|Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation|
|Game Modes:||Single Player|
|Platform(s):||PlayStation, Nintendo DS|
Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation, known as That's QT (ザッツキューティ) in Japan, is a fashion designer simulation game. Players design their own clothing brand while running a successful business in the city. Known for its quirky yet strangely addicting environments, Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation became a hit with import buyers.
According to the developer, Yamakana, the PlayStation port was being offered at nearly double the original price in various auction sites. Surprised that the title was considered a "hidden gem", he pushed for a Nintendo DS remake to expand on a game that he also enjoyed since its release. He joked that he kept asking for the revamp until the top brass of the company
forgot about it gave the okay for its production.
Tomohiko Sho is the director for the Nintendo DS version.
When the game begins, the player wakes up and washes their face in their bathroom. Each time their face is washed, they can change their character's profile from six different expressions (eight in the DS version). During the following interview, the player can give their character a name and gender. If they answer the following quiz questions correctly, they will get a small prize.
Though there are short story segments separating the stages throughout the game, the majority of the gameplay is separated into three stages.
In order to design their clothing, the player has to find their inspiration. He/She does so by collecting keywords from everyday events. Once the player has enough words to play with, they need to enter their design studio. Their studio provides a designing desk, which can be used to combine various genre and image keywords.
When a piece of clothing has been made, the player can decide whether they want to include the piece of clothing into their shop's catalog. They may pick whatever color they prefer and, once confirmed, the item can be arranged within the player's shop. If desired, the player may choose to create an item for their own character's wardrobe. They need only create the item they want and press the dressing button nearby their design desk. Players can always rearrange their shop's inventory by searching through their clothing catalog in the upper right hand desk.
The studio also has a computer to keep track of the profits of all three designers, a telephone, and a record player. The telephone may be used to hire designers or other services to promote the player's business while the record player lets the player program or change the background music from the records they have collected. Players can also choose to save by writing their progress in a journal.
Consumers who are interested in the player's designs may enter the player's shop to make a purchase. In the early stages of the game, the player is regulated to providing whatever clothing they wish to sell in their shop. Later on, they may also design the shop's interior to include more displays and dressed mannequins. Employees can be hired to help run the shop in the player's absence. Be sure to keep customers happy. If they have to wait too long for the register or hate the clothing in the store, they will angrily leave without buying anything.
People can become interested in the player's designs by advertising their clothing in the Fashion Maker magazine or by hiring models to pose in the streets with their clothing; it is also possible to monopolize the latter to prevent rivals from gaining the upper hand. Word of mouth or having the player advertise their clothing on the streets personally helps boosts profits as well. Players may know what people think of their design if a person has a thought bubble with one of their items. A person's gaze with that item may be marked with three different rays of colors via the analysis glasses. A blue gaze means they like the item, yellow means they're interested, and red means they hate it. These eye gazes aren't limited to the player's designs, however; responses to clothing from rival designers will have the same effect. Watching the streets for such people may help the player spot who among the crowd is their fans.
During the story mode, the player is pitted against one of his/her two rivals. The battles take place every three months (March, June, September, December) on the tenth day. Fashion Battles test the player's imprint in the fashion world, being the ultimate factor of whether they are the next big thing or flop in the market.
Each Fashion Battle pits the two designers to create an appealing outfit from a select number of clothing items. When the number is chosen, the player is limited to these categories only; in other words, they can't add a hairstyle to their design if it isn't included as the Fashion Battle's theme. Once the theme is chosen, the player will need to dress up a model with the items currently available in their store catalog.
Judging for the outfit the player presents goes through three stages:
- Audience Approval - What the average joe thinks of the player's final choice. If there are a lot of observers who like a particular item, it will have high points. Fans of the player will be generous with their points so it helps to be kind to customers.
- Fashion Judges - Judges' critique based on trends or personal preferences. Their input adds an extra boost of points if they're impressed with the designer's outfit coordination. Like real life judges, each has their own tastes and don't necessarily care too much about popularity. Their opinions help boost the player's reputation as a professional.
- Popularity - Overall popularity of each item on the market. This is where the marketing and word of mouth for an item comes into play. The judges also add in their final scores to make or break the final point tally.
The designer with the highest amount of points wins the Fashion Battle. When the player wins, they will be awarded with a rare record to play at their studio or a generous sum of 10,000 QT if all records have been collected. If everyone at the show is impressed, the player may gain more fans and purchases at their shop. Their popularity might rise to extraordinary rates if they continue their current pace. If the player loses, they may lose their fans and will have to rethink the future of their fashion empire.
If two players have their memory cards available, they can stage Fashion Battles against one another.
Serving as the player's avatar, the protagonist is an amateur designer who wants to make his/her mark in the fashion industry. Aided by friends, he/she slowly gains popularity through their brand while gaining fans and rivals alike. The expansion of the protagonist's business and reputation eventually culminates in their fashion line being shown at the prestigious Cutie Collection. The DS version has him/her continue improving their designing skills afterwards.
