Loading...

February 10, 2018
Katherine Wright
New Game Plus / Features

In September 2017, during a particularly exciting Nintendo Direct (Super Mario Odyssey, anyone?), there was a title that you might not have noticed: That game was New Style Boutique 3: Styling Star for Nintendo 3DS. Known as Girls Mode in Japan and Style Savvy in North America, it’s understandable if you’re confused or you’ve never heard of this series before. Even the name may make you think of all the female-oriented shovelware games you see at EB, but the New Style Boutique games are an underrated gem; their longevity, and the fact that it’s a series that continues to get sequels, attests to this. With its origins spanning all the way back to the Nintendo DS, the New Style Boutique series generally revolves around owning a clothes store, picking outfits for your customers and managing your own boutique. New Style Boutique 3 brings some necessary changes while maintaining the core gameplay of the series.

When you begin your game, you’re put in charge of your very own boutique. You’ll buy stock, create and sell outfits based on criteria, and build your store and brand as you earn more money; it’s like an in depth fashion/dress up simulation game with light tycoon game elements. The game lets you experiment with an immense amount of clothing options, and create outfits based on requests. Astonishingly, there are over ten thousand unique items in the game, with men’s and women’s clothing (probably the only time in my life I’ll ever have such a vast wardrobe within my grasp). Not only is there a brand for every style – whether it’s basic, rock, girly, gothic, lolita, hippie, and so much more – you can dress up your own character and outfit however you like, which is a great way to spend hours of time without even realising it. Your customers aren’t the only characters who can have fun dressing up! Even if you’re not interested in fashion, the gameplay itself is refined and easy to grasp, giving you many search and help options to find the right outfit until you’re confident enough to do it on your own.

Buying stock and managing your boutique is an important part of the game. Although it’s not too complex – you can’t set the prices of your items, and store appearance doesn’t affect gameplay – you need to keep an eye on your stock levels or risk missing a particularly lucrative client. If a client comes in asking for Enid Chen brand pants and you don’t have any, you’d better go get some quick, or risk the day rolling over before you can fulfil her request. Although the store customisation options are a bit limited, it’s fun to play around with the music and layout of your shop; sometimes clients will comment on it, and it may even attract customers who like the style of your boutique.

As you fulfil store requests, you are given access to more buildings, brands and customers. I’ve always been impressed by the colourful and wide range of customers, with individual personalities and dialogue based on their style and design. It really does feel like you’re serving individual customers rather than NPCs. You might get a customer who wants to see what it’s like to dress as a punk, despite being a fan of girly clothes, or a girl who’s broken her shoes on the way to work and needs you to get her some heels ASAP. The characters and their reactions are full of personality, regardless of whether you’re talking to a client’s brother (who really can’t be bothered clothes shopping) or the local baker who can’t help but speak in bread puns. To me, this is one of New Style Boutique’s strongest points, and keeps the game interesting even after you’ve completed dozens of requests.

At its core, the game is standard New Style Boutique fare, and doesn’t really deviate from the established formula. However, it does have a couple of great quality-of-life changes. In the previous New Style Boutique games, I’ve always found that buying stock gets tedious after a while, as you have to choose individual items for each individual brand, which as your boutique grows becomes a chore. Much to my pleasure, this game has added an option to automatically choose a selection of stock for you, which eliminates the biggest issue I have with the series. However, you can’t adjust for budget, so this option isn’t as simple to use early on in the game, but you can choose to remove expensive stock items and it works fine.

New Style Boutique 3 is the most refined instalment in the series, and is a great game for veterans and newcomers alike. It’s a very relaxing game as the pace of progression is dictated by your play style. After a while you won’t be able to help but look at your own wardrobe and instantly think about whether your clothes are lively, chic, punk, or whatever else…and then feel wistful when you realise your wardrobe can’t magically procure hundreds of options for you. It made me more fashion conscious, and even if you’re not the biggest style fanatic it’s a really fun way to learn more about how clothing and style coordination works (creating a whole outfit in one colour doesn’t mean it’s coordinated… unless it’s black!). Even though it’s not a blockbuster title, there’s a reason we’re still getting Style Boutique games: They’re addictive, underrated fun. If you’re in doubt, give it a go — you never know whether a secret fashionista lies dormant within you.



August 22, 2019

I can’t think of a game in recent memory that’s genuinely surprised me quite like Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’s gone from a game that was the furthest thing from my radar when it was announced, to being a real contender for my personal game of the year. It’s also a game that I may need to apologize for a bit, because after years of dunking on Fire Emblem and its horny AF fandom, I think I may have finally come around to see what makes this series somewhat special. I should be clear; this is not my first Fire Emblem. I got into it when Nintendo started releasing the GBA titles in the...

