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As the Nintendo 3DS nears the end of its lifecycle, there are a few games trickling in to make sure it gets an eventful sendoff. One of those games is Miitopia, a first-party JRPG launching alongside the New Nintendo 2DS XL.
Reading its official description, I was under the impression that Miitopia would be a JRPG, but with traditional Nintendo flavor thrown in for good measure. “Since the dawn of ever, warriors have banded together to fight evil. Now… Mii characters based on your favorite people must unite to do turn-based battle and save Miitopia“, describes Nintendo. With Mii characters and cartoonish visuals, it couldn’t be too crazy, right?
Miitopia‘s story revolves around a village of people who have had their faces ripped off by a sinister being known as the Dark Lord, bearing purple robes with Illuminati-like eye symbols. During the introduction of the game, his incredible power is put on full display as he pulls the faces off more than a dozen innocent villagers, who now wander around without the ability to speak or see.
Meet the Dark Lord and his collection of faces.
Once torn from origin, their faces show sad expressions as they float around without a body to call home. Someone needs to do something about it, and that person is you.
During the course of the game you meet a variety of evil enemies who brag about possessing the faces of these innocent people; it isn’t only the Dark Lord who is up to these evil face-stealing schemes. As the hero of this tale, this is enough to invite the full aggression of your four-person party, equipped with Pop Stars, Chefs, and Warriors.
Upon defeating these named antagonists, which serve as boss battles, you are able to take back the faces that were unjustly stolen. Only then can you head back to the village to attach the face back to its owner.
A face and body being reunited.
It’s a strange moment when you give someone their face back. They’re always delighted to hear that you found their face, but can only express joy once it’s reattached. So, they take a deep breath once they get their nose back and thank you endlessly.
The creepiest part of it all is that the game supports Miis. If you choose to use Miis of people that you know, you’ll witness facial surgery of family members, friends, and even colleagues.
What’s here most reminds me of Return to Oz, the film that gave thousands of kids who grew up during the 90’s nightmares with its wheelers and other unspeakable horrors. In particular, it’s reminiscent of Princess Mombi, the lady with a collection of heads.
Facial reattachment in progress.
Though, unlike Return to Oz, Miitopia is presented in cartoonish fashion, so it’s not quite as sinister as it sounds in text. Even then, the mere concept definitely deviates from what you’d expect from Nintendo, and reinforces the recent trend of Nintendo trying to “tastefully” deliver experiences for its older audience.
Miitopia has a lot of character in a way that’s similar to Tomodachi Life yet with its craziness toned down. You’ll see player-made characters such as Gabe Newell and Darth Vader make random appearances throughout your journey, providing a sense of unpredictability that is uncommon in the genre.
Half-Life 3 confirmed.
Actually, I’ve enjoyed my time with Miitopia. It’s a neat little adventure with a few great ideas, albeit simplistic when compared to other games in the genre. For people who plan to pick up the New Nintendo 2DS XL at launch and want something they can play for a few minutes at a time on the go, it’ll be a good option.
Miitopia will release on July 28th exclusively for the 3DS.