We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
DS

North America

Lovely Lisa

by Carmine Red - June 21, 2009, 2:15 pm PDT
Total comments: 9

7

Play mini-games and play dress-up, all in one convenient package.

Lovely Lisa could easily have passed for a mini-game collection, but it's actually a little bit more than that. Lovely Lisa (based on the popular Licca dolls from Japan) is a genuine virtual doll, bringing all that entails to the table. Play with the game and ignore the doll, or play with the doll and ignore the game, and you've only got half the story.

If Lovely Lisa were to be judged simply on its game aspects, its wide variety of mini-games would be a factor in its favor. There are more than 16 different mini-games in Lovely Lisa, all easy to understand and requiring only the DS touch screen to play. Some activities focus around homelife, with Lisa helping her father construct furniture, helping her mother get all the items on her shopping list, or cleaning up after her younger siblings. Other mini-games involve possible careers for Lisa, like administering shots as a nurse, picking out the correct toddlers at a preschool, or even dancing as a popstar. Finally, the last set of mini-games revolve around Lisa attending charm school, involving such things as simple piano lessons, sewing activities, and typing practice. Players have complete control over which mini-games they want to play or repeat playing, with most of them taking under a minute to complete. A nice feature is a "For Grown-Ups" menu that allows parents to set the difficulty level and amount of points rewarded after each mini-game's performance.

These points tie into the game's other half: its virtual doll component. With the points earned from doing chores, jobs, and attending charm school, players can go shopping for new clothes, shoes, make-up, accessories, and hair-styles. Of course, character customization isn't a new concept, but the allure of shoe-shopping, as well as matching outfits, should not be underestimated. The prices to add new pieces to the wardrobe are significant, so there's a definite incentive for players to go back and play their favorite mini-games many more times. However, designing your own simple patterns for dresses and shirts is thankfully free.

Trying on clothes is one of the few times the game presents 3D graphics, showing Lisa and the player's chosen outfit in full 3D. The 3D model is strikingly reminiscent of real dolls, even those made of porcelain, a style that works everywhere but in the dancing "pop-star" mini-game, which features some awkward animation. The rest of the game is primarily done in a simple, bright, and clean 2D art style that suits it perfectly.

Like some real e dolls, Lovely Lisa allows its virtual doll to make use of voice-recording. Lovely Lisa isn't actually voice-acted, but there are pre-recorded phrases that Lisa will say during the course of the mini-games. Interestingly enough, there's even an option in the title menu to talk to Lisa instead of going straight into the game. Much like activating the voice recordings on some actual dolls, this mode will trigger specific recordings for the DS game to play, even selecting different phrases based on the time of day.

All of this makes for a surprising mix of both game and doll. Of course, there are still a few inconsistencies in the combination. Most of the mini-games are unlocked in the beginning, but the few that aren't immediately available take a very long time to unlock, forcing players to fill up Lisa's experience meter to almost full by replaying games over and over. And after that the game's final Contest Hall section takes forever to unlock, with no instructions or indications as to how close players are to accessing it. Instead, the best reason for players to keep on replaying the mini-games is to accrue more points in order to buy more clothing. And it should be pretty evident that older or more advanced players will quickly burn through the game's mini-games.

Still, the title does what it does with efficient appeal and a light-hearted sensibility. Anyone looking for a game with some doll-like aspects, or a doll with some engaging mini-games, is sure to find those qualities in Lovely Lisa.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6.5 7.5 8.5 7 3.5 7
Graphics
6.5

The game's 2D graphics are colorful, bright, and simple. The 3D representation of Lisa, which resembles the actual Licca dolls, is serviceable, but doesn't hold up well when animated.

Sound
7.5

Lovely Lisa features an impressive amount of recorded voice-phrases. The music and sound effects are bright and help establish the carefree mood of the game.

Control
8.5

The game is controlled entirely via the touch screen, and performs admirably well on almost all accounts. However, the game occasionally takes its time when switching through some interfaces and menus.

Gameplay
7

Lovely Lisa's mini-games are short and few, but they manage to offer many different gameplay scenarios. The game's dress-up and shopping modes have their own appeal, but they are more doll-simulation than game-activity.

Lastability
3.5

Players will be compelled to keep playing and earning points so that they can do more shopping, but there aren't enough activities to lend Lovely Lisa much appeal or depth once the urge to shop runs out.

Final
7

Lovely Lisa is an interesting mix of game and doll, and it's suitable for gamers open to the idea of a virtual doll. Its biggest flaw is a lack of content for those who can't find the appeal of shoe-shopping.

Summary

Pros
  • Lean and appealing art style
  • Mini-games are surprisingly varied and unique
  • Options to modify difficulty and increase the points that mini-games award are very welcome
Cons
  • Certain wardrobe items, like pants or shirts, are under-represented compared to other choices, like dresses
  • Lack of in-depth game content makes the game reliant on the appeal of its characters and doll-like aspects
  • Long wait to unlock some mini-games, and no indication of how to unlock the Contest Hall part of the game
  • Some of Lisa's phrases during the game, like calling out "pat-pat, pat-pat" while smoothing laundry, can be grating
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Congrats; you're the only person to have ever reviewed this game.

I doubt that's a first for a Kairon review.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJune 21, 2009

LOVELY!

Thur see whut I did ther? XD

Skeeter8887Chuck Jose, Staff AlumnusJune 22, 2009

Don't worry about the haters Cai! Just know that we cheer for you!  ;D

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusJune 22, 2009

Hey I think I was the only one to review Zoey 101 on the GBA.  Seems like Kairon's keeping my seat warm for me.

Remember Kai, the important thing is to try and find any good gameplay at all.

A side benefit from reviewing all this crap is that you'll have a new love for games and begin to appreciate even the B-list series from other devs.  Makes me happy.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 22, 2009

Quote from: Deguello

Hey I think I was the only one to review Zoey 101 on the GBA.  Seems like Kairon's keeping my seat warm for me.

Remember Kai, the important thing is to try and find any good gameplay at all.

A side benefit from reviewing all this crap is that you'll have a new love for games and begin to appreciate even the B-list series from other devs.  Makes me happy.

This.

This Year's Deguello Award for Uncommon Valor goes to Cai.

EDIT:
http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ds/lovelylisa

Awesome.

Quote from: Lindy

This Year's Deguello Award for Uncommon Valor goes to Cai.

EDIT:
http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ds/lovelylisa

Awesome.

Heh. You make it sound like I'm doing something extraordinary, but the truth is that it's an honor and a privilege (and yes, also a challenge) to review games like Lovely Lisa, We Cheer, and Strawberry Shortcake: The Four Season's Cake. I only wish I got the chance to do it more often.

Quote from: Skeeter8887

Don't worry about the haters Cai! Just know that we cheer for you!  ;D

Oh har de har har.

Luigi DudeJune 23, 2009

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/luigidude/dentalplan.jpg

Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces


Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces


Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces


Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces


Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces


Dental Plan

Lisa Needs Braces

Share + Bookmark





Lovely Lisa Box Art

Genre Simulation
Developer

Worldwide Releases

na: Lovely Lisa
Release Oct 07, 2008
PublisherTomy
RatingEveryone

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement