If you’re like me, you’ll have fond memories of grooming dogs and taking them for walks on the Nintendo DS in Nintendogs. Now Playstation have finally decided to make their entrance into the space with Playdogs. Ok, I’m kidding, it’s called Playstation Pets and it’s the Vita’s version of Nintendogs.
Primarily focused towards a younger audience than myself, Pets tasks you with picking a breed of dog and taking it home to train. After giving it a name (and shouting it at your screen to the built-in mic) your dog gets to know you and takes a picture of your face. Since each dog is fully-voiced, it’ll shout out commands and remind you of what to do next.
I found it strange to hear my dog talk, but it didn’t disturb me nearly enough compared to when I started to stroke it. I wouldn’t think stroking your dog would be funny, but when I’m in a public place and my dog starts complimenting my technique via moaning (and this is in a girls voice) I couldn’t stop laughing. After satisfying your dog you have to get down to training it and using the various toys scattered around the house. Using the tug rope for instance will see you follow a pattern on the touch screen and throwing a ball will, well, have you swipe the ball to throw it. Repeating tasks like these will help improve your dog’s strength in each category.
Once you’ve finished training your dog and it has the strength to open the garden gate, you can head out into the forest and start exploring. Along your journey you can look for clues and follow the ancient map that chronicles the travels of a king and his dog. There’s plenty to do, but it all feels as though it lacks the charms of Nintendogs.
It’s inevitable that most people will compare this to Nintendo’s efforts and I’d go as far a saying that Playstation Pets feels like a neutral offering. There almost seems like too much to do, and the fact that I have to lead my dog through the huge winding paths of a forest, whilst picking up its mess and throwing sticks, all seems a bit lame. Plus, alongside the fact that I can’t fast travel back to my house from anywhere on the map is just annoying.
- + Dogs are awesome
- + Plenty of depth
- - Lacks the charm of Nintendo’s dog sim
- - Can get a bit repetitive