Tag Archives: 3DS StreetPlaza

2017 Game Review Haiku, #118 – Miitopia

Stop the Dark Lord’s plan
Build relationships, eat grub
Fight faces, some grind

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

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Miitopia is no utopia because of its battle system

Miitopia‘s been a long-time coming. I don’t say this from a place of knowledge, but rather observation. Naturally, it all began on the Nintendo Wii, with the company’s introduction of Miis, Nintendo’s take on customizable avatars. Miis are created using different body, facial, and clothing features. The options are somewhat limited, but still detailed enough to make a solid representation of yourself or your favorite celebrity. No, really, take a look. In fact, even after all these years, I still think my Mii avatar looks closest to what I look like in real life than my Xbox avatar or any character I’ve made in my likeness for an epic RPG, save maybe for my boss in Saints Row: The Third, just kiddin’.

Since then, the Miis have shown up in several RPG-esque titles, such as Pokémon Rumble World, Tomodachi Life, and, of course, the StreetPass Mii Plaza minigames, specifically Find Mii and Find Mii 2, where the seed of Miitopia was certainly planted. Though the quirkiness of Tomadachi Life is highly prevalent, as is also the randomness, to the game’s detriment, but more on that in just a bit. I’d apologize for all the hyperlinks in this paragraph, but those are all games I’ve played and have a bunch of thoughts on, so if you like reading, then click, click, click away.

So, in Miitopia, the citizens of a mighty eccentric kingdom need saving. Why? Well, the Dark Lord is ripping the faces off of Miitopians and attaching them to all kinds of monsters. This is naturally causing a lot of chaos and distress, and it is up to the player’s party to defeat these monstrosities, return the rightful faces, and bring back peace to this silly fantasy land. Here’s my cast of zany characters so far:

  • Party members
    • Pauly, thief class
    • Bitsy, a.k.a. my sister, pop star class
    • Morgan Freeman, cleric class
    • Snape, mage class
  • Dark Lord – Ron Swanson
  • Greenhorne citizens
    • Shrek, carefree guide
    • Nano, cheery granny
    • Jon Snow, sassy child
    • Jaehee, worried mother
    • Jafar, part of the lovey-dovey couple
    • Erza, part of the lovey-dovey couple
    • Diglett, sarcastic guy
    • E Gadd, dubious mayor
  • Royalty
    • King Santa
    • Princess Beyoncé
    • Prince Dan Ryckert
    • Prince Buzz Lightyear
  • Castle Guard
    • King Rhoam, serious soldier
    • Jake Paul, lax soldier
    • SuperSonic, royal support (right)
    • Bendy, royal support (left)
  • Great Sage – Satoru Iwata
  • Roaming Gourmet – SpongeBob
  • Nintendo Fan – Margaret

Whew. That’s a lot, I know, and there could be more people to cast in various roles to go. I’m hoping to get at least two more party members, as I need a chef and a warrior to balance everything out. Also, many of these roles were automatically filled in when I started Miitopia, but one can switch Miis out at any time. I’m okay with the selections so far, as I at least got to decide on who is and who is not royalty, as well as my main fighting crew. Strangely, the zany mix of people works out quite well and creates some fun, silly situations, such as Morgan Freeman comforting Snape after taking damage or my sister ending up in a love triangle between the two of them and causing jealousy and heartbreak to run wild.

Look, I love role-playing games. I’m pretty obsessive about them, and I enjoy, for the most part, all types. Action RPGs, JRPGs, Western RPGs, big RPGs, bite-sized RPGs, anime-heavy RPGs, and even some SRPGs. Naturally, the element that distinguishes most RPGs is the combat, the battle system, the whatever. The part where you attack an enemy opposition and gain experience points, money, and loot from them to help you grow in levels and defeat stronger progress-blocking walls. It’s what you do between cutscenes and exploring towns. Alas, so far, I’m not in love with Miitopia‘s combat system, which is a core part of its gameplay loop.

Battles in Miitopia are turn-based, but you can only control what your avatar does. The other members of your party act on their own, making their own decisions, for better or for worse. Not having control of my entire party is a strong design choice, one that saw me bounce hard off of games like Phantasy Star II and Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. It also rears its ugly head in Suikoden III, which I’m simultaneously noodling with, post on that game coming soon. From the world map, you select an area to explore, also not in your control, eventually triggering specific events or random battles. The action order is determined by each Mii and monster’s speed statistic, with everyone getting one action per turn, save for bosses because they like to break rules.

