Fashion Dreamer isn’t Style Savvy and that’s okay

Rather than my previous posts which were more general first impressions and talking about how my playthrough has been going, I suppose you could consider this post the closest to some kind of review of the game, but I guess I’m tired of seeing the same critique on the game over and over that often is complaints of things that the game said would not be included from the start or show that not much playtime was put into the game in the first place (For reference, I’ve played over 110 hours at this point).

Similarly, due to the graphic similarities and Syn Sophia’s involvement, a lot of people considered this to be a successor to Style Savvy or some kind of spin-off game that would still be heavily involved, but Fashion Dreamer was said from the start to be its own IP. If you really wanted to compare it to the Style Savvy series, it’d be more accurate to compare it the same way you would compare Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer to the main series of AC games with how HHD focuses very much on one specific part of the games.

Fashion Dreamer does a similar thing with the focus on the dress-up portion in a much more relaxed way, but unlike Happy Home Designer, Fashion Dreamer is fully its own things and the comparisons to Style Savvy, despite understanding why they happen, aren’t really fair to it.

I will say I do love the Style Savvy series and there are things that Fashion Dreamer desperately needs from that series (and I am praying comes with updates), but I think if your favorite part of the Style Savvy series was the actual dress-up aspect and the Caprice Chalet from Fashion Forward, you will still find a lot of enjoyment from the game solely from all the Muses to dress-up (both the NPCs and other player’s Muses) and the Showroom.

If your favorite part was the story stuff and/or interacting with the world/exploring areas, your mileage may vary. There is some bits of story here and there, but it’s fairly empty. You can hit credits after unlocking all 4 Cocoons (Each Cocoon is an area of the game you can walk around in) and it’s really just “boost your influence”. NPC Muses do have some loose story, but it very quickly can start repeating with only a few alternatives at times.

Similarly, more player interaction was kind of switched out for being able to freely move around in the different Cocoons. There’s not much to do beyond making outfits unless you enjoy taking photos (As there are various poses you can unlock both through other Muses and Items you can get from vending machines in the different Cocoons) which can be pretty disappointing. There are certainly photo spots in the Cocoons themselves besides the Photo Egg, but as someone who does not use camera mechanics much in games, it doesn’t really do anything for me.

If your favorite part of the Style Savvy games was the store management and customization, you’ll have a lot left to desire as unfortunately, the game isn’t really for you. Similarly, while there is a creation tool in Fashion Dreamer, it really went all in with color options (as you can flat out use the entire color wheel) and thus, patterns can’t be customized or designed in any way (In fact, many patterns use an odd Multicolor color slider situation where you can’t even pick each separately as there is a limit to how many colors an item can have be changed as well :/). The game also had less item categories for some reason so there’s not as many layering opportunities (like layering a shirt under a sleeveless dress).

In all honesty, I feel like most items have a decent amount of variations that I don’t find myself missing anything pattern-wise (For example, the Shirred Dress has multiple variations such as plain, floret, and with a necklace), but I really liked how additional 3D Parts could be done in Fashion Forward and would’ve loved that aspect here to make more items your own as other than your brand logo showing in a corner/next to the name when looking at an item and choosing colors you want (which… anyone could try and mimic in the first place*), there’s nothing to really make something unique to you. In the same sense, if it wasn’t clear, I think how the ‘multicolored’ items are adjusted is just… really bad and weird.

* This is kind of the weird contradiction of the game and where I personally think its biggest issue comes from. The game flourishes with the involvement of more players to the point where Nintendo Online is not required to go online in the game, but it also means if people stop playing as much, you may find yourself with less to do after a certain point.

Similarly, the best way to earn e-Points in the game is through having other players like your stuff. Otherwise, your best option solo-wise is taking a lot of pictures which I personally hate (You have to save the pictures to your album for them to count and I constantly stress over the idea of running out of memory– a large part of why I bought a capture card was so I could screenshot pictures of games I knew I would take a bunch in). If you don’t want to spam your album with tons of pictures, then the best way I found to earn Follows is by changing an item or two in your showroom, leaving, going back in, and repeat. As for Likes and e-Points, if you know someone who plays or have another Switch Profile, you can earn 100K per Outfit that is liked in your showroom (You can have up to two mannequins) which they can then leave the Showroom and delete and re-like it, but both of these options are kind of against the “community aspect” of the game.

The thing is, you also earn more points by using your own items (using other players’ items will get you points still, but not as many as the creator of the items you use will also receive points) so in some ways, it’s not even beneficial to keep items other players made which… feels like it goes against the whole “Like everything and help one another” mantra– continuing onto that, you only can have 5,000 items at the moment which… is not very much considering just how many color variations there can be, the way that affects requests (I’ll talk about that more soon), and again, the whole “like everything” mantra.

