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We Need to Talk About Petz Dogz 2 for the Wii

Recently, I had been wondering what I should write for my article this month when I woke up from a nap in a cold sweat and just knew. For whatever reason, not even pertaining to my dream — as that’s long since slipped my memory — I desperately needed to get my feelings about this game off my chest.


First of all, I’m no stranger to the Petz games that came out on platforms like the DS, 3DS, etc. Most of them are, in my opinion, slightly above shovelware in terms of gameplay. They’re pretty lackluster, mostly made up of repetitive mini games and cute animals that are there to appease the children that this game series is geared towards. Keeping this in mind, imagine my surprise when I received the Wii version of Petz Dogz 2 and it was nothing like previous games I had played.


What needs to be understood next is that this game does not advertise itself in a way that is necessarily accurate. The Amazon description, which from what I can remember is at least semi-accurate to the back of the game’s case, makes it appear like any other slightly-better-than-shovelware-esque game in the series. For starters, it claims that you can choose from seven adorable breeds to play as, which is a lie. I distinctly remember there being tons to choose from and being excited because a Rottweiler was an option (My family had a Rottweiler when I was in middle school and I was always sad that Rottweilers were never options in other dog based games). I had also recently watched somebody play a playthrough via Youtube just to make sure I wasn’t remembering incorrectly. There were 40 dog breeds to choose from, none of them being  the “Fantasy Breedz” that the next line boasts that you can mix and match with. What mixing and matching? You choose a dog breed and that’s your dog through the rest of the game, but I digress — I’ll get to that in a bit.


The next two lines talk about being able to keep a puppy journal where you can take pictures and then show them off to your friends, as well as print them off. I think this is referring to the save feature of the game, but I’m not completely sure as I haven’t touched this game in years. Regardless, so far, this game is no different than any other game in the series.


The last line is the most promising — it’s just “Use your sniff radar! There are a lot of interesting objects hidden in the world.” That is correct — you can use your sniff radar, and there are a lot of interesting objects hidden in the world because guess what? This game is a role-playing game, or an RPG.


When I tell you my jaw dropped as I watched the opening cutscenes roll across the TV in my brother’s room, I am not exaggerating. This is not a cutesy dress-up-your-dog game. There are dress-up aspects to it, but not necessarily for the reasons you might imagine. There are multiple levels that require you to go to places in the world that are legitimately dangerous. One is a cave filled with lava that you have to avoid, and where you have to wear a special jacket that can keep you cool but only for limited quantities of time, so you have to stop to cool down and not die. Another is a tundra location that is essentially the same thing but the opposite in terms of temperature. Yet another location is filled with pits of gooey poison. Again, this game was not advertised in any way, shape or form as though it was an RPG.


The game starts out with your family, who are also all dogs because it’s a dog game telling you about a magic hat. This magic hat has never been used for evil, but it could potentially do horrible things in the hands (paws?) of somebody who is. This is terribly heavy-handed foreshadowing, but since this is a kid’s game about dogs, it doesn’t matter. After all of that, your best friend shows up and wants you to accompany them to see the evil wolf that’s in jail. There is no way this could go wrong, right?


Of course it goes wrong. You end up bringing the hat to the wolf to prove that it isn’t a fake because your character is just that gullible. You then also give said hat to the same wolf when he tells you that the hat has a tear that you and your friend can’t see, which then results in him escaping and wreaking havoc on the world, including, but not limited to causing zoo animals to escape, which, now I’m really curious as to how that works — zoo animals with dogs being the ones with a human-esque society? Wild.


Regardless, the point is that you have to go fix things since you’re the one who gave the hat to the wolf. This drives you to venture out to the rest of the world, and your journey ends when you defeat a dragon by throwing rocks at it. I still get stressed out whenever I randomly think about that fight to be honest, and in the end, I had to have my brother defeat the final boss for me.


All in all, I do want to say that the game was good. It is way better than whatever they used to shove onto the DS cartridges — just definitely not what I was expecting when I first loaded up the Wii that first day I played it. I’m just curious as to why they didn’t explain more about what was going to go on in the game in any of its descriptions. Did they think that it wasn’t going to be received as well since I’m assuming they were marketing it towards girls? I don’t know — just food for thought. It’s a weird but good game with a really weird marketing scheme — that’s all.

5th Year Senior at Michigan State University majoring in Experience Architecture and minoring in German
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