Miitopia review: A wonderful Final Fantasy-like charmer for Nintendo Switch

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When Nintendo announced Miitopia for the Switch, there were a few raised eyebrows.

The creation of personalised Mii characters was introduced alongside the Wii in 2006. Nintendo’s theory was that players could create unique personalised avatars to use throughout the console’s lifespan.

However, despite the popularity of the Mii characters, they’ve been on the sidelines for what feels like forever.

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Miitopia brings the avatars back to the centre of the action in a fantasy RPG that is reminiscent of early Final Fantasy games, as well as more recent examples such as Bravely Default.

The premise of the game is simple. An evil overlord has stolen the faces of the residents of Miitopia, and it’s your job to fight the forces of evil and reclaim them.

Almost every character in the game – from your avatar, to the world-ending evil creature – are designed by you, the player, and take on the characteristics of the caricature-ish Miis.

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Along the journey players will embark on further side quests including saving princesses, defeating large monsters, and reclaiming lost items – all for shiny loot, and powerful new weapons.

None of the writing is particularly spectacular, but it is at least enjoyable. However, the real bones of the game can be found in the combat system.

Players will choose from one of five jobs for their character. These include the standard warrior, rogue and wizard, as well as fun inclusions like a chef and pop star.

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Throughout the game players level up their character, gain new abilities, build a party, and take part in a sliver of dungeon crawling.

Miitopia uses the traditional turn-based combat. Players who have ventured into the likes of the aforementioned JRPGs will feel right at home while traversing the world and battling.

The relatively simple combat system is enjoyable, and is bolstered by some features introduced in the overworld.

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Each character in the party has a unique relationship that can be utilised between fights while hanging out in inns. Within these compounds the characters can heal up, buy new gear, and make strong emotional connections with other members of the party.

While at first this part of Miitopia feels a lot like filler, it does actually have some interesting ramifications.

As two characters become better acquainted they begin helping one another in battle. The result is a wonderful free-flowing dynamic between a party of pals.

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For example, if a healer is friends with the warrior, they might deliver a health boost just before an attack. This strengthens their chances of survival.

These relationships also introduce new attacks and team-up manoeuvres, making every party interaction feel like a really special experience.

The simplicity of the combat, coupled with the charming relationship system makes for a surprisingly fulfilling and addictive experience.

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Nintendo has, once again, injected just the right amount of charm and gleeful joy into a game that could otherwise seem flimsy and whimsical.

Indeed, once I got into the game, I literally couldn’t put it down. Quick bursts of 20 minute sessions became the norm, while longer stretches often ran into the four-hour mark.

Miitopia is an incredible amount of fun. Although the RPG elements it utilises in the game are rudimentary at best, they are fantastically fun and supremely accomplished.

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The customisation of characters and foes is hilarious, and will ensure that no two playthroughs are the same.

The gear system – while sometimes pointless – is fun to mess around with, and has enough depth to keep fans engaged and looking for loot.

RPG fans will love this game, probably a lot more than they might expect.

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VERDICT: 4/5

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