Crossy Road’s New Characters Reminded Me: There’s Something Wrong with Knuckles

Crossy Road has been my mobile addiction for the past few months, but there’s little opportunity to discuss voxel animals’ unclothed appearance here on Final Fashionista. However, the game’s most recent update introduced a slew of adorable Australian characters, including one that was familiar in name thanks to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, yet totally unrecognizable in appearance: the echidna.


This guy is a ridiculously cute ball of spiky beaver/platypus, with an anteater-like tongue, pointy beaklike muzzle, and thick sloth-toes. Turns out, like most of Crossy Road‘s creatures, it’s a pretty accurate representation.

What have we been accepting as an echidna in Video Game Land all this time? Knuckles, who was introduced in Sonic 3 way back in 1994.


Even ignoring the ten-ton bowling shoes and evil Mickey Mouse gloves, Knuckles shares very little in common with the adoraball above. His “spikes” have been elongated into a bob of droopy dreads, his nose is a cross between Homer Simpson and a greyhound, and he has a randomly long lightning bolt tail (unlike the thick, stunted, and super spiny nub of real echidnas).


Granted, Sonic isn’t a true-to-life hedgehog, but he at least shares specific traits with his origin species. He has actual spikes, pointy hedgehog ears, a tiny button nose, and even appropriately skinny legs. The blue might make a first-glance classification difficult, unlike Tails (who is so obviously a fox that you can still tell while he’s helicoptering around), but “hedgehog” is at least an understandable explanation for ol’ blue fur.


Unlike this, which has become even less echidna-like over time. Knuckles in Sonic Boom has legs that are even longer, skin that is even smoother, hair-spikes that are even droopier, and a face that is even flatter despite his species’ relation to the long-beaked platypus.

Maybe he had his quills surgically removed and that explains the bandages. A nose job, eyebrow lift, tail enlargement, and boom: Knuckles the “echidna.” Possibly the first video game animal with an addiction to plastic surgery? Or he’s reverting to buff baby form, which falls somewhere on the spectrum between creepy and adorable.

(Oh, and we obviously still need to talk about Sonic’s scarf. It has not gone unnoticed.)

The Minish Cap: What’s Up with Link’s Hair?


We’ve been watching AGDQ 2015 basically nonstop this week, but the current run of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap reminded us that Link is hiding a pretty bizarro hairstyle underneath his classic green headgear. From the side, it might be considered simply bedhead (like many Zelda games, he does begin the game asleep). The front and sides are casually messy and in need of a trim, but the crown has been smooshed into a propeller-shaped hair Triforce that is almost floating above his head.


From the back, we get a clearer view of what looks like a Flux Capacitor prominently defined by a black outline against the rest of his blonde waves. Is this some sort of triple ponytail? Is it the hair-mark of the hero? Is it just the current style in Hyrule? And how does it stay so perfectly pointy even after being shoved under Ezlo-hat?

We don’t know the answers to these questions. What we do know is Joey has an opinion on Link-hair vs. Link-hat:


There are very few situations where hair is less offensive to me than a hat. This is especially true for a hat as heinous as Link’s. I definitely think it’s an improvement and laud his decision to go hatless. In fact, I’m having trouble thinking of a hairstyle that would benefit from his ridiculous headgear. Maybe some sort of weird rattail/sideways mohawk.

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 3

We’ve already looked at the uniforms fighters wear in Fantasy Life, as well as what gatherers don for maximum rock-bashing and tree-slashing. This week we’ll dish on the final four classes’ base outfits, which can’t possibly be as bad as the Hunter. Right?



The Blacksmith smock gives me definite “evil dentist” vibes, but its other primary offense is just being a giant blob of nothingness. There’s no shape to either gender’s silhouette and the back suspenders are the only thing preventing this from turning into a Homer Simpson-style muumuu. All this loose-fitting drapery is certainly a fire hazard for someone working at a red hot forge, and the lack of gloves is begging to add fourth-degree burns to the ensemble. The hats are just sort of…there. I guess the guy’s gives a hint of a train conductor which has a six-degrees-of-separation connection to Blacksmiths via coal, but the girl’s is too Three Stooges to take seriously. Neither one is as offensive as the pot-on-head Cook, but they speak to the uniforms’ fate as a whole: sent to the Fantasy Life equivalent of Good Will after the first day.



