Nintendogs + Cats
|Nintendogs + Cats|
North American box art
for Toy Poodle & New Friends
Nintendogs + Cats (ニンテンドッグス＋キャッツ? Nintendoggusu + Kyattsu) is a real-time pet simulation video game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a sequel to the Nintendogs games for the Nintendo DS systems. It was announced alongside the 3DS during Nintendo's E3 press conference, and was a launch title, released February 26, 2011 in Japan, March 25, 2011 in Europe and March 27, 2011 in North America, launched earlier in Australia.
The game is one of the first online-enabled titles that uses the Nintendo Network, and is the first Nintendo-published title to do so, although the Nintendo Network brand itself was not revealed until early 2012. All three editions of the game were re-released as digital Nintendo eShop downloadables on January 30, 2013 in Japan, December 19, 2013 in Europe, and November 6, 2014 in North America.
The game retains much the same style of gameplay as the original Nintendogs, including various breeds of dogs and cats as well as training exercises included in the first game. The tricks, however, have been changed; there is now a tutorial for each trick as the game progresses, and the player is no longer required to say exactly the same name of the trick. In addition to touchscreen and microphone input, the game also employs the system's camera along with facial recognition technology to interact with the player. For example, after a while, the player's pet will recognize them and will likewise greet them. However, if a new player shows up, they may react negatively. If the trainer puts their face close to the camera, then the puppy will come up to the screen and lick them; they will also mimic them if they tilt their head.
Competitions are also included, once again with five cups each: Junior, Amateur, Pro, Master and Nintendogs. In addition to Disc Competition and Obedience Trial, a new competition, Lure Coursing, is added to the game. Like the original, Nintendogs + Cats has the ability to "retry" competitions. To do this, you can simply save the game before entering a competition, and if the dog places an undesirable rank, close the game and retry it.
The 3D capabilities of the 3DS are also utilized. The game also uses augmented reality capabilities to project the player's dog or cat onto one of the "?" AR Games cards. In addition to this, if one of the Nintendo character cards (i.e. Mario, Link, Samus, Kirby, etc.) is used, the dogs will appear wearing hats, fitting the theme of their respective games (These hats are also in the 3DS built-in app, StreetPass Mii Plaza by unlocking them when a dog or cat hero defeats an enemy depending on the room they are in in the game "Find Mii"). The game uses SpotPass and often a Presidential Victor will appear, which is a President and their dog appearing in the game.
The game comes in three different versions: Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog & New Friends, Nintendogs + Cats: Golden Retriever & New Friends, and Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle & New Friends. Each version features a French Bulldog, a Golden Retriever, and a Toy Poodle, respectively, as well as many other breeds for each game. In Japan, the Golden Retriever version is called Shiba Inu & New Friends (Like Lab & Friends in the previous generation), a more common breed in Japan; albeit not a cover dog, the Shiba Inu is still present in-game in the International versions.
Each version begins with nine dog breeds, but all twenty seven are unlockable in each game by playing. All the breeds from the original Nintendogs games return as well as eight new breeds which include the French Bulldog, Basset Hound, Great Dane and Pomeranian. There are three cat varieties that appear in each version of the game, however there are no distinct breeds.
Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto stated that the idea of dogs and cats getting along came from his own pets. Them getting along made him think of the Disney movie The Incredible Journey. He stated that "Making a game called Nintencats just didn't seem right for Nintendo", so he brought cats into Nintendogs. This was a great way for owners to get close to the pets, and experience new dogs as they move on.
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Nintendogs + Cats has received generally mixed to positive reviews by critics, having an aggregate score of 74.14% on GameRankings and 71/100 on Metacritic. Japanese magazine Famitsu gave the game a 38/40, two points less than the original, but still the highest points for a Nintendo 3DS launch title.
Two months after the first launch, Nintendo announced that Nintendogs + Cats had sold 1.71 million units, making it officially the first platinum title for the Nintendo 3DS platform. As of December 31, 2015, the game has worldwide sales of 3.96 million.
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