Characters who appear on the streets. Depending of the results of the player's actions with them, they may influence the designing process.
- Pierre XXVI - A wandering poet. He randomly appears on stages to offer poetry. The overseas version has him provide historical trivia on the different types of outfits found in the game.
- The Tempests - Popular three-member rock band who enter the street now and then. The members are Charlotte (leader, vocals, guitar), Emily (bass), and Anne (drums). They can give the player one of their songs upon meeting one another.
- Photog (Cameraman) - Literally a walking camera who works as a professional photographer. He takes photos of the eye-popping fashion trends. If the player is persistent enough, they can have him take a photo of them for the latest issue of the Fashion Maker magazine.
- Sergeant Hilda (Osuzu-san) - Bossy looking woman who makes stern recommendations to people walking on the street. She might be completely unsatisfied with what a person is wearing and strips them nude. The victim will then need to re-buy their entire wardrobe. Her recommendations may help the eavesdropping player keep the latest trends in mind.
- Brenda (Sakurako-san) - Famous actress who offers instant celebrity status to whatever brand she supports. The player can talk with her and even get a free copy of her latest album during their first meeting together.
- Cat, Dog, Monkey - Animals that walk through the street unnoticed by bystanders. Their speech patterns can be understood by upgrading the analysis glasses. Should the player talk to them too many times, they will make snide remarks about him/her and pity him/her. Pestering them long enough will reward the player with unique keywords.
Random characters who directly influence the player's shop area.
- Cordy Nate (Coordinate-ojisan) - A miniature man who dresses with cowboy attire. He only speaks the word "Coordinate!" as he approaches a customer in the player's store. Using the entire store inventory, he will dress the lone customer entirely with the player's brand of clothing. After he leaves, the dressed customer will immediately go to the counter to purchase their outfit.
- Klizbit (Kyoron) - A green frog who may appear at the player's store. He will suggest a single item for a customer to buy or convince them to copy the player's own wardrobe.
- Mephistopheles - Tiny devil who appears when the store's QT (the game's money currency; known as merri in the Japanese version) ends with 666 or other unlucky number combinations. He pulls a random prank on the store, thereby ruining a customer's experience there.
- Exorcist - Pious man who rarely enters the store to undo whatever trickery Mephistopheles has committed.
- Balto (Balt) - A millionaire who may drop in if the store is popular. If he's in the mood, he will buy every item in the store at once.
- Kankotori - Irritating crow who perches somewhere within the store for a time before flying. Its caw-cawing during its stay is enough to drive any customer away.
- Laura (Lolita) - A young woman who dresses and specializes in Gothic Lolita fashion. She refers to herself in third person and carries a stuffed bear called Hubert. The protagonist insists that she looks like a baby, which indirectly insults her.
- Akira (Kyotaro) - A young man who favors Japanese traditional clothing. He is stuck up and believes he has a refined taste in clothing.
- Grant (Keith) - A spiky-haired youth, Grant tends to produce clothes with a cyber-punk twist. He talks with technological jargon and acts a bit robotic.
- Rachel (Wanda) - Dominatrix clad in a leather leotard, Rachel designs radical and wild clothing. She likes carry and use a whip, but has a weakness towards any pretty boys she encounters.
- Les Fashionistas (Fashion Demon) - A trio of aliens who want to invade the world through their uniform inspired clothing brand.
- Bryan (Morimoto) - The MC of each Fashion Battle, he is dressed like a ventriloquist puppet or an elementary student. Since the judges refuse to move from their go-kart seats, he is the one who presents the prizes to contestants.
- Pauline (Sawaragi-sensei) - A high classed woman who has high artistic standards. She is frank with her opinions, seeming to favor clothing with exciting trends.
- Randall (Tetsuo-sensei) - A judge who hardly looks older than an infant. He participates in the Fashion Battles in between his preschool classes.
- Simone (QT-sensei) - The most reputed fashion designer and the game's namesake. When he's impressed with a particular design he'll shout, "That's QT!"
- Madame Edwarda - A strangely dressed male who interviews and quizzes the player in a dream. Speaking to "her" decides the gender and name of their character. "She" only appears in the PlayStation version.
- Professor Rabbit (Usagi-sensei) - A man wearing a rabbit-eared hood and a light blue suit, he is the one who introduces the player to each stage. He offers a few words of advice for becoming a respectable fashion designer.
- Uncle Bob (Torahiko-ojichan) - An middle-aged repairman who knows the player. He offers friendly advice to the player and hands them various machines to help them.
- Suzie (Tomo-chan) - The player's friend who chats with them during the stage transition scenes.
- Johnny (Takki) - A young man who approaches the player to help. His employment is mandatory and can't be refused by the player.
- Postman Eldon - A red mailbox who drops down from the sky to deliver mail to the player. A jazzy theme song plays each time he appears.
