Review: Miitopia is Nintendo’s queerest game yet… if you want it to be
Thankfully any progress carries over into the main game, so any designs won’t be wasted. Miitopia allows you to create your own Mii for every character in the game and truly personalise your own epic and colourful quest.
Miitopia might be a shallow RPG with an amusingly clichéd story, but the use of Mii elevates the game into a whole new realm of absurd campy silliness – and queerness, if you want.
The Mii characters were first introduced on the Wii as avatars, but the 2017 release of Miitopia on the 3DS saw them – and you – become the stars of their own game. Now the game has been released on Switch, bringing the RPG to a much wider audience.
The designs of the Mii have been expanded; they now include hair and makeup for some truly bizarre creations. Mii are used for every character, from your teammates in battle to the NPCs in every town you visit.
The banter between teammates is ridiculously funny. Creating Mii versions of friends and watching them skip along on their adventure, screaming personalised war cries in battle, and complaining about wanting a dog, needing cuddles or starving adds a tonne of personality to an already charming game.
What makes this so goofy is the relationship system. The more your Mii battle together, the more their relationships develop. Send them on outings to coffee shops, karaoke and the like and you’ll boost them further. This unlocks new support moves to assist one another. They can even fall out, bickering and fighting with one another instead of enemies.
Is this love or just friendship? That’s up to you, though it’s all love hearts and dancing. Either way, through the comical dialogue and eccentric animations, this campy cartoon adventure is super queer and often scarily true to life – depending on your friends, of course.
Beneath all the customisations are light RPG mechanics. Battles are turn-based, selecting attacks from a menu; food collected from battles is used to update stats; and a job system gives each member of your party a role in battle – from warrior and mage, to flower, princess or pop star, each with their own cute weaponry and quirky animations.
What’s a little disappointing is how hands-off Miitopia is. In battle, you’ll only ever control your own Mii. Your teammates will instead decide on their own moves, taking out a much-needed element of strategy. It’s all so simple, though, that it hardly matters.
It also becomes quite repetitive. There are some changes as the game progresses to switch things up, but the basic structure remains the same: select a spot from the Mario-esque overworld, run automatically through the level with the same lines of dialogue, battle enemies, and end up at the inn. There you can manage your teammates, eat food, go on outings and more.
This does eventually become tiresomely formulaic. And with so much customisation, creating Miis can feel laborious – though there are options to select defaults, or import the Mii of your friends instead.
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It’s worth it, though. The more you put into Miitopia the more you’ll get out of its silliness, making up your own little storylines between the Mii characters. That makes it the perfect game for Twitch streamers, a great vehicle for including community members along for the ride.
And if you want to make it LGBT+ friendly, you absolutely can. However no matter how much the game tells me I’m off on “outings” with “friends”, I am 100% in a polyamorous relationship with an army of queers… and our horse.
Miitopia is available now on Nintendo Switch.