First Impressions: The Dog Island

18 05 2008

There are many things to be expected from a game aimed at the younger set. Hardcore emotional attachment usually isn’t one of them. The Dog Island was released in Japan last year and finally hit North America this week. Little was known about the title mainly because it didn’t get much coverage in the English-speaking press. I’m here to tell you that The Dog Island is, so far, nothing like what it would have you believe it is. Hit the jump for my first impressions.

The game starts off innocently enough: you view a cut scene in which a letter arrives for you from your cousin. Right off the bat the game smacks you with guilt. The postman inquires about who you are and we learn from the pirate dog that you’re the son of someone who “somthing bad happened to”. oooooookay. Moving on, you’re faced with the usual tutorials. Pick which breed you want to be, name etc. Learn how to move, sniff and dig. Pretty standard dog stuff. Then it happens again. Not only are you a bastard dog, your brother (or sister, if you choose) is TERMINALLY ILL. That’s right, an adorable (and I mean sickeningly cute) puppy is about to die. Suddenly you find out there’s a big festival going on so the game has you go investgate. Your ill sibling want’s to go too but you mother forbids it. He sneaks out anyway and has fun. So much fun that he collapses and nearly dies. At this point I was so depressed that I thought about switching off the game. What kind of people use this as a plot device in a kids game? It turns out that the only doctor who can (maybe) cure your sibling lives on ‘The Dog Island’. Off you go, leaving home while the entire town is making adorable doggy whining noises, grieving over your sick brother (or sister). The scene is truly heartbreaking, enhanced by the adorable nature of the hydrocephalus canines.

In between the heart wrenching cut scenes there’s some basic gameplay. Nothing spectacular. Some waggling. The unbelievable story is what’s keeping me going right now. How does it turn out? Tune in when I review the game on this week’s Wiicast to find out.

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2 responses

19 05 2008
KrazyKain

haha, a kids game almost has a grown man crying? this i have to see

19 05 2008
Greg

LMAO, wat!? terminally ill puppies in a kids game. That is border line disturbing lol.

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