It’s kind of a shame that it’s almost encouraged to like things and then immediately delete them (and you can only delete 10 items at a time) which seems to go against the entire message of the game, and it just feels like this issue was completely overlooked. And I think that’s where most of the games’ shortcomings come from– good intentions, but bad executions with some aspects just not… feeling completely thought through:

  • Encourages liking every item, but more points for your own brand and a limit of 5,000 items total.
  • There are no filters for colors, material type, patterns, specific item type (IE: Sorting tops by shirts or tees), etc. With how varied the color system is, this both probably made it harder to make filters, but also makes it harder for some requests because who knows whether an item will sufficiently count or not.
    • It is worth noting that you can make your own ‘Favorite items’ tabs and even rename them to maybe categories or outfits you know that work, but I personally don’t feel it fixes the main problem and each tab is limited to 32 items.
  • Many physical customization options are locked until you level up certain NPCs (or get lucky and the Muse at the Salon area has it available for you to put on)
    • Also despite finally giving the option to play as a masculine character, not all items can be worn by both muses– mostly just accessories which is pretty disappointing. Photo Poses unlocked by NPC Muses are also locked by body type for some reason?
    • Body type is also linked to height (and there’s only really like… 2– no real plus-sized options and most of the options are fairly petite in every way (I’m not saying those should be replaced though as a note– just more variety overall, it mostly being just height isn’t much).
    • Despite giving a color wheel for clothing, skin tones are honestly pretty limited, especially for darker tones.
    • WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE PONYTAIL OPTION. (maybe there is an NPC that will unlock a new one, but I haven’t found them yet if so) Every other hairstyle has bang alternatives, I’ve unlocked multiple pigtails (give me a wavy/curly long ponytail with a bow!!) and this just… drives me nuts. The one positive I can give is at least its wavy and not the same straight ponytail we usually get, though, longer hairstyles in general are still kind of lacking (Which considering how much Orihime’s hair clips, maybe that’s why, but I feel there is a middleground and I don’t need any hair falling down the front…).
  • The Showroom is very small. Not only can you just decorate a small part of it, only up to 25 Clothing items can be displayed alongside only two mannequins (which is another weird choice considering all the focus on making full outfits). Similarly, because you can’t walk under ceiling items for some reason (or put anything under them), it’s easy to accidentally block off items from people. There’s also no way for someone to see all your designs or anything. I’m not entirely sure what the furniture/decoration limit is, but between the lack of interaction with items (outside of grabbing the clothes off them), the fact that you cannot walk under ceiling items, and many of the items are fairly big in this tiny space, you really can’t get as much use of a lot of them as you may like. Also, depending on the Decoration item, they’ll have 2-5 color variations– most seem to have 2-3. Wallpapers and Flooring are similar, though, there’s a handful that have only one color option unfortunately (I want the Princess Wall in pink so badly…). I assume part of this is because NPC Muses can visit you, but even if you needed a portion of the front clear (I’ve never seen more than one visit at a time), there is still so much empty space.

The thing is, despite my problems with it, outside of the incredibly rough grind* at later levels, I’ve genuinely been having fun with it. As much as I adore Style Savvy and the store customization, the whole store management part (balancing storage, your money, etc.) was never fun for me and sometimes it became a game of “What is the most expensive outfit I can give someone to make more money to buy more things and clear my storage a bit” and not “What do I think this NPC will genuinely really like”.

* I know some people enjoy the grind and like the slow and steady pace. For me, I just prefer to be able to work with everything immediately so I can play the way I want over feeling the need to style items certain ways or put out certain items or just keep making the same things to level up sooner. Obviously, you can still take your time either way, but there were some items I just really wanted to unlock ASAP.

Fashion Dreamer overall is much more relaxing with no way for you to really fail and if you just need to relax and turn your brain off for a bit, it’s really good for that (Unless you’re me and making muses for other players because then I am just hoping I manage to make them something they love and probably spend a lot of extra time on it). Of course, that’s also why the lack of filters is such an issue– most of my game time is literally scrolling through items and who knows if I’ll actually hit the requirement because whether it decides your colors are complimentary or the right shade after all (the number of times I use Pink that the game refuses to say is Pink kills me), but after a while this just becomes a lot less fun.

I’m still enjoying the game a lot and still feeling that itch to play it, but scrolling through so many items every time is exhausting and while again, I could use those custom filters of my own item choices to help lessen that, I’d rather keep them for items I really like. Maybe I’ll still do it at some point (though, I still feel like it doesn’t always fairly recognize colors…), but I know the box order will drive me nuts if I have Favorites 1-3, Blue items, Cool items, Cute/Cool items, and then Favorites 4.

