In what has to be the most eccentric game on the Wii since its inception, Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football by developer Judobaby is a game of wacky American football played by dogs. There are plenty of innovative and zany features to this game that would make it an instant family favorite. Unfortunately, glitches also prevent it from reaching its full potential
Some say that Jerry Rice is possibly one of the greatest American football players of all time. Now, the same can be said about his dog Nitus, too. In the Wii Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football game, man and canine team-up to bring American football to hilarious highs and ludicrous lows.
Basically, Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football Wii game is an American football simulator with the exception of dogs as players instead of humans. All the rules of standard American football still apply. For example, you still alternate as offense and defense, the ball still needs to be taken to the other team’s end zone, and the different player positions are still present. The similarities stop when the dogs are introduced.
There are more than a dozen breeds of dogs to choose from on your team, and they each have their own specialty depending on their size. For example, a diminutive pooch might be able to crawl under obstacles and take the ball further, while larger mutts have the advantage on defense by scaring their opponents. You pick and choose your team and build them up through regular play and season mode.
Jerry Rice comes into the picture, as well as a variety of other human avatars, as the only bipedal member of the team. Your only human member serves as the quarterback and is responsible for getting plays started. However, they are also immobile, so forget about sticking to the familiar two-legged player to make that touchdown. It’s all up to the dogs, and this is well-suited to them since the fields are basically obstacle courses with lots of ramps, holes, and other platforms to make use of and perform tricks on. Every time one of your dogs does a stunt, Agility Reward Factor (ARF) points are awarded which can be used to your advantage later on in the game. There are also Doggy Dollars earned by successfully uncovering secret items and winning games. These Dollars can be used to unlock additional content.
Controls are decent and smooth. Players basically point the Wii remote in the direction they want their dog to go to when running with the ball, and the pooch will follow along. An auto function is also available wherein the dog automatically maps out and follows the best route if things get too complicated. Simple flicking and swiping motions are all that’s necessary to pass the ball and tackle opponents, and kids can quickly pick up on the nuances of the game.
With tons of content, unique gameplay, and fun action, Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football is arguably one of the best and most creative family and party games out there on the Wii.
Glitches mar this otherwise awesome release. Gameplay isn’t all that streamlined as it should be, and confusing plays and mechanics on both offense and defense can lead to frustration. In addition, audio and visuals are below average, including clichéd and stereotypical human quarterbacks. Jerry Rice and Nitus are also unavailable and need to be unlocked, a major nuisance since one would expect that they’re already good-to-go at the very start. Finally, long loading times and screen delays really diminish the momentum of this game.
Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football can be played on the Wii console with the standard Wii remote. Both single player and multiplayer modes are available.
Jerry Rice and Nitus’ Dog Football is the proverbial line in the video game sand. Either you cross it and like the game, or you stay put where you are and don’t. If you do cross the line, there are plenty of reasons for you to back up your decision: hilarious premise, insane action, unique gameplay, and family fun. If you don’t, there’s sufficient evidence for that as well: choppy loading times, poor audio and visuals, and glitchy gameplay. In the end, it’s up to you. If the sound of dogs and Jerry Rice playing football seems like a wonderful idea, then by all means get the game. If the mere title is ridiculous to you, then it’s better to go hunt for other, saner games out there.