Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 8th of December, 2016 (JP) & 28th of July, 2017 (Worldwide)
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If you are considering picking up Miitopia when it comes out on 3DS this week, but have some doubts, then this review is a must read for you, as I can honestly say, hand on heart, Miitopia is the best 3DS game I have played this year. Yes it has its share of faults, bit it is still pretty damn special!
For a game that is all about Miis, it is a role-playing game starring Miis, it’s rather amazing just how the whole Mii aspect of it works. I mean its Miis for crying out loud! Miis as in those customisable avatars that first come to life during the Wii era. Avatars that could be used to represent players when playing certain games, but now, over a decade later there is almost nothing a Mii can’t do and as far as Miitopia is concerned, the Miis literally can do anything!
They can tease one another, complement each other on their new threads and they can even have a falling out with one another, in the middle of a battle against random enemies, and attempt to beat the crud out of each other, but as much as I would to go further into details about the things Miis can do, now is not the time for that. Time for it comes later for now is as good a time as any to talk about the story and just exactly what kind of a game it is!
So the story, described on the box art as being an “Epic Face-off Between Good and Evil,” Miitopia might not actually be as Epic as they description would have you believe, but epic is probably as good a word to use as any, as it is thoroughly enjoyable, engaging and cleverly thought-out. It’s also a game about a place called Miitopia, where every Mii lived in peace, until of course came a day when without warning, a fiend known as the Dark Lord came along and started taking everyone’s faces (and now the whole “face-off” bit in the description becomes apparent.) Only the fiend would not keep the faces for himself, but would give them to weak and incomplete monsters, so that he can use them as his own personal army and it is down to your Mii and friends to stop him!
I realise going by that, some of you may think the story could stand to have been a bit more epic than the one we received, I myself thought such a thing, but if you give it a chance, as simple as they story sounds, it could just surprise you. Yes it may be lacking in the completely epic department, but there is more to Miitopia than meets the eye and even if you are in no rush to reach the thrilling conclusion, there is plenty of things you can do to pass the time and fill out your adventure.
One such thing you can do is find your nearest Nintendo Fan character in the game and show them the many or few amiibo you have in your collection, as she has plenty of prizes to give to you in return. For example, most amiibo you show Nintendo Fan, will have them give you Game Tickets, which are a handy little item I will go into detail a little bit later, but for some amiibo she will give you outfits to go with them. Outfits such as a Mario costume, a Yoshi Costume that comes in many different colours, Inkling Boy and Girl costumes, which can have the colour of the hair changed, and there’s even a cool Ganondorf costume.
But if amiibo costumes don’t take your fancy, whilst travelling Miitopia, you can keep your eye out for the Quizmaster and play on of his various games in a bid to win some cool prizes like more Game Tickets, HP Bananas and MP Sweets. Or you can just forget all that and actually play the game, so with that, it’s time to actually talk game mechanics and gameplay.
Miitopia is a game where you can first create your own protagonist Mii, which can be the Mii you’ve made of yourself on your 3DS via Mii Maker. A Mii taken via QR Code from the likes of Miitomo, or a Mii QR code in general. A random Mii already made and you can even use a Mii from Tomodachi Life, provided you have some Tomodachi Life save data on the 3DS family of systems you choose to play Miitopia on. Once an appearance has been chosen, you can then decide on the name of your protagonist and personality (there are 7 to choose from.) Then once you’ve played the game for a few minutes, you can pick a role for your Mii out of the 6 available. (Don’t worry, there are more than just Warrior, Cleric, Male and Female Popstar, Mage, Chef and Thief, but the rest don’t become available until certain points in the game.)
Once a character is fully fleshed out, it is time for your first battle to save the face of a poor boy from Greenhorne village that was recently taken. Being as though you’ll just be starting out, all you can really do is attack, but that’s okay because you will win the battle regardless, which concludes in success, and a huge quest for you to undertake and from that point on, the game and gameplay can truly begin. The overworld is easy to explore, and rather linear, battles can be fought in average speed or fast forwarded via the use of the B button, or pressing the screen with the stylus.
Now the adventure may be lonely at first, but as you progress, more Miis will join your team, which you will have to set up like you did earlier, but even when you have a full team of 4, more Miis can come to your aid as certain characters temporarily join your team, which is also something Miis from SpotPass can do, or you can just use them to play certain roles in the game choosing which Mii you want to be the Besmirched Nobel’s Son (I chose Link,) and which Mii you wish to play as the Dark Lord (I chose Ganondorf.) Additionally if you assign a certain Mii a certain role, only to then regret your decision, you can actually change the roles of every major Mii character in-game.
