Who Wore It Best? | Star Ocean: The Second Story’s Makeover Quest

My replay of Star Ocean: The Second Story continues this week, and I’ve just made it to the Lacour continent. This means taking a roundabout trip through the port city of Clik in an attempt to charter a ship and, while waiting for that ship to board, being shown around town by a young rich kid named Ketil.

S02_ClikTour

Ketil’s idea of fun is stealing your wallet and then dressing you up in ridiculous outfits for his own amusement.

At this point in the game, you can only have three characters–Claude, Rena, and Celine–and Ketil selects a different outfit for each depending on whom you choose to humiliate.

SO2_ChooseClothes

This is, so far as I can remember, the only time in the game we see any characters wearing different clothing. So let’s compare Ketil’s fashion picks and decide if anyone can be considered the winner.

(Note: our not-so-great images were taken during our PSX playthrough. If you’d like to see this scene in action, there’s a great YouTube video of all three scenarios.)

Claude


SO2_Claude
SO2_ClaudeCloseup

For Claude, Ketil appears to have picked the top half of a clown suit and a pair of black bikini bottoms. The purple top isn’t a terrible choice with Claude’s blonde hair and fair complexion, but the oversized yellow buttons and complete lack of pants scream “a five year old dressed me today.” He also appears to have some layered slouch socks which, while at least providing some warmth to his lower half, turn the ensemble into bargain bin workout instructor. Not appropriate for saving the world or leaving the house.

Rena


SO2_Rena
SO2_RenaCloseup

From a distance, Rena’s ensemble appears to be a simple white mage robe with blue detailing to match her hair. Upon closer inspection, however, the main portion is definitely a jumpsuit with flared bell bottom pants. Thanks to the controlled v-neck, it’s slightly more John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever than 1970s Elvis, but the line of separation is razor thin. This outfit at least looks wearable, if not a blast from the past of a planet Rena has never even heard of.

Celine


So2_Celine
SO2_CelineCloseup

I’m suspicious that Celine’s outfit isn’t made of actual clothes, but the receipt tape from the store’s cash register. This appears to just be a long piece of string that Celine has wrapped around herself in Eve fig leaf fashion, although there’s about five feet of leftover string trailing the ground like a pet snake. This is somewhat fitting, as Celine is the most sexily dressed character normally, with her Heraldic crest tattoo peeking out from her upper inner thigh. But this ribbon bikini is even less practical than Claude’s pantsless disaster, threatening to fall off in the slightest breeze and trip her if she takes a single step.

Winner: Rena

SO2_RenaCloseup

Honestly, this is the only outfit that could actually withstand the world-spanning adventure our crew is on. Fashion-wise, it at least has some basis in history, even if it’s ’70s jumpsuit history. The real lesson here is: never let a kid with a blue rattail dress you.

Advertisements

One Item Makeover Extended | Samurai Warriors’ Koshosho

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Samurai Warriors is a hack-and-slash game set in Japan’s Sengoku Era. The era is filled with historical figures and the latest game features 55 characters that are based on them. Now, obviously, many of them have been stylistically modernized and exaggerated to fit in a game world with insane action.

For example, the historical Nobunaga Oda was depicted in paintings like this:
Odanobunaga

The Samurai Warriors version is depicted like this:

Nobunaga-sw4art

He also flies around while attacking things with his darkness-infused sword.

So obviously, historical accuracy is not high on the developer’s priority list. However, the appearances of the characters themselves, while bold and stylized, had a cohesive and of-its-time look to them. That all changed with Samurai Warriors 4 and its new character, Koshōshō.

Koshosho-sw4

Now I don’t have a huge problem with the outfit itself, since there are more offensive things elsewhere in the series. The problem is the hair.

Magic swords and capes and flying? Sure.  

Combination perm(?) and dye job? Immersion lost.

No other characters in the series have hair as impossible as hers. She looks ridiculous by herself, but she looks even more outlandish when compared to the rest of the cast. Note: The guy with the giant fan is wearing a wig.

samuraiwarriors

Thankfully, it looks like she has a DLC outfit that tames her improbable curls but doesn’t fix her improbable dye job:
 
Koshosho_Special_Clothes_(SW4II_DLC)

So my one item makeover would be to go the extra mile and change her hair color to a more natural tone so that she doesn’t look quite so out of place in a game filled with traditional Japanese people:

Koshosho_black

Let’s Talk About | League of Legends’ Bard

Riot just introduced their latest addition to the League of Legends character roster: Bard, the “Wandering Caretaker.” Trying out our newest article format, “Let’s Talk About,” Jillian and Joey have a chat about Bard’s appearance and judge him on mostly superficial merits.