As much as I love the guy’s channeling of 1980s’ fashion in both colors and size of headband, his lack of follow-through to fingerless gloves ruins the attempt. His breezy tunic with utility belt seems functional enough for a Carpenter, but as a whole this is too plain for anything beyond a meh. Meanwhile, the girl’s white harem pants, pseudo-pirate shirt, and random crotch pleat come together in a surprisingly striking ensemble. Her headband is even larger than his and appears to be made up of two scarves tied together to form Paladin wings on the sides, which is ridiculous but strangely not infuriating. Since the only constant for the Carpenter’s uniform seems to be a giant headband and gloves, both in sky blue, I think she’s done the best job of accessorizing the basics while feeling job-appropriate.



The female Tailor looks like a minimum wage shirtwaist factory worker from the 1910s. The male Tailor is what I imagine Tom Sawyer looks like after Aunt Polly forces him to clean up. Either way, not the brilliant artisans of Fantasy Life that can craft an entire outfit from a piece of dandelion fluff. These are so boring that I’m just going to use the rest of their allotted space to talk about the Hero outfits.

Turns out, once you hit the Hero level of a class, you receive a new and improved job uniform. These are 100% better than their Apprentice counterparts both in battle statistics and style. The Blacksmith is probably one of the best improvements, transforming your steel-worker into a leather-clad goddess of royal purple and Yuna-style armsleeves/gloves that provide both protection and class. However, the Tailor is still a huge disappointment. While most classes receive a slew of interchangeable items, from hat to shoes, the Tailor only earns three pieces: a single-item “dress” (despite it clearly being a shirt, topcoat, and pantaloons), forgettable shoes, and a nearly invisible pincushion accessory. It’s some sort of ironic punishment that the class who makes all the clothes in the game has the least exciting wardrobe. I can’t speak to the guy’s version of the Hero outfit, but based on Bowtie McYawnSnore up above, I imagine it’s not much better.



Okay, as much as I hate the Tailor’s outfit, I hate the Alchemist’s more. Those are, objectively, the two worst shades of green you could inflict on someone. The girl has reentered muumuu territory and won’t even need a “baby on board” sign to get a free seat on the subway. She has three buttons on her dress that are accomplishing absolutely nothing, and just to top it off, here’s a ruffled white collar in case you thought she was any younger than 82. The guy’s is moderately less disturbing since his undervest is at least slightly tailored. But it’s also too small and shows off a hint of white undershirt, while his blue leggings disappear into same-shaded blue shoes like an adult onesie. They’re both sporting the most bland and shapeless bandana imaginable in the same solid vomit-green just to ensure you’ll never stop seeing it when you close your eyes. The saddest thing of all is that these are the definitive uniforms for less-than-Heroic Alchemists: Fizz, the NPC apprentice who helps get you acclimated to the job, wears the exact same dress and seems appropriately depressed about it despite her brave face.

That’s it for the basic class outfits. The verdict? Sell your uniforms on day one and buy a less-embarrassing Shark Hat. Your Fantasy Life will be better for it.

Fashion Sound Bite | Conan O’Brien on Bayonetta 2

Conan O’Brien introduced the Game of the Year nominees at last weekend’s Video Game Awards and had some short but insightful commentary on Bayonetta’s style.


“She looks like an incredibly dangerous real estate agent. Who really tones her butt. She’s not ashamed to show it, either. Look at the way she’s twisted and torqued. ‘Oh, are you seeing my bottom?‘”


Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 2

In the last Fantasy Life entry, I took a look at the four battle-focused classes and the differences between their male and female uniforms. This week we’ll do the same with the three gathering classes and the first (and likely most ridiculous) creation class. Oh, Cook, why?



