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The secret past of Style Savvy's developer, Syn Sophia.

I've posted before that I'm rather obsessive about create-a-character modes. When Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion came out the option to remake my character's face and body shape was more than welcomed and resulted in this fabulous look I have only posted like three times in my own blog. As such, it stands to reason that a game all about dressing up characters would eat up lots of my time.

With that fascination/obsession in mind I downloaded the Style Savvy Trendsetters demo off of the 3DS eShop and, sure enough, my fixation with what my models were wearing quickly took hold. At first it felt like a game the folks behind Animal Crossing would do on between its iterations but once I did some digging on the developer Syn Sophia I learned something really awesome.

Syn Sophia was originally known as AKI Corporation. For those that are still going "Wut?" allow me to clarify:

Yeah, they made that. AKI Corporation made WCW vs NWO, Wrestlemania 2000, WWF No Mercy and Def Jam Vendetta - pretty much some of the best professional wrestling games ever made. And in Wrestlemania 2000's case, I was rather fixated on the create-a-wrestler mode even back then, making all sorts of nutty characters to do career mode with.

On top of that, AKI's games really strove to capture the atmosphere of the WWE and WCW's shows. They don't look like much now, but for its time it arguably did its presentation better than most sports games, possibly even the Madden series back then. It was also one of those precious few licensed properties that didn't suck - a feat also accomplished by Goldeneye also on N64 and Spiderman on PSX later. These games stood as proof that developers actually could put a lot of love and attention into a franchise and make a great game out of it for the fans. When AKI fell off the map, I was kinda bummed.

I happened to find that Style Savvy has similar qualities, though.. The same detail was now shifted into creating clothing ensembles for various models, customers and it certainly seems to strive for establishing the atmosphere of retail and runway environments. They might not use real clothing brands, but the game does do a good job of emulating many styles. Its all just steered worlds away from the testosterone-fueled soap operas for men that the WWE and WCW games were.

The demo and retail version could stand to have some characters that are a bit less the "twiggy" supermodel archetype but at least the characters of differing ethnicity aren't "white-washed" like they tend to be on covers of magazines, so there's at least that. Maybe some feedback to Nintendo and Syn Sophia will bring about realistic body types in a future sequel or even DLC. That this is the biggest gripe I have is not enough to bring the game down, I just think its important to promote different body types.

I mean, seriously, #3 has me worried she could become #4 when #1 and #2 are just fine - but i digress, there's enough good here to offset my gripes for now.

So Style Savvy Trendsetters is now is a thing I feel I need to have,. I often had wondered just what became of AKI and now that I know, I don't think I can turn down a charming little game like this from a developer that gave me great memories in the past. The fact that a purchase of the digital version gets the arcade version of Donkey Kong as a bonus kinda sweetens the deal, too.

Plus if this does well, maybe Syn Sophia wii return to roots with Style Savvymania: From the Runway to the Ring!
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About The Silent Protagonistone of us since 1:33 AM on 10.06.2009

I've been into games since I was able to reach the joystick on the Pac-Man arcade cabinet. That was 1982 - ever since that day I knew gaming and I would be bound by fate in some way, shape or form that I've still yet to figure out.

Until then, I've decided to just play games, enjoy them, blog about games and otherwise not shut up about them. Well, I do think about other stuff, I just keep coming back to the whole games thing.

Metroid is probably still my all-time favorite series. Its the one I keep coming back to year after year despite which version it might be. Super Metroid and Metroid Prime 2 are my favorites of the series and I also often enjoy anything Metroid-like. I enjoy the solitude and exploration of such games.

I also enjoy Shin Megami Tensei, Fallout, Deus Ex, The Elder Scrolls - pretty much anything with a lot of solitary exploration and a large world makes me a rather happy camper. To contrast this I usually need some lighter and happier games as well, which could be anything from a Pokemon game to a fashion game. Retro games of most stripes are something I still enjoy. Sometimes you just need that sort of contrast to keep going.

My platforms of choice tend to be handhelds, I'm starting to consider dropping any non-Nintendo console in favor of PC since Sony's IPs don't appeal to me and Halo just ends up on PC at some point anyway. I don't hate Playstation per se, I just hate what its become under the current Sony.

I do keep a PS2 handy to revisit Playstation's glory days. Great console, easily one of the best platforms aside from SNES, DS and Dreamcast.

As for other things about me, I guess we'll find out, won't we?