LoL_Bard_Artwork
Jillian: Obvious first thought: descendant of No Face from Spirited Away.

Joey: Haha, okay, honestly I had a hard time figuring out how Bard even worked as a thing.

Jillian: Like, “What am I physically looking at here?”

Joey: Yes, exactly. If the thing that I think is his face is actually his face
It’s super small compared to the rest of his body.

Jillian: The gold thing appears to be his face, and you’re totally right.
In the main artwork it looks like he’s actually just a giant Santa wig that someone taped a mask onto.

Joey: Agreed. He’s just a mess of fur/hair. With some accessories.

Jillian: What’s up with his legs/feet? Are those drills?
Or one of those cups that retracts in on itself? Do his legs double as a hydration tool?

Joey: Whatever they are, they seem like they would be more difficult than stilettos to walk in.
Although based on these images he might just fly around, so he can choose painful footwear
Oh wait, scratch that last, I saw the video and he definitely stumbles around
Although it looks like every step is agony.

Jillian: He floats and stumbles: so pretty standard for a stiletto-wearer.

LoL_Bard_Drawing

Joey: I’m not sure how I feel about the rings on his horn thing
Feels a little counter-culture
I wonder if he got them when he was a rebellious teen bard

Jillian: What’s hanging off the rings? Those gold things–good luck charms?
It’s an awkward mix of teenage mistakes and mystic ritual.
He’s also got bells attached to the end of his ponytail. I imagine he’s very jangly.

Joey: Agreed. He seems to make a lot of noise in those videos. As expected of a bard I guess?
But where’s his lute?
I thought those were mandatory.

Jillian: Huh, I didn’t even think about that.
Maybe that giant blue orb thing is some sort of instrument?
Although it’s definitely not lute-like; he seems to blow into it sometimes.
I think we need to talk about his clothes, although I’m trying to figure out what his clothes actually are.

Joey: This picture seems to have better angles.
LoL_Bard_Comic
Joey: Sidenote: the picture on the bottom left looks like he’s getting off of Air Force One and saluting the crowd.

Jillian: Haha, maybe it’s Clinton hiding under all that hair. With a blue orb saxophone.
I just don’t really get a “bard” vibe from this getup. Metallic blue shirt with rope-sized stitching and a full-body red apron is more “blacksmith” to me.
Maybe I’m too used to Edward-type waif bards, but this guy in general is way too beefy.

Joey: I dunno, his hobo look makes me feel sorry for him. Maybe it’s a tactic to get more tips?

Jillian: But he’s obviously doing okay for himself: that mane is way too thick and luxurious to not have been conditioned recently.

Joey: Good point. He could make some extra cash doing endorsements and maybe buy some actual clothes instead of an apron and some wristbands.

Jillian: Actually, looking closely at the presidential salute picture, I think those wristbands are covering up barrels that he’s using as gauntlets.

LoL_Bard_Arms

Jillian: How big IS this guy?

Joey: Maybe they are mini barrels?

Jillian: Like the barrel o’ monkeys game?
Now I’m just wondering what this guy did with all those monkeys.

Joey: Maybe his mane is made of monkeys he killed? If that’s so, I might have to get him.

I Never Noticed | Precis from Star Ocean: The Second Story

Video game art and costumes are surprisingly intricate (enough so that we can have an entire blog dedicated to them), meaning we often miss little details on our first or even fifth playthrough. “I Never Noticed” will point out some of these details for specific characters as we become aware of them.

The very first “I Never Noticed” should actually go to Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2, whose rattail was only recognized after Erin pointed it out to us in one of our many “Who Wore It Best?” entries. However, since we’ve talked about her at length recently, Yuna gets a reprieve this week.

SO2_AllCharacters

I started another playthrough of Star Ocean: The Second Story a few days ago, and upon plotting out my character picks (you can only recruit eight of the eleven characters and some are either/or options) noticed a few new things about Precis.

First, she’s surprisingly short for no obvious reason. In the image above, you can see Precis (front row, left, brunette ponytail) is not only the shortest character, but she’s awkwardly smaller than everyone else. Although she’s the youngest girl, Leon–who is standing next to her–is four years younger at twelve, yet he stands a full head taller than her. She’s smaller than everyone else in battle as well, although not to such a bizarrely noticeable degree (especially when her mechanical arms are out and adding to her height).

SO2_Precis

More fashion-specific, I never noticed that Precis has two apparent wounds as part of her outfit: her right elbow features a band-aid cross while her left knee has a giant hole in the fabric of her tights. This is a fitting choice for the explosive, somewhat accident-prone inventor. She’s the only character with injuries incorporated into her outfit: even the perpetually unlucky Ashton is scrape-free (besides the two dragons fused to his back).