Off to a good start. I have no idea what is going on with the guy Miner. It’s like he tried to replicate the girl’s outfit on a limited, tailorless, and fingerless budget. His acorn hat is even taller than the wizard’s, with a freakishly large pair of aviators glued to the front that are never actually used in the Miner Life. His crop-top is like a half-sized bankruptcy barrel, or a wrap-around dentist bib. Topped off with awkwardly long flood pants, and this is a no-contest comparison. The girl’s hat is a bit on the poofy side but still shorter than her head, so acceptable. Her tied crop-top frock is figure-flattering, especially when topped with a confident yellow kerchief. Even her shorts blow his out of the water, with an adorable pouch buckled to the back. If I was playing as a boy, I might just skip the Miner Life entirely to avoid this nightmare.



I feel like Woodcutter is a good time to take a break for a Fantasy Life PSA: if you’ve read both entries, you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming number of ridiculous hats in this game. Especially if you’re Joey. They are abundant, but they’re also removable. Since every item of clothing is separate and exchangeable, you can swap out a different hat–or no hat at all–any time. The downside is a slightly reduced defense rating, but the upside is not wanting to sacrifice your doofy-hatted character to a Napdragon (that’s a real, adorable thing). As to Woodcutter itself, the designers seem to have swapped their gender rules around. The boy’s short-sleeved, pantsless dress is ultra-feminine while the girl’s much warmer ensemble has a more masculine aura. I still prefer the girl’s outfit: between the two, it’s the one Ron Swanson would wear, and thus is more woodsman-y.



At first glance, this outfit is preposterous, but the giant-fish-on-head grew on me over time. I guess it’s a fish disguise, or maybe a warning to fish that if caught, they will be shamed as the centerpiece for this ensemble. I prefer the guy’s hat because the eyes look adorably surprised, while the girl’s are soul-sucking black holes. However, his green-on-orange color combo screams “I’m actually a pumpkin,” and we’re not trying to intimidate vegetables here. The girl’s pink and blue is less offensive-bordering-on-dull, but when you’ve got a giant fish on your head, you can get away with plain Jane duds elsewhere.



What self-respecting cook would wear a pot on their head? Especially since this isn’t a required uniform: all the other chefs you work with in Fantasy Life wear toques. Even the indentured servant plushie, Sizzle. And it’s not some sort of hazing ritual of the newbie, either: once you become a Master chef, they don’t say “Okay, okay, here’s your real hat, haha.” What you see is what you get. I could move on to how the gloves are so insanely thick you probably can’t do much more than loosely grip a ladle, how the aprons are mad scientist oversized and who cares if you get food stains on those boring, blank undershirts, anyway? But no, I can’t get past the head-pots. So the guy’s is some kind of giant cauldron that is magically floating above his brow. That thing is obviously so big that it should be sliding down over his mortified face. The girl’s is more colander-shaped but with wooden handles that draw even more attention to her head, if that’s possible. This one is a toss-up, but I guess I give it to the girl because the guy is going to be dead from a broken neck before he could enjoy his win.

Finishing up next time with: Blacksmith, Carpenter, Tailor, and Alchemist.

Who Wore It Best? | Bravely Default Performer

Bravely Default Performer


Gents because of Elvis consistency. Is the ladies’ supposed to be Alice in Wonderland or Lolita or Little Miss Muffet or what?


Gents. I enjoy the scarf and the swag pose sells it. Although I do like the ladies’ pose as well.


They are performing two entirely different shows. I’d rather see the gents. Excellent use of fringe.

Winner: Gents


Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions

I can’t say enough good things about Fantasy Life or its addiction-inducing combination of Action RPG and Life Simulation class meticulousness. After spending 60 hours slaying sentient trees, sewing shark hats, fishing for prawns in molten lava, and running all over town at the behest of characters too lazy to pick a couple of apples while standing five feet from an apple tree, I can confidently say: it’s good.


But even better is its wide array of clothing, armor, accessories, and general customization opportunities. Every item that you equip changes part of your appearance: this includes your weapon, shield, hat, shirt, pants, gloves, shoes, and accessory. If you want to wear a Paladin’s helmet with a princess dress and a pair of mules, you can do so. If you want to run around in your underwear with just a cape fluttering behind you, you can do that, too. On top of that, most items can be “dyed” to a different color than their base, making the opportunities for personalization nearly endless.


