“All right, this will be your early Christmas and birthday present. What game do you want?”
I was already getting a Nintendo 3DS that came pre-loaded with Super Mario 3D Land, so Dad letting me get another game was really icing on the cake. I could have chosen ANY of the games lined up on that little display, but there were two that caught my eye that I was really torn between Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure and Style Savvy Trendsetters.
‘Disney will drop in price sooner, though, probably,’ went my Reasoning. ‘And I played a Style Savvy game already, so I know I’m going to like it…’ So, I picked that one and have been playing it non-stop ever since.
I am 23 years old, mind you. A mature, professional, grown-up young woman — and here I was, genuinely upset at the fact that I couldn’t get both of those games. I am both proud of and ashamed of this fact. Silliness aside, however, the fact that Style Savvy is a game means that I must discuss it on this blog. So let’s go!
But before that, let me quickly say that the 3DS alone is a delightfully entertaining little device all on its own. It came with a set of Augmented Reality cards, which allow you to play mini games via the built-in camera and your surroundings, a Mii-maker (following the avatar creation of the Nintendo Wii variety), a shooter that takes your personal photo and makes you chase around little creatures with your face plastered on it like a psycho, and a bunch of other online social things that you can use if you actually have friends that also own a 3DS. The 3D effect is pretty cool, but I’m more than happy that you can turn it off because it really does mess with your eyes if you stare at it too long.
Anyway, back to Style Savvy — the gameplay doesn’t stray far from its original, placing you in the shoes of a fashion-forward young lady who gets hired to work at a local boutique. Customers come in asking for certain types of clothing, and you browse the boutique’s stock to put together an outfit that fits her budget and personal style. Eventually, you become the boutique’s manager yourself, which requires you to go to the local warehouse and buy new stock, and join in fashion contests, where you dress up a model and compete against other stylists in who embraces a contest’s theme the best.
You also can go to a hair salon and makeup store to customize your own avatar, and of course, any item you get in the store is also sent straight to your apartment’s closet, so you can customize your outfit any which way you want. You can also customize your apartment furniture, too! A new game mechanic is an accumulation of “happiness”. The more people you make happy, the more magical happiness pixie dust points fill a jar, which empties out every night. Every time the jar reaches the top before the end of the day, the happiness stardust magic whatever fills the moon (it’s just girly magic, don’t try to inject logic). Exciting things happen as a result of a full moon — more space in your stock room appears, new hairstyles or makeup become available, et cetera. Again, how this all relates is completely beyond me, but who cares? It’s just the magic of fashion as far as I’m concerned!
The only thing that makes me a feel a bit sketchy on the whole thing is that sometimes you’ll hear your customer’s discussing their plans for later in the day. Normally they’ll invite you to join them at the cafe or downtown, but then there are points where it’s two people saying they’ll go to X location, but your little event marker appears as though you’re invited. Upon arrival at X, you’ll see them having a conversation. Sometimes you’ll say hello and talk with them, but other cutscenes will end without you approaching. In other words, you’re kind of stalking your customers. What a creeper!
Improvements to the game include the addition of male customers /fashion and handbags to the customizable content, a search engine type option for choosing your fashion, which makes picking out what the customer wants a TON easier, and new venues in town to run around, like a photographer’s studio and the downtown area. It was also neat to see Grace, who was your character’s manager in the first game, make an appearance with her assistant Renee in my boutique!
The cons of the game can be summed up in one word: repetitive. Character animations and dialogue are re-used ALL THE TIME, and the actual gameplay is very simple and someone who isn’t interested in this sort of thing can get bored super quick.
But the endless options for customization and relative pick-up-and-play ease is what makes it uber addictive for yours truly. I’ll probably get tired of it in about a month or so, and then come back to it half a year later, but as of right now I am definitely getting my money’s worth!