For those new to Miitopia, it is a role-playing game with life simulation elements where you start off as a standard character class - such as warrior or mage - but unlock others and level up as the game progresses.
Playable characters are created with Mii avatars, with each having certain personality traits that influence their role in combat. Miis and their relationships out of combat with each other affect the game, such as Miis not getting along with one another making combat more difficult.
As you might expect the Switch version supports Nintendo's line of Amiibo figures, which allow players to use unique cosmetics on their Miis. You can also import Miis and their trait settings from Tomodachi Life, as well as from a player's friend list.
The Nintendo Switch remaster introduces a new makeup and wig feature which allows players to further customize their in-game characters, including options not available on the console's Mii Maker application, as well as a horse that can help in combat.
The key gameplay changes between the 2016 3DS version and the Switch release is that your hero no longer automatically attacks if an attack or skill he/she uses hits all enemies.
Instead it will confirm and show the enemies' statuses. When buying things for a Mii, the player now has to press the A button after viewing what the Mii wants prior to the confirmation screen. The damage cap has been raised from the 3DS version's 999, so it is now possible to deal damage in the thousands. The trigger buttons, ZR and ZL, can also be used to speed up the game now.
New events have been added in this remaster too. Due to the lack of a dual screen on the Switch, the UI has been adapted to the Nintendo Switch screen. There is a new option for casting Mii characters known as "Do it for me" which gives Mii characters that often come from official promos to be used as the role. This replaces the 3DS's function of assigning the roles to random Mii characters from the Nintendo Wii U/3DS era.
There are lots to like here and some key improvements. The robust Mii creator lets you make impressively detailed Miis like never before. Improved visuals make for a more aesthetically impressive game world which encourages exploration.
But the overall sense that you are never truly in control of what happens remains the major bug bear with Miitopia.
Whether it is combat or relationship-building, everything just feels a touch too random. And the dialogue and events within the story arc become pretty repetitive after a while.
Miitopia is a great and addition to the Switch stable. But it doesn’t quite do enough beyond the usual remaster touch-ups to enthuse fans that this is little more than a port with some make-up - quite literally in Miitopia’s sense - lathered on top.
It’s a great character creator tool but the overall game is too simplistic and random to cement itself as one of Nintendo’s must-have titles on the Switch.
All the usual Nintendo charm is here. But once the novelty fades the overall experience is disappointingly shallow.
Some of the ideas definitely have scope to build a truly great RPG universe one day but a lot of work is needed to make sure any future Miitopia achieves that status.