Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fashion Expo



Oh man, I really don't want to have to write this. I mean, I'm tired and I have a headache, and for the second time in as many weeks I've been foolish enough to venture onto the Games2Win website. I don't know what's wrong with me, sometimes - I'm clearly just a masochist at heart. Incidentally, I don't really like reviewing games from the same developers two weeks in a row, but I'm justifying this review of Fashion Expo with two reasons:

1. It's now December and therefore I'm not reviewing two G2W titles in the same month; and
2. This is Games2Win, and they deserve it.



OK, on to Fashion Expo. I'm going to try to get through this as quickly as possible, because quite frankly I'd much rather be watching Justice League Unlimited, but I'll give you the general rundown. The game is a poor imitation of Fashion Designer New York. There, done. If you really need more information, you play a fashion designer who has to put together three outfits for a show, trying to score the highest number of points as possible in order to move to the next level.

I know what you're thinking - I'm not a fan of dress-up games, so naturally I'm going to dislike this, and my review is nothing more than an attempt to take the easy way out this week. Well, you're wrong. I never said I disliked dress-up games (not totally, anyway); I'm simply not that interested in them. But Fashion Expo promised a challenge that my traditional competitive spirit couldn't turn down.

I'm no Coco Chanel (I highly doubt Audrey Tautou will be playing me in my biopic) but I know how to dress myself somewhat neatly. Plus, I kick ass at Fashion Designer (yeah, I've played it several times) and figured this would be just as much fun. I figured wrong.



You start off by selecting three models to dress for the show. I've had a thing red heads since my X-Files days, and I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a little "ethnicity" into the show, in order to hook the "urban" crowd. Personally I dispute the legitimacy of these models. For one thing, they all have actual hips, and some of them even have boobs. Everyone knows if a model doesn't possess the body of a prepubescent boy, she's too fat for clothes!



Each of the models must be dressed in a distinctive style - casual, professional or dressy. They should all be pretty self-explanatory, and it's not like this is rocket science. Just put trainers and a t-shirt on one, smart pants on another and a dress on the third.

This is what fashion designers do all day? Damn, I'm in the wrong business.



You also need to get the ladies' make-up in order, a fairly simple procedure, though I can't understand why most of the make-up seems so God damn garish, regardless of the model's skin tone. Now that I think about it, there's a remarkably small number of options available to the player, limiting your outfits and leaving you with a pretty uninspiring selection for each style. Perhaps more become available as you reach the second and third levels (oh yeah, only three levels) but as you'll soon see, I wouldn't know.



So here are my three models, all ready to go. I don't know about you, but I think I did a pretty good job. As Jean-Paul Gaultier might say, they look bloody awesome.

In Fashion Designer, each of your models go through a pre-show stage where you get advice on how to improve the outfit before getting a last chance to make some changes. In Fashion Expo, however, the pre-show is simply the above image. In fact, I can't remember if there's even any animation - it could very well be a single still picture.



Regardless, it's time for the show itself, where your models strut their stuff (or rather, just sort of stand there) while flash bulbs go off and you receive a score for each one. There's my casual chick, netting me four stars for her hip, co-ordinated look.



And here's my professional businesswoman, earning me a respectable three stars for a simple green and black ensemble. I think the lack of proper pants hurt me here, but it's still a decent score.



And finally, we have... hold on a second. Zero stars? ZERO STARS!? What the hell!?

Are you people blind!? She looks awesome, God damn it! The little black dress is a timeless number, you fucking Philistines! What the hell do you people know about fashion, anyway!?



Oh, to hell with this!

I honestly have no idea why I got a zero score there. Everything looks fine from where I'm sitting. Is it because I didn't pick anything from the Bottoms list? What the hell was I supposed to do, throw some red hotpants on underneath the dress? It makes no sense to give zero just because a player decides to put a dress on the Dressy model!

This really isn't helping my headache. Fashion Expo is an infuriating rip-off that will punish the player whenever it feels like it. The options you pick when dressing the models make no real difference; you could probably throw together the most ridiculous ensemble ever and it would still get a decent score for ticking all the appropriate general boxes. If you want to play a dress-up game that also provides a challenge, then play Fashion Designer. Treat this game like last season's wardrobe and toss it away.

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