Tag Archives: Find Mii

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.

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Find Mii 2 really ups the ante

I thoroughly enjoyed the first Find Mii. It’s one of two minigames found within the StreetPass Mii Plaza for the Nintendo 3DS, and the quickest and easiest way to sum it up is a bare-bones RPG that rewards players with new hats for their Mii. Your Mii is captured, and you have to recruit other Miis via connecting with 3DS systems or purchasing cat/dog soldiers to fight off ghosts and save your Mii. Which turns out to be the king/queen of this unnamed fantasy realm. Options for combat boil down to attacking three times with a sword or using magic; there are one or two moments where strategy is vital for progress, but otherwise, so long as you can boost your heroes’ levels or connect multiple times with other Miis, it’s easy sailing. But at least it’s something to do with the Miis you collect other than, y’know, grabbing a random puzzle piece–and sometimes not even that.

I made a huge dent in Find Mii back in September thanks to attending SPX 2011, where a good number of other 3DS champions attended, too. I basically plowed through my second playthrough of the minigame up to the point of the final two or three battles thanks to other comics-loving Mii avatars, especially Madéleine Flores. Then I kinda stopped carrying my 3DS around all the time to collect Play Coins and hopefully tag other people, and so I was a little miffed to discover that the minigame’s sequel, Find Mii II, newly acquired with the latest software update for the system, is only accessible to those that had collected all the hats already. Meaning, I had to blow a bunch of Play Coins just to complete the first adventure and begin to see how the second one shaped up.

So I did that, and now Find Mii II is in progress, and while it is the same minigame as before, it’s also not. It’s Find Mii, but updated to the max. Beyond eleven. It throws in so much new stuff that it’s actually hard to remember it all, but I guess that’s why I blog, to make words permanent and visible and possibly interesting.

Story-wise, your Mii’s children, wig-wearing pieces of epic royalty, have been kidnapped, and you must rescue them. I think your own Mii is taken, too, but I can’t remember. I was a bit hypnotized by seeing my kid represented as a blonde wig-wearing version of myself. Players can now take multiple paths through a dungeon, resulting in different challenges and acquired hats.

Combat used to involve two strategies: melee attacks or magic. Both had their uses, but other than that, there weren’t many other options. Now Mii soldiers can used combo attacks based on the color of their shirts or fuse into one leveled up soldier. Here’s what is known so far:

Team Combo Special Effects
Black + White Break Shadowlight Shields
Red + Pink ???
Blue + Light Blue ???
Yellow + Yellow Clear Poisonous Room

Did I mention that you can also use Play Coins to hire a Mii in your plaza to fight for you? Well, you can. It’s pricey, but worth it when you got some level 4 Miis standing around collecting e-dust. And also comes in handy when you reach a room that requires a certain colored shirt Mii to progress. Some enemies require strategy too, since I’ve come across a ghost that makes a mirage copy version and a slime that heals itself if you’re not effective enough.

Potions are new, too. You purchase them with Play Coins during combat, and here’s the ones I’ve seen so far:

  • Vial of Valor (8 Play Coins) – Calls back up to three heroes who have left
  • Power Potion (20 Play Coins) – Boosts your heroes’ levels

Whew. See? A lot of shtuff.

Considering there’s an Accomplishment for completing Find Mii five times and multiple paths to take, I suspect I’ll be plugging away at this for some time now. Looking forward to the 2012 comics con scene for more tags so that I can show everyone my sweet Laytonesque Top Hat. I’m sure there’s a lot of other cool hats, but for me, that’s all my Mii needs.

Latest Nintendo 3DS firmware update adds Accomplishments, new Mii hats, and more

Last night, Xbox Live got an update, and this morning, my Nintendo 3DS got an update. Of the two, I’m loving the latter way more. Let me show you what it brings to the table.

After simultaneously recharging my dying battery and downloading the update, the first thing I noticed on my 3DS was a new app called the Nintendo Zone, which promises special content when connecting with certain free wi-fi hotspots. There’s none near Grimmauld Place, and I have no idea where any nearby would be. The 3DS Camera app now has a toggle for either taking video or stills; hopefully you can record video for a decent amount of length, and not a mere 30 seconds or something. Otherwise, that’d be a waste, but I’ll have to wait until later to give it a try. Early reports mention up to ten minutes of recording, with time-lapse being an optional setting. Cool.

