Miitopia on Switch
The Nintendo Switch has faced a small shortage of proprietary software throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Animal Crossing filled the gap last year and now a release schedule for 2021 is starting to fall into place. And that brings us to Miitopia.
This cute Mii RPG is nowhere near the hundred-hour (or more) palliative that Animal Crossing was. But Miitopia is a legit sleeper hit with a surprising amount of content for a game that doesn’t carry the typical $60 price tag.
For starters, Miitopia’s Mii Creator is arguably the best incarnation of the Nintendo avatar builder the world has ever seen. With the ability to layer makeup, you can create just about any character, real-world person, or meme you can think of.
However, if you’re not the creative type, you can always download Miis created by other players. But in classic Nintendo style, these Miis can only be accessed by entering an arbitrary sequence of numbers and letters. While you can easily find codes by browsing the Miitopia subreddit, a simple in-game text search option would have been better than this outdated system.
You could spend countless hours in the Mii Creator creating characters for your adventure, but you’d still be left with tons of gameplay to enjoy. Miitopia is undeniably a very basic, paired RPG, but Nintendo still managed to pack a full game of around 30-40 hours on the main story alone.
Additionally, you can assign a personality to each character you add to your party, such as Laid-back, which can weaken magic attacks but retain MP. Or there’s the stubborn personality that can cause Miis to be unhappy with the results of their first attack and immediately follow up. There are a number of pros and cons for each personality, so it’s a fun system to experiment with just to see what happens in battle.
Plus, you start with a list of six jobs that quickly grows to 12 (plus a few secret jobs) as you unlock more. You can choose from typical RPG jobs like Warrior and Mage or the less common Flower and Cat. Each task determines the type of weapons and armor your Miis can equip as well as the attacks and skills they can learn.
Overall, the combination of personalities and jobs allows the player to have a degree of freedom that other linear RPGs don’t usually give the player.
Miitopia’s main story takes you on a journey through nine distinct regions with a team of four Miis (one of whom is your main character) and new for the Switch version, a fully customizable horse. Your mission is to defeat the Dark Lord and recover the faces he stole.
Each region you explore has a map set with multiple levels that each end in an Inn, allowing your team to fully heal and gain Relationship EXP. Some of the levels feature branching paths, but unfortunately many of these different options usually end up leading to the same inn at the end of a level. The biggest difference between paths in a given level is usually simply the presence of treasure or enemies.
If you are a finalist and want to clear all paths in all levels, the game marks fully cleared levels with a flag and you can even see a preview of paths not yet taken before entering a level and during. But again, there’s not much incentive to go out of your way to completely clear all levels. You’ll get more EXP and Gold along the way, but you won’t be underleveled or too poor to afford new weapons and armor.
Speaking of which, getting new items for your Miis doesn’t feel the same rewarding as it does for other RPGs. Whether it’s a brand new weapon or a piece of armor you find in the store that you just can’t equip or afford yet, it feels good to finally put on that shiny new squad. on your character.
Miitopia, on the other hand, basically gives you the option to pick up new weapons or armor at the end of each level. While resting in an inn, you can give gold to one of the Miis in your party if they have a small thought bubble above their head with the silhouette of a weapon or armor inside. But unlike almost every other RPG in history, there’s no shop menu that pops up.
The Mii just lets you know what it wants to buy, then it runs to the store and picks it up. Sometimes they will change their mind and take a Banana or MP Candy and return the price difference to your gold total. It’s a funny gag the first time or two it happens, but it gets old fast.
Luckily, not all the little things you can do from a hostel are as bad as shopping. There are some fun little games you can play by spending game tickets. These are obtained as gifts from NPCs or can be found in chests throughout the levels. There are two simple mini-games you can choose to spend your tickets on: Rock, Paper, Scissors and Roulette.
In RPS game you can play against computer to earn gold and while playing roulette game you can earn consumable items, equipable items, EXP, Jolly Jaunt tickets or exit. This last one on the list is one of the additions to the Switch version of Miitopia.
These Outing Tickets allow you to send two of your Miis on a short adventure to a number of mundane locations such as a cafe, library, movie theater, or the fishing spot, among others. This little trip gives the player a typically humorous scene with your Miis while also granting Relationship EXP. Outings are also a useful tool to help two Miis reconcile if they are angry with each other.
Unlike the stale shopping gag, the fun interactions between party members are still fun to watch. With 13 different outings and multiple storylines each, these short scenes are always an entertaining break from the action.
On top of that, the relationship EXP you earn makes going out one of the most fun and useful features in Miitopia for Switch. Indeed, having a high relationship level with your party members will give you incredible advantages in battle, such as damage increases, dodges, and even the ability to avenge a fallen friend with a powerful attack.
While the relationship system adds some depth to the fights, it’s still not enough to make the turn-based combat system feel like more than a formality. Especially when you consider how easy most battles are. And the biggest culprit contributing to the lack of difficulty are the Sprinkles containers.
In particular, the Hyper Sprinkles make tough battles way too easy. Hyper Sprinkles send the Miis into an uncontrollable frenzy and their attacks are all doubled. Miis can only do regular attacks, but it’s not hard to stack your party with a group of high-attack Miis.
The HP, MP are also quite mastered in themselves. They cost nothing, you get more just for playing the game, they can be used anytime in the middle of a battle as long as an enemy isn’t in the middle of an attack. But what makes them so powerful is that they fill up completely every time you enter an Inn.
This means that each time you start a new level, you enter it with more than enough healing and attack power to wipe the floor with any enemy you encounter. On the other hand, the Shield and the Waterings of life are less overpowered.
Shield protects a Mii from a single attack and Life revives a single Mii. They are certainly more balanced than other Sprinkles simply because their limited number of uses per level does not allow for abuse.
Additionally, the introduction of the horse in the Switch version of Miitopia adds a bit of strategy to otherwise boring battles. It certainly makes battles much easier, but not to the same degree as Hyper Sprinkles. There are a handful of powerful attacks you can learn by increasing your relationship level with the horse, including the ridiculously powerful Horse Whispering attacks which have a different animation for each different job. And to balance that overpowered attack, it completely drains your MP.
Overall, Miitopia is a decent game with obvious flaws, but it’s by no means a bad game. From the outside, it may look like another Mii game trying to cash in on the success of the Wii generation. . But buried within that exterior reminiscent of a bygone era is a fun little game of an RPG.
You won’t see Miitopia among Game of the Year contenders anywhere, but it’s a decent game for a console that hasn’t seen many first-party releases in the past year. Definitely worth picking up if you’re just looking for a silly game that can last you a while.
- The outings are helpful and hilarious.
- The horse adds more strategy to an otherwise bland combat system.
- The relational system, the jobs, the personalities add depth.
- Best Mii creator ever released.
- Recklessly easy.
- Superficial combat system.
- Some jokes lose their luster due to repetition.
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