This Review is Reposted here for Archiving purposes. Click here for where I originally wrote it.
Style Savvy: Trendsetters is the sequel to Style Savvy for the DS and while the story isn’t much different, it does have a lot of advancements from it’s predecessor. Of course, it does have it’s flaws as well and some changes weren’t always for the better.
The game involves your character getting ownership of a fashion store and slowly making it your own while also helping your customers find exactly what they are looking for. Plus, having some fun with customizing your own character. Despite being relatively simple, the game is also rather addictive.
The gameplay is not much different than the first game with one of the biggest differences being that you do not need to hold your system vertically this time. It plays horizontally like most games and it works perfectly fine.
The other big difference is that the game is no longer real-time. Or well, not completely. The ingame months are judged by whatever month your 3DS is set to, but the actual days are not. The time runs very quickly while doing things–some actions taking up 2/3’s of a time of day’s counter. There is no way to pause the time without pausing the game as even if you just stay in your apartment, time will still be moving–although, slowly. You may also take a nap in your apartment to speed time up.
While I definitely am glad the game is not completely real time anymore, the problem is the fact that the game still forces you into a specific month. I probably played several months worth of October and November–finishing the game rather quickly. Not to mention the special picture opportunities are now completely random instead of happening during certain dates which is a bit frustrating.
You can also eventually have a customer ask to work at your store (they will usually ask after hitting Bronze rank). There are 6 people that you can hire–2 that randomly will sell items, 2 that will change their clothes so you do not have to dress them, and 2 that will restock the store. They do not do anything else so it’s really up to which you’d prefer.
Regardless, the actual playing is still pretty much the same–you pick who you want to help out, they will give you a hint of what they want, and you pick from the clothes you have for sale. You can choose for them to wear it (which may get them to try something they normally wouldn’t and/or have them ask you to sell them more things) or just take a look. If you do well, you will get a special animation from the person after they try on their new outfit. You will also get more happiness from the customer. There are a total of 18 Brands for female, two of which are purse-only brands, and several which you may remember from the first game. The game also features cameos of characters from the first game which is always exciting.
There are also now many male characters and men’s clothes that you can sell them. Unfortunately, whether you want to or not, there will be males stopping by to shop. You can always choose not to buy any, but you will need some for certain parts of the story. There are four brands of clothing (Five in the Japanese version–Kanakoi for men was removed for some reason) for men.
Happiness is a special new feature that is carried over every night when the day ends to fill up the moon. Filling up the moon unlocks the next part of the story/new features unless there’s something else you need to do first (winning a certain contest level or just letting a certain amount of days pass as some examples). If you have nothing left to unlock or the moon does not currently unlock a new feature, you receive a random clothing item instead.
Customers even have a bit of their own personality with various blurbs depending on who they are with or if they are alone and even not wanting to buy an item if you already sold it to them once before. Of course, it’s quite hard to remember if you sold them an item or not already which can be frustrating. And despite the uniqueness with blurbs, much of the dialogue at certain events are the same.
Contests also return and is another feature that suffers a bit from the changes in time. The items do not change by season and once you’ve won the items you can get, you will only receive money from then on. Each level has to be won in every category/fashion genre to move onto the next. The big things you need to win are the Elite and International levels–which when you do, are greeted by some special end scenes along with choosing who you want to finish with and showing everyone along with the outfit you designed that won.
Unfortunately, these are the only times you get these kinds of pictures, unlike in the first game where you got a chance to everytime you did the costume. It also means you do not get to experience the endings with everyone which kind of stinks.
Despite those changes though, the actual concept on contests works the same. You do get to customize a bit more though–having the option to change hairstyle, hair color, and make-up after picking out their outfit. If you win, you also get invited to a special afterparty at the hotel section of the map (the only way it can be reached) and can talk to people to encourage them to go to your shop. This is a very good way to get money as nearly all these people will want Luxury clothing (there’s only a few exceptions)–just make sure to buy some ahead of time. You also have an option to buy any of the outfits that appear on the models.
The map has various places you can go including a few stores to shop at and a place to take photos, however, a lot of the areas will only show up if you have a meeting/photo op that you were invited to go to. You also have a camera you can use at most times by pressing R–regardless, it’s picky and if a scene is ending or it’s a cutscene, it doesn’t let you take a picture which is actually kind of frustrating.
The Online feature is very similar to the first game–although, now they aren’t lumped into sections in a shopping mall and are just a giant area you can search/browse through. However, the loading is terrible and the search options are pretty awful as well. Besides that though, the stores themselves that you can shop in are not much different and getting the money you earned works exactly the same.
