Who Wore It Best? | Final Fantasy X-2 Samurai


Final Fantasy X-2 Samurai


Another set of bargain bin Halloween costumes. Pretty sure samurai usually have more than one small pleat of armor on their outfits. Paine is one giant regret: that helmet, the rainbow flares, and the soda can loops on her arms. Rikku is surprisingly boring besides whatever is growing out of her forehead. Yuna seems the most “samurai” of the lot, but that sword looks like a giant can opener.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Yuna Rikku Paine


Ok, Rikku is now wearing a bird on her head? Tell me that isn’t a bird head. The split in her robes makes it look a little more pirate-y than samurai. Paine…so many things went wrong for you. The giant buttons, the pleated bell bottoms, fringe arms? You are the worst. I really like Yuna’s robes and colors and her sword definitely is the most fearsome.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Yuna Rikku Paine


Paine and Yuna must have been reading the Rainbow Brite guide to samurai. So many bright colors! I’m not sure why birds on heads are so offensive to you, but overall I like Rikku’s outfit and sword the best. Yuna gets a slight edge over Paine for a helmet that might somewhat useful. Paine’s would even protect her from Rikku’s bird’s droppings.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Yuna Paine

Winner: Yuna


Who Wore It Best? | Bravely Default Swordmaster

Bravely Default Swordmaster


This doesn’t feel like “Swordmaster,” more “Gone with the Wind.” Ladies win this one because the gents look like a hippie monastery monk in training. She at least has some sort of sword-related clothing, with the arm bracers and half (yet polka-dotted?) breast plate.


I actually like the gents on this one. I’ve never been a fan of the pink/green combo and his outfit is more sleek. Better for swordmasterin’


Too much fabric on both of them. She looks like she’s dressed for winter with a fur stole and he should not be mixing lime green with hunter green. Ladies because her sash works better with her pink petticoat.

Winner: Ladies


Who Wore It Best? | Final Fantasy X-2 Dark Knight


Final Fantasy X-2 Dark Knight


All I see are three seahorses. Rikku has the most interesting helmet, Paine has a crazy intimidating serrated sword, Yuna looks like she’s muffled in a turtleneck.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Paine Yuna


I can’t get past their helmets, so that will be how judgement is wrought. Yuna’s looks like a metallic court jester and Paine’s is some kind of Geisha fan. Rikku’s is a pissed-off unicorn that wears the horns of other unicorns it has murdered like a tooth necklace, so Rikku. Okay, I looked past their helmets briefly and Yuna needs a new pair of undies.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Paine Yuna


What would happen if you stabbed someone with Rikku’s sword? Mythbusters, get on it. Rikku gets last for what appear to be totally exposed knees and the least dark armor. Somehow the geisha armor is more intimidating than the jester armor, so I give Paine the top spot.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Paine Yuna Rikku

Winner(s): Rikku and Paine


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.

Who Wore It Best? | Final Fantasy X-2 Alchemist


Final Fantasy X-2 Alchemist


I’m going to ignore that they’re supposed to be alchemists. They’d fit right in as extras in Mad Max. Or maybe in a gun fighting roller derby? Yuna’s color scheme made me think of Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog. I don’t care for her bulky swiss cheese wheel shoulder pads. Paine’s gun is large and in charge, but those orange panties say “here’s my crotch!” It’s very distracting. Rikku’s outfit is pretty similar to Paine’s, but her hair kind of works with this for once. Good for you, Rikku.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Yuna Paine


This looks like some kind of Goodwill hodgepodge of their Gunner, Warrior, and Black Mage outfits, creating an even worse eyesore than any of those were alone. Yuna looks like she’s in the process of being digested by a robot. Paine’s orange crotch has blinded me as well, Erin, and the pink suspender outlines aren’t helping. Rikku’s colors actually work here and she’s a thankfully toned-down version of everything terrible the other two are doing.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Yuna Paine


Not sure why Paine’s gun is so much bigger than the other two. She’s already got the “here’s my crotch” action going on. Neither is as repulsive as the pink straps. I agree that Rikku pulls it off best with a more pleasing color combination and less audacious shoulder pads. Shoulder armor? Metal things on shoulders with holes in them.

1st 2nd 3rd
Scores Rikku Yuna Paine

Winner: Rikku


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.