The other day Nintendo dropped the demo for Miitopia, the upcoming remaster/rework of the 3DS title Miitopia. For those unfamiliar, it was a wonderful game that I begged people to play to no avail. Luckily, the Switch remaster has gotten more people interested, especially with the demo being so successful that #Miitopia was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter for over a day as people flooded the site with screenshots.
If you’re wondering why the demo was so successful online, it’s the premise. It’s something that, in 2021, will make it an absolute joy for people on social media.
On the surface, the game doesn’t seem like much to write home about. It’s a turn-based RPG in which you’re going after a dark spirit who just wants to ruin everything by unleashing minions all over the place. But the main plot is just a side piece to what makes this game wonderful.
You design EVERY SINGLE character in this game. You don’t just design your character down to the personality, you get a cast list with a description of each category and you get to design and name the NPCs as well.
Now, the smooth-talking gentleman that welcomes me to the first town and insists everything will go well? He’s now Lando Calrissian. The charming but snarky old woman that runs the shop? Betty White. The “lovey-dovey” couple that moved to town to swoon over each other and ignore their problems? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The hyper child whose mother barely has control of him? Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) and his mother (who I named Melissa after the woman who inspired the character).
One of the reason’s that this game can do so well in 2021 is because it can be absolutely hilarious as you put well-known people in the driver’s seat of different characters. For example, there was a character that was described as a sarcastic jerk that is often not very helpful to those around him. I made him a tiny Ted Cruz.
Originally I just did that as a jab at fat Wolverine, but then the main evil attacked and the first thing on his mind was going on vacation. Something that made me almost weep cry laugh.
Another cool thing with the game is that between battles, your playable characters develop bonds depending on who sleeps in what room of the inn or does activities, like fishing or going to the movies together. As their bonds become greater, more cool things will happen in battle. Maybe one character will get hurt and someone else in the party will take a snack out of their inventory and share it with them so they can get some health back. Maybe a character that cares about another character will warn them they’re about to get hit so they can dodge in time. Cool stuff like that.
It’s also somewhat cathartic in weird ways. I’ve spent the last year hanging out with my sons who are in distance learning thanks to the pandemic. One is in kindergarten and the other is in first grade. As such, I have become really familiar with children’s YouTube sensation Jack Hartmann. His obnoxious songs and tiny mustache exist in the forefront of my mind at all times like a horrible war flashback.
When the dark lord appeared, I immediately modeled him after Jack Hartmann. Now heading out to fight against him, seeing that mustache, constantly reminds me of what I’m fighting and it helps.
Plus, the moment when I was protected from him by the spirit of Iwata almost made me physically weep.