Miitopia won’t suddenly become the de facto RPG of the 3DS generation. Nintendo’s mix of social experiment and lighthearted turn-based RPG is more of a novelty than a diehard gaming experience. And yet, despite its flaws and limited challenge, the simple fact is that Miitopia is fun. It’s a casual fantasy adventure where your favorite Miis, your friends, and celebrity lookalikes make up the cast. I mean, in what other game can The Dark Lord GabeNewell reign supreme over a party of me, Bill Murray, Robocop, and Princess Zelda? This is our Miitopia review.
It cannot be stated enough that Miitopia is clearly not intended for folks who love Bravely Default, Final Fantasy XV, or other recent staples of the genre. Miitopia is what I like to call a gateway RPG. If my four-year-old son were a bit older, and wanted to play a game on my new 2DS XL, it’d be Miitopia that I handed him first. The controls are simple, you can’t really “lose”, and its tone and depth are basic enough for anyone to grasp.
There’s an overworld map and you can’t really get lost because it’s on “rails” as it were. Guiding you through the game’s story as you unlock new paths. Think Super Mario World and its connected dots, and you’re on the right track. There are towns you navigate and talk to people in, but they’re also mostly just single-pathed areas where you are provided a bit more mirth and back-story. This is not an exploration based RPG, rather it’s a game whose sole purpose is to entertain you with its Mii interactions and creations.
You can wholly customize the entire cast of the game, take Miis from those you’ve met with the 3DS wifi on, or take those suggested by Nintendo itself. Since my 2DS XL was new, I didn’t transfer data and took those suggested by Nintendo. I don’t regret it – hard to beat Bill Murray, Robocop, and Zelda as your team against The Dark Lord GabeNewell.
Combat is turn-based, but you only control your own Mii’s actions. The rest of your party acts on their own, and thankfully the AI is solid enough that they almost always do what I would have done in combat situations. There are a handful of classes, from the basic warrior and mage to the ridiculous pop star. I went with a standard party of warrior, thief, mage, and cleric – a group that worked well through all of the fights. Occasionally, you’ll lose to a boss, and when that happens simply replaying previous stages or going down paths you never traveled will be enough to level you up and get you over the hump. Yes, this could be called grinding, but it doesn’t feel that way. Fights are fast, they can be sped up by holding B down, and you can even fully put them on auto-pilot if you’re into that sort of thing.
Between stages, you’ll rest at inns, and it’s here that your party will get to know each other better, and in doing so they unlock special relationship skills. Zelda and I became quite close indeed… close enough to do sit-ups together and buy each other statues of each other. Yeah, it’s weird. But Miitopia’s charm is its main draw. For some reason, despite its simplicity, I found myself loading up Miitopia again and again. It’s a decently long game too, but not one with a lot of replayability I must add. Once you’ve run through its story once, you’ve pretty much seen all it has to offer.
Miitopia isn’t a fantastic game, but it’s a great casual RPG for fans of the genre, and an even better introduction for newbies to the world of role-playing games. If your kid is the type who longs to go on the epic adventures they see you playing all the time, I’d recommend it for sure. If you’re looking for a satisfying RPG experience for yourself, I might wait for a price drop or go play Bravely Default again.