videogamedogs.jpgHorses are great for traveling, but we can't forget about man's best friend: the dog.

Last month, we embarked on a year-long quest to find video games' greatest animal. We started off with finding the best horse, and our all-star panel of judges chose the one fine equine who will represent horses in our end-of-the-year competition.

Now this month, we move on to canines. That includes dogs and wolves, to you non-veterinarians out there.

While dogs (and wolves) have certainly proven to be a gamer's best friend, they also can be a gamer's worst enemy. You have played "Resident Evil" haven't you? From survival-horror to action-adventure to first-person shooters to casual titles, we take a look at all the canines we could think of for our judges' consideration. And dear readers, feel free to weigh in with your favorite hound and suggest any that we missed.

Then check at the end of the month, when our our judges will select The Greatest Canine In Video Game History.

The leading contenders...

okami_small.jpgAmaterasu as Shiranui in "Okami"

When legendary monster Orochi is resurrected with an evil curse in tow, it's up to the wolf-embodied sun god Amaterasu to regain the 13 powers of the Celestial brush and restore peace to the world.

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Animal CrossingThis is "Burnout Paradise" Vs. Mode Round Two and we're about to go off the rails.

In Round One, I admitted to Newsweek's N'Gai Croal that I was a tad mistaken about "Burnout Paradise," which I had loved, kind of loved, kind of loathed and then changed my mind about again.

He pointed out he had been on board all along and sang the virtues of a proper sequel-making.

None of that was too crazy. But now comes Round Two, in which I basically say that "Burnout Paradise" is a better "Animal Crossing" than "Animal Crossing."

And N'Gai backs me up!

Read on to see how we got to that point. And really, can you disagree?

(These exchanges are mirrored on N’Gai’s “Level Up” bog.)

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