She also has a wheel on the side of each boot. While this makes sense for her mechanically-inclined personality and tactics, these don’t seem to actually come into play in-game: she’s no faster than the other characters and still walks normally instead of wheeling around. This makes the wheels more of a stylistic choice, as well as possibly the first documented use of Heelys, which were patented in 2000 (two years after Star Ocean: The Second Story was released).

SO2_PSXDS

Precis’s final “I Never Noticed” item is the control for her in-game weapon, the mechanical hands. She’s using a PlayStation controller and, specifically, the DualShock version. If you look closely, you can tell she is actually holding a controller in battle as well. Cleverly, for the PSP remake of Star Ocean: The Second Story–titled Second EvolutionPrecis is using a PSP as her controller instead of the DualShock.

Tales of Summer | Round 1: Tales of Hearts vs. Tales of the Abyss

It may not be swimsuit season yet, but we’re already dreaming of warmer and skimpier days to come. To insulate our brains from the worst part of winter (post-holidays, still cold), we’ve decided to focus on a swimwear tournament. Who better to make up the challengers than the costume- and beach-loving casts of the Tales series?

TalesBracket

Our bracket consists of eight Tales games: Tales of Hearts, Tales of the Abyss, Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Xillia, Tales of Xillia 2, Tales of Graces F, and Tales of Zestiria.

Our first match-up is Tales of Hearts vs. Tales of the Abyss.


Tales of Hearts

TalesOfHearts_suitsTalesOfHearts_suits2
First image, characters left to right: Beryl, Gall, Kohaku, Hisui, Kor
Second image, characters left to right: Kohaku, Ines, Beryl

Tales of the Abyss

TalesOfTheAbyss_suitsTalesOfTheAbyss_suits2
First image, characters left to right: Guy, Jade, Anise, Luke, Natalia, Tear
Second image, characters left to right: Guy, Luke, Anise, Natalia, Tear

Additional images for Tales of the Abyss:
Luke
Guy
Natalia
Tear


Joey

First, a disclaimer. I think the Tales of the Abyss outfits are technically used for a hot spring, so Jade wearing a bathrobe isn’t totally inappropriate. But most of the other outfits seem more beach-ready than spa-ready. The girls, and Guy in particular, seem to be ready for a dip in some sort of body of water. Unfortunately they’re kind of plain.

I also don’t approve of the head towel on Luke. Head towels are never appropriate.

Meanwhile, the Tales of Hearts crew seems to be more on point with the summer selections. The only thing that is appalling to me is the straw hat on Beryl. Just wear some sunscreen like everyone else.

My vote goes to Tales of Hearts.

Jillian

I like all of the Abyss crew’s outfits with two major exceptions.  First, the positive standout here is Natalia: her usual outfit is so stuffy and dull that it’s nice to see her loosened up and relaxed.  Her swimsuit has a gypsy dancer vibe and I love her hair tucked up under the scarf.  Plus, that girl is built!  Look at her muscular back!  

Jade pulls off the robe well: he’s what, 30?, which is “crazy old” in Tales standards, so a robe and slippies are appropriate for his age.  Anise’s summer dress and shorts look super comfortable and breezy.  Luke is pretty forgettable: unlike Joey, I can forgive the head towel since it’s probably just a cooling-off mechanism.  

The real issues here are Guy and Tear.  I don’t know why Guy is wearing half of a diving suit.  It’s like he pre-shrunk it to show off his abs.  Tear’s got some sort of crazy failed chastity belt strapped around her waist and thighs.  Seriously, what IS that thing?  A frilled bottom or simple sarong would have been much better.  Like what Ines is wearing, which brings us to the Tales of Hearts crew.

I haven’t played Tales of Hearts, so I don’t know what these people usually look like.  Kor seems like he’d fit in in a Kingdom Hearts game.  I like his hooded jacket since, hey, it can get chilly at the beach, but am curious what those pieces of flair are.  One looks like a Hatsune Miku button, which is adorable.  

I assume Hisui is an almost-bad-guy who bullies Kor.  He’s even pointing gun-fingers at him in this picture.  I don’t think this guy was informed they’d be going to the beach: he’s just unbuttoned a dress shirt and rolled up his hipster teal pants.  That gold bangle is also a rust hazard.  I like the swimsuit on the dead-eyed girl, Kohaku.  Those are pretty massive bikini bows, but it works since the rest of the suit is so simple.  I wish the pink flower in her hair was some other color since she’s got a purple color scheme going on clothes-wise.  

