Foto Showdown Review
Foto Showdown box art
System: DSi Review Rating Legend
Dev: Konami 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Konami 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 9, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Gotta Snap 'em All
by Adam Brown

This is it, the thing that every DSi owner has been waiting for since picking up the newest edition of Nintendo's wildly successful handheld. Foto Showdown marks the first DS title that works exclusively on the DSi. However, don't get too excited just yet as it seems like Nintendo is taking a decidedly baseball logic approach to DSi exclusives. In baseball, you rarely send your strongest hitter to the plate first, instead saving them until the cleanup position in order to help the previous batters score runs.

Foto Showdown screenshot

The first batters up to the plate are usually better at positioning the ball in a specific location and using that to get on a base. Perhaps the best way to describe Foto Showdown in baseball terms is, it's the first up to bat, does a good job of hitting where it's aiming, and will probably score you a double, maybe even a triple, but will certainly get tagged out if it tries to go for home plate.

The game starts off with a somewhat familiar point of interest if you're a fan of the television show Lost. There is a mysterious island that continues to appear and disappear at will. After a long absence, the island finally reappears but instead of the uninhabited isle that has come to be expected, there are modern cities covering its surface. Understandably, you're sent in to investigate what is going on and to figure out what has been happening on the island.

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Of course, to get to the bottom of these mysteries you'll have to learn how best to train and fight with various Pokémon… whoops, wrong game. All jokes aside, Foto Showdown presents players with a very similar "Gotta catch 'em all" approach to game design. Essentially, most of Foto Showdown's gameplay boils down to a long series of battles against various groups of monsters. In order to stand any chance, or even participate, in these fights, players must amass their own stable of monsters with which to compete. Good thing the first item you're given at the beginning of the game is a gun with bullets.

Foto Showdown screenshot

While this may initially seem a bit edgy for an E rated game, I assure you that it isn't as mature as it sounds. Your gun is actually a camera and its bullets are, in fact, capsules that are used to capture Pok… I mean monsters. I'm not entirely sure why they're referred to as bullets in the game, but I suppose it makes sense since your camera looks like a futuristic gun, trigger and all, with a video screen on its side.

As you can probably imagine, since this game has a camera in it and the system it was made exclusively for also has a camera, you'll be using the DSi's camera in order to capture monsters. This is a fairly neat idea, although the execution of it can leave much to be desired. Players will have the option to use bullets in order to attempt to capture monsters using the DSi's camera, but aren't really given any instructions as to what the game is looking for. I have to admit, I had a pretty rough time trying to get unique monsters because the game didn't really make it clear how best to go about getting new monsters.

Foto Showdown screenshot

Having somewhat researched this game before playing it (thankfully, because this isn't relayed in the game), I knew that color composition was supposed to be the determining factor in which monsters would be gained from pictures. However, I'm still entirely unsure of what dominant colors will trigger which monsters. This is because I've had several occasions where I've taken close to the exact same picture and gotten two entirely different monsters and times when I've snapped shots of two drastically different colors and gotten the same monster. The idea behind this type of monster creation really is great but if you are given no idea how it works and are constantly getting conflicting feedback in the form of these monsters, it is hard to find it enjoyable.

Screenshots / Images
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