Style Savvy: Trendsetters
It's a real serious business simulation, honestly!
Platform: 3DS, Features: Online Marketplace, StreetPass, AR
I probably bought Style Savvy: Trendsetters in November, and it's been one of my play-for-a-bit-and-put-down kind of games. It's only now that I realized, after checking my Daily Log on my 3DS, that I've accumulated about 45 hours with the game, and each of my sessions is around 1 hour long. So, clearly this game is worth reviewing—if only because it's been able to keep my attention for that amount of time.
Nota bene though, this game is absolutely girly; absolutely positively and—dare I say—fabulously girly. So girly, in fact, that I mistakenly thought that I could select my gender during the character creation phase. How surprised I was, then, to realize that “Don” was a cute anime-esque girl-doll of me. I immediately changed her name to “Dawne” instead.
The plot of the game is certainly workable, but also quite bizarre. You stumble upon a boutique in a town that apparently eats, sleeps, and thinks fashion and only fashion. The owner of that boutique recognizes your talent, hires you as staff, and eventually gives you the store as she works on other ventures. Eventually, you make a name for yourself with your boutique's selection of clothing that varies by season (real-time seasons and months), and with your skill in the fashion contests that start up in town. Oh, also, when you do things in town for yourself or for other people, you gain happiness, measured in glitter, that goes in a jar. In some form of Nintendo magic, that happiness goes up into the sky and makes the moon change from a New Moon to a Full Moon. During a Full Moon good things happen. Just like real life, eh?
Obviously, with a fashion game, the main draw is dressing up various guys and gals that walk into your store. Sometimes they want a full outfit; sometimes they just want one item. Sometimes they have a very specific style (preppy, gothic, feminine) they ask for; sometimes they're a little more vague, which requires using your own fashion eye to figure out what kinds of things they might like. The game recognition for what kinds of clothing your clients want is particularly simple—especially since there's a search function that filters the clothing you can choose by brands, style, patterns, colors, and the works.
Underneath the glitzy and fabulous clothing and accessories with which to dress up your clients is a fairly fun business simulation. Your store's stock room only has a limited capacity for holding men's and women's fashion items, and consideration has to be made for the current season and also for the clientele you want to attract. The store's interior, music, exterior, and mannequins all influence what kinds of people go to your store. In addition, your interactions with people in town outside your store—yes, you can take cafe breaks, and photo shoots, and saunter around your city's downtown—also influence your clients and visitors. Like in real life, networking and reputation are key variables to the success of a venture, especially if you want your customers to keep coming back.
All this doesn't mean that the game is hard; on my play through it didn't get quite hard until I started to fill up my stock room with clothing that I've never sold, and contests didn't become difficult until I reached the International level. Otherwise the game gives lots of freedom for you to explore town, dress yourself (and customers) up, and simply live the life of a fashionista that owns a boutique in a fashion-obsessed town. If it's not fun because of the challenge, it's fun because of the set-your-own-kind-of-pace type of gameplay.
Other features of the game include an online store where you can sell your outfits to various other players. Players can browse all the online shops, and can even favorite your shop if they'd like. It's a fun diversion to try to keep new outfits coming and be a popular shop with actual humans instead of the AI, but other than extra pocket money for you to use in-game, it's more of a nice-to-have. It certainly can extend the replayability of the game, though, if you're into competing with others when it comes to fashion sense. An AR Photo Shoot function is available to show off your avatar or your various customers in a “real-life” setting, and a Rate Your Style kind of mode is available as well, and works wonderfully as a way to demo the game. StreetPass is used to have other players visit your store, where they will request an outfit theme within a certain budget. The player you passed will be able to actually buy the outfit you made through the Online mode if they want. Cool feature, but not one I use very often; it's like people are ashamed to enable StreetPass on this game, but I'm not quite sure why.
It's buy-worthiness is dependent somewhat on if you like business simulations, but is mostly dependent on how much you like making outfits. There's certainly enough options to suit any kind of taste, and, putting aside that you play as a female, it's pretty guy-friendly too. Best way to figure out if you'd like it or not is to try the demo. For me, though, that was, apparently, 45 hours well spent.