Games starring Miis have never been extremely robust, though they are often entertaining. Ever since these little avatars arrived on the scene in 2006, Nintendo has been sticking them just about everywhere it can, from small guest roles in games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. to starring roles in some of Nintendo’s silliest first party games, such as Wii Sports and Tomodachi Life. The appeal of the Mii is that it’s extremely accessible, which is part of what makes the concept of Miitopia such a big draw. Taking your friends, your favorite fictional characters or any random celebrity and inserting them into a solid RPG is incredibly entertaining — and frankly I can’t believe that Nintendo didn’t implement this concept sooner.
Are You With Mii, or Against Mii?
Your journey through Miitopia’s different locales is mostly automated, with your party exploring areas that you choose on your own, stopping only for chests, forks in the road and battles. This design choice can be a bit strange at first for seasoned RPG fans, but it’s a nice feature that allows for slightly absentminded play, especially with the given ability to hold B to speed things up.
The story quest itself starts out pretty quickly, with your character traveling through a small town called Greenhorne, filled with randomly chosen Mii NPCs telling you of a Dark Lord that’s stealing the faces of Miitopia’s citizens. In true quick-game-plot fashion, the Dark Lord appears shortly afterward, and begins to steal the faces of the townsfolk; Agent Coulson, Clemont, Mercy and more were all robbed of their facial features soon after I met them, stolen by the merciless Dark Lord, cast in my playthrough as Conan O’Brien. What follows is a grand quest to defeat the Dark Lord and his minions, a quirky but shallow story full of Mii characters that you’re able to cast in particular roles as you please, and lesser NPCs that were randomly chosen from Mii Central, Miitopia’s database of player-created and uploaded Miis.
The all-in integration of the Mii is where the heart of Miitopia lies, simply because of the hilarity that ensues when you’re able to choose the cast of your RPG. Nowhere else can you see Prince Obama and Reggie Fils-Aimé fighting over Princess Bayonetta, daughter of King Swedish Chef — or go on a quest to recapture Jay Leno, Genie of the Lamp, in order to help out the Great Sage, David Letterman. The best part is, almost every single role can be recast. If you don’t like running into Sasuke Uchiha, the Traveling Gourmet, in nearly every kingdom, you can pop right into Mii Cast and pick a new Mii whenever you’d like, allowing to you completely curate your entire experience, or let completely random Mii characters run amok — it’s always up to you in Miitopia.
Monster Mash and Job Class
Miitopia is not short on enemies, featuring over 100 monsters and minions. There are classic RPG baddies, like Goblins, Gryphons and Slimes, and zany original foes, like floating paintings, hamburgers and running noses. And the best part? These monsters all have different facial features pulled straight from Mii Maker, making each encounter with them a little different. To add to the insanity of it all, each “boss” character has a face stolen from a specific NPC, and defeating them will allow you to return that face to the NPC, furthering the story.
Battling in Miitopia is very streamlined and simple, since the only character you control directly is yourself. All other party members move of their own accord, and for the most part, they’re pretty smart. There’s the occasional spell that a Mage will use to heal party members by putting them to sleep, rendering them incapable of fighting for a short while, but other than that they can hold their own pretty well.
Each party member is a Mii of your choosing, and you can set their personality and Job class when they join your crew. For my review playthrough, I had the pleasure of exclusively using members of the Nintendo Wire team as my party, and it made the game all that much more enjoyable for me. When it comes to Job choices, I will say that it’s smart to invest in a Thief early on since their standard attack hits all the enemies on the opposing side at once; it gets weaker as it goes down the line of enemies, but it adds up and is a huge help once the Thief starts to get stronger.
There are several Jobs in the game, though you only start out with six. As you progress and gain more party members, you can unlock more Jobs, including some outlandish, non-traditional Jobs, like Pop Star, Cat, Flower and a literal Tank. Each Job also includes several costumes and weapons to unlock, which will raise the stats of the character wearing or wielding them. Like the Jobs, the costumes and weapons range from standard outfits and tools for each profession, to outlandish costumes that don’t exactly make sense, and weapons that match the class in shape alone. It’s a fun feature for a RPG, and it allowed me to see Jason Ganos, our editor-in-chief and one of my party’s resident Thieves, fight enemies with a Moai Head knife while dressed as a chicken, so I can’t complain.
“A chef, a pop-star, and a mage walk into an inn…”
Another huge part of the game is making sure your party is taken care of, which happens at conveniently placed Inns all throughout Miitopia’s world. In the Inn, you can have characters room together to strengthen their friendship in order to learn cooperative skills to use on the battlefield, such as attacking an enemy together or jumping in to take a hit meant for their friend.
Miis like to spend money, often asking for gold for a new costume or weapon, and then running off to buy it for themselves. Sometimes they run off and forget what they went for, coming back with the wrong item, but they do return any unspent money when this happens.
You can also feed your Miis food won from battles, giving them permanent stat bonuses based on the food they’re given. You’ll need to take the time to learn which foods each Mii likes and dislikes, since a nasty meal will cause the stat bonus to be much lower than a meal your Mii loves.
You can spend your time at the inn playing in the Arcade, trying your hand at two mini-games to win prizes. In all honesty Rock, Paper, Scissors is a waste of time, and you’re much better off playing Roulette, since every prize on the wheel is useful, and if you win duplicate costumes or weapons they can be sold for more gold than you’re likely to win in Rock, Paper, Scissors. The Arcade will cost you Game Tickets, which can be earned by completing daily surveys about Miis in Mii Central, and unlocked via amiibo.
The amiibo support in Miitopia is, at best, good, and, at worst, a great way to earn Game Tickets. Early on in the game you’ll find a Mii who’s a “Nintendo Fan” and all they want is for you to show them different amiibo by tapping them after talking with them. Certain amiibo you show will earn you costumes for your party members, though they don’t grant any stat bonuses whatsoever when worn, so they become pretty useless when your enemies get stronger. Amiibo that don’t give costumes give three Game Tickets.
What’s really odd is the selection of amiibo that are left out of the costume mechanic. For example, Doctor Mario gives a standard Mario costume, Ness unlocks a Ness costume — but Lucas only unlocks game tickets, none of the Fire Emblem amiibo give costumes, and only a fourth of the Animal Crossing figures give costumes. There’s a very large amount of amiibo that only give Game Tickets, which seems like an odd choice given how much people have enjoyed amiibo-unlocked costumes in other games.
As a final note on amiibo support, Miitopia does not support amiibo cards in any way; the Nintendo Fan Mii will reject them if they are tapped.
The Mii-ning of Life
When all is said and done, Miitopia does one thing very well: It puts the “Role-Playing” in “Role-Playing Game” better than any RPG I’ve played. Is it going to be a bit bland for seasoned RPG veterans? Sure, but that isn’t necessarily who this game is for, and it’s still a solid and fun RPG experience.
Miitopia is the Mii-centric game that Nintendo should have made years ago; taking a tried-and-true formula like the RPG and allowing you to put your friends, celebrities or your own creations right into every inch of it is genius. Miitopia as a whole is a fun way to pass the time, and a good entry point for the Nintendo fan out there looking to dip their feet into the waters of the vast world of RPGs.Leave a Comment