Review: My Dress-Up (Nintendo DS)

My Dress-Up
Publisher: O-Games USA
Developer: Oxygen Interactive Studios Ltd.
Genre: Customizable Fashion and Design Game
Release Date: 08/18/2009

My Dress-Up is not a game in the manner that Super Mario Bros. is a game, nor is it a game in the manner that Tetris is a game. Not even in that Cooking Mama sense, is My Dress-Up a game. It’s sort of a game in the way that, say, a pineapple is a game. Pineapple and My Dress-Up both contain nine letters. Both a pineapple and My Dress-up feature no animation. Both can only provide a limited amount of music. You could play catch with either, though the throwing strategies would differ somewhat. The main difference between the two being that pineapples are rich in bromelain, a mix of enzymes shown to mitigate certain types of swelling. Whereas My Dress-Up has been ineffectual, at best, in treating my gout .

1. Story
My Dress-up tells the story of Dr. Runcible Phatnick, physician/scientist, searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then, an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now when Runcible Phatnick grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. The creature is driven by rage and pursued by an investigative reporter. The creature is wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. Runcible Phatnick is believed to be dead, and he must let the world think that he is dead, until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him.

I’m kidding. Really, My Dress-Up tells the story of Trapezius Milkington. He was a cop and good at his job. But he committed the ultimate sin and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the Badlands, an outlaw hunting outlaws, a bounty hunter … a renegade!

Okay, seriously, this time.

There is no story.

2. Graphics
You know how some games are bogged down by the third dimension or by having pictures move? Not My Dress-Up. I mean once a picture starts moving is it still really a picture? Thankfully, the characters in My Dress-Up have the common decency to stand perfectly still and never blink.

Did you ever accidentally zoom too far? Not a problem here because you can’t zoom! AWESOME!

Do you know what the best part is? No bad camera angles! The camera angles never change and are, thus, never bad! Sure, you can only get one view of every outfit. But what do you want to see the back for anyway?!


3. Sound
Did you ever have a video game song stuck in your head? You are trying to get to sleep and the theme from The Legend of Zelda is playing over and over in your brain? My Dress-Up remedies this horrible problem by having only three seconds worth of music. It plays every time you go to the main menu, and then the game locks for about seven more seconds. You know, so you have time to forget about the horrors of music. Thank you My Dress-Up for saving me from myself!

As for sound effects, don’t worry! The game has a least three or four of those things!

To understand My Dress-Up, one need only to have played any wrestling game of the past fifteen years. It’s basically Create a Wrestler mode, without the actual game to play. And without the actual game to play, there is no need to assign moves, or taunts, or music, or lighting, or. . . height or weight.

You start the game with a couple of girls and can create more. You can choose skin tone, hairstyle and color, eye shape and color, one of three chin sizes, and pick between eight different lips. After that you can name her, and pick her birthday. You can choose between the five different personalities girls are apparently allowed to have (Shy, Smart, Cool, Funny, or Grumpy). In contrast, you are given over forty different options for favorite color and over forty different options for favorite animal.

Why are we picking a favorite animal? Who knows!

Now you have a completely customized girl to dress up. Sure, you might not be able to pick how tall she is or her shape or size or what her nose looks like or her fighting style, but what are you going to do?

Anyway, so you get to dress her up. The book tells me that there are six hundred articles of clothing to choose from, each with a great many options for colors and some with pattern variations. You can save the outfits and share them with friends in order for them to . . . judge you. . . on your clothes.


You can pretty much select any friend you want and dress them up however you want, but there are also “messages”. In this mode, you read what amounts to a text message from a friend who requests that you dress her up for, say, a birthday party or dress her up like a pirate or what have you. You do this thing, with no discernable reward or punishment save unlocking new shirts, pants or accessories.

There are also some pointless messages from the girls who like to spout non sequiturs about science being hard or getting an A on an art project.

At this point, playing that pineapple is starting to look pretty appealing.

5. Replayability
While My Dress-Up contains tens of thousands of potential outfit choices, it really offers nothing else. Sure, there are modes where you can chat with other My Dress-Up players, but you don’t need a cart to do that thing with the DS. It’s part of the system. It’s like when Pizza Hut started advertising that you could order pizza using your iPhone. Of course you can; it’s a phone.

Anywho, this game never really provides a sense of “playing”, so re-“playing” would seem to be out of the question.

6. Balance
This category isn’t really applicable.

7. Originality
Many games have create a character modes which are far more satisfying experiences. Plus, after making characters in those games, you get to do things with them. I would call it highly original to charge THIRTY DOLLARS for what is essentially a paper doll kit.

That takes some huevos, my friend.

8. Addictiveness
I have negative interest in playing this game. My six year old daughter helped me make a few outfits, and seemed unimpressed. She has not asked to play it since.

The game provides little in terms of fun. Dressing up is not innately boring. For example, the mini-game “Pimp My Rabbid” in Raving Rabbids TV Party is ridiculously entertaining. It contains fewer outfits and less customization, but manages to be challenging and funny. Contrasted against a small portion of a real game, My Dress-Up comes off as tedium.

9. Appeal
Kids like dressing up and pretending to be different people and things. This thing has always been true. The problem is, that this game doesn’t allow kids to do anything with a character aside from picking out her clothes. As such, it feels less like dress-up and more like getting dressed.

Kids love dress-up and hate getting dressed.

10. Miscellaneous
My Make-Up, My Dress-Up, and My Secret Diary are all interoperable with each other via DS wireless communications. Normally, this thing would be a positive.

In this case, however, I would gather that the info on all three game would probably fit comfortably on one Nintendo DS cart. Mind you, each of these games is thirty dollars. In order to put makeup on the character you just dressed up would cost you sixty dollars.


Dude, no.


But, at least I was able to make a Goth character named Per Se whose favorite animal was a hippo.

Then again, this game loses points for not being translated into American English. One of the girl’s favorite animals is a budgie! A budgie?! She also says “cheers” in lieu of “thanks”. What kind of socialist nonsense is this game? It is an abomination.

The Scores:
Story: Dreadful
Graphics: Mediocre
Sound: Bad
Control/Gameplay: Poor
Replayability: Very Bad
Balance: Not Applicable.
Originality: Worthless
Addictiveness: Pretty Poor
Appeal: Decent
Miscellaneous: Very Bad
Final Score: Pretty Poor Game

Short Attention Span Summary
By reading the box of My Dress-Up, one could come to the conclusion that it really isn’t a game. One would be right in that assumption. It is not, nor does it profess to be, a game. It is simply the repeated task of putting clothes on static 2D figures. If you enjoy making spreadsheets and enforcing strict gender roles, My Dress-Up is the game for you!



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One response to “Review: My Dress-Up (Nintendo DS)”

  1. […] “Best Video Game of 2009” in France. Around these parts, I am usually tortured by Zoo games and DS titles aimed towards little girls. The possibility of playing one of the “best of 2009” certainly seemed […]

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