A few days after the release on Nintendo Switch, here we are with ours Miitopia review: it is, to be brief, a deluxe edition - although it does not bear the wording - of the curious RPG released on Nintendo 3DS in early 2017 (or late 2016, in Japan), adapted for the occasion by Raw, team already authored in the past of various remakes, including that of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The original work, on the other hand, was developed by the internal group number four (EPD 4), the one notoriously dedicated to projects for a casual audience: it was directed by Yuchiro Ito, already author - both as a programmer and as lead designer - of some Brain Ages .
Before talking about the actual work, it makes sense to start from the qualities that distinguish it from the original and that can interest both those who played it at the time and those who approach it for the first time. The differences with the 3DS version they are not minimal, starting from the visual aspect. The generational leap, in this case, is practically double: not only is the game now in high resolution, but all the textures have been adapted to render adequately in the new graphic context.
But it is also and above all from the point of view of the contents that various improvements have been made. Primarily the editor of the Mii which, as we will see shortly, is a fundamental part of the experience: on Switch there are many more customization possibilities, dozens and dozens of colors and variations and tricks absent on 3DS, for an editor so powerful as to unleash the imagination of fans. On this new version i horses, as well as accompanying adventurers, they can also take them in the saddle in battle, increasing the damage of the attacks, while the romantic relationships (not necessarily romantic, indeed, more often friends) between the protagonists, can be increased through surreal activities. Surreal for the narrative context - purely fantastic - of Miitopia, we mean: the characters can have a coffee together, go to the cinema, go fishing, have fun in the park. But for those who have never played it, what is it Miitopia?
An RPG with thousands
Put briefly as possible, Miitopia is a RPG dried Japanese of every tinsel: linear, simplified, and having as protagonists - as the title suggests - the Mii. It is a work obviously aimed at a very young audience or casual gamers, which allows even the less experienced, and in general to those who want to make little effort, to enjoy a pleasant adventure in a fantastic world (Miitopia in fact, which is the land where the events of history take place).
Once the protagonist, having chosen the name and carefully arranged its appearance, it is necessary to select its character (confident, relaxed, dreamer, etc ...) and, subsequently, the class. Some of them are very traditional, typical of classic role-playing games: magician, warrior, thief, priest, but to these are added that of the "singer" (the equivalent of the bard) and that of the cook; continuing in the adventure will appear others, much more absurd ("cat", for example), and the game will do everything possible, without making too many spoilers, to push you to try them. This routine is repeated for each character, and we cannot tell you how fundamental it is - we will return to the subject shortly - to take care of these details: it is they who make Miitopia a unique experience, however simple.
The enemy that besieges this pleasant land is the Duke of Evil, a terrifying being (more or less) who steals the faces of the inhabitants of Miitopia, transplanting them on the faces of the monsters that populate this land: by defeating the mephitic beasts, you will return the faces to their rightful owners. The adventure is spread over various environments, terrestrial and otherwise, and has a rather long duration, let's say between twenty and forty hours: as we said, Nintendo has done everything possible, despite the simplicity of the mechanics, to let anyone try the experience of an RPG.
Cities, trails and fights
La game structure it's simple and repetitive. First of all there is a map of the world, clear and sparse, from which you can access the various points of interest; the latter are divided into cities (or palaces, or castles) and transitional paths, where monsters and treasures meet. Cities are the only places where you can move your character with the control stick; not that there is much to explore, they are small territories with an essential conformation. Usually in these places - which, apart from exceptions, have no enemies - one encounters the "problem" to be solved in the surrounding area: often, as anticipated, it is a question of finding the faces stolen from the inhabitants.
The most action-packed part of the game takes place in the paths: the protagonists (at most four at the same time) automatically move along the linear path. What varies is the setting, which defines the visual context of the adventure, not the design dynamics. You can accelerate the progress by pressing B (the characters will start running), and every now and then you will encounter crossroads; not being able to go back, to see every area, and find every treasure, it will however be necessary to go back several times on the same paths.
Your journey will often be interrupted by casual encounters with enemies; as in classic Japanese role-playing games and in these situations you are transported to a separate area, used for solos fighting. The latter are turn-based, and the player can only control the protagonist of the group: you can choose whether to attack, perform spells or use tools, but you can never decide what your allies will do. On the contrary, you can also automate the choices of the protagonist.
The aforementioned are very important for the clashes romantic relationships characters: if they love each other, they will help each other both in the defensive and offensive phases. Conversely, a major disagreement could lead them to hinder each other (a rather rare eventuality, anyway), where these relationships, as well as many other equipment related issues, are managed and augmented in the inns, which meet at the end of each pathway.
Inns, relationships and character development
in inns the nature of the game becomes almost management. It is in these situations, even too frequent, that the equipment and the romantic relationships of the characters must be improved. First of all, you have to arrange them inside the rooms: it goes without saying that, as a consequence, there will be an increase in the bond between the roommates.
