Hot Japanese Imports: Angel Collection: Mezase! Gakuen no Fashion Leader review for GBA

August 10, 2009 - 4:28 pm No Comments

Section: Reviews, Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, GBA, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Casual, Children’s, Sim

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Title: Angel Collection: Mezase! Gakuen no Fashion Leader
Price: $48.90, but it’s out of print
System(s): GBA
Release Date: April 18, 2003
Publisher (Developer): MTO (MTO)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Pros: You get to co-ordinate your character’s whole outfit, make friends with five characters, visit lots of stores and play a wide selection of mini-games. Plus, those unfamiliar with Japanese will have a fairly easy time playing, since there are few kanji involved.
Cons: The mini-games are rather easy, as is winning over friends. It can also be a bit repetitive.
Overall Score: 8/10

When you look back on a one of your favorite games from the past, fondness and memories are bound to make it seem better than it really was. Thankfully, that’s only partially true for Angel Collection a Japanese Game Boy Advance game for girls that was one of the first import games I ever played. I borrowed the game from a friend again to do a retro-review and see if it is as good as I remembered.

While it isn’t a video game masterpiece, I was delighted to find that it still was a geniunely sweet and enjoyable game, perfect for those just beginning to learn the language. A bit girly, with a story/premise that seems more ridiculous as you age, but still a delightful adventure.

Angel Collection

If you want to make friends, you better buy the right clothes.

Angel Collection is really like an elaborate game of dress-up. You create a character, whose dream is to be an idol/model. However, that dream’s pretty far away. After all, you’re only a junior high student. But, there is a chance of being discovered, a contest is being held where fashionable, pretty and co-ordinated girls could earn the chance to live out their dreams.

For the moment though, you have to focus on the small stuff. Make friends with classmates Ayumi, Moe, Minii, Hikaru and Sofie by playing mini-games, hanging out with them, talking to them and wearing clothes that they like. If you do, you’ll earn fashion tips and new clothing. With their advice, you could end up becoming an icon.

Angel Collection

Go to school, play a mini-game, shop, make plans, dress up, repeat.

The important thing to remember about Angel Collection is that it is designed for a young audience. So at times, the mini-games may seem overly simplistic and the language a bit childish. Anyone over the age of 13 may initially be enthused about the school mini-games, like basketball, singing, whack-a-mole, cooking and a memory card game, but that enthusiasm will fade fast after playing at the same difficulty level for the fifteenth time. It’s a good game to play in spurts. That way, it doesn’t feel as repetitious.

There’s also quite a bit of variety when it comes to clothing. The various makeup, hair, shoe and clothes stores are all fully stocked with all sorts of items and accessories, and it’s easy to mix and match. Plus, after hanging out with one of the five friends, players have the chance to possibly win a whole outfit in that character’s style with a slot machine mini-game.

Angel Collection

If you enjoy dressing up, co-ordinating outfits and life-sim games, it’s an instant win.

While Angel Collection isn’t as grand as I remembered it (years ago, I probably would have given it a 10/10), it’s still a lot of fun. It’s held up well over the years, and I think if it were rereleased, or a new entry in the series was created, it would do very well. If a new entry in the series was created, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ubisoft pick it up and release it as an Imagine game.

It’s a shame the game is out of print, and thus very difficult to find. However, there was a sequel released called Pichimo ni Narou (Angel Collection 2), also for the GBA, with a similar premise and character design. I’ve never had the opportunity to play it, but it looks quite similar to the original game.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables will look at places you can find video game soundtracks.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables discussed the Dreamcasts.

Site [Angel Collection: Mezase! Gakuen no Fashion Leader] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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