, for its impact on drawing "non-gamers to console and portable systems," and establishing the "new" Nintendo. Despite derision from many hardcore gamers, Nintendogs sold tens of millions, mostly among casual gamers, and paved the way for the Nintendo DS's worldwide success. This gave rise to a non-game trend, previously limited to PCs, on consoles and portables. Nintendo followed it up with more casual games such as Brain Age, Wii Sports and Wii Fit, establishing Nintendo as the most successful developer and publisher of the decade.[32]

Trading cards[edit]

In late 2005, Nintendo of America released the first series of Nintendogs "6-Card Fun Paks". Three different pack designs (each based on the US-released designs of the DS game) contains an assortment of "Collectible cards, stickers & more!". Each pack randomly contains two of 18 different Breed cards, one of nine different Dog in Training tip cards, one of six different Miscellaneous cards, one of 18 different Pop-Up Cards, one of six sundry sheets of stickers, one of four temporary tattoos, and one Sweepstakes card.

Another series of these cards were released in early 2007 by Enterplay, LLC.[33] These cards, officially licensed by Nintendo, were created by the same individuals who worked on the first series. As such, the cards greatly resemble the first series. Keeping the "6-Card Fun Pak" name, each package contains two of 20 different At the Kennel cards (which feature all eighteen breeds from the games,[34] including the Dalmatian and Jack Russel Terrier), one of nine Dog in Training tip cards, one of four Miscellaneous cards, one of 20 Pop-Up Cards, one of six sheets of stickers, one of four temporary tattoos and one Sweepstakes card. The next series also features three sundry packages, this time with a Dalmatian, Beagle, and Pug on the front of the package.

Plush toys[edit]

A line of Nintendogs plush toys were released in Japan, featuring the most popular breeds in each game.[citation needed] They are also available at the Nintendo World Store. Various Nintendogs T-shirts were also made available at the Nintendo World Store.[citation needed] In Europe and Australia, a series of plush toys with an electronic sensor were released, and when the owner shook the bone, the dog would walk and bark.[citation needed] Nintendo has also released a set of plushes through Earthwood Toys.[citation needed]

In other games[edit]

A microgame based on Nintendogs appears in the game WarioWare: Smooth Moves. A Nintendogs Labrador Retriever puppy also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy; owing to the nonviolent nature of the Nintendogs game, rather than fighting actively, the dog "plays" in front of the screen, blocking view.[35] Also, there are multiple Nintendogs downloadable content available in the game Animal Crossing: City Folk. A French bulldog appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, taking the role of the Labrador Retriever. There is also a Nintendogs + Cats stage on the 3DS version.

Sequel[edit]

It was announced during Nintendo's 2010 E3 presentation that Shigeru Miyamoto was working on a new Nintendogs project, involving some new innovations.[36] The game, titled Nintendogs + Cats was finished in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS and was released as a launch title on all regions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Updated Australian Release List - 12/09/05". PALGN. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  2. ^ "Introducing Pink Nintendo DS Lite and nintendogs Dalmatian and Friends". Nintendo Australia. 2006-10-16. Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  3. ^ a b c "Nintendogs: Chihuahua and Friends Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  4. ^ a b "Top Selling Software Sales Units". Nintendo. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  5. ^ "Tug 'n Play Nintendogs plush". Video gamefigures.com. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  6. ^ "6-Card Fun Paks". ExperienceFestival.com. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  7. ^ a b "pg 26". Nintendogs manual. Nintendo DS. 2005. 
  8. ^ "pg 13". Nintendogs manual. Nintendo DS. 2005. 
  9. ^ Nintendo (2005). "pg 08". Nintendogs manual. Nintendo DS. 
  10. ^ "Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  11. ^ Miyamoto, Shigeru (2005-10-03). Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. Interview with Peter Rojas. Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  12. ^ Development information on IGN.com
  13. ^ a b Ashcraft, Brian. Famitsu Gives Metal Gear Solid 4 Perfect Score. Kotaku.com. Retrieved 06-04-2008.
  14. ^ Game Informer Nintendogs news
  15. ^ "Nintendogs Packs the Doghouse With Year-End Awards". Video Game News. January 12, 2006. Retrieved Feb 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ "2005 Winners". gamecriticsawards.com. 2006. Retrieved Feb 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Nintendogs". Nintendo Video Game. September 28, 2009. Retrieved Feb 1, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Nintendogs Packs the Doghouse With Year-End Awards". Gamezone.com. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "2005 Japan Media Arts Festival Entertainment Division Excellence Prize Nintendogs". Japan Media Arts Plaza. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  20. ^ "2006 PC World Innovations Awards". About.com. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  21. ^ "Yellow Pencil Awards". gamesutra.com. 
  22. ^ "2006 Winners". PETA. 
  23. ^ "IGN Editors' Choice Games". IGN. Retrieved 2006-09-02. 
  24. ^ "IGN.com presents the Best of 2005". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  25. ^ "Editor's Choice - GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved Feb 1, 2010. 
  26. ^ Anoop Gantayet (April 28, 2005). "DS Sales Skyrocket in Japan". IGN. 
  27. ^ "2008 top 100". Kyoto.zaq.ne.jp. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  28. ^ "Nintendo Reveals Impressive U.S. Nintendogs Figures". Gamasutra. September 1, 2005. 
  29. ^ "Nintendo Claims European Sales Boost For DS". Gamasutra. October 12, 2005. 
  30. ^ "GDC: The Nintendo keynote blow by blow (Updated)". Joystiq. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  31. ^ "Financial Results Briefing for the Fiscal Year Ended March 2008: Supplementary Information" (PDF). Nintendo. 2008-04-25. p. 6. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  32. ^ Parish, Jeremy (February 2010). "Nintendogs". The Decade That Was: Essential Newcomers - We close our look back at the the [sic] past 10 years with five revolutionary new games. 1UP.com. p. 5. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  33. ^ Nintendogs - Is That One Good?[dead link]
  34. ^ Nintendogs trading cards
  35. ^ "Review: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)". Fragland. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  36. ^ Nintendo E3 Network

External links[edit]