Miitopia, Nintendo’s Mii-centric RPG adventure, has landed on Nintendo Switch, and I’ve spent the past week and change diving into it to see everything it had to offer. I’ve reviewed Miitopia once before, four years ago when it was released on the Nintendo 3DS. Back then I found that the game had a ton of charm and I fell in love with sticking my friends, coworkers, and celebrities into the simple and laid-back RPG, and I’m happy to say that I’ve found that playing it on Switch has been just as much of a treat.
It’s All About Mii
You’ll start off in Miitopia by selecting the Mii that you would like to represent “you,” the main character. This Mii can actually be you, or it could be anyone, which is a feature you’ll find is extended to the whole of Miitopia. You get to cast every single role with a Mii of your choosing, and each time you do you’ll be able to select a Mii from your Switch’s library, create one from scratch, borrow a Mii from another user, or choose from a list of popular Miis from the 3DS version of Miitopia.
If you’re like me, your Switch’s library of Miis is a little lacking and only contains your personal Mii and maybe a few others of your family members, so plenty of you will turn to the other options available for Mii selection, or create some Miis from scratch. Borrowing a Mii from a friend only works if that friend has loaded up Miitopia and opted to share their Miitopia library with the world, and borrowing from anyone who isn’t a friend requires you to input their unique access code, granting you access to their Miitopia Mii library. If you decide you don’t want to borrow a Mii from any particular library, you’re left with the “Popular” Mii option, which is where I found my first gripes with Miitopia.
The “Popular” Mii option doesn’t seem to be curated in any way other than they were all Miis that were popular with the general public in the 3DS version of Miitopia. This means a few different things, chief among them being that you are going to see a lot of the same Miis since it doesn’t seem like this list cares to remove any obvious duplicates. There are dozens of Jesuses, dozens of Peter Griffins, dozens of Waluigis, the list goes on. Many of these are the exact same Mii, just copied and uploaded by different users over the years. The other issue with this is that they are all 3DS Miis, thus they aren’t Miis that were made with the incredibly robust Wig and Makeup options that Miitopia offers, which we’ll get to later. Now that Miitopia for Nintendo Switch is out in the world, it would be smart for the Miitopia team to update the “Popular” Mii list to pull from the libraries of Switch Miitopia players, and maybe to remove any obvious duplicates from the results.
Creating a Mii from scratch, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. This was the feature I started to lean on later on in my playthrough, as I felt like I was wasting my time going through the list of popular Miis for role after role. Initially, creating a Mii in Miitopia is pretty basic, and uses the Switch’s standard Mii editor. Once you get into Miitopia’s editor, however, you can really get to work.
Miitopia’s editor, labelled Wigs and Makeup, is brand new to the Switch version of Miitopia and was a smash hit all over the internet when the demo for Miitopia first dropped. Fans were making faithful recreations of just about every character or person you could think of, including brand mascots like Mr. Clean and even outlandish things like a screenshot from Pokémon Gold or boxes of cereal. Miitopia’s Mii editor is incredibly robust, and the things people have been doing with it are mind-boggling. It is by far the best thing to come out of this updated version of Miioptia, and is made even better by the fact that the Miis made from it still function pretty well in-game as far as facial expressions go, with the options to identify eyes and mouths and test facial expressions from right inside the editor.
Are You With Mii?
I’ve talked a lot about Miis, which is to be expected for a game this Mii centric, but a game can’t be held up by its customizable cast of characters alone. At its core, Miitopia is an RPG. A fairly simple and casual RPG, but an RPG nonetheless. Your hero teams up with a party of characters (self-cast, of course) to take down the Dark Lord, who is running amok and stealing the faces of Miitopia’s citizens.
As far as RPGs go, it’s not a homerun, but it is an enjoyable adventure for all ages, and I think it will be especially popular with families. All the simplicity of the original Miitopia is still present in the Switch version, and honestly that’s just fine by me. The story won’t win any awards and it’s not particularly complex for an RPG, but it needs just enough strategy to still be successful.
A returning feature I also loved was the ability to to hold the B button to speed just about everything in the game up, which comes in handy both in battles and in the later game when you’re seen a lot of the standard interactions or have already viewed several of the the brand new outings that you can send your Miis on to strengthen their relationships. Also still present are the amiibo costumes from the original, though disappointingly there aren’t any outright brand new costumes to be unlocked by scanning amiibo. The game itself is decently long as well, with plenty of post-game content, including two secret unlockable jobs, to keep players busy.
Speaking of jobs, Miitopia’s job system is one of my favorite things about the game, featuring fourteen character classes like Warrior, Pop-Star, Scientist, Cat, Plant, Tank, and more. Miitopia didn’t gain any new jobs in the move to Switch, which is a real shame, because when it comes to entertaining and outlandish character classes, I say the more the better. Another thing Miitopia did gain in the move to the Switch, however, is a brand new party member who feels right at home.
Miitopia for Switch adds a horse to the mix, and it is fully customizable and treated as almost a full member of the party, short of giving it its own turn in battle. Miitopia’s horse brought me a lot of joy throughout my time with it, thanks in large part to the vast customization options for it. There are six different options each for body type, mane, tail, eyes, saddle, and even horns, not to mention adjustable leg thickness and the ability to fully customize the color of almost every part of the horse separately. Despite the already-proven robustness of the Mii editor, the depth of the horse-creator really took me by surprise and I really hope that Miitopia isn’t the last time we see such a great feature like this from Nintendo.
A Mii-ningful Adventure
Despite being a fairly simple RPG, Miitopia is still a blast to play on the Switch, thanks in large part to its humor, which is all still intact from the 3DS version, and in a lot of cases is even enhanced with the addition of the more robust Mii editor. The new Mii customization options and the horse editor are both whimsical strokes of genius, and they feel right at home in what was already a very enjoyable outing. There are just a few extra things I wish would have been added and and others I think could use some tightening up, but all in all, this new version of Miitopia is worth your time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nintendo has struck gold with the idea to put Miis into full-fledged games of different genres, and I hope we continue to see similar endeavors in the future.
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: May 21, 2021