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Photo Dojo - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Photo Dojo

DSiWare | Nintendo | 1 Player / 2 Players (local multiplayer| Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points (NA: Free for a limited time)
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Review
9th June 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Photo Dojo is one of the many reasons why gamers should be happy to own a DSi. Whether you got this for free, or had to pay $2 for it, the fact remains that the camera function is used to create a game that's bound to provide plenty of laughs.

    From the Main Menu, players can choose from two options: either create a fighter from scratch or take your  pre-made character into the battle arena for single-player or multiplayer bouts. Starting for the first time, the "Create a Fighter" mode will be your obvious choice. You'll begin by holding the DSi sideways, taking a picture for the fighter selection menu. Players will then follow through with matching outlines of on-screen poses to the best of your ability. It's best if you get another person to take the pictures for you, not only because it saves you a lot of trouble, but it's more fun for the person to watch. You might even annoy each other just trying to describe the action required and get it right. In addition to various poses, you'll also take a picture of a fireball, and be granted some more freedom as you create a taunt move. You'll then proceed to create sound effects for each of these poses, and here's where you have room for some more creativity.

    You can be as serious or as goofy as you like, but whichever you choose, be sure to include a few clips that reflect your personality. Between silly expressions and references to inside jokes between friends, these noises are what makes the game even more hilarious in action. Also keep in mind that some moves will be repeated over and over again so some of your expressions will be even funnier or annoying as the case may be. Thankfully, the recognition of the DSi's microphone is just as good as the feedback itself. The final step involves assigning yourself one of four titles which all correspond to a different attack used for your Desperation Move. For instance, one will allow you to grow to a gargantuan size, execute a powerful spinning kick, and more. 

    
Between taking photos, and creating sound effects, it'll take a few minutes to create your fighter. But once you give him a name and he's good to go, you can then enter the Battle arena for some fisticuffs of sorts. Playing on your own, you'll choose your fighter, then make your way to selecting a stage and music. There are three generic songs to choose from: 'Club Beat', 'Electro', and 'Rock and Roll'. They suit the game pretty well but it might have been nice if there were more options, or even allow players the opportunity to use or record music of their own (by using their PC's speakers). 

    On your own, you can aim to clear 100 enemies and guess what? The enemies will be chosen from the fighters you've already created. So now you can beat up your little brother without getting into trouble! When your health is running low, you'll be able to use your Desperation Move, and the effects of this depend on the title chosen when you created your fighter. Players can feel pretty motivated to aim for new records on their own as it's pretty tough to get to 100. The enemies aren't too predictable, plus, there's some instances where they'll catch you be surprise (such as when a series of miniature enemies come to attack you). At its core, it's pretty simple though. There's also a VS mode where two players share the same system, one using the L Trigger and the D-Pad, and the other using the R Trigger and the buttons. It's great that multiplayer was included as it certainly adds to the package but I can't see why wireless multiplayer wasn't included. Honestly, it's my biggest gripe about the game and I really wish Wireless or even Download Play was included.

    
At any point in the game you can go back to the creation mode and edit your fighter's name or re-do individual poses. You can also create new fireballs or backgrounds. Part of the fun comes from making funny choices with these two aspects in particular. As such, feel free to use your DSi to take a photo of an object around the house, a picture of some kind, or even a JPEG image from your PC. You can create up to 8 fighters so certainly experiment with working on even non-human creations.

    The music on the character selection screen sounds like pretty convincing music for a fighting game, as if someone's preparing for a tense duel. Menus are organized well and maintain a pretty straight-forward arrangement. Much of the game's presentation has to do with the player though, which harks back to Nintendo's main focus with this handheld - that of personalization of self-expression. And that's a great feeling to have as it leads to some pretty funny results. Moreover, your humorous creations will appear on the title screen and, as touched on earlier, having multiple fighters will help with the variety when playing on your own.

    Photo Dojo is a great application for the DSi that's a must-download if you have friends and family to share this with. The rich possibilities for creativity and hilarity, not the gameplay mechanics, are what makes this little game fun.


24/30 - Very Good

Gameplay 8/10 - Simple execution, see yourself in the game, follow outlines to create poses for your fighter, process takes a while, multiple desperation moves
Presentation 7/10 - Mostly depends on the part of the player, simple once again with a few special effects, backgrounds you create can be great fits
Enjoyment 5/5 - A source of humor amongst friends and family members, getting everything set up can be annoying but less so with a second person
Extra Content 4/5 - Can try to defeat 100 enemies, can customize the entire game, multiplayer matches involve one DSi, lack of Download Play, free for some!

Equivalent to a score of 80% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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