As you have surely already guessed based on the title, Girls’ Fashion Shoot has players take on the role of an upcoming female model who doubles as the fashion editor of a successful style magazine. While, the game’s feature bullet points suggest an assortment of activities, the truth is that this 3DS title is a shallow one-trick pony that (sadly) reinforces the idea that a disturbingly thin body is the primary goal that females should aspire to.
Upon turning on Girls’ Fashion Shoot for the first time, players are instructed to create a new character in the single save file on the cartridge — which could be a problem for anyone buying this game with the intent of creating more than one character or sharing the game among multiple children. During this process, players are first told to type in their name using a maximum of six letters (sorry Isabella, Elizabeth, Abigail and every other multi-symbol named girl out there, your names are just too long) and birth date. You are then asked to pick a “style” and given a set of choices. The major problem here is that there are no images that accompany any of the choices, so it is impossible to create the character you want from the start. The good news (if you can call it that) is that it does not really seem to matter what you choose, because the character will always turn out to be a disgustingly wafer-thin young girl that in no way resembles a healthy body type.
Once the character creation process is done, you are off to pick out a wardrobe and get ready for your first fashion shoot. This introductory assignment is extremely important, as it basically fully explores everything that there is to do throughout the remainder of the game. Never once taking direct control of their character, players pick a wardrobe, select a post and expression, then watch as pictures are automatically taken. After that you can mess around with some background options and text layout for the image and submit it to the magazine. The picture is then ranked according to how well you met the criteria for the photo shoot, and you are then awarded money to purchase things like new outfits, poses, hairstyles, and nails. Different activities and assignments unlock over time but they all pretty much boil down to that same, extremely simple, formula.
As basic as the gameplay in Girls’ Fashion Shoot is, nothing appears to be broken and the overall visual/sound presentation (while nothing to write home about) gets the job done. From this standpoint it might not be a completely terrible purchase for a certain segment of young female 3DS owners, however, there were a few other aspects that bothered me as a parent, keeping me from giving it a recommendation.
Aside from the above-mentioned overly thin characters (which are occasionally reinforced with statements like, “Looking for something slimming?” when shopping for additional outfits), I was somewhat taken aback by how revealing some of the clothes were. Nothing seemed to be used in a sexual manor, but there were a significant number of choices that I would never consider letting my daughters wear unless myself and my good friend Samuel Colt were legally allowed to follow them to deter wandering eyes.
To be fair, being a 36-year-old male puts me about as far from the target audience for Girls’ Fashion Shoot as a person can reasonably get. Since I am unable to roll back time, and not all that interested in changing my gender, I enlisted the help of my 9 and 5 year-old daughters to get their perspective on the title. After a lengthy talk about why this is not a body type that anyone should want to achieve (and a discussion about how this does not mean that I have reversed the ban on strapless tops, short skirts, and bikinis) they were initially thrilled with the digital dress-up aspects to the game. With that said, the shallow nature of the gameplay eventually took its toll and that excitement dulled over the course of the next few days.
While my personal issues with Girls’ Fashion Shoot are not going to be a problem for every parent out there, the one inescapable fact is that the game’s extremely limited scope does not provide much incentive to keep young players interested for very long.
This review is based on the 3DS exclusive, which was provided to us.
Girls' Fashion Shoot's limited number of activities and its reinforcement of negative female body images makes it impossible to recommend as a purchase for young 3DS gamers.