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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Photo Dojo (DSiWare)

Now here is a game we would just love to see revamped for the 3DS. Photo Dojo 3D would be all kinds of awesome...

Photo Dojo is a distinctive fighting game based entirely around the concept of creating your own custom characters. At a two dollar price point, has SRD Co. successfully created a game worth fighting for?

The greatest fighting game of all time?


Before you can get into the heart of the gameplay, you are required to construct a character. By utilising the cameras of the DSi, you’ll snap photos of yourself in various different positions and record the sound effects that your caricature will utter. It can be quite an ordeal to take pictures of yourself, but if you have a pal nearby to aid with the photography, it takes mere minutes. You can also generate several stages out of images that you capture via the camera. Once you’ve created your very own combatant, you can check out the single player mode.

The single player mode is decidedly bland and suffers from a lack of content. You merely fight off a horde of 100 enemies while attempting to keep your health as high as possible. Should your character be defeated, your score and rank will be displayed. Thankfully, it is no easy task to spam your way to victory since the enemies come in an assortment of sizes and some take more hits to defeat than others. It’s not going to hold your attention for any great length of time, but you can attempt to get a high score by having a lot of HP and quickly defeating all 100 foes. Long story short, don’t buy the game if you’re going to be the only one playing it.

OK, so there's not a whole heap of content here, but it's all kinds of funny

The multiplayer mode is easily the highlight of the game, for you can square off against a friend and settle those age-old debates about who is more powerful. There is no wireless download play, as players instead hold the same DSi and use one half of the system to fight. One player moves around with the D-Pad and fights with L while the second player moves with A/B/X/Y and the R button. It sounds considerably awkward in theory, but it works astoundingly well (so long as the second player isn’t a jerk who constantly shifts the DSi around).

The fighting mechanics are particularly basic, lacking even a block function. With only two special moves, it’s also hard to say that the characters you create are terribly unique. Luckily the ingenuity of Photo Dojo overshadows the laughable fighting mechanics that consist mainly of basic punches and kicks.

As a fighting game, Photo Dojo shamefully falls flat on its face and lacks numerous basic mechanics. In terms of amusement and creativity however, it excels and surpasses several other releases on the DSiWare service. Serious fighting game aficionados will be turned off, but those seeking a high-quality local multiplayer experience for a cheap price will find themselves right at home here. You’re sure to have a good laugh with a pal at the zany characters and oddball stages. The poor fighting game actually helps the comedic aspect in a way and the $US2 price makes the flaws easy to disregard.  Ultimately, there is little reason not to pick up Photo Dojo, unless you despise creativity or have no friends to play with.

- Clark A


Review: Photo Dojo (DSiWare)
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