It’s honestly a little surprising that Nintendo hasn’t done more with the Mii characters sooner. The StreetPass stuff was pretty great, especially when it was expanded. Tomodachi Life was decent, but not mind-blowing and Miitomo was fine for a free mobile game.
Aside from being used as the avatars in Wii and Wii U games, Miis have been relegated to the bottom shelf in most instances. But not anymore. Finally, those adorable, incredibly malleable little people have a game to call their own.
Miitopia begins in the most cliched fashion. A wanderer is called upon to save a foreign land from a mysterious evil. This despicable guy/girl is stealing the faces from everyone in the land and transplanting them onto a wide array of magical creatures.
The quest begins simply enough and it pretty much stays that way. The story in Miitopia isn’t all that important. It’s essentially a vehicle for the gameplay and a way to incorporate Miis. And incorporating Miis is the best part about it.
Choose Your Team
It goes without saying that your character in Miitopia is a Mii of your choosing. However, every other character in the game, bar monsters, are either random Miis created by other players, Miis of your choosing or Miis you’ve created. The Dark Lord character can be anyone you choose.
Mine? Homer Simpson.
My first recruit? Batman. My second? Bob Ross. And on and on it goes. All of the amazing creativity and stunningly recognisable designs players have created finally pays off. It even enables you to feel closer to the NPCs as you play since you chose them. When the Dark Lord comes along to steal their faces, it’s way more of a slap in the…face, than it otherwise would be.
So Miis are front and centre in Miitopia, but how does it play? It’s an RPG-lite. There are classes and unique traits for each. Weapons, armour and personalities and it all ties together to create some light and easy turn-based battling.
They took yer jerb
Miis are given a job and a personality trait when you create them. Jobs include Warrior, Mage, Thief and other classic classes. They also include left-field jobs like Popstar, Cat and Flower. It’s hard to know what these classes are going to be like on first look. It doesn’t really matter though. You’re going to be able to get through most situations with most combinations of jobs.
In addition to jobs, characters are also given a personality. With these come quirks. I made my character stubborn and every once in a while he’d prepare himself for an enemy attack and take less damage. The flip side is that sometimes my Mii just wouldn’t do as I commanded and he’d stand there uselessly during battle.
The quirks can be pretty damaging if you’re not managing your Miis health and status. The battles with monsters may seem like the bulk of the gameplay, but it’s actually how you manage your Miis. While playing, you only have direct control over your own Mii, so the two other party members will behave as they please. This can get a little tiresome after a while, especially as the main quest drags on and devolves into a series of fetch-quests.
Keep going straight
There’s no real exploration in Miitopia. Instead, players choose the next point on the map and watch as their Miis walk along a path until a random encounter. It does get quite tense when you’re low on health and waiting for the next Inn to appear.
I never did have to worry too much though. Miitopia wants you to keep moving forward. It wants you to get your Miis to interact and it wants you to worry more about their relationships and personalities than it does about the fighting.
Miitopia definitely has its charms and it’s a perfectly designed game for commuting. It’s not something you can sit down and play for hours on end though. Fans of RPG strategy and stat management might find Miitopia a bit light on in that department. Those players with less time or interest in those things will find Miitopia to be a fun, fast, easy RPG. A perfect game to play on the go.
Miitopia was reviewed using a digital code provided to PowerUp! by Nintendo Australia.
Game Title: Miitopia
Game Description: Miitopia is a peaceful place...that is, until the Dark Lord steals everyone's faces. Now, it's up to you to lead a team of Mii™ characters
Amazing party combinations - 8/10
Limited control of exploration - 6/10
Surprisingly deep - 8.5/10