The bearded guy, Gall…is this really an outfit?  He’s just wrapped in bandages.  He’s probably under doctor’s orders not to get those wet, so this is not proper beach attire.  Beryl is cute, I like her pink/green/white color scheme and frilly skirt.  The hat is acceptable–hey, she’s super pale and probably burns easily–but it’s a bit too Miss Chiquita Banana for me.  

Ines is tied with Natalia for my favorite outfit: I love her simple black bikini that’s been trimmed with pink.  Then the colorful sarong on top provides an optional pop with that same pink and some added teal.  Only downside are her shoes, which look like gladiator heels and are going to be a pain for beach-wandering.  

It’s a tough call since so many of the Hearts crew aren’t really beach-ready, but I hate Tear and Guy’s outfits enough to award this one to Tales of Hearts.

Erin

I’m not sure I know what exactly I’ve walked in on in these two scenes. Tales of Hearts reminds me of the cast of S Club 7 getting ready to crank up the hijinks. Tales of the Abyss…looks like someone’s hungover mom (Jade) (Jade is a man?) promised her (his) kid, Anise, a pool party that will never happen. But she invited all her friends already! How embarrassing.  

This group is a mess, with the exception of Anise, whose little outfit has cute detailing and age appropriate coverage. Tear’s outfit reminds me of Leeloo’s bandagey getup from The Fifth Element. Luke is ready for the beach, but no one is ready for his stupid bandana.

I’m glad the first picture makes it clear that Natalia’s headpiece is NOT attached to her wrap top, because it certainly looks that way in her standalone picture. The idea of that sounds so stupid that it makes me chuckle.

Guy’s crop top and long biker shorts is the worst outfit out of this group, but is not outdone by Gall’s creepy getup. If this was SNL circa the late 1990s, Gall would be played by Will Ferrell.

I like Hisui’s breezy beachwear and how Kor is prepared to fight foes on land and by sea (goggles around his neck). Beryl, Kohaku, and Ines have some nice suits on but that hat of Beryl’s is a little too Strawberry Shortcake for me.

Despite Gall’s grossness, I’m going to award this one to Tales of Hearts.


Winner: Tales of Hearts

TalesBracket2

Hot Take | League of Legends Lunar Revel Skins

League of Legends‘ annual Lunar Revel event is upon us and with it comes the usual smattering of Chinese-influenced skins that edit the appearance of the characters in-game. We took a look at the new event skins (plus a couple more) and judged whether each new skin was an upgrade or a downgrade from their previous look.

(Click on pictures for an enlarged view of the artwork.)

Battlecast Vel'KozArclight Vel'Koz

Vel’Koz: Battlecast >> Arclight

Joey

Downgrade. I think his original design of spacey eyeball tentacle alien is tired. Battlecast Vel’koz spiced him up a little, but Arclight Vel’koz is basically a palette swap of the original skin. Yawn.

Jillian

Vel’koz Classic looks like some kind of Little Shop of Horrors Audrey 2 spin-off, so already pretty horrifying. Battlecast improved on this by just covering him in armor, so impenetrable flower-demon. But I actually think Arclight is a further upgrade: it looks like part of the Sphinx broke off and is terrorizing modern day with eyeball lightning. How do you even deal with that? Yikes.


nidaleeheadhunternidaleewarringkingdoms

Nidalee: Headhunter >> Warring Kingdoms

Joey

Upgrade. Warring Kingdoms Nidalee mostly wins due to the hairstyle. I know Headhunter Nidalee is supposed to be modeled after Predators and their weird alien braids, but it’s not a good look for them and it’s not a good look for Nidalee.

Jillian

Definite upgrade. I agree with Joey on the Headhunter hair. Some people can pull off dreads, but she is apparently not one of them. I like both outfits about equal–the insectoid armor platelets and the segmented samurai variation–so the hair is really the deciding factor here.


katarinachristmaskatarinawarringkingdoms

Katarina: Slay Belle >> Warring Kingdoms

Joey

Upgrade. The Christmas-themed Katarina is almost good, but why did they give her orange hair when her natural red hair would have been perfectly Christmasy?

Jillian

Oh, god, upgrade. That Christmas one is too much. I think the reindeer antlers push it over the edge: possibly the least threatening accessory imaginable. Love the gold detailing on the Warring Kingdoms outfit, especially along her upper legs. This could almost be a Christmas outfit with the red and gold but, you know, a non-ridiculous one.


jinxmafiajinxfirecracker

Jinx: Mafia >> Firecracker

Joey

Upgrade. It’s an elegant look, but still maintains that manic feel that Jinx exudes. It’s an overall clean and cohesive look, whereas Mafia Jinx’s weapons/hat/attire clash in my opinion. Also she has a pearl necklace which will never be not-tacky to me.