The majority of armor in the game is gender neutral, while clothing tends to be designated male or female-only. Men can’t wear skirts or dresses, women can’t wear tuxedos or diving goggles (that last one is extra perplexing). The gender fashion divide is most obvious in the uniforms you’re assigned each time you start a new “Life,” which is the name given to jobs/classes in Fantasy Life. There are twelve total, ranging from Paladin to Alchemist, and every Life comes with an accompanying outfit that you’ll change into upon first starting, although you can ditch it at any point after that.


The Life uniforms, while similar, are different for a male or female character. And like other gender-specific clothing, you cannot wear the uniform of the other gender (even though the items will be available in-game). While this might offer an extra incentive to replay as a different character, it’s mostly frustrating because certain uniforms are definitely better than others. Let’s compare, starting with the battle classes.



There’s not a lot of difference in the Paladin outfits, and this is one of the few uniforms that actually fits the female character properly. Her cloth skirt, connected spaulders, and royal blue pants add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise toned-down set of armor, which is mostly ho-hum for the guys. He does have a bit of hip-jut going on with flared faulds, but they’re oddly placed and way too short, making them equally useless as both armor and a fashion statement. They’re both wearing the tiniest poleyns imaginable, but characters in this game don’t really have knees, so they probably just took a random stab at what normal human anatomy looks like.



I love and hate the Mercenary class. Love because it’s a great example of the subtle differences between the two genders’ clothing: at first glance, we have essentially the same color scheme and collection of items. But there are tiny changes all over the place. The boy’s helmet has an extra Corythosaurus ridge for some reason. The burnt orange shawl he’s wearing has been tied around the girl’s upper arm. He has no armor on his upper torso while she has a lone spaulder and metallic bra. Which is where the hate comes in: what is the point of that thing? Besides the fact that it’s essentially just an iron bikini top, one of the breast plates is twice the size of the other. Is this a distraction technique to catch boob-ogling monsters off-guard?



The first obviously divergent set, and it’s really not beneficial to either gender. The girl’s ridiculously oversized hat is two bulbous eyeballs away from being a Mario frog suit. Meanwhile, the boy is trying to pull off the classic “wizard beekeeper” look in the shade of expired mustard. I’m still going to give him the slight edge here since collecting honey actually is a recurring task in the Hunter Life. I’m also confused, yet again, by the girl’s randomly Extra Small-sized shirt. Maybe the Hunter’s Guild used all their clothing money on the boy’s thigh-length tunic, but they could have borrowed a few bolts from that absurd hat to make a top that won’t ride up every time she reaches into her quiver.



These are only separated by a handful of tiny differences, but enough to award a fashion victor. The girl’s dark purple robes go along with the game’s strange choice of never dressing her in black, but it’s also more of a classic wizard hue. She has a taller hat with the crooked point more befitting a “witch,” while the boy has a short and straight top (best compared in the profile view). Unfortunately, with my choice of black hair on top of the black robe and hat, I picture this as a Bashlyk and cannot unsee it. The other biggest difference is, somewhat randomly, in their collars: the boy has a higher, pointed collar that almost looks like a fratty popped dress shirt from behind. The girl’s collar is softer and rounded, more “robe” appropriate. On all three of these, I give the advantage to the girl: and she knows it, too, from the look of her jaunty stance.

Next time: Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, and Cook.

Fashion Panel | Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS – Part 1

There are a crazy number of characters and an even crazier number of costumes (err, palette swaps) in the recently released/upcoming Smash Bros. games. So, of course, we have to dish on them.

Up first: a bunch of naked dinosaurs and monkeys, and Captain Falcon.

Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Charizard, Bowser, Captain Falcon

Reference images are credited to a great set of galleries at Super Smash Bros. Wikia and Games Radar.



My god. It’s like all my least favorite Nintendo characters in one go. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong because they’re damned dirty apes. Charizard because having him means you passed on Squirtle (aka best starter Pokémon). Captain Falcon because he can’t say “punch” correctly. Bowser’s cool though.

