Animal Crossing DS (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 15.08.2004

Now that the DS has reached completion it's time to focus on making the games as well designed as possible to maximise the features of this new revolutionary console, while still attaining the quality of gameplay we have grown accustomed to. Nintendo also has to use these games to set examples for every DS developer out there and show them what its new baby can do. These games help make the decision between whether the DS is a revolutionary, innovative piece of machinery or just a cheap dual-screened gadget. With only three months to go until the Nintendo DS' American launch, Karn Spydar Lee Bianco and Rory Renehan take a look at some of the Big N's in-house DS software projects.

Straight away, just from looking at the title of this game, you know it's going to be wacky. Taking the gaming supremacy of Nintendo and combining it with man's best friend is a stroke of loony genius. The game was shown at E3 with a very small movie clip and since then there haven't been a great deal of details announced. But there has been enough to get our creative minds flowing with possible ideas! The basic idea of the title is a Tamagotchi video game; not the most thrilling idea we have ever heard, but thanks to the DS' excellent hardware capabilities the end result should be significantly better than the small gizmos that swept across countries all those years ago. Nintendogs is likely to come closer to the real thing than ever before, without the hassle of cleaning up the kitchen floor every ten minutes. Will it perhaps exceed the enjoyment a real dog can bring!?

Screenshot for Animal Crossing DS on Nintendo DS

It seems the aim of the game will be train your cute little puppy using all the usual techniques, as well as some less common tactics. Issuing commands will be the name of the game, telling 'Rex' to "lie down" or "sit!". Interestingly, this can be achieved using the built-in microphone and voice recognition system. We can picture it now, sitting on the bus screaming commands to your virtual friend, while receiving all sorts of strange looks from the other passengers. Hold on though, it gets even better than that...Not only can you issue commands in English, you will also be required to bark at the screen to get certain responses! Now we're not animal trainers by profession, but we can't see that working to well in real life while trying to train your mutt. Then again this is far from real life; this is Nintendo we're talking about.

Screenshot for Animal Crossing DS on Nintendo DS

That's about the extent of what has been announced, (even that hasn't been officially confirmed), but we want to see more, much more in the final version, and we know Nintendo will deliver. First off some kind of multiplayer function, where you can meet up with other friends' dogs and they can frolic happily in fields and so on. Minigames, like fetch the stick and bite the postman, would be a nice change of pace and something that doesn't require barking, so as to help the old voice box from reaching an early retirement. These could then be extended into online championships, to find out who has the best-trained animal. So far the touch screen has yet to be utilised, so some kind of interaction with the dog would be good, such as petting, or tickling maybe...

Screenshot for Animal Crossing DS on Nintendo DS

Use of Dual Screens: 1/5
Screenshots don't seem to give us much hope. The bottom screen merely doing what buttons could do.

Use of Touch Screen: 1/5
Currently only being used as an interface that is not really needed, we want to see much more.

Use of Microphone: 5/5
The first DS title to really be taking advantage of this feature; we're sure more options will be included in the final version as well.

Use of Wi Fi: N/A
Currently nothing involving any form of multiplayer or online has been announced. We're hoping for an online Crufts competition, though!

Screenshot for Animal Crossing DS on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

We're quite sure that a port of Animal Crossing on GameCube albeit with graphical substitution would be fine with most gamers if the idea of a fully online world could be realised. However we still hope Nintendo will do more than that and use some of the DS' other features as well.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (90 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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