Arf Arf!

Dog days redux.

A few more bits of kibble about the upcoming release of Nintendogs. Because, you know, I'm nice that way.

For those who asked about "wireless discovery mode: This could more accurately be described as "making friends on the fly." If you have a properly-socialized mutt, and you leave your DS on while you pack around town (in the real world, not the Nintendogs world) doing your shopping or commuting or whatever, and you get within wireless range of another Nintendog owner, your respective little bundles of joy will do the WiFi equivalent of sniffing each others' butts. You might never meet the other owner i n real life, but your dogs have digitally bonded. The systems trade breed and personality data, and later that other dog will appear in your game as a random visitor who shows up to play with your puppy. Better, if your dog has a very high socialization score, the visitor will bring gifts - rare items that you can't unlock or purchase anywhere else in the game.

For those who complained that their favourite breed isn't in the game: One of the most popular things about Nintendogs in Japan is the downloads. There are Nintendo DS kiosks at game stores and malls throughout the country, and during special promotional times they offer automatic downloads of new content to your DS, including all sorts of crap for your dog. The hottest download of all last year was a Maltese (a breed not in the Japanese game) that had been raised by singer Utada Hikaru. Not only did you get a new dog, but it's history and personality had been shaped by a pop music megastar - Utada is like Madonna and Britney all rolled into one for our Japanese friends, and a major-league game freak. Will you get celebrity downloads on this side of the pond? Probably not - gaming culture isn't as ingrained here as it is there. But your fave breed just may show up as a download bonus at Best Buy one day, so stay tuned ...

Posted: Wed - June 15, 2005 at 03:41 AM