While they eagerly await the release of the DS Lite this Friday, the fine folks at Eurogamer have taken it upon themselves to review Nintendogs: Dalmation & Friends and, in doing so, reevaluate the praise they heaped upon the game when it was first released. Though they still find it to be an innovative and remarkable achievement, they also discover that the repetition inherent in raising a puppy can be somewhat ... dogged.
Nintendogs certainly makes for an excellent showcase of the DS' technical abilities, but it's considerably less effective as a game. The interaction between polygonal puppy and player is amusing, even fascinating at first, but keeping your best friend happy soon starts to feel like a chore. And chores are never fun.
We already struggle to cram a few games into our hermetically sealed schedules -- a game that depends on you and requires constant attention doesn't quite fit in there. As a result, we now find ourselves in a situation exactly like the one Eurogamer is faced with. "The fact is, we haven't touched our original copy of Nintendogs for months now. As painful as this is to admit, our puppies are probably now completely, irretrievably mental and riddled with fleas. We're too frightened to boot up the game and find out, haunted by visions of their emaciated corpses being stripped to the bone by gargantuan rats (even though we know that Nintendogs cannot actually die on account of how much it would upset the kiddies)."
Poor Gonzo. If only your little puppy eyes could see my cold and uncaring heart.