Electronic Theatre Preview: Nintendogs + Cats

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            Nintendo’s new handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, has undoubtedly caused a storm at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Having been announced over a month before it’s unveiling earlier this week, the Nintendo 3DS was showcased on the show floor at this year’s show with a number of titles both in video form and playable. Thankfully, the forthcoming follow-up to the Nintendo DS sensation Nintendogs, known as Nintendogs + Cats, was one of the latter.

            In the E3 build, only the dogs were playable, and only three breeds. A Yorkie, Beagle or Golden Retriever and a few toys were available, but in the short demo that’s enough to get the basics. Electronic Theatre ImageNintendogs + Cats is essentially Nintendogs in 3D, as would most likely be expected. The impression of throwing a Frisbee for your pooch is much more tangible due to the added bonus of a strengthened depth perception, as is the effect of his or her charging back at the screen.

            The graphics as a whole have been greatly improved, both with the visual depiction of the dogs and in their animation. Almost faultless on the Nintendo DS, the movement of the canines in Nintendogs + Cats is near indistinguishable from the real thing. The few items that were available to dress-up the pups in showed much more in the way of believability also, no longer rigid upon the dog’s head.

            Of all the Nintendo 3DS games shown, Nintendogs + Cats is likely to attract the least attention from long time gamers, and yet is one of the titles with the most potential. Many new lessons were learnt from the arrival of Nintendogs, and the signs are looking as though Nintendogs + Cats is set to rewrite the rules again, with a system that can appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers side-by-side at launch.




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