- Eddie - A dancing star who appears when the player tries to change a record. Music is his soul so he is more than willing to help the player change the background music. If the player chooses to ignore his program sequence, he will leave for a time and can be brought back if the player calls 9901. He gives the player a present for caring.
- Blue Screen (Babeggs-san) - The player's personalized computer. He keeps track of the profits of the player and their rivals and can calculate the future outcome of each business.
- Asuka - A young woman wearing glasses, Asuka is the editor of the magazine, "Fashion Maker". The player can contact her to promote one of their designs to the general public with a fee of 500 QT.
- C.F. Worth - A man dressed in medieval garb, he is the manager of the local model agency. If the player phones him, he can send up to three models with each costing the player 500 QT.
- Michel - A stoic artistic man, he is the interior design manager who Suzie recommends. For a hefty, variable fee, he can help the player rearrange their shop's interior.
- Kip Spade (Space) - A macho action man, Spade hauls a few band of his finest to serve the player as employees.
- Objective: Earn a total sum of 10,000 QT.
- Rivals: Laura, Akira
- Additions: Flea market (no fee for booth). One dressing stall.
- Objective: Win three Fashion Battles against rivals.
- Rivals: Akira, Grant
- Additions: Player gets a small store and can change their store's interior. Two dressing stalls are available.
- Objective: Have twenty fans for the player's designs.
- Rivals: Grant, Rachel
- Additions: Moves operations to a rental store with a 3,000 QT monthly rent. Player can personally adjust the interior of their store. Three dressing stalls are initially available.
- Objective: Be the first to earn 1,000,000 QT or accumulate 50 fans.
- Rivals: Rachel, Les Fashionistas
- Additions: Player owns their own store with 5,000 QT monthly payments needed to keep.
Stage 5 (Nintendo DS version only)Edit
- Objective: Either one of the following: make a one month profit of 30,000 QT, gain a total of 30 fans, or win three Fashion Battles.
- Rivals: Random
Once the player meets the stage objectives, they may choose to either keep playing the current stage or move on to the following one. Continuing the present stage doesn't punish the player and it may even help to stay behind to collect more keywords and colors. After clearing all four/five stages, the game may be played endlessly.
The Nintendo DS remake offers the following over the original title:
- Opening sequence is altered slightly.
- The quiz section at the beginning of the game is omitted.
- Crisper visuals and renovated color palette. Minor aesthetic changes whilst playing. The colors for designing are still labeled with the same names but look brighter than the original PlayStation ones.
- Massive revision of the designs and clothing selections with more options than before.
- Additional records can be collected.
- Phone index has been updated to include more numbers.
- Interiors for the store have been altered.
- Better voice clips for the records and characters.
- The dual screen provides a menu listing the player's stats and previously read messages, an option unique from the PlayStation original.
- Fashion Battles between two players can be done through a wireless connection.
- Stage 5 is added after completing Stage 4. It provides a random challenge using elements from the previous stages. Like the original, the game can be played infinitely after its completion.
Curious players could also download a trial version of the game on the Wii Nintendo Channel or from their Nintendo DS.
The Nintendo DS version of That's QT had a collaboration effort with the comic Kabushiki Gaisha Love Cotton. When the comic was still in serialization, specially labeled publications would contain two number codes the players could input into the telephone. The player would then be rewarded with exclusive keywords to expand their clothing design library. Players were also asked to submit their favorite designs to the developers to have the artist of the comic draw a special illustration of choice designs.
- Characters from Angelique have mentions throughout the game in the player's mail. Their names may be altered slightly as a parody, but fans of the player may ask them to model their fashion lineup based on themes found within Angelique. The band, Ange, has their song "Love Love Flash!" available as a collectible record.
- Two of the special costumes are of Lu Bu and Keiji Maeda from Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors respectively.
- Records that the player may obtain in the Nintendo DS version are references to other Koei franchises. Eight Leaves has the theme of Fujihime's mansion, Akanesasu, as their album. RED RABBIT HORSES presents THEME OF LU BU and the Takeda Twenty-Four Esemble has their Kawanakajima track available.
- Characters named Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) and Nostra-chan (Nostradamus) can be reached at phone numbers 1818 and 1999 respectively. 3734 connects the player to a character named Tournier. After a short musical motif, he remarks being stranded on a deserted island. Robinson Crusoe and the two prior historical figures have many subtle mentions within the Uncharted Waters series; the current expansion of the online adaption has an option to visit Molière's family and Nostradamus's residence.
- Dialing 3594 (San-go-ku-shi) on the phone lets the player talk to a character named Ryubi-kun. 8349 has a character named Kanu-san talk as well; the Nintendo DS version allows a conversation with Yamada-kun at 0893. A band calling themselves SOSO's is also within the game.
- The phone number 2000 has a character named Y2K-san congratulating the player for the new year in the PlayStation version. 0666 and 6666 has a character commenting on the unlucky properties of the number combinations.