Cats & Dogs made me sad…

I’d lost interest in the game and had to update twice in the week leading up to the Cats & Dogs release. But it was during that week while watching the live streams that I started to see just how cool the new EP would be. I’d pre-ordered anyway when the EP was first announced and for a while I didn’t think I would even be bothered to install it.

But I was so impressed with the 2nd of the updates and all the fixes that I fired up the game again, I love the new roof styles and decided to rebuild the Landgraab Castle, and prepare other lots for the arrival of pets, because by that stage I was very excited! I can’t remember all the fixes that came with the patch, but the one that pleased me the most was that played Sims would no longer busk autonomously, therefore they wouldn’t be carrying around hundreds of guitars and violins in their inventories. I really appreciate the work that goes into providing new content and patching the game, and it was running so smoothly, and enjoyably again I couldn’t wait for the release.

Luckily I was rebuilding the castle in a vanilla game with my legacy game saved elsewhere, otherwise I probably would have fallen foul of the relationship glitch. But as it happened I was lucky and when I reloaded the legacy game after installing the 3rd update everything was still good. Then I started filling the households with cats and dogs… then I got sad 😦
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Billie the boxer and Bob my Old english Sheepdog both died earlier this summer. Losing two beautiful, faithful doggies so close together literally tore me apart. And seeing them so perfectly recreated in a make believe world actually made the hurt start up again.

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Tyson the Bullmastiff, my partner called him by his proper name (Rudy), but I called him Tyson because it sounded butcher, and he was a big, cool, butch doggie. He’s another gone but not forgotten. Here he shows the incredibly expressive animations that make them so lifelike. He’s also demonstrating a teeny bug that might just become a teeny bit irritating. Seems like every time I change households their dog needs a bath!

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Betsan and Idris, both beautifully rendered and both seem to have the right characteristics. Although, even though I did max out their weight and muscles in CAS, they both turned out a little light-weight! Betsan was a fawn coloured English Mastiff, she was never very tall but she was enormously bulky, so it’s actually quite good to see her looking so trim in game. Idris on the other hand was a massive, dark brindle Harlequin Mastiff, there’s no way the game could replicate just how huge those boys grow to, but it has totally nailed the colouring and the superior way of looking they have with that haughty expression.

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Spike my little Yorkshire Terrier, another sadly gone but never forgotten. Pooped after taking a leak, I need to go back to CAS and change his traits because he was never still long enough to sleep, and never outdoors! I should also look into attiring him properly, I’ve actually kept one of Spikey’s little parka coats because I can’t bear to part with it.

It’s not all sad news though! And the game really does deliver with the bonding and training exercises. And that new town with the harbour and lighthouse is extraordinarily good. And there’s cats 🙂

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Anyone foolish enough to visit our house (see below!) will meet Alfie 🙂 He’s a huge, bundle that likes to be carried on the hip like a massive monkey or a fur covered baby. Everyone loves Alfie, and the game exceeds all expectations with the rendering and animations of their cats. I also like the way they can scratch at the furniture without causing lasting damage! And the automatic litter tray works just like the real life machines. I haven’t tried the robot vac yet, but I have one in real life and I’ve never managed to get a cat to ride on it, so I can’t wait to see that in action.

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The reason why some (most) people visit our house at the moment – and why they all seem to leave near exhausted. Cameron and Mitchell, our two piglet siblings. They’re a pair of French Bulldogs and the game has rendered them perfectly too, they’re as adorable and cute, and as frantic and annoying as in real life! Looking at the screenshot Mitchell is showing the ‘needs a bath glitch’. Honestly if you change households too quickly you could end up in a constant wash cycle!

I did have to revisit CAS with those two, because I was so wrapped up in getting their colouring right I totally forgot to check their sexes. It was only in the game when I noticed that they were falling in love that I realised that poor little Cameron had been created as a girl, so I had to fix that quickly before anything alarming happened.

To summarise, the game animations, characteristics and behaviour of the individual breeds is stunning. The gameplay involved with training and caring for their pets is totally absorbing and I can’t imagine that getting dull anytime soon – I think having so many different pets in so many different households should ensure that the goals and challenges aren’t so easy to ace. And I guess the only thing left to say is I am not that sad really, seeing beloved pets (whether alive or sadly those that have died) rendered so perfectly in a game of eternal sun drenched happiness is good – no better than that, it’s perfect 🙂 I just hope the golden poop is worthwhile, because I am not sure I’ll ever get used to seeing Sims pocket the poops they scoop!