Miitopia

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 1 - 2017

Give my friends their faces back!

 
The Mii, that cute little bobble-headed representation of myself, my friends or famous people, seems to be fading into gaming history. With the launch of Nintendo’s latest console, the Mii avatars that were so important to the previous two consoles just don’t really figure any more. However, there is still a role to play for the Mii on the 3DS, and that role could be as a noble warrior, a magical mage, … or a pop star?

 
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Miitopia is a light JRPG of sorts with a cast made up of Miis. Due to the wonderful customisation of Miis, this could mean a cast made up of friends, family, colleagues or even celebrities and historical characters, with your very own Mii representation being the main character. Why wouldn’t you want your Mii to be the hero of a game?

 
So, part RPG, part social experiment and part strange, Miitopia lands on 3DS systems, including the New 2DS XL, inviting players to cast their collection of Miis, either created by the player themselves or imported from elsewhere, into an adventure of epic proportions.

 
The story, while not exactly deep by JRPG standards, really manages to tap into what makes the Miis so great in the first place. In a fantasy land, a dark lord has come along and, in a moment of utter evil, stolen the faces from Miis and placed them on his own monsters. Understandably, this can relate to the player straight away. Some evil has stolen Taylor Swift’s face and put it on a monster! Oh, the humanity!

 
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Fixing this problem and getting the faces back to where they should be is a simple matter of beating up the monsters until they return them, and to do this the player will need a team. Gradually, more and more of the players own chosen Miis will join forces with the main Mii character to fight against this evil, and players will have the joy of being able to assign each Mii a class and a personality which will dictate their skills and how they interact with each other.

 
The classes are great, and make up their roles in the battles to come. You have the standard classes that you would expect in an RPG, such as warrior, mage or cleric, and then you have the more interesting classes. Casting your best friend as a pop star in this funny little game will not only allow for a chuckle at their expense, but also see them singing in battle, while turning your boss into a cat will have them using monsters as a scratching post. It’s great fun.

 
Also fun are the personalities and relationships. Picking out the different personalities for the Miis contribute to different conversations between the Miis during the game, and also have an effect in battle. These effects are not always positive, as a stubborn Mii may refuse to fight for example, but they certainly keep the game interesting. Building relationships involves sharing rooms at the various Inns that the team will stop at along their journey, and these relationships can give rise to various buffs and combos during battle. Further buffs can be gained by eating meals taken from the day’s loot, although eating something a Mii doesn’t like may have a negative outcome.

 
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The actual gameplay is a relatively sedate affair, with the team as they are making their own way along their route through the different environments. Occasionally they may come across a fork in the road or a bush to investigate that the player will have to interact with. Then you have the battles.

 
The battles are a turn-based affair in which the player controls their own Mii, while the rest of the team do their own thing. The AI doesn’t always get things right, often to quite comic effect, but there is very little by way of risk in the game and it all adds to the fun. Even the boss battles are fairly straight forward, and there is a “safe spot” to move vulnerable Miis to which takes them out of battle and allows them to heal if things get really desperate.

 
Miitopia really is a light game that seems to be aimed at the more casual crowd. There is little depth to the combat, although things do get more interesting later in the game. It is even possible to automate entire encounters, should the player desire. There is more depth to be found in the relationships and buffing of the characters, but even there it is made easy to understand.

 
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Packed with charm and polish, Miitopia is a light and fluffy take on the RPG genre that is more about having fun than assigning experience and managing inventory. It certainly will not be everyone’s cup of tea, with seasoned gamers being better off looking elsewhere for their JRPG fix. But for the young and casual, Miitopia is a very enjoyable way to play with friends.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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