Jillian

First, I don’t play League, but I assume this girl is insane? She has utter crazy-face in both of these. I’m going with ‘upgrade’ as well. I love the flapper look, but Mafia Jinx is relying way too heavily on lavender. A little purple goes a long way, especially when your hair is bright orange. I love the full-arm dragon tattoo on Firecracker and the emerald accoutrements that provide pop without being over-the-top. I’d just recommend tights or a longer skirt if you’re going to wall-hang (or missile-hang) like that.


anniepandaskinanniesweetheart

Annie: Panda >> Sweetheart

Joey

Downgrade. I’ve never been a fan of Carebears, which this skin is an obvious homage to. Annie herself is a bit mundane. I feel like the hearts are placed in odd positions as well; they should be complimenting the ensemble, not dominating it. It’s not terrible, but I find Panda Annie more appealing. Possibly due to my love of pandas.

Jillian

Downgrade, ugh, ugh, ugh. This is just oozing dead-eyed-creepy-murder-doll. Way too many hearts as Joey pointed out, and way too many ruffles. She has ruffles on ruffles on ruffles. Panda Annie is a bit puffy for my tastes, but I love her panda-shaped hair and not-soulless-eyes. The panda, however, is horrifying and confusing: what’s with the straps on his head? Is he part football? Slight preference for Care Bear, major preference for Panda Annie.

Wardrobe Review | Project Diva F 2nd

Some characters have way too many items of clothing in their wardrobe and could use a little anytime-Spring cleaning. In Wardrobe Review, we’ll dive into a character’s closet and pick what should stay and what needs to go, What Not To Wear trash bin style.

First up to bat: Miku Hatsune of SEGA’s most recent entry in its Project Diva series, and singer of the original Nyan Cat song.

As you can see in the video below, Project Diva is a rhythm game with music videos playing in the background featuring different Vocaloids. Each Vocaloid has an impressive variety of “modules,” or outfits, to equip, but Miku herself has the most with a whopping 73 different modules. Jillian and I lay out our favorites and least favorites below.


Joey’s Picks: To Keep

Noble

Noble

I realized that I really don’t care for Miku’s default hairstyle. My three selections all reign in her absurdly long pigtails. Of the three, Noble is far and away my favorite. I love both uses of ribbons, the color selection, and especially the hairstyle. Simply gorgeous top to bottom. Too bad it takes a while to unlock since you get it for beating one of the last songs in the game on Hard, because I probably would have always just used this one.

Little Red

Little Red

I’ve always been a sucker for red hooded outfits so the Little Red was a shoe-in. I really enjoy the floral patterns on the dress and the matching ribbons on her back and neck combined with the mini ribbons . I’m also a big fan of the yellow stitches on red fabric. Lastly, while I usually despise head accessories, the random cat(dog?) with the crazed expression is too cute to hate on.

Violet Butterfly

Violet Butterfly

Violet Butterfly just looks classy to me. It’s a bit risqué but not completely over the top, so I think it works. It’s also one of the few outfits that seems to match my mental image of a “Diva.” As mentioned before, the shorter hair does wonders for me, and I enjoy the diamond motif.

Joey’s Picks: To Trash

Marionette

Marionette

Marionette is obviously a costume to fit in with a carnival-themed music video, but it still just looks atrocious to me. Maybe in Circus Performer Land (AKA Katy Perry Land) the polka dot sleeves, yellow balls on shoes, and striped baggy pink pants would fly, but not in the real world. Or whatever world it is that Miku lives in. It’s a short step away from full clown. You never go full clown. There’s also a variation that doesn’t include the mask that is slightly less offensive, but they’re both difficult to look at.

Urban Pop

Urban Pop

Urban Pop took all the worst things about the ’90s and put them in one outfit. We shouldn’t be seeing those colors on clothes in 2014. I still shudder to think that I owned shoes like those. Thankfully, I never sunk so low as to have pants with writing on them. Doesn’t calling yourself a diva negate your divaness? It’s like trying to say you’re breezy by saying “I’m breezy.” (Why yes, I have been watching Friends on Netflix.)

Puffy Pastels

Puffy Pastels

I can’t quite pinpoint what I dislike about Puffy Pastels. It looks like something you’d want to wear to sleep, but also looks strangely uncomfortable. It’s a weird mix of loose and tight that seems like a chore to sleep in. The top half looks like something a grandma might wear to bed whereas the bottom half looks like something a baby might wear to bed.

