Miitopia is a simple game from the outside. The entire cast of characters in the game is composed of Mii avatars. The player can use a customized set of avatars for their party members, or the game randomly picks them out of a random preset. The basic idea is simple, by using these personalized avatars, the game sets out the player, in this case, your avatar and others around you, on a quest to save the world from the tyranny of the Dark Lord.
The game begins with the player picking out a character that can either be created from scratch or if you already have a custom Mii, you can use that from the beginning as your main character. The player is then introduced to the Dark Lord who takes away the faces of every Mii in the world. Instead of giving people their faces back, the Dark Lord instead puts these faces on monsters and other creatures.
Your first introduction to the game is its character creator and honestly, it is quite advanced. It is possible to create famous characters or celebrities if you can invest the time to get their face and body proportions right in the game. You also have the option to download the Mii avatars created by other players and there is a good range of them if you know where to look for them. The game has a completely updated character creator for the Nintendo Switch that has been revamped from the original 3DS release.
Miitopia is a game in which you design Mii characters based on yourself, friends and family, celebrities, fantasy characters, or anybody you choose and then “cast” them as player and NPC characters in a simple RPG plot. When I say simple RPG plot, I mean it. The story is fairly basic with its only strength being that you are playing a character based on your appearance. Your party members will resemble your friends if you decided to import their Mii avatars or create them from scratch.
While the appearance of the Mii avatars can be a bit jarring, I wouldn’t exactly call them ugly. The art style is suited to the Mii avatars but as a result, it can look dated. It is not the most groundbreaking game visually and neither does it come close to the pleasing aesthetics we can see in games like Animal Crossing. Most of Miitopia is set up as a tongue-in-cheek take on RPG cliches, and it succeeds admirably in this regard. The game can be attractive to look at and offers fun, quirky humor seen in games like the Paper Mario series, which is a testament to the excellent quality we’ve come to expect from first-party Nintendo games. Nintendo Switch version has received a boost in visual fidelity that improves the overall appearance of Mii avatars compared to the 3DS release.
The core gameplay revolves around jobs. There are a variety of jobs to pick from, including classic professions like Mage and Thief as well as wackier alternatives like Cat or Chef. Your character’s job, coupled with their personality type, impacts almost everything about them, from what they wear and can do in battle to how they interact with other party members. Miitopia’s appeal stems from these interactions but it also leads to some randomization which can be a bit frustrating.
Battles are very basic; however, because the game is turn-based and you only control your main character, you don’t get to play it very often. Instead, you watch characters get into petty fights or cheer one other on as the results of your previous decisions play out. These occurrences are entertaining to watch for a short time, but they are far too fleeting to keep the player’s attention for the duration of the game. Miitopia’s fighting and exploration are very basic. Most of the time when exploring, all you are doing is automatically running through an area and, on rare occasions, choosing to pursue a path or explore an object such as a treasure box. When you face foes, you’ll be thrown into a turn-based battle where you’ll have absolutely little control over what you do in combat.
The auto-battle nature of Miitopic reduces your interaction in the game making it feel more like an interactive movie than a proper RPG. You can’t even give your party members broad orders like attacking the same enemy or defending from an attack since they’ll do whatever they want, squandering resources and allowing their “wacky” personality idiosyncrasies to take center stage instead of destroying enemies quickly. As a result, you spend more time passively observing fights and exploring than actively participating in them.
When you’re exploring, you’ll come across inns regularly, and you may strengthen your characters’ bonds by putting them in the same rooms. They can gain new fighting talents and aid each other out in fights with better connections. Sadly, the game’s character interaction has its flaws too. You can experience short skits when fulfilling various conditions but many of these sketches and conversation segments start to repeat themselves, losing their attraction rapidly. The randomness factor certainly doesn’t help here.
Miitopia is not a game for everyone. Make no mistake, this is not an RPG game. It is more of a party game that I feel is best experienced in a group of friends. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a game that you can sit down, relax, and enjoy with friends. If you are on the hunt for an RPG, this is not for you.
Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher
- Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10
Miitopia has a fairly basic gameplay loop that starts to feel shallow, but there is some genuinely good humor and depth to the Mii character creation.