The Multiplayer is essentially contests with friends so there isn’t much to say about it.
And there is free downloadable DLC which is always nice.
You are heading to the store for a job interview and, simply put, you get hired on the spot. Shortly after, the assistant leaves to be a stylist and the owner decides to give the story to you. Your job is to now have the best store ever and also become an awesome stylist through the contest.
And that’s essentially it. You do have some “quests” you need to do in order to get to the next part–for example, the store owner, Michaela, has a friend named Avery who asks you to help her dress various people for a show they will be in. If you fail any of them, you need to wait for that person to come back and dress them correctly to continue. This can be especially frustrating as there’s no guarantee they will come back right away.
The star system doesn’t make a return so essentially your popularity is determined more on the amount of customers and what other people say.
The graphics are a nice improvement over the first game which barely had any shading. While it isn’t the most detailed or intricate game with the graphics, it’s hard not to notice the improvement:
Like the first game, you get to create your character upon starting, although, choices are limited right now. One neat thing you get to pick now is your character’s height. Sadly, despite men being in the game, you can not play as a male. Sorry male fans :(
This was my character when I first started playing :)
There are many more hairstyles in the game, although, some can only be gotten through a bit of a random draw which can be frustrating. There are also a lot more hair colors and even a neat highlight/streaking system. The only issue with the latter is that what gets streaked/highlighted depends on the hairstyle. The problem with this is some hairstyles look terrible if you’re mostly looking to give it some depth/more volume and only look good if you were going for simple streaks while others look fantastic–it causes some hairstyles to just feel a lot flatter than others.
There’s a lot more clothing in the game, although, it felt like less when it came to actual designs. For most of the shops, you will see every style of clothing within whatever season you start playing. The one exception is Kanakoi as a lot of their stuff will not appear during Fall and Winter (for example, Kimonos seem to be mostly Spring and Summer). Essentially, you just need to wait for certain seasons for specific colors which gets frustrating really quickly. While it’s nice to have more colors, I was disappointed to see just how few designs there were overall. In fact, there aren’t many of the designs from the first game either (which is a shame as there were quite a few I really liked). There are also no custom design/collaboration items with the game which, while I wasn’t a fan of in the first game, I think they could’ve done a lot with it here.
And even though it seems to be a lot of the same style, there are still lots of cool new options. Though, it’d have been nice to be able to wear a bow and a hat at the same time…
Besides clothing though, you can also customize your shop again! However, with how much you can customize other things, I was pretty let down that the actual inside of your shop was essentially just picking the backdrop like the first game. I actually preferred how some of the interiors looked in the original game more than this one although, one added feature is that the bag and stamps are determined by the interior you pick. I kind of wish you could pick this separately instead. I found some bags and stamps actually could’ve looked nicer with other interiors.
The first image is the “Princess-style” from the original game–the second is the “Princess-style” from the sequel. I think the first one seems a lot more Lolita while, even though the bottom one is more pink overall, it reminds me more of cheap plastic gel furniture than anything for the most part.
Another odd thing about the interior is you can only display 1 Mannequin instead of the 3 you had in previous games. I’m not really sure why they did this as you actually can set up the backdrop and decorations and could’ve made neat scenes if they let you have more than one.
And despite being able to choose the music in the previous game, there is no option to change the music in this one.
While the Interior decorating is pretty disappointing, you actually have several options and can decorate many parts of the exterior.
You also have lots of options for your apartment as well.
A quick before and months later.
While I do have some issues with the game (Time really needs to pick one and not be half real time and half not), it’s still a lot of fun and is a good sequel to the original. While some changes kind of stink, the new features and customization open up a lot more options and an overall improvement.
I hope if they make a third installment in the series, that they will look at both games and take the good features from each to improve upon. And also let people continue to upgrade their stock. I just hate the stock limits.
Not to mention let people pick gender (afterall, we already have guys) and also let us maybe make choices when it comes to dating? I’m not saying the game should be a dating simulator at all–but one big complaint in the first game was that it was obvious Dominic had a crush on the player character and you weren’t able to do anything about it. This game does the same thing with two characters and it’s a little frustrating. If you’re not going to put dating in (for the player character anyway–there was dating for NPCs), then at least don’t make it so characters are crushing on the player. Sheesh.
But yes, few complaints aside–do pick the game up, especially if you enjoyed the first one or like these kind of shop games. You should end up enjoying yourself!