Jillian’s Picks: To Keep

Ichi-no-Sakura Blossom

Ichi-no-Sakura Blossom

The weird thing is, I was going to give Joey a hard time about picking Violet Butterfly because “whoa, purple!” but I’ve done the same thing.  I guess the muted grayish-purple on Ichi-no-Sakura Blossom is much easier on the eyes and less cartoony to me.  Also, since she’s wearing a uniform, it makes more sense for the entire thing to be one color.  I love the long, winglike sleeves, the flower detailing, the cute variation on the schoolgirl look, and even the weird cross between boots and geta. Looks classic, feels modern.

Memoria

Memoria

Memoria is a such a normal look for a girl who has half a dozen variations on cat costumes.  This is like a “real person” outfit, but still anime-cute.  I love her hair in sky blue with pigtails, which matches her blocked spring colors nicely.  Those boots look insanely comfortable and functional.  The shawl is borderline dowdy, but is saved by the light pink color, three-quarters sleeves, and asymmetrical cut.  The gloves and purple tights keep this from being too safe–again, purple!–but after seeing some of the nonsense (ahem, see “least favorites” below) this girl wears, I’m enjoying something a bit neutral.

Magician

Magician

Joey and I share a bit of suckerdom for Magician outfits, and this one is a class act all the way.  It’s perfectly tailored to show off Miku’s figure without falling into “slutty assistant” territory.  The thigh high boots give her legs for days, the ruffle shirt under two-button vest produces a very confident air, and the hot pink stripe on the top hat provides a hint of flash without devolving into circus ringmaster.  She just seems so sure of herself in this outfit that I expect her to coyly say, “Are you watching closely?”  Yes, yes I am.

Jillian’s Picks: To Trash

Linkage

Linkage

She looks like the board game Simon.  Is she supposed to be the board game Simon?  I might hate Linkage less on a darker background where she doesn’t just blend in like a white moth, but really, that’s probably not true.  If she’s not some playable human variation of the bop-it-twist-it-pull-it game, then she’s a really low-budget mo-cap suit.  Even Miku looks confused why this thing is on her body.   And she has the same giant button-cymbals on her head and butt?  Really, why?

Hello Goodnight

Hello, Good Night

This is the most confusing outfit I’ve ever seen.  First, she has puzzle-boxes magically floating around her pigtails.  Second, there’s some kind of rainbow lightning bolt shooting across her in a messy, drunkenly-painted zigzag. Third, I’m pretty sure she’s wearing a nurse’s cap for no apparent reason.  If Puffy Pastels is a chore to sleep in, Joey, then Hello, Good Night is a Saw-style sleep murder-trap.

Heart Hunter

Heart Hunter

I’ve never seen a devil outfit successfully pulled off.  I still haven’t.

And Sash has Made All the Difference: A Lesson from Covet Fashion

I’ve been accidentally hooked on iOS game Covet Fashion for the past week. Despite writing on a site solely dedicated to games and fashion, I’d never really explored the most obvious intersection of the two and played a “dress-up game.”

Okay, that’s a lie: I played the America’s Next Top Model game for about a day straight, but gave up after it kept forcing me to wear the same pair of shorts to every go-see. The human body, and its shorts, have limits.

CovetFashion_Store

Covet Fashion has held my attention longer thanks to a steady supply of new and varied clothes that you not only have relatively easy access to, but can try on at any time. The game is basically a never-ending “Who Wore It Best?” competition between paper dolls where you create a themed look, (e.g. “cheerleader” or “gothic bride,”) and then submit it for player voting.

During voting, players are shown player-created looks in pairs and pick whose they prefer for the given theme: the winner gets a few points while the loser loses the same amount. This continues until the end of the voting period, when everyone receives their final score and any associated prizes (more clothes).

CovetFashion_Voting

Anyway, while voting and being voted on is a nice vindication for your obviously brilliant fashion eye, the real point of this game is playing dress up. You have a crazy amount of items to choose from in almost every category imaginable: dresses, tops, skirts, leggings, sweaters, bags, jewelry, socks, you name it. Although you can only wear items you “own” after purchasing with in-game currency, you are free to try on items without buying them. This is how I came to discover my love of sashes.

Having played only a week, my wardrobe is still fairly barebones. A few dresses, an unnecessary amount of bags, a single pair of shorts (again, dammit!).

I was struggling with variation: I used the same dress for “celebrity birthday party,” “dinner at Michelin Star,” “lunch in Napa Valley,” and “top designer party.” It was getting tired.

