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When Style Savvy was announced during Nintendo's E3 2009 presser, the Internet let out an emphatic groan. Oh boy. More pretty princess dress-me-up nonsense. Thanks for making our decision to not invite you to our next birthday even easier, Nintendo.
While the hardcore thumped their chests, I was genuinely interested. No, not because I'm a ten-year-old girl but because Style Savvy is the localized title of Wagamama Fashion: Girls Mode, the 19th best-selling game as well as the best-selling new IP of 2008 in Japan. It continued to chart well into 2009 and was last seen hovering above 800k units sold. This game came out of nowhere and struck a big chord with audiences.
Numbers aside, it's a Nintendo-published title and thus should be considered as part of the company's expanded-audience campaign. Software like Brain Age and Wii Sports demonstrate that Nintendo has knack for marrying accessibility and high quality unlike its me-too competitors. It would be unfair to lump it in the same group as Ubisoft's Imagine line without intense scrutiny.
But even if this game is successful in the West, it is directly marketed at teen and preteen females who love shopping, styling, and accessorizing. No self-conscious male gamer would ever come within spitting distance of it. Nonetheless, I'm surprised at how little attention this game is being paid anywhere. Style Savvy has been out for three weeks and there are still only two reviews on Metacritic.
Well, I went down to Target and plunked down my own cash for a copy with the aim of understanding its appeal. You probably think I'm fucking bonkers, but dammit! I feel compelled to convince you that a game can be good and not tailored to your specific interests by using the most radical example I can find! Think of it as a personal challenge.