Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Style Savvy Trendsetters

I like to imagine she's 35 with a gaggle of kids and impeccable style  :p
 WHA-? Style Savvy? WTF? Why would anyone wanna play that crap?
Oh, admit it, you thought it.

Style Savvy Trendsetters is the second Style Savvy game to be released, the first one was just plain "Style Savvy" and it was one of those games that taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

So what is it? Its a fashion game. You start as an employee of a boutique, picking out clothes for customers until you do it enough to move up to having your own boutique. I gloss over that part because its not really that important and its just a tutorial really to get you on your way.
Owning your own boutique is where its at.

While this is a review..or more of an explanation of Trendsetters I think I need to talk a little about The first Style Savvy game a bit first.

I don't even remember how I stumbled across the game but I remember thinking "oh the girls would probably really like that, I should get it for them", at the time my girls were mostly into Imagine games, anything with animals and Pokemon. (They've since moved on to El Shaddai, Call of Duty and Borderlands 2 among others). So I got the game and gave it to them and they were immediately sucked into it. They would come and show me the new skirts they had in stock, the outfits they dressed their characters in the top they designed. I admit, the girly side of me started itching to give it a try while the "real" gamer in me was thinking "icky icky eww!!!"
pictured here, the closest I'll ever get to a $3,000 outfit
I can't really recall how i finally got my hands on it but I did and I could not put it down. For the next 2 months (yes, you heard right...2 MONTHS) I dressed a ton of cartoon girls in clashtastic outfits and competed in fashion shows, while occasionally visiting my daughters' boutiques as well. We got so into it I ordered the game guide...Well it isn't so much a game guide as it is a picture book. Its called the Look Book and basically it just shows you every piece of clothing you can get in game in every color they are available.
After those couple months we cut down on Style Savvy because we had all gotten addicted to Kira Kira Pop Princess but that's another story.

I had no idea there was another Style Savvy game being released until I stumbled on a comment about it on Playfire. I immediately went to watch the trailer and then whipped out my Target card and placed my order. I wasn't disappointed. The game has added quite a few features since the first one and while it could use a few more, the changes and additions are all great and feel like progress.

So I'll start with how you play the basic game...

Client walks in and will usually give you one of 2 approaches to picking out their perfect attire. Either they will tell you they are looking for a specific piece and style or they will ask you to pic something to suit their tastes. I despise the second option. Once you pick out whatever it is they want you get 2 more options...You can tell them to Try it on or Take a look. Try it on is basically just putting it all on the line, its a one shot deal, if they like it you get a lot of mojo (I'll get to that soon enough, and no that isnt what it s called in game) and even the possibility of them buying more items. However, if they don't like it, kiss that sale goodbye because they will leave. Take a look is for those times you aren't sure you chose the right thing. If you ask them to take a look they will either tell you they like it, go try it on and then buy it or they will tell you it isnt what they want and to show them something else. Three strikes and you're out, well, they're out. Sale lost.
Raven Candle, the Goth Lolita store I tend to favor
Its incredibly simple, no?

So now let me break that down...

First, you don't just simply pick some shirts and skirts and send people on their way. You are the manager of a boutique and as such you are responsible for decorating both the interior and exterior of your store to suit the style of clothing you carry (though you MUST have a little of everything always, more on that in a bit). You must also decorate the shop window and dress mannequins to entice people to buy from you. But most important of all, you must keep your store well stocked and this is where it gets really fun.

You start off with only a couple hundred slots for items, and only women's clothing, as you progress you eventually unlock 1,000 slots for women's items and another 500 for men. The game has a buyer's center where the different labels set up shop and you are tasked with going there and using your shops revenue to restock. Certain brands open on certain days with all of them opening on Sundays, so you have to kinda plan it out when you're gonna go restock. An added incentive to restocking is that every piece you buy sends you a sample to your apartment (yes you get an apartment as well and its one of the things that has been expanded).
Looks just like me, no? lol
Each brand carries a specific style, Goth, Princess, Luxury, Girly, Preppy, Basic, etc. and when NPCs ask for items they will usually tell you either the specific style or keywords that refer to them. With an inventory that large to juggle the game gives you a search function that lets you search by everything from brand, to color, to price and everything in between. While it sounds very very easy, you'll find that sometimes, its not that well defined. A person might ask you for something preppy and you end up giving them something they love that isnt part of the "preppy" brand but is still preppy. Or they might ask you to put together an outfit based on their style and of course they won't tell you the style so you have to guess it based on what they are wearing, and because some items cross over into multiple categories you can pick something that you think fits their style only to have them walk out. Sometimes it can be very frustrating trying to figure out what the hell to suggest to someone...and don't think you can look at the stuff they are wearing so you can check out the brand because the game will not allow you to look at what they are wearing even if you have the same thing in your shop inventory. My favorite customers are the ones that want to buy the outfit on my mannequin, that's where the cash is at. and you want that cash, lots of it.