CovetFashion_AllWhiteDress

Then, upon pulling out my over-worn white dress for “Heron goddess,” I tried something crazy: a light blue sash. All of the sashes are from past seasons, which means they cost rare diamonds instead of readily-available cash.

Despite the price, as soon as I saw that sash in action, I couldn’t bring myself to remove it.

CovetFashion_HeronGoddess

The sash made all the difference. It was like a new dress. It provided color, shine, a focal point, and a really defined waistline.

I started using the sash for everything. “Wisteria ball”? Sash! “Pastel delight”? Sash! “Butterfly fete”? Sash, sash, sash!

CovetFashion_WisteriaBall

It turns out, people don’t like the sash. Wisteria ball: 3 stars. Pastel delight: 3 stars. Butterfly fete: voting is still out, but I have a guess what it’ll be. Point taken: if I want to succeed in this world, I need to ditch the sash.

But the sash has become almost a signature item for me now. It’s my Covet Fashion personal style. Is that worth sacrificing to win a pink sweater?

Is it still fashion if I just do exactly what everyone else is doing?

CovetFashion_Sameness

I say no.

Even if it must stand alone, the sash lives on.

CovetFashion_Sashing

Guilty Gear Xrd’s New Looks

My friend convinced me to pick up a copy of Guilty Gear Xrd (pronounced”ecks-erd” apparently); the latest installment of the Guilty Gear fighting game franchise. After finally figuring out how to pronounce the title, I jumped into the game and decided to check out some of the new additions to the roster.BridgetspriteaniThe series is renowned for its crazy character designs; most famous is probably Bridget from a bounty hunter boy cross-dressing as a nun complete with yo-yos, wheelie-shoes, a giant handcuff belt, and a possessed teddy bear that sounds like a demonic Barry White. Unfortunately he’s not in this game, so Arc System Works created some new characters for us to be confused by.

Guilty Gear Xrd‘s New Characters


Bedman-ggxrd-artwork

 

Bedman

First up we have Bedman. I’m not sure what I expected when I saw his name, he’s literally exactly as advertised. Usually I wouldn’t consider someone’s bed part of their attire, but he seems permanently attached to this one so I’ll make an exception. You would think that if you rode around in your bed all day, you’d opt for a softer-looking mattress, maybe even a Tempur-Pedic. The crazy wheeled spikes, crowned head, and giant hand seem to give off a menacing “don’t mess with me” vibe that conflicts with  hospital gown “I’m an invalid” vibe.

Also confusing are the screws inserted into his shoulders and the pronounced arrow on his forehead pointing at his face. I’m seriously not picking up whatever cards he’s putting down. I thought after seeing him in action I would understand him more, but his win quotes only make me more confused.
 
ramelethal

Ramlethal Valentine

There are so many things happening in this design I don’t even know where to begin. Actually, I’ll begin with the thing that seems the most normal: her coat. As seen in the start to this video, it’s really some sort of mouth complete with saliva and those spikes at the edge seem to be teeth that she uses in her attacks. The demonic balls with teeth and bat wings that hold her swords actually join together and can actually talk. The coat offers some modesty, but underneath she’s basically wearing the shortest of short-shorts and a belt over her chest. Complete with some random belts on her thighs because hey, it’s Guilty Gear.

The Valentine characters in Guilty Gear all seem to have animal-themed hats and Ramlethal’s cat hat isn’t the most offensive, but that doesn’t mean I like it. In fact, I’ve noticed that a large number of Guilty Gear characters have ridiculous headgear. I’ve already touched on the ridiculousness of Millia’s license plate hat, but there are even more heinous examples.

I’m not sure if anyone will ever top Faust’s choice of headgear which I’m assuming he got straight out of the Derelicte catalog: faust

Fashion Panel | Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS – Part 2

We reviewed a lot of the clothes-less characters in our last Smash Bros. Fashion Panel, so this time it’s nice to have some more “fashion” to dive into. Yes, fashion includes a tongue-scarf in this scenario.

This week: some animals that actually wear clothes, and Ike.
ssb_2

Fox, Greninja, Ike, King Dedede, Kirby


SmashBros_Fox

Jillian

Fox’s face changes shape every year and it looks like he’s adopted brown contact lenses this time around. He’s got this half-terrified, half “wah-waaah” look in his portraits that isn’t really befitting a star-travelling, universe-saving anthropomorphic fox. Clothing-wise, I like most of his color combos, although I prefer him with the traditional rusty red fur to help differentiate from Wolf. He looks especially good in #5, the salmon shirt with blue scarf, which is giving off a bit of a Nathan Drake vibe with those dark khakis.