When creating your Mii party members, you must give each one a quirk, such as stubborn or kind, and these play out in how your character grows and performs in battle. For example, a stubborn Mii might cast a spell twice if they are unsatisfied with the results, and a kind Mii will occasionally take damage for a friend not paying attention. I went with laid-back for myself, if you were curious. Bonds are also built between Miis by having them share a room at the inn after a day of battling and opening treasure chest or interacting in battle. Each level of friendship between two Miis brings about even more random abilities you can’t control, such as showing off for friends or consoling them when necessary, all which provide boosts. It makes watching the battles a little more engaging, but also frustrating because you never know what anyone is going to do and, sometimes, they do the wrong thing.

Other strange elements to combat include the safe spot and sprinkles. The former is a single space behind your adventuring party where a wounded or afflicted Mii can recuperate faster or heal its HP/MP over time and not be a target for the enemy. Sprinkles, other than being the wrong name for those colorful sugar strands you put on ice cream, are additional boosts in the form of salt shakers. You have one for HP, one for MP, and one for reviving a downed Mii, of varying amounts, and these replenish between fights. They are also upgraded over time as you defeat more enemies. At least you have control of when you want to use these and how.

I don’t intend to come across as highly negative on the game, as there is a lot to Miitopia that is enjoyable, specifically its music. No, really–listen to the tune that plays on loop on the main menu. I promise you it’ll get your head bobbin’ in no time. There’s a bunch of other quirky tunes that play throughout your adventures, such as when eating stat-raising food or playing the mini-games or watching a scene where one Mii gives another Mii a special present. From an audio perspective, this thing is pure glee and delight.

Well, this post went long. My bad. Looks like I have some strong opinions already about Miitopia, and I’m only a couple hours in. I really do want to stick with it and see where things go, but I don’t know if I can handle another uncontrollable Mii losing a fight due to casting Sleep on my sister instead of Fire on the almost defeated boss. Yeah, Severus Snape, LV 9 mage, I’m talking about you.

Buy low, sell high, and make bank with Market Crashers

market-crashers-original

Remember when I beat Crimson Shroud some time back and opened up a ton of free space on my Nintendo 3DS? No? Well, click here to read more about that and then come back so, sequentially, you are following along with this story. It might help. Right. Well, with all that free space prime for the filling, I went and downloaded a bunch of other things, such as updates to Pokémon Shuffle and that freemium Pokémon Picross thing, which I’ve kind of only touched twice since and not for very long. Aside from those, I also grabbed a free new StreetPass mini-game from Nintendo as part of their promotion of a whole bunch of new StreetPass mini-games, deciding between Slot Car Rivals, a racing game, and Market Crashers, a business simulation game. You can figure out which one I picked.

Ultimately, Market Crashers is a fast-paced decision-making game. You know how in those Telltale games like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones you only have so long to reply to someone before the scene moves forward? It’s all that. Except money is at stake instead of someone’s friendship or, as it often happens, their life. Anyways, you are a new day trader to the market scene, and so you’ll need the help of analysts to ensure you are making the best estimations of the market. This is where the StreetPassing comes in, as each person you connect with will help show a stronger forecast of how the market will play out. That way you know when to buy low and sell high or hold back. Or, if you are like me, buy one share and then immediately freeze up from a panic attack over not wanting to mess up, ironically messing up nonetheless.

You can buy up to ten shares at a time from fictitious companies like Piece-By-Piece Deliveries and Kingfinder Studios. Purchasing a share is as easy as hitting a button; in fact, that’s what you do–the A button buys shares and the Y button sells. As time trudges forward, an analyst might say that there is big news, and this could either be a big drop or rise. The short goal for Market Crashers is to do well and earn money, using those StreetPassed Miis to the best of their ability, and the longer goal is to earn a massive amount of money, with the first flag being $10 million. Hmm. In the two sessions I played, I earned money, and then I lost money, so that longer goal might forever be a longer goal for me.

Stocks are definitely not my thing, both in real life and, now I can confirm, in videogame form. Watching line graphs grow and change isn’t all that exciting, and knowing that an investment is behind those ups and downs is more than enough to stress me out greatly. Then there’s also the requirement of making rapid-fire decisions to get things done. Um, no. I’m not good at that. I’m a thinker, a muller (not to be confused with a mullet), a man of wonder, and I’m always one hundred percent too afraid to instantly commit to something in the matter of a few seconds. Chances are, that never works out great for me. I’d rather assess the scenario, really study it, and then dive in. In the end, I’d make a better analyst than day trader.

I don’t know. Maybe I should have gone with that little car racing game. It’s too late now to go back, and I don’t expect to hit many more areas with lots of people carrying their Nintendo 3DS around–thanks, MICE 2016!–so I’ll just stick with collecting puzzle pieces and earning new hats via multiple playthroughs of Find Mii 2.

2012 Game Review Haiku, #13 – Find Mii 2

Royal fam is gone
Hire cats and tag friends to
Save them at MoCCA

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.