|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|
There are few more discouraging things than taking five or six wildly different photos in a row and getting the exact same monster every time, and this happens far more often than it should. The result is an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, which makes you not want to discontinue taking pictures. However, it's not all bad since Konami apparently also knew how unpredictable this part of the game could be. I assume this because the cheapest bullet used to take photographs will run you fifty credits in the game and the cheapest sell back price for duplicate monsters in the game's store is also fifty. This at least allows you to not lose money on these constant duplicates, instead making your time and patience the only things you'll waste during this process.
There are a ton of different monsters to find and use in Foto Showdown, if you can manage to discover them by taking random photographs or earn them by winning fights. Each monster comes with its own stats, ranging from their offensive power to their speed, that determine how well they'll perform during combat. Monsters also come equipped with two attacks, a normal and special, that can vary greatly from monster to monster. However, you won't just be able to take all of your best monsters with you directly into battles, as each creature also has a control cost attributed to it.
When building a team of monsters, all of these factors must be considered. Taking a team of monsters that have complementary skills is always important. For instance, having a strong one to soak up damage, a good ranged attacker, and a support creature to help keep the other two alive. You can have up to six monsters in your team, although this is pretty difficult to attain early on due to a low amount of control points. Each monster's control cost ranges from three and up, with higher costs usually reserved for more powerful ones and lower costs for weaker ones.
The battles themselves are actually quite good, relying heavily on strategy and making the most out of your turns. Each fight takes place on a series of six boxes, with each team getting three. The initial placement of your monsters is incredibly important, keeping stronger monsters with shorter ranges in the front, ranged monsters behind, and support ones in the back. If one of your first three monsters falls during a battle, one of your reserves will step in to take its place as long as you have any (see control points). Strategic movement throughout a fight can also play a huge role in victory, switching one of your monsters with an opponent's in order to make them more vulnerable to attacks. Foto Showdown really shines here, which somewhat makes the random method of unlocking necessary monsters all the more disappointing.
While Foto Showdown doesn't hit a homerun; it is still a respectable release, especially given that it is the first DSi exclusive title. It attempts to utilize the system's unique capabilities (camera) in order to make an interesting and different experience. While it does somewhat succeed, I only wish that the method for unlocking different monsters had been better defined and explained. Either way, if you don't mind snapping hundreds of photos and making numerous trips to the game's store in order to sell back the seemingly never ending supply of repeat monsters, Foto Showdown's battle system is rather strategic and quite enjoyable.
CCC Staff Contributor