Joey

First a disclaimer: After years of being beat into the ground by pro Fox players, I’ve grown an aversion to his stupid smug face. In fact, his profile picture in this game looks more smuggy than ever before and I want to play Smash Bros. right now just to beat on him. I agree with Jillian that the red fur is a must. Dead Daddy Fox would be spinning in his space grave if he saw his son adventuring looking like Star Wolf. None of the red fur options have a color scheme that scream “star ship pilot,” but #3 whispers “I guess I could be worn in space.” So that’s my pick. Random aside: did you know that the Star Fox characters are known in the Smash Bros. community as the “Space Animals”?

 

SmashBros_Greninja

Jillian

I had to look up other pictures of Greninja to figure out that that scarf is actually his tongue, which is freaking me out. One, because gross. Two, because it’s changing color on each of his palette swaps and I’m really concerned about the liver health of numbers 5, 6, and 7. This guy is just bizarre to look at and has way more of a robotic Digimon or Gundam vibe than a frog-Pokémon. If I were forced to play as him, I guess the yellow and black #4 is the least visually offensive. But what’s with the giant shiny opals stuck in his overly muscular joint sockets? And why the bat-like ears? Okay, honestly, I can’t get past the tongue, but this is to just to say, he’s a total mess.

Joey

Usually I’m a sucker for scarves, but I draw the line at scarves made of your own body parts. This guy is almost single-handedly keeping me from playing the new Pokémon. I prefer them cute and cuddly. Not weird and confusing. Jillian has already commented on all the upsetting things involved in his appearance. Really, I dislike them all but #6 is most similar to an actual frog so I’ll go with that one.

 

SmashBros_Ike

Jillian

I’ve only played one Fire Emblem game and Ike wasn’t in it, so there may be a canon reason for this–but with all these different colors, I wish his sword changed appearance, too. The gold works well in some instances (#5) and less in others (#8). His boots also have this really weird shape and gloss that make his feet look like they were copy-pasted from an N64 game. His headband/crown/sweatwrap is so dark in every palette that it might as well just be a braid of hair. Color-wise, I like him best in dark, non-shiny pants, so #s 3, 6, or 8 are the only acceptable variations.

Joey

Yay! Actual humans! Ike’s whole deal is that he’s supposed to be a gruff and tough mercenary-turned-hero. So I think a less royal color scheme works best in order to differentiate him from Marth. It’s a bit of a toss up between #1 and #3 for me. Some of the others (like #8 and #6) look okay, but they’re not a good fit for Ike. #5 isn’t a good fit for anyone.

 

SmashBros_Dedede

Jillian

King Dedede is the first character whose variations are actually interesting–the cloth pattern on his cummerbund changes with each color swap! Pattern-wise, I think something lighter and more subtle works with his, uh, figure. Wide stripes and checkers are just accentuating the fact that he spends most of his time in gourmet food races. #s 2 and 4 are figure-flattering, although I do love that #3 proves he has a Kirby cummerbund in his closet. For colors, I like the penguin-esque arctic look of #s 5 and 7, but since he is a “King,” he looks most comfortable and regal in #4’s royal purple, whose pink gloves are surprisingly not infuriating. Side note: his portrait is adorable and very “grade school picture day.”

Joey

Different patterns!? My god, Nintendo. You’ve really outdone yourselves this time. I’m not sure if King Dedede is supposed to be menacing or silly. Personally, he kind of terrifies me. If a fat penguin was chasing me with a giant hammer I’d probably wet myself. As mentioned before, I like my animals with more natural skin tones, so my pick is #8. The purple sweater makes him a little less intimidating, but I just can’t approve of a sky blue penguin.

 

SmashBros_Kirby

Jillian

After, what, 16,000 games?, it’s hard to picture Kirby as anything but the pink puff ball, unless you’re often relegated to Player 2 position. I really like #6, black-and-white GameBoy Kirby, but am terrified of #8, soulless eyes rotted jack-o-lantern Kirby. And while I know Kirby is something of a blank canvas on which adorable costumes and items are bestowed when you inhale someone, it still would have been nice to see more color variation here: stripes or polka-dots, at least. Favorite little touch: his cheek blush changes color with the rest of him. (Another reason #8 is so creepy: no adorable blush.)

Joey

Okay, obviously #1 is the best. Pink fluff balls should remain pink fluff balls. Kirby is going for maximum cute, so #3 also kind of works. The others evoke too much non-cute emotion. #4 has an angry (or too much hot sauce) vibe, #5 has a sickly (or too much rotten food) vibe, and #8 has an evil (or too much bowling ball) vibe. I think at some point we’ll have to get a gallery of Kirby with all his hats so we can discuss them.