The game keeps track of your store's cash and your own personal cash and gives you places to spend it all.
only place i can have a pretty, neat place...
no kids.
As I mentioned you get an apartment. In the previous game it was pretty much just a place to save your game and change your character's outfit. That hasn't changed, but other things have been added. The game now offers a furniture store and you can use your hard earned cash to buy new curtains, beds, rugs etc and decorate your apartment as you see fit. It has no impact on anything in game but its a fun addition that lets you personalize your space. You can also spend your money buying make-up and colored contacts to compliment your outfits and on hairstyles. These items unlock slowly as you progress in the game.
so you've bought pretty makeup and gotten your hair done, dressed up in your chosen style what? The game has added a photo studio so that for $20 you can immortalize your character's awesome outfits on your SD card. (and I have a metric ton of pics in different outfits).
But wait! that's not all! The game has several locations you can visit alone or with NPCs that invite you. They're just a chance to get a photo op, a bit of chitchat and more mojo.

My Girly yet Sophisticated outfit
that won the final Beginner Contest

You keep using that word...
One of the changes from the previous game is how the game gauges your success. In the previous game you would get stars as you ranked up in contests and sales. This has been replaced in Trendsetters with a receptacle that collects glittery sands. Each sale, each win, each time you meet an NPC somewhere, it drops a small quantity of glitter in the vase. If you fill it to the brim by the time your shop closes for the night, the next morning you will unlock different things, from more inventory space to new makeup to buy. Most of the time its pretty easy to fill it up but there are off days.
I believe I was under dressed for the weather

Days, Nights, Weeks...
There is a day/night cycle and the seasons change as time passes, so you have to keep that in mind when stocking your store and dressing your clients, give someone shorts in December and they will balk. Stock too many clothes from one season and you'll have to take a loss when you get rid of it on clearance to buy more climate appropriate attire.

Not only do you choose your outfits, clients outfits and fashion show outfits but, you will also get new employees from time to time, both male and female and you can change their outfits as often as you like to better reflect the style your store represents. Which style you sell and how you decorate your store do matter. If you decorate in a goth style but sell only hippy clothing, you will have many dissatisfied customers. While you will get people wanting all types of clothing regardless of your chosen style, decorating your store in a specific style rather than a "general" look will get you more clients and more chances to give them exactly what they want.

Final pic when I "won" the game
by winning the Elite Contest

But whats the whole point?
The point is to win the International Fashion Contest and become the greatest Stylist of them all. Though once you win, it doesn't mean game over, you can keep on selling outfits to the fashion clueless as long as your little heart desires.
If you get tired of that, then you can try going online and checking out the styles other players have put together, vote on the ones you love, purchase any you like and make your own outfits to sell to other players. The game also offers local play for 2-4 people where you can compete against each other in fashion shows. While I haven't really tried it and I don't really know how feasible it is, the game also offers a streetpass function, as well as spotpass notifications and the promise of downloadable content to come.

So, I have waxed poetic on a girly fashion show sim haven't I? Gave me a chance to show off my awesome fashion sense. I'm sure no one is going to rush out and buy this game, which is a shame because its a really well thought out game with hours upon hours of gameplay. Its not a difficult game, its not extremely deep but its deep enough to get you invested in building up your boutique and winning contests. Its sad that it will probably be neglected for being too girly, too shallow, too cutesy etc. I'm not a great fan of "girly" games like  the Imagine series, or Hannah Montana, iCarly etc. I've never really liked Sims much either, Yet I found something I didn't know i was missing out on with Style Savvy and Style Savvy Trendsetters. And I intend to keep on playing til I own every piece of clothing in the game. And yeah, I'll throw it out there, if you own a 3DS, you should give this a go, and I don't care whether you're male, female or alien...

Check out the Trailer:

Quick and Dirty rundown
Style Savvy Trendsetters is available on 3DS and in the 3DS e-shop
Simulation game
Rated E for Everyone
Local play for 2-4 players
Online Fashion Plaza (player shops) 

*and for those that made it through this whole thing...thanks for's a free Steam Code for King's Bounty: Armored Princess:

*More pics of my adorable character Sihaya, Manager of True To You (oh I know..horrid name for a shop..cheesy as all get out lol)

Cinnamonlegs's Style Savvy album on Photobucket

No comments: