The player can care for their puppy by feeding it, petting it, washing it and playing with it. They can also train their puppy by entering and practising for competitions and taking it for walks.
I think the online features are pretty good as by using StreetPass, your 3DS will find other players you walk by in the street and make their Mii characters and pets appear in the park where you walk your dog. I like this feature as it does make it more realistic and more varied as well rather than seeing the same pre-made characters over and over. You can also share photos of each others pets, give gifts, send messages and download accessories for your pet and pre-made Mii character's with their own pets.
In Nintendog's + Cats you can also own a cat. I like this feature as cats are very different to dogs, making the game more interesting and fun to see the cats and dogs playing together. However, your cat can only stay in the house, meaning there is little you can do with your cat.
As for the controls, they are used nicely in order to maximise the input, making it more interactive. The main controls is the touch screen and stylus, which is used to look after the pet's needs, give the dog a name and train the pet by throwing toys and holding the lead. The microphone is also used to give the dog commands such as telling it to sit down or play dead. The camera feature uses Augmented Reality to show the dog in your own living room or the palm of your hand. You can then take photos of it and share with other players. This is something I could look into doing as the brief states we have to use the camera and in Nintendogs + Cats it's not a big part of the game, it's just a small extra instead.
This moodboard shows the graphical capabilities of the 3DS well as the pets look a lot more lifelike compared to it's predecessor on the DS. You will also notice at the bottom middle that when stroking your pet, you see your pet(s) in the top screen with their silhouettes on the bottom screen that you stroke. It's a good way of being able to show the dogs in 3D but I think it makes it seem a bit unrealistic and also wastes a screen which could show a menu or other things. According to reviews, the 3D on your pet(s) close up doesn't make much difference anyway and is put more to good use when taking your dog out, so if you throw a ball, the pet will look like it is far away from you.
The Sims 3
The Sims is a popular simulation series that was originally and still is most popular on the PC. EA Games has developed it into 3 different series with numerous expansions, spreading across all game platforms. The easiest way to describe the Sims is by saying it is like a virtual doll house. You can create different characters for your family and completely customise and change their house.
It appeals to both genders and all ages for many reasons. It is very creative, allowing you to make your own house and choose different clothes, furniture, garden features and more. With the new ability to also change the colours and textures of everything. Another appealing feature is the ability to play with life. You can create a single bachelor or a big family, with the choice of making them succeed or torturing them.
Rather than following a story through the game, you make your own up. Your Sims get older and can start their own family, learn skills to gain promotions and upgrade and expand their house. Other features in the game include completing Challenges and individual Sim's Wishes to unlock Karma Powers. Karma Powers let you make good or bad things happen to your Sims such as repairing and cleaning the whole house or making an earthquake or ghosts appear. These features of just playing with life, making everything how you want it can make the game very fun. It's also very addictive because you want to make your Sims accomplish something or do something interesting which makes you keep coming back to it and not wanting to put the controller/mouse down. Another reason older people might like the game is because it is an easy game to play for non-gamers as it isn't just a graphic shooter. I reckon some people might feel nostalgic towards it too as they might've played Sims when they were younger.
As for online features of the Sims, you cannot actually play online with your Sims. This is something EA Games did try but it went horribly wrong, leading to virtual brothels being set up. Instead you can upload your Sims, Houses, Furniture styles and photos to the internet from your PC or console. For The Sims on 3DS you can just share the Sim you create.
Overall I love the fact you can play The Sims for ages and still not be bored as you are determined to make your Sims successful so you can afford to buy them a big house with nice furniture.
Pokémon is a very popular game and anime series owned by Nintendo. It is a franchise that had children including myself hooked, collecting trading cards and trying to swap them for a Charizard, watching the English-dubbed anime series and also playing Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow for Nintendo Gameboy.
The main feature of Pokémon is the creatures themselves known as Pokémon. There are a number of different Pokémon to find and collect, depending on the generation (for example 151 in the 1st generation). Your objective is the same as Ash Ketchum's (the main character from the anime), to be Pokémon Master. This involves collecting every Pokémon there is and becoming champion by earning all 8 gym badges and defeating the Elite Four and current champion at the Pokémon League.
At the beginning of the game, the player gets a starter Pokémon so they can then go into the wild and capture more Pokémon. To capture one the player needs to make it weak in battle first and then throw a Pokéball at it. By training them in battle, the Pokémon can level up, evolve and learn new moves to use in battle.
In the latest DS games, Black and White, the bottom screen is primarily to show C-Gear, the wireless/infrared menu. It has a wide variety of things you can do with it such as the Xtransceiver which is like a radio where you can speak to nearby players and see eachother if using a DSi or 3DS. You can also send one of your Pokémon to Pokémon Dream World, which is an online game where you can find new Pokémon and then transfer them back to your game save. Using infrared you can battle and trade Pokémon and also earn Sweet Hearts by checking compatibility in Feeling Check. The Sweet Hearts can then be exchanged for a Hearts Scale in game. All these different features of online/social gameplay make the game stand out and make you want to try it out. Meaning interesting ways of online gaming will attract more people.
An addictive part of this game is the competitive element. The want to have better Pokémon and more gym badges than your friends will make you play the game a lot more often. It is also personal too as you just want to get your Pokémon better and better so you can defeat gym leaders and progress to new places with new Pokémon.
The colourful image at the top right of my moodboard is C-Gear, the bottom screen menu for Wireless and Infrared. The lower touch screen is handy while playing to easily select moves in battle and menu options as shown in the middle images. The battle scenes and general walking around are very much-like older versions of Pokémon but with enhanced graphics, making the world look 3D and highly detailed.
I have looked at the Nintendogs, The Sims 3 and Pokémon games in detail. These games are different and from each I have pulled out different ideas from them:
- Camera and Touch Screen features don’t necessarily have to be the main gameplay and can just be small features
- Augmented Reality is an attractive, simple way of using the camera facility
- Level systems and creation aspects make for addictive and interesting gameplay in order to gain a bigger audience.
- A game with a story (or one you can make) is more likely to attract an older audience compared to casual gameplay
- Variety in games also make it more exciting, for example more animals in Nintendogs instead of just dogs would be a lot more exciting like the 150-odd Pokémon in the Pokémon games.
- Using the touch screen as a mini-game, such as throwing or winding up a toy in Nintendogs means for more casual gameplay, attracting children.
- Whereas using it as a creative means of moving furniture and sculpting a Sim’s face will likely attract more older people compared to a casual experience.