Game Review

Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Doll-orous

Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection is your chance to slap drab Gothic accessories on two dead eyed dolls that look like charmless rejects from the movie Corpse Bride. That sentence is a complete and accurate summation of this title, and it's probably the only thing you'll need to read in order to decide if you want it.

Anne's Doll Studio is not a game at all. When you begin you'll be given the option of clothing either one or two dolls, and after you make your selection you'll be able to choose from various categories in order to customise them. And that's it.

The problems with this title become apparent before you've even spent much time with it. For starters, the customisation is woefully limited. For each of the categories — hair, tops, accessories and so on — you only ever have as many as 18 choices, and sometimes you have as few as six. For a title that only lets us do one thing, customising dolls in this case, it sure is stingy about letting us do it.

We understand and confess that we are not the target audience for this game. Yet we can say pretty confidently that the target audience would need a lot more options than this title provides were it to hold their attention. As it stands you can clothe your dolls in your favourite pieces, save the resulting photo, and never bother with it again. With so few accessories to choose from, what would be the point of coming back?

Particularly curious is the fact that the developers opted for a bizarre "white out" effect whenever you select an accessory. In other words, rather than the selected accessory just appearing on your doll, the entire screen fades to white, and then fades back again with the change in effect. This happens with every selection and it gets irritating quickly. There might be some fun to be had with just tapping on accessories to see how they look, but having to wait for each one to load just encourages you to pick something and get out.

Once you're happy with your dolls — or as close to happy as the limited selection allows you to get — you can choose a backdrop (including one from your DSi's camera) and use the stylus to add sparkles, stickers, or messages to yourself questioning why you spent money on this. After that you can save it and share it with your friends, who will begin to question why they hang out with you.

Sharing is an entirely external process, as there's no in-game method for doing so. That, for obvious reasons, isn't much of a drawback.

The main issue here is simply a lack of options. You can't even choose different skin tones and body types, let alone genders, meaning this won't even be appealing to those folks who like to kill time by designing Miis of their friends and celebrities. Though, come to think of it, this title could probably produce a pretty accurate Johnny Depp.

Games like Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! thrive in their creativity because they offer limitless potential for experimentation and creation. Anne's Doll Studio, by contrast, doesn't just eschew limitlessness, it hits you hard with its severe limitations right off the bat.

The presentation of this title is about what you'd expect: thoughtless and forgettable, though inoffensive. There's only one song and it loops endlessly, but it's not horrible. The menus are all controlled via the touch screen, and the "drawing" that you do with the stylus on your completed dolls is responsive enough. It's just a shame nobody bothered to make these dolls worth playing with.

Conclusion

Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection might at least have held some appeal for a small audience, but its limited customisation is a big strike against a title whose entire appeal relies on creativity. Add to this a dull interface, poor design and confusing "white out" effect and you have a game that fails in both concept and execution. It's no wonder that these dolls look so depressed; Anne's Doll Studio had the same effect on us.

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User Comments (24)

Karakato

#3

Karakato said:

Good job on the review CB, and I thought you loved to play dress up with dolls :P Anyway from your explanation, I've seen flash dress up titles that have far more customization than this, even being able to share the creations via FB. Yeah, I'll be sticking with Style Savvy for the 3/DS... for my sister yup.

sinalefa

#4

sinalefa said:

Thanks for making an interesting and enjoyable review out of such a boring looking game.

The game must really be limited, when you have space for four pics, and two of them are exactly the same.

dizzy_boy

#6

dizzy_boy said:

i think i`d have the same half dead expression as those dolls if i had to review this one.
i wonder, when the people finish making these games, do they actually play them? and if they enjoy them or not?

Nilkad_Naquada

#7

Nilkad_Naquada said:

@my_point_is:Yeah all developers should be forced to play their games after they finish them, and if they don't like them, the games don't get released.

But yeah those dolls are upset because they were implemented so poorly. poor dolls :'(

Mowzle

#9

Mowzle said:

Your reward for coping with this review CB, is the knowledge that you provided us with considerable amusement by writing it.
Many thanks ;)

dizzy_boy

#10

dizzy_boy said:

thing is, they could have made this a retail game with full range of customization. like different types of dolls, hair, make up, shoes, clothes, jackets.
have set on a mini high street. you get given a set amount of cash to begin with and make it so you can buy extra things with play coins, or earn cash via achievements via street pass, or completing mini games.
each doll could also have it`s own wardrobe too.
they could then offer DLC every few months, and make rare stuff available through street pass which can be initialy gotten from demo 3DS`s in game shops or secret locations.
they could also make it that you can swap individual items or fully made dolls with friends via spot pass or street pass.

MontMartre

#11

MontMartre said:

@Im really not defending this game by any means, it looks... Terrible... In every way, just terrible. But I would like to point out that the features you suggested are 3DS exclusive features, and this is a DSIWare title.
However, Evan though I'm not exactly the target market for this game genre, your version of the game sounds much more playable!

Also, thankyou for going through the tedious time of writing a review for this game to produce somthing amusing to read!

dizzy_boy

#12

dizzy_boy said:

oh, yeah, forgot about the dsi bit.
although i`m not target material myself either, it still shows that with a bit more thought from the dev`s, the game could easily be better suited to, and much more fun for the people that they are aiming to sell the game too.
just a thought, i wonder how long it will be before the dev`s of this game start whining and trolling this review.

bonesy91

#13

bonesy91 said:

dang an early entry for GOTY?
watch your back E3 the Gold title is right here haha.

the_shpydar

#16

the_shpydar said:

Phil, i demand one of your "YOLO" playthroughs of this title.
Of course, the inevitable conclusion would be when you finally couldn't take it anymore and bashed yourself in the head with a hammer. :D

StarDust4Ever

#18

StarDust4Ever said:

Seriously, it's titles like this that contribute to DSi sales: People download the game, then they bash their DSi in anguish, possibly for downloading such a stupid title, then they have to go back to the store and replace their broken DSi to continue playing the retail games they already own and love.

+1 shovelware = smash DSi in anguish = +1 DSi/3DS hardware sales,

and Nintendo wins, much in the same way "waggle" Wii games contribute to HDTV sales! (there is a symbiotic sales relationship between the two parties) B-)

Capt_N

#22

Capt_N said:

I know some people that would play this genre of game, & for a little while this particular entry/game in that genre.

@StarDust:"(there is a symbiotic sales relationship between the two parties)" Sometimes, I have felt the same about possible links between the 2.

@my_point_is: I agree w/ your ideas of how this game could be enhanced in many ways. This is a title that screams for that kind of dev support.

OldBoy

#23

OldBoy said:

I love how Brutus always gets the s**t games to review. His reviews are hilarious, keep up the good work Chicken.

DemonnPrincess

#24

DemonnPrincess said:

Awe. :( I was actually gonna buy the other game of this, because I like Japan, but after that hilarious review(though I feel bad for the creators >.< ) I dunno if I wanna buy it. Like I literally got DSi Shop open and my DSi sitting right next to me about to download the game, but I dunno. I REALLY like games like this, so I don't mind the things that it can't do. All I wanna do is change clothes and stuff, so I dunno. :3

On second thought...I dunno. I want LOTS of clothes for my doll. For 500pts I would wanna change her skin tone and eye color and stuff like that. And like on this one website where you can actually cut the clothes and shape it and put on as many clothes as you want. ^^ This game is cute, but I don't wanna spend 500 on it. I'm just getting irritated because I can't find something good to download! >.< I'm a RPG kinda girl, but I am also a cutsie girly games kind of girl (just as long as there's not a lot of pink!)

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