Gods have also been included in the Switch edition ticket to maximize the relationships between the protagonists: they will be gradually donated to you by the inhabitants of the rescued villages, and you can use them for impromptu, and absurd, recreational activities (such as going to the cinema, or having a coffee). These activities - like the rooms - are open to just two elements, not the whole party. For this reason, you will have to decide whether to maximize the bond between some pairs, or whether to balance the relationships between the whole group a little - it's a fun aspect of the game. You will have to be careful to create empathy even between new elements or those that do not particularly interest you, so as not to generate enmities. An extremely strong bond, in addition to giving unpredictable sentimental developments (however barely mentioned), will give you greater efficiency and collaboration in combat. Small curiosity: the possibility of forming strong relationships even between people of the same sex has caused the absurd 18+ rating in Russia.
In the inns it is also possible to participate in gods games, mainly "rock-paper-scissors" and "roulette", in order to obtain additional coins and prizes. Money that, again at this stage, you can use to improve the equipment of your characters. They will tell you the desire for a new weapon themselves, and you will have no choice but to indulge or not (in essence, if a warrior in that inn wants a sword, you will not be able to buy him armor).
Finally, of course, in the inn you sleep (recovering your energy) and yes it eats. In particular, excluding some first fruits donated by certain inhabitants, war residues are gulped: to give you an example, goblin meat. Each character will have their own culinary tastes, and each dish will only increase some of them features (strength, magic, speed, defense, health points, magic points): from time to time you will have to be careful to balance the taste of the character and the need for development.
Miitopia is a very RPG simple and guided. As we said, his intent is to make those who are not experienced or do not want to commit too much live a similar experience; for this the possibilities of evolution are guided and essential. Eating, sleeping and buying the required items, for which the available money is often sufficient, you will hardly have problems in the fights.
Mii to the nth degree
Finally, we come to the most important aspect of the entire production, i Mii. It is clear that Miitopia's entire raison d'etre is completely based on Miis, and by spending time to have a party with the right characters in the right place, the adventure can turn into an extremely enjoyable experience.
Miis must be created byeditor canon inserted in the console: appearance, size and position of nose and eyes, name, favorite color ... the usual connotations that we know from the days of Wii. Once this is done, you can further customize them with hair and makeup by Miitopia: eyeshadows, lipsticks, dimples on the face, fringes, wisps, a great palette of colors for hair and tips. This allows for a freedom unrelated to the basic editor and, as we have already seen, can create extremely detailed Miis: however, be careful not to overdo it. A Mii can be pleasing to the icon, but not functional in Miitopia: this can happen by inserting elements out of position. For example, like in a Darth Vader that we downloaded from the online archive and created with a mustache on his forehead. A mustache that perhaps looks like a credible helmet when seen in a static portrait, but which will continue to curl, even if positioned on the forehead, once the character gets angry.
We write it again: it is absolutely essential, to enjoy Miitopia, to use Miis that you like, or to which you are related. Those of a amico, a boyfriend / girlfriend, a celebrity or a fictional character that you like: it will be them, immersed in an alien and fantastic context, to make the adventure memorable. Their personalities and their dialogues, their relationships. You can see your girlfriend talking to Voldemort, or your brother talking to Darth Vader. You can put David Bowie's face on the Duke of Evil.
It is precisely the emotional bond with Mii that makes this game special, together with the dynamics that the adventure manages to generate. At one point we had to choose the Miis to attribute to a king (obese, you will soon understand why we specify it), to his daughter (the princess), and to the two men who compete for it, a rich aristocrat and a fallen noble. Well, we've selected Obelix for the king, Zelda for the daughter, Wario for the greedy and ambitious aristocrat, Link for the poor noble. Hilarious situations have arisen and this is just a nerdy example; think about what could happen through a child's imagination.
Miis can be created from scratch, downloaded from a friend who made them available on Miitopia, or from a online archive which exposes the most requested.
Miitopia has an unrevealed, but extremely clear goal: to make those who are too young or inexperienced (or listless, or disinterested) live the experience of an RPG to face the more complex and mature ones. He succeeds very well in his intent, especially thanks to the Mii, and the hilarious narrative contexts they generate: you could face the whole adventure with your brother, one wizard and the other warrior, you could see your girlfriend helping Voldemort, while Fantozzi, here new priest, heal you in battle. And these are just impromptu examples. The adventure is long, about thirty hours. For anyone who does not fall into the categories described at the beginning of the comment, this is an extremely simple, easy, and excessively repetitive RPG: a work not to be taken into consideration. But this does not mean that we can speak of a senseless project, on the contrary.
- Great customization of Miis
- Miis often generate hilarious situations
- He fully succeeds in his intent ...
- ... which does not include experienced players
- Too repetitive
- Simple and straightforward