Petz Fashion: Purrfection or a Fashion Faux Paws?
First it was Dogz, after that came Catz, then Horsez and Hamsterz also joined the fray. Basically, the Petz brand has been a main stay in handheld systems in recent years. In order to promote some of their Dogz & Catz games for the Nintendo DS, Ubisoft launched Petz Fashion.
Release Date: 01/11/2015
Petz Fashion is developed by Petz.
The game is a bite-sized peek into the world of Petz' utterly cute catwalk couture. Upon launching the title, you meet Marta, the Petz Fashion Studio guru. Your job is to give your four-legged clients fabulous makeovers so that they win in contests. There are four Petz to choose from, which is a mix of Dogz and Catz.
For felines, you have Mr. Fluffy the sleek Siamese cat or Whiskers, an adorable grey tabby, to choose from. On the other hand, dog lovers can either go for Mr. Biggles, a cute husky or Scruffy, a Rottweiler pup.
All About the Show
After choosing who you want to makeover before the big Petz show, you will be required to groom the Pet. This section has three objectives. The first is to wash your chosen furry pal, dry it and then finally brush it to perfection. While that sounds like typical pet sim fanfare, the execution does leave much to be desired.
For starters, the only washing you will be doing consists of clicking on the shower icon and dragging it over the cat or dog. The game does not, in any way, emulate actually bathing a pet due to its lack of detailed controls. It would have been nice if there was a way to shampoo the Pet by clicking a separate icon and rubbing its fur and then using the shower icon to wash off suds. To make things worse, even this section's simplified mechanics is tedious, which really takes the fun out of a pet sim.
Regardless, after passing through every inch of your client's fur, the pet will sparkle and the next icon will start blinking to give you the go signal to proceed.
We would have forgiven the unimaginative mechanics of bathing, if only the game offered more substantial game play in other sections. Unfortunately drying and brushing your furry Pet is identical to washing it. Just click the icon, hold the button and drag it all over. Not the most exciting or clever game play, but at least the graphics look nice. On the bright side, the fur does change to indicate that the area has been washed or dried already. Since, this is a bite-sized preview, we really appreciate the effort to add some realism to the graphics.
Cleaned up your Pet nicely? Well dressing it up is quick and easy. All you have to do is choose a pair of shoes, a collar or scarf, head wear and a fashionable shirt to create his signature look. Sadly, the options are quite limited. Regardless if you are making over Mr. Fluffy or Mr. Biggles, the clothes and accessories are exactly the same. In short, this section of the game offers nothing fancy, but at least it does give you a taste of things to come for the actual hand held game.
Going for the Flash
The last section is the actual meat of the game. After giving your Pet a bath and picking the trendiest threads on the block, you will have to guide him through his photo op. The left and right arrow keys are used to make your pet walk around the stage. Striking a pose for the camera is as simple as pressing the space bar. As your adoring fans start snapping photos, frames will appear all over the stage. Points are awarded depending on how many photos you managed to pose for, though the final score coming from the judges still depend on your overall performance.
Closing Up the Ramp
Regardless of how you performed, Marta praises you for completing the short game. After that, you will get an ad of the Petz Fashion Dogz & Catz handheld title. While the whole premise of Petz Fashion is clear from the beginning, it would not hurt the developers to have given this game a more satisfying play style to back it up. Petz diehards and could-be fans would surely appreciate the treat.
Though the game takes only a few minutes to complete, it still has plenty of quirks to contend with. Game play aside, there are a few typographical errors as well as generic scripts. It would have been nice to have some variety in terms of how you are rated for dressing up your Pet, or how Marta evaluates your performance. As it is, even if you do not meet the 3-minute mark, have dressed your pup in mismatching colors and have not participated in the photo op, she still says you have done perfectly.
Though it has a number of issues, Petz Fashion is a game with a lot of potential. The graphics are great and stylized, the basic premise of the game is in line with what it is endorsing. It also helps that the actual in-game Petz are cute as a button. Sadly, it is hard to recommend this game wholeheartedly due to its bland core game play. At most, this title may leave you with mixed feelings. There are not enough wow moments to make you want to jump at the chance to buy Petz Fashion Dogz & Catz, but at the same time, you may be left wondering how the hand held game improved on this title's bare mechanics.
On its own, this is not much of a pet sim game as it is a bare bones interactive advertisement. With its limited pet interaction and customization options, surely there are better games out there for older pet sim fans. Show it to younger players who are looking for a taste of the Petz series. Just be sure to taper their expectations because it does not really measure up to the retail title in any way. We give this game a quickly