Petz Horse Club (Wii) Review

By Jorge Ba-oh 03.12.2008 16

Review for Petz Horse Club on Wii

Saddle up boys and girls as Ubisoft invade the Wii with another animal breeding sim in Petz: Horse Club. The game falls under the regular Petz line and a new "Games For You" range featuring everything from being a fashion designer to teacher, ballet star to master chef.

The story… There's a story? There is and we end up following a young lass known as Lily. The girl has a special gift; the ability to tame wild beasts. We're sure her parents would be proud, very proud. She's got a history of sorting out the most fearsome critters, and for Horse Club there's no exception - Lily heads up against the mustangs from Wildmountain Reserve. Will she save the poor horses, and will she overcome her past Carla Van Guinness? Venture through the story mode and you may just find out!

Interestingly enough, the fairly regular plot is something that makes this iteration of Petz slightly different from the last - there's a fair bit more depth then one might expect, but still fairly lacking. Generally we've got our breeding element, where you've got your horse standing about waiting to be pampered and be equipped with a lot of bling - from your essentials, reins, saddle to some more aesthetic gifts. After you've sorted out your horse, you're greeted with a list of missions and objectives, collecting, competitions and mustangs you've befriended.

Each of the horses come with a profile containing the expected attributes: name, gender to some environmental features: temperament, favourite fruit and cleanliness. Throughout the reserve players will be trying to make friends with a whole variety of horses, and, pardon the pun - it's not just a walk in the park. First off, the approach. Like a stalker would, you'll be creeping up on your new friend and tapping A to gain its trust. Some will pelt it away as fast as they can, others will not be so reluctant to come a little bit closer. To gain trust is the hard part, you'll need to judge emotions, reactions and slowly tempt the beast with fruit and possible a stroke or two. While in general it's not a difficult task, sometimes it's just too irritating to be bothered to make the leap.

Aside from the ol game of catching wild animals, you can care for your trusted friends by washing them, petting, brushing and picking their horses - Ubisoft have hoped for more fun and accessibility packed in, so it doesn't quite reach a realistic level but for the most part is simple, yet works. Better groomed horses supposedly make fo9r improved speed and turbo boosts (from where, it's bum?), but generally we felt there wasn't too much difference in a dirty old champ and his cleaner chum.

Screenshot for Petz Horse Club on Wii

Control wise we've got the expected Wii remote and nunchuck configuration with no alternatives, using both to move your horse from left to right - tilting the nunchuck to veer left, and the remote to head the other way. This setup initially sounds very confusing and somewhat unusual for moving around on screen, but does become easier with some practice. Using both for moment does seem odd, but is a neat idea of mimicking holding a horse by the reigns in reality - it's disappointing not having more traditional schemes however.

After completing the main game, which can be whipped through in several hours or less, there's chances to continue to befriend wild horses, enter competitions and care for your beasts. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for fans of the Petz series it seems a good sign of improvement.
Those who want something useful to do with their well-earned horses can take part in equestrian events, these are essentially the non-simulation action games where you can do some neat hurdle jumping in an enclosed area, head around in a cross-country open area or race through a series of checkpoints. For the most part the three different modes are a good start to taking the whole pet simulation into a more action-orientated environment, and having some use to sitting and breeding.

Graphically the game isn't going to win awards for the most breathtaking American-ranch inspired scenery, but it isn't the worse of the bunch - we've got some fairly decent modelled horses, generic characters and simple grass, trees and so on. There's little to no effects, so it does seem to lack a sense of life and things happening , though does benefit from smooth enough animation of your horse trotting and jumping around.

Screenshot for Petz Horse Club on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Petz: Horse Club is not the worse game to grace the little white box, but could have been a lot more in terms of presentation and tightening the control setup. Petz have been shunted by gamers for appauling presentation, especially in Dogz earlier this year. Fortunately Horses does show signs of improvement, but should really have taken inspiration from My Horse and Me.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Neigh, say it isn't so! I was really looking forward to more equestrian fun... ;-Smilie I'd say get My Horse & Me 2 instead, but apparently the dev for that has changed from last year's version, so I've no idea how the new edition holds up.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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*watchs tumbleweed blow accross*

To be fair, the graphics look fairly well done for a low budget affair and at least some effort was put into some of it.

I dont blame the developers for these games, they seem to do what they can with limited resources and fixed scope from ubisoft.
Really though, what you end up with is something that would, at best, be like a sub-game in a Zelda game.

Given a decent budget, you could probably have a horse-pet simulation with a rather large scope.
Give the ranch area some nice big, explorable surroundings. Give many little secret areas to unlock and explore. (some can only be reached if you got a horse that jumps far enough, for instance).

The potential is there, if the budget was there to meet it.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

ha!
I thought the graphics looked pretty good...but only because I thought it was for DS ><

This is 5 more than I thought this would've got Smilie

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

So My Horse & Me or this one? Or probably neither. :p

They could have definitely done a lot better, visually and gameplay wise. Glad they did more than the basic horse sim, but really needed a lot more depth and polish.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

All these games are really bad, and why do they all end with Z?

Super Duper Ultra Fun Time!

Because they suck.

Because they zuck?


I pity you, jb, to have to review all these games. So working for a gaming-site isn't all sugar and honey either?

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

I just love shovelware...


.:Zelda Adventures:.
u guys are DNA.

TheyZ shouldZ be suckin'Z onZ myZ ballsackZ forZ endingZ allZ theirZ gameZ nameZ withZ Z!

Super Duper Ultra Fun Time!

Oh Petz, what have they done to you?

Bad Ubisoft, bad!

Who would play this retarded series, they even made a Hamster game you could go to a store and buy a real hamster for less than a freakin' video game hamster! The gameplay must really suck, look at mean I can feed my fake hamster food YAY!!!!

Super Duper Ultra Fun Time!
erin (guest) 09.11.2009#13

ok for everyone who has played this game, i want to know how you get the last stallion adonious unlocked so you can get him and how to you get across the ravine after you finish the game so you can tame the horses over there, or if thats even possible, please4 let me know ive played this game a million times and cant figure it out

kyla (guest) 04.01.2010#14

you have to beat the game then beat all the 2 player and 1 player bonus rounds. after that he will be in the redwood forest. dont mestaken him for nala. he is pure white.
p.s. you have to get all gold cups on the 1 and 2 player bonus rounds.

bb (guest) 26.06.2010#15

i cnt get to the horses across the ravine!!!!!!!!!!!

anonomus (guest) 07.11.2010#16

I can't figure out how to get across the ravine! is it even posible? but otherwise i think this is a fine game, its for younger kids so all you others who say you hate it, obvoisly your too old to be playing this game, cause if your a little kid it can be interesting.

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