July 28, 2017
Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Miitopia has arrived. After very nearly taking the world by storm, Nintendo’s Mii characters have pretty much been unavoidable since their introduction on the Nintendo Wii. Cute little player created avatars that have a variety of uses, from appearing in various video games (Mario Kart, WiiSports etc) to social mobile apps such as Miitomo. It was only a matter of time then that they would get their own RPG… and by they, I mean you.
Miitopia is an RPG where the central characters can be self-generated and designed; or you can choose from your friends creations, or you can choose from other user created Mii’s to flesh out your story. You can choose their attitude, their job role and go on an adventure. Their relationships and skills will build over time as they get to know each other and you may even become a little attached to your characters yourself.
In Miitopia, your central character is an adventurer who stumbles upon a village that is being terrorised by a dark sage who has used their powers to steal their faces, and uses them to create monsters. Your role is to traverse the world and save them, making friends along the way with other characters who join your party. The character designs are decided by the player, either by creating your own custom characters or alternatively choosing from a selection provided or friend generated Mii characters.
Gameplay is split between the over-world map, travelling between points and inn’s where you get to spy on your Mii’s and build the strength of your team. Choosing your destination and travelling there is a scrolling affair and unfortunately the characters are not controllable, however they will chat amusingly as they go.
There are random battles during these scenes, which are turn based and pretty standard RPG fare. What makes them unique is that the relationships built between the members of the party will determine special attacks and moves. There is also the ability to move your characters to safe zone to recover HP then bring them back to the fight. I found the battle system to be very basic and close to being automated, as characters will periodically choose special abilities to use on their own.
Where the game does excel is when it comes to the party and their dynamics. It is quick and easy to build a character for yourself whether it be based on yourself (if you wanted to take your friends Mii’s with you for example) or based on a character from another game. You get to decide on a characters attitude, ie; Are they kind? Stubborn? Cowardly? This will determine how they interact with other Mii’s. A key function is the Job Role system, and the standard Mage and Adventurer roles are of course represented. But also are some interesting ones such as Popstar or Chef. These determine your characters attack/defence and skills, which is certainly a highlight. I had Heihachi from Tekken as my main antagonist, Santa Clause as the friendly sage, Ash Ketchum from Pokémon and Dr. Robotnik from Sonic as my team members.
At the end of most map points there is an inn. Here, you assign the characters rooms (put two together if you want them to become friends and form team attacks/defence) you can feed them (the characters will have their own likes/dislikes) and give them money to spend on things they want. There are also two mini games where you can play Paper/Scissors/Rock or roulette for items and money. An enjoyable touch is the ability to spy on a Mii’s conversation which will help build their relationship. Be wary if you group Mii’s with opposite personalities though as they may not get on!
- Custom Mii characters allow you to make the story your own
- Watching your characters interact and grow better as a team
- Battle system is very basic and requires little strategy
- Overall linear nature to gameplay, especially travelling between map points
Overall an interesting use of Mii characters in their first RPG. I found myself getting attached to the characters I had created and enjoyed watching them grow as a team through out the journey. Although the gameplay itself is very basic (especially the battle system and travel) the low level of difficulty and frequent save points/inn’s make the game a good choice for commutes especially and a nice alternative to your standard RPG.
Given the different job roles/personality types and random character generation it will play differently each time. I found it enjoyable seeing how the Mii’s react with each other over time and grow as a team. I am even tempted to play it again with new characters.