Only on a Nintendo platform can you have some wacky adventures with Abraham Lincoln the female pop star, and a cool cat called Bob Ross. Yup you heard me, Bob Ross is one cool cat in Miitopia, a brand new RPG for the Nintendo 3DS!
Is Miitopia as cool as the cool Bob Ross, or will it do Bob Ross shame? Find out more in our review, after the break… featuring a couple members of NintyBuzz Forums and even more Bob Ross!
Nintendo 3DS Family Systems
Developed by Nintendo EPD
Published by Nintendo
Released: 28th July 2017 (NA and Europe)
Review copy provided by Nintendo
The land of Miitopia was once a peaceful and prosperous land. The people were happy, nothing could ever go wrong. The table turned until that fateful day when the Dark Lord stole the faces of hundreds of citizens of Miitopia. If only he stopped there, he also placed the stolen faces of dark monsters of his own creation. Enter Mii, I mean you! It’s up to you to rescue the faces of those poor Miis, and defeat the dark forces at hand.
The best way to describe Miitopia is a Tomodachi Life RPG-lite on-rails. Once you read this review you’ll understand what I mean. You’ll start off choosing just who you will be playing as. We’d usually recommend playing as your own Mii, but why not play as you best friend, or maybe you made a Mii of your dog… wruff decision if you ask me. When you’ve made this decision, you then have to choose which personality and job to assign your character.
Your personality will determine how you will behave during battle. For example, a kind Mii will may share health boosting treats, sacrifice themselves for others, or even pity an enemy where there is a slight chance the enemy will thank you and walk away… but they’re usually jerks and will make a sneaky attack. You Mii’s job will determine the role they take in battle. The typical job classes you’d find in any RPG is there, such as the attack savvy warrior, or the supporting cleric, but there are some wacky classes specially made for Miitopia, such as pop star. There are also unlock able classes such as cat and tank… yes you can turn your Mii into a tank.
When you’ve made a bit of progress, new allies will be sent your way by an almighty omniscient being, and guess what, you get to choose who they are too, along with assigning them their personalities and jobs. In fact, you can choose the casting for just about any of the main characters you encounter. Make the Dark Lord the teacher you always hated, or maybe the damsel in distress is your not-so-secret crush (I’m talking to you Hugh Jackman!), you choose the cast. You can create them from scratch or you can import them from Mii Maker, your friends list, Miitopia, Tomodachi Life, or from a selection of user submitted Miis.
The RPG has some very on-rails elements, the most prominent, and probably the most divisive of opinion, would be the way you travel through areas. There’s a world map, much like Paper Mario: Colour Splash, but when you enter most levels, there is no exploration whatsoever. Instead, your party will automatically move from one side to another, though from time to time you may come across a cross road where you can decide which path to take. While travelling, you may come across treasure chests to open, random events within the party, or, of course, enemy encounters.
For RPG veterans, this sort of gameplay may be a drawback as there is potential of travelling in area becoming tedious or boring after a while, and sometimes this is true. It’s perfect for newcomers to the RPG genre however, and can actually become very efficient when it comes down to level grinding.
Battles are fairly interesting in the world of Miitopia. As with travelling, battles are also very much on-rails, you can choose the actions of your own character when it is their turn, but the rest of your party are on auto-drive. Though this may seem like a strange decision, I personally kinda like it. Not only does it make fights go by more quickly, but it gets you to think more about how to strategise your actions, plus I found the AI of the party is generally quite good at performing appropriate actions.
Like with most RPGs, you have your regular attacks, magical moves, and health/magic boosting food to eat, but what really makes battles interesting comes down to your Mii’s personality and relationships. As I said previously, the personality of the Mii may cause him/her to perform actions dedicated to that personality. Miis will support other Miis depending on their relationship level. These assists can range from warning an ally of an incoming attack, to actually supporting and attack to deal more damage to the enemy. Relationship levels can be increased by through Miis spending time with each other or helping each other. Be warned however, some Miis may get into little fights or even become jealous of friendships, which may make them act up in battle.