I would say another odd aspect of the game is, despite the tutorial at the start, there are SO MANY things not really expanded on and that you just kind of learn yourself, whether by accident or on purpose, but I feel like that also means a lot of newer players who drop the game sooner may never even learn about them because there’s no real indications about many of them:

  • When creating an item, You can preview it off a mannequin and even on your player by hitting the L stick. This helps a lot with color matching.
  • You can make an item a ‘Hot Pick’ (which will make it show up on recommended and stuff) by hitting the right stick while hovering over it in your Item Box. You can only select one item as a hot pick though, but you can change it at any time.
  • You can like items in the Showroom from the back of Decoration items as well. Similarly, NPCs who follow you can also visit your showroom and ask you to style one of your brand items for them.
  • The Color Slider is more flexible then you may think. Besides going between color palettes and the Color Slider in general, you can use the D-Pad for increments of 1 and the Stick/Toggle for increments of 10. You can also press Y for it to cycle through color options.
  • Using the stick, you can choose just specific items to like instead of the entire outfit (though, personally, I’d do the latter anyway– liking an entire outfit gives the person more points than liking individual items).
  • There’s a lot more you can do at the Salon Mirror than you may think.
    • Besides changing your character’s customization options, the Salon muse available (and what options they have will change both per day and by which Muse is there at the moment) will offer 3 different options– these can include options you may have not unlocked yet. This goes for the ‘Trending Page’ that you can see online as well (Though, these will not change per Salon Muse– just when trends change). Unlike when previewing items on a Muse in the main areas, any customization you get from the Salon Muse(s) will be kept (though, it still won’t unlock until you properly do so).
    • You can change what Muse you are using at the mirror as well.
    • This is also where you would change what your Muse’s blurb is. (Lively Me is the default in English).
  • While you unlock the different Cocoons at 1K, 5K, and 10K respectively (along with the credits at 10K), there are still Ranks beyond at 100K and 1 million which will unlock new trophies and patterns.
  • Each Cocoon’s Vending Machine, Gachapon Machine, and Photo Egg (Essentially a photobooth) are different. While Muses can show up at any, some will show up more often in specific Cocoons. They can also have some different items that are recommended based off the Cocoons style.
  • There are 200 NPCs you can meet and dress-up. You get more as you level-up whatever NPC Muses you start with. Despite there seemingly being no maximum level, the last unique thing they can unlock is by level 13 at most (Most stop sooner at anywhere between 8-12). For more specific level unlocks, I highly recommend this spreadsheet.
  • If you prefer to play offline, the game will generate Showrooms and Recommended items from the basic in-game items. This can be a great way to get more default stuff, though, default game items do not have any rarity value.
  • Brand Level goes up to level 200. The highest item rarity is 10.

Honestly, every day I see people discovering new things or realizing how things work or better ways to play and the game will continue to be updated as well. I think there’s a number of things that can be done better and adjusted, but I still find the game fun.

What it really comes down to, as I said at the start, is why you enjoy Fashion Games and the Style Savvy series to determine if you will get enjoyment out of the game. Who knows, maybe down the line, some features you really wished were here could be added.

I’m the first to admit I am very much not a fan of the drip-feed updates tendencies nowadays and would prefer a game take a lot longer before releasing to have everything in it from the start, but that isn’t how everyone feels and at the same time, I’m glad I can take breaks when I feel like it. Right now, my goal is to get every character to their maximum level unlock before the next update in December. Fingers crossed I’m successful.

But in general, while I know some people are disappointed, I do think there is a place for a game where you can just do all the dress-up without the stress I feel other Fashion games can have (especially when you’re needing to try and get a bunch of items you don’t even want) or any risk of failure.

It’s also really nice seeing people want you to make them an outfit or sending you a Lookit and some of the NPCs are really sweet, despite the lack of dialogue variety at times (Encouraging Eleanor is my favorite). I’m really hoping as the game updates, most of the issues people are finding with the game will be fixed up.

The only other downside I’ll really give for the moment is the Gachapon is… kind of terrible. You can earn Gachapon tickets from making outfits for Muses (whether NPCs or other players) and the rates are just awful. There are so many items I’ve had yet to get because I still can’t pull them. Considering the entire point of getting patterns is so you don’t need to use e-Points to make an item (which can cost up to 500K), I don’t see why they can’t make them key unlocks still or Brand level/Influencer level unlocks where the patterns can still be worth earning but aren’t exclusive to those. There’s also no indicator if you pulled an item before so if you made it and deleted it or didn’t note it down, there’s no real way to even keep track of what you may still need/want.

Anyway, that’s just my two-cents as someone who both enjoys this game and the Style Savvy series. I still find Fashion Dreamer fun, I think it has a lot of potential, but as I said, it all comes down to why you enjoy these type of games to determine if this one will be for you as well. And if you’d rather see the game in action, I have most of my playtime uploaded in a fairly handy playlist over on Youtube.