Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Game of the Day

Dog's Life (2004)
Developer: Frontier Developments Ltd.
Platform: PlayStation 2
Purchase Date: 2004

Just taking the chicken out on a romantic morning walk.

Budget games - sometimes they serve as a sign of shoddy game developments and cheaply made products while other times they are just an indication that the developers know there is hardly a market for their creations and they have no choice but to price the games appropriately. These facts are easy enough to figure out. Determining which one applies to a particular budget game before purchase is an entirely different story. Fortunately, Dog's Life is a remarkable find for those who dared picking it up despite the horrible looking cover art and the cheesy tag-line of "It's Great Being a Dog!". The game even looks beautiful and is presented in widescreen format! You play as Jake, who must travel a great distance through the U.S. landscape in search for Daisy who has been dog-napped right in front of his eyes. The adventure is quite huge and satisfactory for a game about being a dog. Jake cannot converse directly with humans but you can hear his thoughts via a rich voice-over narrative. Speaking of the voice-overs, there is a reason why this game is rated "T". The game sports a lot of interesting double-entendre jokes that mostly revolve around body odor. Most of these will fly right by younger players undetected because the nonchalant delivery. The funny thing about this is that the game is rated 3+ in Europe. While you mostly control Jake, you are also given the ability to play as other dogs to assist you in getting to areas that Jake cannot access and they can help you solve the puzzles found in the game. Jake can also use "Smellovision" - yes, this was ahead of that one new game that just recently came out - where you can collect different kind of smells (hmmm... appetizing) and track down moving creatures. The idea is interesting but this is where the game fails for me: The "Smellovision" can only be used in first person. Because of the way Jake moves, I got really dizzy after a prolonged use of the "Smellovision" and that happened a lot because you have to use this mode to progress in the game. For those who are familiar with Frontier's previous works, you will notice that the game's relaxed soundtrack sounds very, very familiar with other games they have released before.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

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