When your in a bit of a tough spot in battle, you always have access to different types of sprinkles. HP sprinkles regenerate health, MP regenerates magic, and Life sprinkles will revive a fallen ally. You can only use sprinkles so many times, so only use them when the situation is dire, luckily they refill after every visit to an Inn. If one of your Miis is having a bit of a bad time, you could always send them to their Safe Space, or in this instance, their Safe Spot. While in the Safe Spot, the Mii will be exempt from receiving attacks, their HP and MP will regenerate every turn, and they will also be cured of a negative effect. You can only have one Mii in the Safe Spot at a time however, and only if there is at least one other Mii still standing. These assists really make the game more approachable to newcomers.
Once you have gotten to the end of an area, you’ll be able to enter the Inn, thank the heaven for conveniently placed inns! This is where you’ll go to rest up, and this is where the Tomodachi Life elements really rear their heads. There’s quite a bit you can do while at the inn. You can change up sleeping arrangements for who sleeps with who to level up their relationship every night. Some days you will be able to peek in on what they are up to. Maybe they’ve decided to become workout bros., or perhaps there is an exchange of presents. Some of the conversations are rather hilarious.
Over at the dining table, you can feed their hungry stomachs with food you collect from monsters. Feeding them different types of food with level up specific attributes, giving you the perfect chance to build up a weaker side of a specific character. If a Mii finds the food tasty, they will receive a boost to how much they level up… but if they would rather eat trash, then expect the exact opposite.
Purchasing outfits, weapons, and HP/MP items works a bit differently from other games. Quite often, a Mii will want to purchase a specific item, all you need to do is just give them the required amount of gold, and they’ll come back with the item they wanted… usually. There is a chance they may come back with something else. Think of it as a sort of manual levelling up system for attack and defence. What’s pretty cool is the fact that if you don’t like the way an outfit or weapon looks on your Mii, you can choose to make it appear as if you have something else equipped without loosing those stats. This is especially useful for outfits you get from scanning specific Amiibo.
The charm of the world and cast is truly where Miitopia shines best. There’s just so much heart and soul to the characters, and they all have brilliant chemistry with each other. Though it isn’t quite as deep as Tomodachi Life, the Mii interactions and animations are cute, hilarious, and fun. Even the enemies are a hoot and a half, they sort of have a Dragon Quest vibe to them, no wonder Mii which are kind pity them so much!
Miitopia can also be a very social game too. It’s great to be able to show your friends what their Miis are getting up to in your adventure, which is why it is great that the game allows you to take screenshots by holding Y and up or down on the D Pad. You can then combine up to four screenshots together to create a small story, and then publish those to social media via the 3DS Internet Browser (anyone remember when we had to pay for this on the OG DS?)
The music is surprisingly a blast too. Some tracks are pretty catchy, and luckily you can listen to any of the tracks you’ve previously heard from the records screen. The visuals are also very akin to games like Animal Crossing New Leaf. They’re bright, vibrant, and make good use of the stereoscopic 3D screens… some of the scenes really pop out.
Some of the on-rail gameplay features and limited RPG features may be something that will turn off the RPG veteran, especially with the lack of exploration. All that aside, Miitopia is actually a very fun and light-hearted title. The customisation is endless, theres a lot of charm, and it’s great as an RPG 101.
Are you an RPG fan who digs exploration and a deep storyline? If the answer is yes, then you are probably looking for a different game. If you are wanting a light hearted adventure, and introduction to RPGs, or if you absolutely loved Tomodachi Life, then what are you waiting for, buy Miitopia now!
Miitopia is out now exclusively for Nintendo 3DS Family Systems. Please consider purchasing from one of the following links as we are eligible for a small commission which helps to keep NintyBuzz online. Thank you!