Miitopia (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 27.07.2017 1

Review for Miitopia on Nintendo 3DS

It's hard to believe that Mii characters are now almost eleven years old. The customisable player avatars seemed almost revolutionary upon the launch of the Wii - a personalised figure that could be used across a huge number of titles was groundbreaking for its time, but has since been out done by competitors, such as the Xbox's avatars, which are due to undergo an even more impressive (and inclusive) overhaul in the coming months. Nonetheless, they found new life in 2014's Tomodachi Life, which provided them with personalities, relationships, and a healthy dose of humour. While that game, in particular, grew quickly tiresome and forgettable thanks to its limits on player interaction, its DNA is definitely still present in new 3DS RPG, Miitopia - and it's all the better for it.

At its core, Miitopia is something of a fairly generic, cookie-cutter RPG with one crucial difference - every role is played by a different Mii, chosen by the player (or at random, for the less creative among the audience). It's this that gives rise to a host of wacky situations and plotlines that are as funny or relatable as its player is inventive; in the right hands, it's a genius idea.

The gameplay itself is hardly boundary breaking, with a turn-based battle system flanked by a class system and customisable gear that changes characters' stats. It's tried-and-tested stuff and doesn't stray too far from genre conventions for one simple fact - most of the game plays itself. Only one hero of the party of four is directly controllable (albeit arguably more powerful in the hands of the game's "auto-battle" feature), while the rest make their own decisions.

Screenshot for Miitopia on Nintendo 3DS

Elsewhere, staple features are boiled down to their most basic - stats are increased with various collectible outfits and weapons, although with only one or two stats increased per choice; there's no viable reason to pick anything other than the most powerful one in the collection, whilst the choice of consumable items rests solely on HP and MP restoring items, which are used automatically once a character has a low enough amount of health or magic left over.

In any other game, this facet would be anything but unforgivable; in Miitopia, it feels correct. This is no Final Fantasy, and to go into it expecting an engrossing, epic RPG experience would be to misunderstand its intentions. Miitopia places the focus squarely on its characters, making it three parts comedy show to one part videogame. The draw here is the ability to see recognisable faces in ridiculous positions, and it's one that's pitch perfect throughout the surprisingly lengthy runtime.

Screenshot for Miitopia on Nintendo 3DS

The paper-thin premise is that the faces of the people of Miitopia are being stolen by the Dark Lord - one of the first characters the game asks the player to create (for the purposes of this review, Cubed3 chose none other than Diddy Kong); this starts a journey that traverses multiple kingdoms, each with their own sub-plots, and numerous companions. The scenarios that encompass these kingdoms are brilliant - seeing Nikki from Swapnote in the form of a genie terrorising a desert town was a particular highlight - and even when the game doesn't quite hit the mark (the randomly generated conversations between battles are the cause of a few eye-rolls), it's still charming.

That said, even when trying its hardest, there are areas of sheer dullness that can't be avoided - traversing through combat areas is all done automatically, so going several minutes without a randomly-generated battle means staring at a barely-moving screen for longer than feels necessary; a similar problem pervades the automatic battles - the player input (which consists of using extra healing powders or dragging fighters out of battle until conditions afflicted upon them by enemies have faded away) is so scarce that there's plenty of downtime in which there is barely any stimulation. This is enhanced further after a lengthy play session - with a stage-based gameplay that heals the party and offers save points after each level, it's clear Miitopia is an RPG for the gamer in a rush.

Screenshot for Miitopia on Nintendo 3DS

Perhaps one of the most baffling decisions is the idea to completely wipe out the party on two occasions, resetting the player to Level 1 and asking them to create three entirely new characters. While it's a clear way to keep the action fresh and encourage exploring new classes, it's also incredibly frustrating to lose party members that you have become attached to, especially when the game encourages building up relationships between party members to enhance their abilities in battle.

That said, Miitopia's highlights more than outweigh its flaws. Its surprising amount of depth (between character relationships, a full bestiary, and customisable outfits - with some bonus amiibo-unlocked Nintendo outfits - there's a much bigger adventure here than might be expected from its StreetPass-esque exterior) makes it an excellently recommendable choice for someone interested in a more light RPG experience.

Screenshot for Miitopia on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It may not be for everyone, but for the more creative of players, Miitopia is a dream. It's genuinely funny, utterly engrossing, and worth the asking price just to see yourself striding valiantly through a forest with Professor Layton, Judge Dredd, and Lady Gaga in tow. Countless hours of playtime (with much more in store for those willing to complete everything there is here to offer, including the bestiary and the post-game content) ensure anyone, from the RPG-uninitiated to the Dragon Quest aficionado, will find plenty to love here - just don't expect anything too complex.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I love the look of this! I really enjoyed the StreetPass Quest in the past. Is it a bit like that in some ways?

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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