- Developer: Nintendo
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: 21/05/2021
- Price: £39.99 / $49.99
- Review code provided by Nintendo
Introducing: Miitopia Nintendo Switch Review
Miitopia is a bizarre role-playing game which saw its initial release on the 3DS in Japan in December of 2016 and subsequently worldwide in July the following year. Before we get too far into our review of Miitopia we should jump back another ten years prior to the 3DS release. It was the golden age of the Wii and Nintendo introduced a customizable avatar. The Mii. Or Mii, not Yii but we for the Wii. Or something like that. Years before that, Nintendo tried to launch other avatar creators but none of them were easily compatible with games, and thus, suspended.
Fast forward to now and Mii avatars are a Nintendo staple. Probably not as famous as the overalled plumber, but many raised during the Wii era certainly know their miipearance. It’s not surprising based on the early Nintendo concepts to see Miis incorporated into various franchises. And of course getting a self titled stand alone game made sense. Turning Miitopia into an RPG with strong social draws seems like the perfect way to blend ideas. Miitopia is the most Nintendo RPG I can imagine and it’s hard to think of anyone else doing it. Though I played the original, I could scarce remember it when I set out to review Miitopia for the Nintendo Switch this time around.
That Dark Lord is a Miieanie
Evil spreads across the land and the vile Dark Lord appears and snatches people’s faces away, leaving them helpless husks. It’s up to you and your Mii counterparts to band together and rescue the poor souls who blunder about. Miitopia is a hilarious game with a lot of puns, references and easter eggs. The characters have quirky personalities and voice their opinions and desires on and off the battlefield. Some of their traits even show through during combat. If you have a kind Mii, they might step in and take an attack for another. A stubborn Mii may even attack twice.
The story itself isn’t the most compelling but it certainly suits the Mii world and face customization you’ll be engaging in. Throughout your journey, you’ll encounter various creatures who have grown into greater threats having been given the stolen faces of folks around the world. The more monsters you vanquish, the more people you save. Talk about saving face.
Other than becoming a very memeable, or miimeable, there’s a lot more to Miitopia than what appears on the surface. Despite having a subpar story about a Dark Lord who whisks away townee’s faces, there’s a lot of depth. The story and stage are set and you get to cast the characters. Everyone in the world of Miitopia can be customized, including your valiant steed.
And the customization options are crazy. People far more creative than myself have come up with some truly outstanding Mii designs, often borrowing from famous pop culture characters. Luckily you don’t have to be uber talented to use these creatively crafted characters as you can share with friends or browse the most popular at any time during your game. The addition of wigs and makeup add a new level of design.
My favorite aspect of this is you can make Miitopia feel like your own. You can cast your family and friends. You can make a hodgepodge of heroes starring Master Chief, Sonic, Mario and Steve from Minecraft. It’s almost like Super Smash Bros the RPG. And it doesn’t stop there. Miitopia supports amiibo to earn in-game tickets. But if you have the right amiibo, you can unlock costumes from other Nintendo games such as Link and Zelda or even Tom Nook. The list of what you can create and customize in Miitopia is endless. It also boasts a fun job system with unique occupations for your heroes.
It’s Just Mii and You
When I saw the price tag for Miitopia and had logged roughly three hours, I couldn’t imagine how the game could go on. It felt like the ending was right around the corner. Nearly thirty hours later I was still going strong. I couldn’t believe how much time I had spent in Miitopia. The gameplay can get a bit stale if you play too long in one sitting. It’s very limited in what you can do. Even moving from point to point is automated.
Combat is turn-based but you only tell your Mii, or the protagonist, what to do. The rest of your party acts on their own accord. At first I was a little perturbed by this. I wanted all the control. As time went on, it became less of a problem. And in a way it makes sense that you don’t puppeteer your friends. It adds a sense of realism to the gameplay that your team does what they want. They even ask for gold to buy upgraded weapons and armor. This sense of id gives more emphasis to their individual personalities and relationships with one another and is a major driving force behind the game.
Relationship building is a key amongst your party. Once you finish trekking across a level, your team winds down at a local inn. By pairing characters together in rooms, they grow closer. You can also earn tickets to go on outings. Much like a date, a pair will visit the cinema or go fishing. All the while strengthening their bond. Not only improving your relationship with other party members, you can build an affinity with your horse. Having strong personal links between your team pays off while fighting foes. For each relationship level gained, you earn perks to help each other. This can be consoling someone after they’ve been hit or joining in their attack to increase damage.
CreaMii Potatoes and Miieat
Perhaps it’s time to break from our Miitopia review for a snack. In between the grueling adventures across the world, your Miis have to eat. I really enjoyed the inclusion of meal time at the inn. You’ll gather an assortment of foods from flogged fiends. These can later be fed to your party to give permanent stat boosts. Only, some of your team may despise Roast Griffin while others crave Mummy Jerky. Pairing the correct foods to pallets will yield better results. It’s a fun minigame which has a direct impact on your party member’s growth.
Miitopia is a bit of a mystery was my recurring thought while writing this review. The gameplay is incredibly simple with most actions automated. Yet, it’s also incredibly addictive. I can see where more hardcore gamers would avoid Miitopia at all costs. Especially given the hefty price. But as an avid RPG player, I fell in love with its quirkiness and creative complexities. Despite being a bite size RPG adventure, there is a lot of content. Content that isn’t just limited to your own creations but built into the core game. It’s an easy game to play in short bursts and I had fun everytime I picked it up.
There are some unique elements off the battlefield which build up the game so well that I think other RPG developers should take note and find ways to incorporate these ideas into their games. Veteran gamers can find some rare gems in this bizarre entry while novices can get a good taste for RPGs. Miitopia has something for everyone and least of all, you should try the demo.
- Quirky and Fun
- Great Customization Options
- Hilarious Banter
- Addictive Gameplay Loop
- A Lot of Automation
- Simple Combat
- Basic Story