When the Nintendo Wii launched over a decade ago, the world was introduced to the Mii, a customizable avatar that has even been brought into the most recent Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. as selectable characters. The Nintendo 3DS took Miis to the next level with Streetpass and a number of small games relate to them, but now Miis are getting the entire spotlight in the full fledged RPG titled Miitopia.
The Nintendo Switch may be out and have the attention of most Nintendo fans, but Nintendo has still been releasing some solid titles on the 3DS, with Miitopia being the latest. Miis have always been based around customization and Miitopia builds off of that in some very unique ways.
To start the game off, you must choose a Mii that you will control as the leader of your party. This can just be a Mii of yourself or really anything else, which is really neat. This can come from Miis you created your self, your friends, from Tomodachi Life, or even a pool of pretty much all Miis that have been created by people online.
Your main character is not the only Mii you get to choose either, as you will be setting up who shows up in the game, as well as random appearances that show up as well. For instance, you get to choose who portrays the Dark Lord that is the main villain for the game, but you will also have the game pick random Miis to be part of the story as well. Randomly running into the mayor of a town and it being Johnny Depp was definitely unexpected and pretty neat.
Filling out your party is also done similarly, with you gaining additional party members rather quickly. There is certainly no other game I can think of where my party consisted of Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, Jack Skellington, and John Cena, which is really the appeal with Miitopia.
After choosing a team, you set off on an adventure to take down the Dark Lord, which typically consists of him coming and stealing the faces of random Miis that you must then go and save. These faces are then put onto various enemies you come across, who must be defeated to return the faces to their original owners. The way in which we find these enemies is consistent throughout the game, as the game uses a map based system.
The world map in Miitopia looks like a level select screen for something like Super Mario Bros. 3, where you will be moving around and selecting a space to then walk through an area for a little bit. In this area, you may run into enemies, find a chest to open, or just have conversations among your team. This is pretty straightforward, though there are times where there are branching paths that will lead to perhaps finding a lever versus getting an item. You can always run the path again though and try the alternate path. There are some areas where it matters which way you choose, so you’ll just have to do it again as well. There is never really any point where you feel like you are doing any exploration though, with everything being so linear.
When you run into enemies, the combat sequence begins, which has you only in control of your main character. The rest of your four player party will be controlled by the computer. This actually leads to one of the biggest problems with Miitopia, as it overall just feels way too hands off. You still can control your character if you choose, as you can make them automatic too, but all of the random abilities of your teammates are very unpredictable and makes it very hard to strategize too much.
Your battle style will completely depend on your job type, which you get to choose when you pick your character and party members. There are the standard jobs you expect like Warrior and Magic, but then there are also classes like Pop Star, Chef, and even a Cat and Tank job later on.
When in battle, Miitopia also has a mechanic known as Sprinkles that are basically your restore items in battle. There are HP Sprinkles, MP Sprinkles, and Life Sprinkles, which restore HP or MP and revive fallen characters. You are limited in how many you have per battle early, but as you rescue more stolen faces, these will get upgraded
Relationships between your Miis are also very important in Miitopia. At the end of each stage, you’ll end up in at an Inn that your Miis can rest up at. You can buy new weapons and clothing, as well as upgrade stats with food, but you also get to choose from four rooms for your Miis to stay in. You’ll always want to pair two of them together in a room so that their relationship builds, which then provides them with new abilities where they may protect one another, attack with the other, and more. The relationship level can also grow in battle and through random sequences out in the overworld, but the majority comes from the Inn.
The aforementioned buying of weapons and such requires gold, which can be earned from chests and from completing the various quests in the game. In addition, you can get game tickets from chests in the game and participate in two “arcade games” where you basically are gambling in a roulette game and a rock, papers, scissors game to earn items that you can sell for gold in the former and just straight up gold in the latter. You can also get special clothes from certain amiibo, but they do not have great stats and are mostly for looks, with non-compatible amiibo still giving you game tickets.
What does get frustrating in Miitopia however is that while you build your team up by leveling them and getting new weapons and clothing, the game basically uses a reset button after completing a region. This means you lose your entire team for the time being, with you also having to pick a new class for your main character, losing all prior progress. New classes are added at each of these, but it is frustrating to constantly have to start over, especially if you’ve been grinding without this knowledge early on in Miitopia.
Nintendo is certainly not forgetting about the Nintendo 3DS quite yet and Miitopia is one of the latest releases that proves that. There is no question that Miitopia has a lot more depth than previous Mii-based games, but the overall experience is still very simplistic and linear. Regardless, this is still probably the best usage of Miis to date with an excellent level of customization in that area that makes it as least worth trying out for 3DS owners.
While many Nintendo fans have moved on with the release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo is proving that the 3DS at least has a little life left with games like Miitopia. The game certainly isn’t for everyone and is far from the most in depth experience you’ll have this year, but it’s hard to deny that I had fun while playing Miitopia.
7.0 My Body Is Reggies Out Of 10
Release Date: July 28, 2017 (US)
Available Platforms: 3DS
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Disclosure: Miitopia Was Provided By The Publisher For Coverage Purposes