Donkey: That goofy ape expression on his mug makes it hard to choose a winner between his palettes. I guess Original and black are the most true-to-life. I like my monkeys to know their place. That means no dye-jobs. That’s a human privilege! Worst would be a tie between green and pink. Even when given the chance to dye, you shouldn’t use the worst colors for hair/fur. Note: I might have to do an Op Ed on green/pink haired characters.


Donkey Kong’s color-changing looks the weirdest out of all of these. I can accept a pink Charizard, but a pink ape? Yellow? Even worse. As for his one fashionable accessory, the collar, they’re all surprisingly ok, with the exception of #8. Pink hair and…what is that? Light brown? Mustard? It’s not nice. I realize we’re judging fictional characters here, but I have to draw the line somewhere. The only colorful primates I’m ok with are those scary mandrills.


Monkey-hate is one of the few things in life Joey and I agree on, along with the fact that Donkey probably doesn’t deserve a fashion critique. That said, he looks really good in black and I’m beginning to wish it was his default shade. This definitely feels like a missed opportunity to change up his same-‘ol-same-‘ol necktie routine, though. A fur-and-tie color swap is okay, but why not give him some other accessories? Maybe a Chiquita banana headdress is too cliche, but it would distract from his giant monkey face and give him some dedicated projectile ammo.




Even worse than Donkey Kong. At least he only wears a tie. This sack of monkey has two articles of clothing? Two too many. At least his fur-dyes aren’t as bad. As for the clothes themselves, #7 is least punchable and #5 makes me want to get this game so I can beat him up.


Diddy Kong, you look like a super nerd, but it’s ok. Your worst look is the lime green crop top with burgundy hair (agreed with Joey). Everything else is kind of ok. Overall, it’s a whole lot of meh. I don’t like the inconsistency of the color patterns/trim of the hats and tops. I think the original red looks best.


I can never decide if Diddy Kong is a wannabe jock or hipster, but these color palettes are making me lean towards ironic tragic figure. He manages pink a lot better than his “uncle,” but the green has burned holes in my retinas. I actually like the gray with red trim best; the original all-red blends in with his fur too much, while the gray is toned down but still distinct, which seems like a good goal if you’re a monkey that’s randomly decided to wear clothes.




Ok, monkey rage subsiding. Not much to choose from here. The colors in the portraits don’t really match the model, otherwise #5’s model would be my choice. I still think #1 best fits the whole fire-breathing dragon thing.


Charizard, you smooth, smooth dragon.You look great in any color. You keep doing you. I especially like the blue and the purple/green combo. The latter reminds me of Spike the little dragon from My Little Pony (original)…or I guess the new kind, too. Sigh.


I’m kind of mesmerized by lavender Charizard, #6. I guess because “I’m going to murder you” ice-blue eyes look good on lavender. That said, there’s way too many reddish shades going on here. I know he’s a fire Pokémon, but let’s try something zany like silver, or a maybe stripes! Okay, those technically aren’t ridiculously crazy ideas, but compared to Blandy McOneColor over here, they’re pretty wackadoodle.




As the villain of the series, Bowser should look intimidating. Fierce even! But like, the villainous fierce. Not the Tyra Banks kind. #4 I think does the best job of having an imposing color sequence. By that same reasoning, #8 is the worst. I might be able to buy a blue lizard. But a blue-skinned demon turtle? C’mon!


I have never liked Bowser, he is super ugs. His menacing turtle-beast appearance is offensive even in pink. If I really had to choose, I’d say he looks the most professional in the grayish hue? Rawr.


I really enjoy that Erin picked the “most professional” Bowser and am having trouble arguing with that. I’m confused by #6, the aqua-green and pink combo: I like it, but also hate it because it seems super lazy. It’s just his original coloring with the contrast turned up. I’m going to vote for the three that change his collar/armband spikes to gold, because after all these years of kidnapping princesses and wreaking havoc, he should be able to afford an upgrade.




I never realized that his abs are showing through his shirt before. Unless it’s a Batman suit sort of thing? In any event, #2 is the least ab-showcasey so I’m going with that as my favorite. #6 has the dual problem of hot pink and light cloth max transparency. Worst!


I don’t even know who you are Captain Falcon, but you look like you’re ready for your après-ski cup of hot chocolate after a hard day on the bunny slopes. I like #2 and #5, the rest are gross, man. #6 and #7 are especially tacky.


Now that Joey’s pointed out the skin-tight abs, I can’t see anything else. Stupid sexy Falcon! Trying to push forward: Falcon has always seemed like a bit of a dandy to me, with his scarf and half-popped collar (you’re a futuristic space ship racer, not an 1890s Sunday driver). So I think he actually pulls off most of these vibrant color combos. I’m giving it to #3, the dark pink with yellow scarf, because I think it would stand out the best from the green-glassed cockpit of the Blue Falcon.

Who Wore It Best? | Final Fantasy X-2 Gun Mage


Final Fantasy X-2 Gun Mage


Paine looks slightly better here. I like her dark purple top, but again with the cut outs! I like her sleeves best of the three. Rikku has a crazy palette going on; those boots especially are distracting. Yuna…meh.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Paine Yuna Rikku


Yuna’s dual vortex sleeves are freaking me out. Apparently none of these girls know what size shirts to buy, and Paine has returned to her hole-punch tailor. Too many colors on Rikku and those tights are bedroom-only, Yuna’s skirt looks like a curtain she stole from a brothel, and Paine’s tally mark cleavage circle might as well say LOOK BOOBS. Paine, only for the honestly awesome checkered pants.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Paine Yuna Rikku


I like everything about Paine’s look except those checkered pants. The studs make them look super uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Yuna looks so comfortable, if a bit breezy. I agree that Rikku’s color scheme is nuts; a few short of a rainbow.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Yuna Paine Rikku

Winner: Paine


Hot Take | Final Fantasy XV Player Characters

In Hot Take features, we give our first impressions of newly-announced characters. This week, we take a look at the main men of Final Fantasy XV that were confirmed at the Tokyo Game Show and are pictured below (from left to right): Prompto, Gladiolus, Noctis, Ignis and Cor.



I love how as you move from left to right, the outfits get more and more subdued. As someone who was mocked by his friends from wearing long shorts (capris according to them) in college, I’m glad that Noctis is sharing my passion for cool breezy hamstrings but covered knees. I liked the patterned shirts on the right three, but the exposed shoulders in Prompto and exposed chest on Gladiolus kind of break up their gang-synergy. At least I’m assuming they’re a gang, what with their matching red soles and all.


Gang or Boyband, I’m loving the coordinating getups. I think four out of the five are pretty strong. Ugly tattoos and top-to-bottom patent leather on Gladiolus is the weakest link here. Also want to note: Gladiolus is a pretty, pretty flower. The accessories are questionable, namely the quantity of fingerless gloves and the one pair of camo cuffed…cowboy boots? I’m hoping for his own sake, Ignis works behind the scenes. He looks like the guy they keep in the back of the van monitoring computers while everyone else is inside…opening safes? Roundhouse kicking people in the head? Glasses and hair like his don’t often get into quarrels and fisticuffs.


I think we should go with “gang,” because this is a walking mass of Hot Topic shopping spree. Amazingly, they each managed to find about ten different items without doubling up on anything, although I’m sure a fight broke out over who would get Cor’s skull deep-V and Noctis’s fingerless gauntlet. Prompto has too much of a Daryl from The Walking Dead vibe, complete with punk-hillbilly vest and perfectly styled “messy” hair. Gladiolus is a mess of pleather as Erin mentioned, but I like his bonus giant crotch zipper. I’m not on board with Noctis/Joey’s flood pants, although he has the best boots of the group and is displaying them proudly. His pseudo-military dress shirt is also all business. Ignis is so stiff I think he might be a mannequin they stole from the store, so his playful leopard print blouse is a bit out of place. Cor’s elf-toed rain galoshes are just…no, but at least he had the decency to put an undershirt beneath that ultra-deep-V.