Once a 3DS game, Miitopia has now made its way onto the Nintendo Switch. With that, you get some slightly improved visuals, and Amiibo support as well if that’s something of interest to you. This is a very casual JRPG experience that I would compare to basically being one’s first foray into the genre.
It succeeds at being simplistic, and teaching those mechanics while being numbing for those that are experienced with the genre. I found myself to be rather bored with the game, despite even having a fast forwarding feature. I appreciate what this offers, at same time it didn’t fully capture my interest.
It is however a rather neat game for various reasons and I’ll of course be going through that. With the narrative, it’s basically paper thin. Faces are being taken, and there’s a bad guy to deal with. While disappointing to some degree, it is one of the game’s strongest aspects strangely enough. What you’re doing is essentially creating your own sort of tale.
The outline is there, but you create the characters (Miis) that play the parts. The Mii creator has a wealth of features to truly make some insanely widespread unique types of characters. There are some finicky type things such as importing and such, basically relics of an older time one might note as being awkward to deal with. Sometimes I just wanted quick selections.
You set the stage as you go across areas, creating the royalty or even townsfolk that you might interact with on your journey. This happens a few times, and it’s the same scenario with your close squad. You build up this team until you get three companions. I named my first batch Yennefer, Triss and Panam after other game characters attempting to replicate them which I thought I did a decent job of.
These folks are important, you interact with them and build very dynamic relationships. You go on destination tours with them, play games and even chat about stuff. It might even get slightly romantic, and it impacts how you battle too which is wild. It really does matter quite a bit in here, as bickering on the battlefield does actually negatively alter your ability to perform as a squad. To pull off helpful power moves
Now, earlier I said the first batch as the game does this rather lame thing where it forces you to start your team from scratch. This happens a couple times and it’s really lame. I mean, in general this title felt way too long and it stretched on forever resetting you at scratch. You do eventually build up to a bigger squad pool that you can choose between, but I just wanted my first friends. It’s so weird that they went in this direction with the story setup.
This actually does look quite charming and delightful. It surprisingly holds up well on the 4k display, which isn’t something that happens too often with Nintendo Switch games. It’s got a lovely sort of visual aesthetic to it, that while simplistic does a good job presenting what’s going on.
The backdrops did feel very minimalistic, but offered a wide range of scenery over the course of your time playing it. The Mii characters look fantastic, and you get a wide range of options for customizing them as mentioned. To go further on that you can choose wacky clothing or weapon options as well during progression.
This aspect is somewhat lamely limited, as each time you enter an Inn the Mii may offer to grab an item. You can then choose to use that weapon or just inherit the upgrades it provides. I wish that would have been expanded upon further which leads me to a main issue that I have with the game. It plays itself. You really don’t have to do anything.
You can choose to control just your character, but I never saw the point since the other three in your squad auto-run regardless. You just choose to speed things up basically, which was such a godsend but alas still this felt uber slow most of the time while playing. Too mundane one might say. It’s just a game that you don’t interact with much, perfect for someone learning to play this type of game for the first time, but boring for those more skilled with the genre.
I want to talk more about the inns as you spend a town of time in them. These are places where you’re able to eat for extra skill points and your Miis can be picky. Then there are the various excursions to go on dates basically to places like a library or a beach. Past that are games to play, one for a special draw and another which is just rock paper scissors.
You can also choose where Miis sleep, and also tend to your horse as well. I just mostly wish things were more hands on, since as I mentioned prior the relationships are golden in this and beautifully well done. If these mechanics were applied to a more dynamic experience it would be seriously fantastic.
Miitopia is basically a game that plays itself, being rather mundane and most of the time boring. That being said it does have a rather enjoyable core loop that I can see beginners to the genre loving. If you do enjoy it in that way you can play a ton of it. I wish there was more complexity to it, but at the same time for those that enjoy this they probably like the more casual attitude that it provides.
I loved the relationship mechanics here, they were amazing. The visuals were solid, and the Mii customization options were stellar. This can provide a ton of gameplay time if it’s something you enjoy. If it isn’t, you’re in for quite a slog of a time. I liked that you sort of crafted your journey, and I feel that a sequel could possibly be of more interest to me if they were to advance some of the mechanics further.
Maybe give a choice between casual and more hardcore, as I really didn’t feel very gripped by what this offered, and it was honestly hard to sit through. With that, I do also see an audience that would very much love what this has to offer and could play a ton of it.
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Miitopia Review on Nintendo Switch
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