|System: DSi||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SRD Co.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 10, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Photo Dojo is not a title I would pay $10 for. Heck, I don't even think I would pay $5 for it. At its core, this game is a simplistic fighter with a handful of attacks, one single-player mode, and a two-player mode. There really isn't that much to do in this game. However, while Photo Dojo is light on content, it has a gimmick that works pretty well: the fighter is you! While being able to insert yourself into a game is nothing new (You're in the Movies tread this ground just last year) Photo Dojo has an edge-it requires no special hardware and, for now at least, it's free.
When you start up Photo Dojo, you aren't even given the option to play, as your roster of fighters must first be created. You create your fighter by taking 13 pictures of yourself in different poses and recording ten sounds. You can either position your DS camera on a high surface and take the pictures yourself using a timer and the DS' inner camera, or you can have a friend use the outer camera to take pictures. I would recommend having a friend take the pictures, as the low resolution increases blurriness, and the amount of space needed between you and the camera can make it hard to take a precise picture of the pose you need.
The photo-taking utility is very intuitive, and the 13 poses are very easy to get into. They vary from a crouching stance to a victory pose. You will have to position your body inside a small position frame, which isn't very hard to do. With the help of a friend, you can be done taking pictures in less than five minutes (with a few requisite do-overs). By yourself, it may take a little longer, but it still should take no longer than seven or eight minutes.
The next phase of character creation is the voice recorder. This allows you to give your self-made character an attack sound, a special attack yell, and even a defeat noise. These sounds have a limit of five seconds and can really help you give some personality to your character. For instance, you can make your character say "ow" when they are hurt, or, for a more comedic effect, you can say something silly like "flan". This game is all about having fun, and the more creative you can be with the voice recording, the more fun playing the game will be.
Once you are done creating your character, it is time to take a photo for a background, and then pick a fighting style. The fighting style really isn't important, as it just gives your character a single special attack. Once that has been set, then you are ready to play. The fighting style in the game is very simple, and your character can punch, kick, throw a fireball, and perform a special attack. When your health is low, you can also perform a "Desperation" move, which is a super-powered ultimate move that can only be performed once per round. All of the regular moves can be performed by a single or double button tap, and there is virtually no learning curve as the battle system is so simplistic.