Once a full team is assembled, than the real fun can begin because although Miitopia is a single-player experience, it is a game best enjoyed when playing with friends and when I say friends, I do mean the Mii variety as it is the relationships of each character that truly turns the tide of battle and makes Miitopia stand out. Only just don’t expect to be able to do much with them as although you can chose their jobs and what you want them to do when at an inn, which can be found at the end of every level, the Miis can not be controlled when battling, so if you’re the kind of player who likes to tell every character what to do, and when to do it, you can’t do that with Miitopia. The only character you can control is your own and even then it’s just as easy to turn auto battle on and let the Miis do all the work. Still at least they keep things lively with various cut-scenes that randomly play whilst exploring.
“What kind of cut-scenes?” do I hear you ask? Well there is so many to list as they can be seen falling over, laughing, having terrible dreams of their friends being statues, having campouts with one character needing to stay awake. Then there’s cut-scenes where they stay awake watching meteor showers, having barbecues and even scenes where the Miis fall out completely. As for the things what happens at the inn, well that’s where the real magic of Miitopia can be accessed.
At the inn, Miis can be put into rooms together to bond and build relationships, which will greatly affect what happens in battle as Miis that get on, care for each other and have learned the various skills that comes with the bonding, are more tempted to work together against enemies, will stand in front of their best friend and take the hit for them, or even seek revenge when said friend dies. But what makes all of that even better, is the more they care about each other, the more effective and affectionate they will be with one another when battling enemies. Although you do have to be careful, as some Miis will request to visit other Miis, give them presents and cause other Miis to get jealous and no, I am not making that up. (Miis have feelings too!)
Also at the inn, you have the chance to spend any and all gold you earn on your travels buying new gear such as weapons and armour and even if you don’t like the look of the costume you buy, you can always edit your Mii afterwards, change the colour of the garment, or just edit the appearance so that while the Mii is still technically wearing on particular set of clothes/wielding a specific weapon, you can select another item to wear/wield, but will still have the same stats.
Then of course you can feed them food that is also earned on your travels to increase their stats, but just be warned each Mii has different tastes, so while one might like Mummy Jerkey, it doesn’t mean the rest will, so be sure to keep an eye out for what they do like and what they hate, as foods they do enjoy will increase their stats a lot better than food that doesn’t.
Lastly at the inn, there is also an arcade function, which is where you can use your Game Tickets to either take your chances at the Roulette wheel for the chance to win the likes of weapons, clothes, HP Bananas, MP Sweets and tickets for a Jolly Jaunt (a vacation for your Miis to go on, but only two can go and they are the Miis who happen to be sharing a room at that time. Should the two Miis be in a quarrel though, the Mii you chose to give the tickets to will sell them.)
Without a doubt, the Miis, the humour their relationships ensue and the inn are the bread and butter of Miitopia, but if those things were to be bested by one other aspect of Miitopia, it would have to be the fact that everything you do in the game matters! If you kill enough enemies (50,) things like HP Sprinkles will be upgraded and will continue to be upgraded every 50 kills. But even things like the effects of the MP Sweets and HP Bananas can be upgraded if you eat enough of them! Plus as well as everything already mentioned in the above paragraphs, there are still tons of other cool Miitopia details that have yet to be mentioned and those features include: side missions, a dragon to ride and fly around on, Miis can come down with colds, 204 songs to listen to, 251 types of monsters to defeat, 259 medals to earn and you can take pictures any time you want that can then be shared to social media via 3DS Image Share. So yeah, even if Miitopia can get a little stale and is a little light on what the player can actually do as the Miis do virtually everything else, and has a couple of faults, the fact of the matter is, a lot of them aren’t really worth mentioning as a few of them just don’t matter!
Therefore, not that I want to outright declare Miitopia is better than Ever Oasis, as the two are great games in their own right, but even with Ever Oasis’ better art style and general flow, Miitopia is just a game that appeals to me more and a game I think will go down better with the RPG handheld community. Yes the graphics aren’t all that. Yes there is an overwhelming possibility that Miitopia will go stale for quite a few of you, but for the rest, it is a game that will dominate a lot of your time and have you smiling in a way a game has never made you smile before.
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What Nintendo have been able to do with Miis and Miitopia, truly boggles my own mind. I went into this game thinking it’s a decent idea but it won’t blow me away, but I was wrong. Miitopia is fantastic. It is hilarious and it is just a bizarre, yet totally welcomed new take on the RPG genre. Miitopia is everything you could ever want from a game about Miis and so much more.
*Review Key Provided by Nintendo