By Jenni . November 24, 2012 . 5:00pm
I am a major fashionista. I run my own boutique filled with men’s and women’s clothing and accessories called Forbidden ☆ and it’s known as the best shop in the city. I’ve taken first place in Beginner, Premier, Elite and International fashion contests as a stylist. I sell a $6,000 outfit ensemble at least once a day.
You can too.
That’s the beauty of Style Savvy: Trendsetters. Even if you start out knowing nothing about mens’ and womens’ fashion and coordination, customer service and running a business, you will. You’ll pick it all up before you even know it, and once you have that spark that makes you a success, you will be compelled to keep moving forward to see what levels of success you can reach.
Style Savvy: Trendsetters began with my avatar happening upon a rather small town’s boutique where the owner Michaela and her assistant, aspiring stylist Emmy-Lou, work. Michaela immediately sensed my style and within a few days, Emmy-Lou had left to become a professional stylist full-time, Michaela had gone off to found fashion contests in town with a former model friend named Avery and I had the store all to myself.
The meat of Style Savvy: Trendsetters remains the same as the previous Style Savvy game. Players manage a store and must cater to customers demands. You’ll see preview shots of between one and four shoppers in your store, showing a brief description and their available funds. They’ll then tell you what they want. Some might want one item, like a shirt or purse, others may want a whole outfit. They may say they want a specific style, like “bold” or “cute,” or may just say to match their overall style. Players then have to go through the available inventory from the stockroom to try and find a good match.
This is easier than you may think. You can search the storeroom, which is helpful since you can have hundreds of items in stock. You could search by clothing type, brand, style, color and price. I found going by style often worked best initially, then style and brand once I memorized the details and look of each brand. After picking out items, you can tell someone to try it on or take a look. If a customer tries it on, that’s it. You get one shot to please him or her. Hit a home run, indicated by a brief cinematic, and the shopper may ask for a whole outfit. Get it wrong and he or she will leave.
Having someone take a look is the safer look, as you’ll get their opinion and have three chances to make a sale, but it also means no spontaneous “give me a whole outfit” moment. While it may seem daunting to command someone to try it on at first, it becomes the natural choice after a week of play.
Picking up new stock remains the same as well. There’s a Buyer’s Center in town with stalls that sell clothing from various brands. Players go in and pick what they like, and the stock will automatically be sent to the shop. A free sample of everything purchased is added to your personal closet and the first time a stall opens freebies are bestowed as a bit of bribe/goodwill gesture. On Sundays, one stall may have a limited edition item. Not all stalls are open every day, which necessitate frequent visits, or have the same stock all the time. Another nice touch is that this time, players decide the order in which a few supplemental stalls unlock. As usual, keeping a varied stock is key.
Once business starts booming, Style Savvy: Trendsetters players will notice they are also earning “happiness” by interacting with people and selling clothing. This happiness influences the phases of the moon over the city. When the moon is full, something unlocks. A new shop or stylist may appear, more make may show up, a new item could be added to your wardrobe or more. It’s a good way to encourage sales and interaction with customers and major players around town. The more you do, the more becomes available to you.
Having a popular shop and glowing reputation means getting lots of attention. Attention, in Style Savvy: Trendsetters, means being invited to participate in fashion contests. As in Style Savvy, these are the earliest means to unlock costume clothing pieces for players’ avatars from the Teatro Amare line. It begins with a Beginner contest, then moves on to Premier, Elite and International contests.
Each is slightly more involved than the original Style Savvy, though it’s easy to win by sticking with the designated “brand” for the “theme.” For example, loading up on a color-coordinated Mint Sprinkles outfit will win any “pop” contest. Models, hair and makeup do have a minor influence on whether one wins or loses too.
When a contest begins, players choose one of four models based on their personality and initial appearance. You then dress up the model, change her hairdo to make it more appropriate and pick makeup that matches the theme. Put things together well enough and you’ll take first place, which wins you avatar clothing the first 10 times, then cash after.
Working in the shop and winning contests you’ve already beaten 10 times nets people plenty of personal funds to spend on stuff. Plenty of avatar customization options are available. People can change their characters’ hair, outfits, accessories and makeup. Once you “beat” the game by taking on the Elite contest, an option even opens up to change your character’s entire appearance from the main menu. It’s easy to go from one look to the other, and beneficial too. What you wear influences customers in the boutique. If I go out in Marble Lily clothes, customers may want a princess look. Wear Zipline and people may want sporty clothing.
There is even an apartment to customize. Michaela’s childhood friend Harris runs a furniture store, which offers an assortment of beds, wallpapers, rugs, curtains, chairs, lights and accessories to brighten a room. Buying an item also means you own every color variation of it as well, which means stocking up provides an opportunity to change every aspect of your avatar’s home on a whim. It’s a small matter and addition, but since you see your avatar on the top screen enjoying her home while navigating the lower menus and it’s very easy to build up personal funds, it’s nice have something else to spend money on and customize.
The biggest and best change of all is that Style Savvy: Trendsetters forgoes the real-time gameplay of Style Savvy and instead relies upon an in-game clock. Players can fast forward at any time by napping or going to bed, though time does advance naturally as people play. The game moves at a steady pace, allowing a lot to be accomplished each day, but never takes to long or short. Seasons are the only aspect of the game that relies on “real-time,” which changes what kinds of clothes are in demand and available to stock up on, but the rest of the game can be proceed as quickly or slowly as someone wants.
I have to say though that with all the strides forward Style Savvy: Trendsetters makes in fashion, progress, graphics and variety, the online aspect takes a step back. The ability to manage an online shop with three mannequins is still available, but it isn’t as well organized as the online mall in Style Savvy and takes much longer to browse and load. It’s disappointing. Also, since items unlock so quickly this time around, it felt pointless because I had most of the items I wanted within two weeks of playing.
Still, it’s a minor qualm considering the addictive nature of Style Savvy: Trendsetters. The ability to play at your own pace, the various customization options for your shop, avatar and apartment and the assortment of activities result in yet another solid 3DS game that’s great for both men and women.
Food for Thought
1. The only returning brands are AZ-USA, Marble Lily and Raven Candle, but most of the new brands are identical to ones found in the original game.
2. Grace, Renee and Dominic will all shop at your store, and you meet Roccoco’s son Rocco
3. If you dress up another major character, like the makeup artist Ingrid, that will become her new daily outfit.
4. You can’t choose a male avatar.
5. You now have multiple shop assistants, who do minor things like restock clothing, wear certain styles to give customers an idea of what to expect or make extra sales.
6. You can only have one mannequin in your store window at a time.