We lose a Photo Dojo tournament, but had enough fun to almost not care

Yesterday wasn’t just Cinco de Mayo, which is when white people celebrate Mexico by drinking tequila, but it was also the day Nintendo hosted a tournament at their Redwood City, CA offices for the upcoming DSiWare game Photo Dojo. So we, and some of our distinguished competition, headed there to take a look at the game and try to prove ourselves numero uno.

Above: Here’s a trailer

Once we met up with our fellow editors, we got to the business of building a fighter. We had to take 13 different photos to fit the cut out as best we could, as well as posing for win, loss, select screen, and taunt images. Then we recorded 10 voice clips for all the moves, which was a little embarrassing as we yelled such things as, “get ready to lose,” and “argh,” into a DSi XL with a dozen other people around us. It was fun and all, though it took a little while for all six participants to get set up. Fortunately while we waited we took part in the office's “Cinco de Mario” celebration and enjoyed a delicious taco-filled lunch, though it was sadly tequila-free.

Above: Celebratory napkins were provided

Above: The brackets

Anyway, once we got to playing it was tons of fun. Seeing each character moving and hearing all our idiotic blurbs said back to us had everybody chuckling. Craig Harris of IGN said, “Mushroom Power,” with every fireball, which was stuck in our heads the rest of the day. It made for a great party game, especially with each fight taking place on a single DSi XL we all crowded around, as the player on the left used the D-pad and L trigger, while the player on the right used the R trigger and the four face buttons as the D-pad.

Above: Game journos going at it

But it’s not the best game for a tournament, as we found out the hard way. We won our first round, but lost the next two, and as we got used to the game we noticed some real balance issues. Not that we expected a game with eight moves to be Street Fighter IV, but the lack of a block meant fireballs reigned supreme. The championship round was more than half fireballs, and it only ended when one player got bored with using them. Also, the players sitting on the right never won, not once. Either the control set-up is just not as good or using a D-pad with your right hand instead of you left doesn’t work in a gamer’s brain. Either way, the right side wasn’t the right side.

Above: Even losers like us got free shirts

But even though we lost and felt a teeny bit screwed in the two player matches, we had too much fun to harbor any grudges. There’s a possibility you’ll spend more time creating a fighter than playing as one, but it’s a stupid fun time regardless. And when it comes to the US DSiWare store next week it’sfree (for a limited time) (opens in new tab)so there is absolutely no reason not to get this. Just make sure to hang to the left.

May 6, 2010

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.