Situation #1: You are a boy who spent his childhood playing cart. Spent days and days drying one set of radical Hot Wheels, which had equally radical and fierce advertisements on TV, with children of your age having fun so radically that it was hard not to get glaze on the screen, and then you grew up a bit, stopped playing with your toy cars and started playing with virtual models with simulators like Gran Turismo or arcade games like Need For Speed. Refined series that advance technologically and impress with technical and visual aspects. All this saw by the height of your 14 or something years.
Situation #2: Put yourself in the place of a girl who spent much of her childhood swallowing almost mandatory drinks of the pink color. Playing with dolls who possessed extensive collections of clothes, or with a mini-kitchen full of plastic accessories that recreate stuff of what is seen in the hands of adults. And then you grow, the same way as the boy that loves Hot Wheels, and stop playing with your awesome collection of Barbies or your mini-sink, or your mini-salon. Unlike the guy that evolves in a natural way for virtual universe, it is expected that you use all the great simulation that was your childhood as preparation for the adult stage - in which it is assumed that you develop a maternal instinct and copy the daily activities that saw your mother doing for years and years, using all that knowledge for the rest of life.
There is no need to state that the world is no longer like this. I will not use fancy data as "55% of MMO players are women" or "women game more today" since, in fact, we are only talking about the natural progression of things. What has not progressed naturally, which did not fit with our standards is the nebulous medium of video games that most of the time aims in the wallet of male demographic. Maybe not the product itself (the producers at least have less malignant brains behind the ideas), but marketing certainly moves along those lines - Lara Croft's breasts speaks for it.
Now we come to my point: the games that are developed for girls. Most of the Barbie games (or Disney Princesses, or a female character design, or any example along these lines) that I tested made me want to stick my head in a bucket of water and never leave there, so I do not have to live in a world so ridiculous. Maybe my critical sense with my 10 or 11 years was a bit more accurate since I've played something more interesting than riding an idiot horse with Barbie, that takes about one full minute to digest a piece of a dumb virtual sugar. Or the imbecility that was when I decided it was a good idea to play a game based on Hello Kitty, where the friendly cat from Sanrio needed to organize her birthday party and for the same reason decided to solve a puzzle and then that's the whole game. Not to sound extremist, there are some good examples of the whole "games for girls" thing and this text is about one of those great exceptions to the rule.
As a journalist for PlayTV (a Brazilian site), I received a copy of Style Savvy: Trendsetters for testing. In the beginning, looking to the clothes and sparkles accompanied by phrases exclaiming things like "Create your own fashion dynasty!" and "more than 12,000 different items," the feedback of whom put the hands on the preciousness of Nintendo for the 3DS is constant: "This is not my kind of game" or some more extreme and full of anger screams like "must be crap." No one to blame here. The tradition of games for girls follow the lack of quality and originality, with emphasis on how to simulate the care of babies or colorful tutorials on how to cook.
Also, there's nothing wrong with making a game about cooking or about taking care of babies and, as proof, we have the eternal Mama from Majesco as a leader to the cause. The slip in quality is a lazy thing - the fantastic Cooking Mama and Babysitting Mama are there to reverse the situation, as much as the rest of the activities of our beloved virtual Martha Stewart were somewhat dull. It is a problem similar to what many developers faced with the Nintendo DS. That thingie, even having sold horrors, produced horrific graphics, yet many sensational games emerged from the bowels of console.
Without further ado, my point with this text is as follows: dear baby Jesus, I am absurdly pleased to co-exist with the new edition of Style Savvy. It had been a long time since I spent 40 hours straight on a portable game, unintentionally, carrying it to and fro. Exclamations like "GIRL, THIS IS PUNK SHOP, IF YOU WANT TO BUY ROMANTIC CLOTHES THERE IS A FOREVER21 IN THE CORNER, DO NOT COME GET MY REPUTATION DOWN" were a constant. Style Savvy awakened me this nostalgic feeling to feel immersed in something. The intention was to share everything with everyone - each new haircut, each stupid conversation with the customers, who always had something irrelevant and new to tell me, each cool piece (that's how we talk in terms of fashion?) which I find in online shops.
Making a great parallel with the Iwata Asks, Style Savvy is a sort of RPG where you find a monster - in this case, customers - and attacks them with a clothing or accessory. The difference is that all this comes wrapped in a delicate package in gothic, sportsmen, lolitas, chic, punks and other styles. The promise of the cover about the 12,000 clothes does not lie and you can spend literally an entire year collecting all the unique pieces each season - or you can be a time traveler and just change the time of the system.
I know well that while I keep extending about the possibilities of customization, the dedication put into the construction of each character, the diversity of settings and situations and the fashion contests (which tend to be practically impossible towards the end of the game), you probably will not give a shit. Not exactly a bad thing (I also ignore several things and do not have problem when not interested in any kind of game). What Trendsetters provide is the ability to, like Cooking Mama, give some of the experience that many average consumers are looking, but do not find, thanks to the clogged vein of the industry, full of shootings and stunning graphics.
We need less commitment with and less production that focuses on everything that has already been seen. And yes, Style Savvy has menswear - and all the men of the city are beautiful.