August 14, 2019

The popularity of streaming music cannot be understated, and it’s done well to bolster the popularity of video game music. Spotify has had a gaming hub for years, and the service has embraced by publishers, developers and composers. However, it hasn’t been until this year where several beloved Japanese publishers finally released parts of their backcatalogue onto streaming, embracing the future and finally making their music legally available and easily accessible. Yet with more publishers making their music backcatalogue more accessible, it’s becoming apparent that one particular publi...

August 13, 2019

It’s been a good year for video game soundtracks coming to streaming platforms. Capcom kicked things off with a great selection of music, and adding their most recent works as the year went on. Konami also got in on this, re-releasing a heap of Castlevania tunes. Square-Enix properly joined up around E3 time with a glut of Final Fantasy soundtracks, so it’s great to see the next publisher joining the streaming music revolution is Bandai Namco! Earlier today, eagle-eyed Spotify users noticed official pages for the company, with several Tekken soundtracks avaialble for streaming. We...

August 6, 2019

I have been playing videogames for a long time so I am old enough to remember the bad old days when videogames were blamed for society’s problems. Which was last weekend. Donald Trump today called for the regulation of violent videogames: “[…] we must stop the glorification of violence in our society, this includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.” Trump has a his...

August 6, 2019

With the annual sports franchises gearing up to release their 2019 iterations over the next few months, one of the last holdouts for announcement has been 2K’s annual WWE franchise. After taking the franchise in some interesting new directions in last years iteration, 2K has announced WWE 2K20, releasing on October 22nd on PS4, Xbox One & PC. The publisher also confirmed the franchise will continue to explore new directions and push further in some other areas, whilst also delivering on some much-requested features and content. The brunt of the single-player content will focus around i...

July 24, 2019

Brisbane-based game developer Defiant Development have announced that after nine years of existence, they will be ceasing development on new titles. The studio will be shifting into caretaker mode for its existing games, letting go of its talented team. Defiant Development was founded in 2010, where the Australian games industry was going through a significant transition period. In the wake of the global financial crisis shuttering studios around the world and AAA development winding down in Australia, Defiant was founded as a studio that wanted to be an Australian-owned studio that didn̵...

July 18, 2019

Riding the wave of momentum following the announcement of the Switch Lite, Nintendo have announced a revised Switch model for anyone wanting to grab a Switch, but would want to use it on their TV. While it does keep the same form factor, the biggest change compared to the original model is battery life. The new model will allegedly have up to 4.5 – 9 hours of battery life, compared to the original model’s 2.5 – 6.5, and the Switch Lite’s  3 – 7 hours, all of which depend on the game you’re playing. This revised Switch may also feature some new chips and pr...

July 16, 2019

In what’s been a burgeoning period for the state, the South Australian government has annouced that Sony Interactive Entertainment will be opening an office in Adelaide. The new office will establish 32 new engineering roles, with no indication whether this will bolster local infrastucture or the greater Playstation line of products. What’s helped to attract Sony to South Australia has been the Economic and Business Growth fund created by Premier Steven Marshall’s Liberal Government, which will be providing $480,000 AUD to Sony to establish the office. “South Australia is ...

July 11, 2019

While the Nintendo Switch has enjoyed an unparalled level of success in the two years since its release, there’s definitely room for improvement. Nintendo has addressed that improvement today with the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Lite, which will be releasing in Australia on September 20th, retailing for $329.95 RRP. There are several big differences over the original model of the Nintendo Switch, aside from the smaller form factor. Notably, the console is designed to be used in handheld mode, as it does not support the Nintendo Switch dock or the ability to play games on a TV. T...

July 8, 2019

The Sega Saturn was released in Australia on this day July 8th way back in 1995. Arcades were still a big deal, even if they were in their last few glory years, and Sega was dominating. Games from Sega AM Departments like Virtua Fighter, Daytona, Virtua Cop and Sega Rally were swallowing money at Timezone like a bank during the Global Financial Crisis. Every time my lunch break ended I’d stare back into the arcade and wish there was a way to play those awesome games at home. And then there was. The Sega Saturn. It was big and black and beautiful. Virtua Fighter 2 with fighting sticks, V...

June 28, 2019

With a brand new expansion releasing next week and an exciting future ahead of it, Sony Pictures Television has announced that they are partnering with Square-Enix to develop a TV show based on the popular MMO Final Fantasy XIV. Heading up the production work will be Hivemind Productions, whose work you may have seen in Amazon’s The Expanse and the upcoming Netflix adaptation of The Witcher. While no specific plot for the TV show has been announced, the show will be set in the world of Eorzea, which blends traditional fantasy and magic, with an undercurrent of technology, and its charac...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events
Site by GMAC Internet Solutions