Seems like the most new additions are found within the Mii Street Plaza. Fine by me! First, we have Achievements. Well, Nintendo is calling them Accomplishments, which is way better than Accolades, but whatever–they work all the same. Do this, and earn a shiny red exclamation point. The nicest thing is that upon simply loading up the Plaza, I unlocked 15+, meaning they are retroactive. I got one for having over 50 Miis in my plaza and another for having Miis from two different regions (United States and Canada, snatch). Speaking of that, there’s a geographical map to show you exactly where all your Miis come from; I’ve got a lot of East Coast staters, with some strangely from California, too. And you can now get Miis from using SpotPass. A music player lets to kick back and hear some battle tunes. There is a sequel to Find Mii, offering new hats, but only if you’ve found all the ones from the previous game, which I’ve not yet done–I’m one hat away. And new puzzles for Puzzle Swap. Oh man, looks like I’m going to be walking around with my 3DS in sleep mode a lot more than usual.

This firmware update now also allows content to be moved between 3DS systems, and the eShop has also been updated to support demos and downloads when the system is in sleep mode.

Whew.

Next on the list before 2011 runs out is us 3DS Ambassadors getting 10 free GBA games. This little handheld of mine is going to be bursting with So Much Stuff. Not a bad thing. Not at all.

Games Completed in 2011, #22 – Find Mii

This Nintendo 3DS minigame actually required a good amount of time and attention, and so it’s making the list as a completed title for 2011. DLC and minigames, huh? At this rate, I’m going to start considering things like “waking up” and “eating a yummy lunch” to be completed games, and before you know it we’ll be in the triple digits. Looking forward to that, as well as hitting twenty-five completed titles as I can then buy L.A. Noire guilt-free, and the timing on that is most likely going to perfectly align with an upcoming vacation. Mmm…

Anyways, Find Mii. It’s one of two minigames found within the StreetPass Mii Plaza, and it’s basically a tiny, simple RPG with a small level of strategy to it. Your Mii–the version that looks like you and that you send out to other 3DS systems to hang out, that is–is captured by a mysterious monster and locked in a cage. To free him or her, you’ll need to either hire cat/dog heroes (depending on your preferences) or tag other 3DS punks and use their Miis to fight off ghosts, open treasure chests, and progress through a multi-room dungeon. A basic RPG, wherein the color of the Miis and heroes you use determines their magic ability; some spells work better on specific ghosts, and there’s one dungeon room that simply won’t let you do anything unless you have somebody in a white shirt.

Strategy involves knowing how to attack ghosts in a certain order or with a specific spell up front. Let me say that Poison (purple shirts) and Invigorate (orange shirts) are great and should be used first to get the most out of them. Sometimes a ghost will have a colored shield, and the only way to break through is to attack with a same colored hero; sounds easy enough, but the heroes you purchase are random, and who can ever predict what color shirt another 3DS owner’s Mii will be wearing. It’s a lot of luck first, strategy second.

For the longest time, I was spending Play Coins to hire a few kitty cats to fight for me, which meant very slow progress. It wasn’t until MoCCA 2011 that I started to tag people like crazy and was able to get through a huge chunk of the dungeon; the final end boss, however, required constant hero-purchasing, but eventually I was successful in saving, uh, myself, and then there was some end credits and the option to play again to find even more hats for my Mii to wear. I wish I had saved my final end-game stats, but alas, nope. I’d guesstimate that I used somewhere around 150+ heroes to beat Find Mii for the first time.

Here’s a checklist of the hats I’ve unlocked so far:

  • Mario Hat (Earned from clearing Room 01)
  • Luigi Hat (Earned from clearing Room 01 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Toad Hat (Earned from clearing Room 10 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Bowser Hat (Earned from clearing Room 08 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Red Pikmin Hat (Earned from clearing Room 06)
  • Blue Pikmin Hat (Earned from clearing Room 04 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Yellow Pikmin Hat (Earned from clearing Room 11 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Link Hat (Earned from clearing Room 08)
  • Samus Hat (Earned from clearing Room 12)
  • Metroid Hat (Earned from clearing Room 12 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Kirby Hat (Earned from clearing Room 07)
  • Cat Hat (Earned from clearing Room 04)
  • Dog Hat (Earned from clearing Room 09)
  • Bunny Hat (Earned from clearing Room 06 on your second trip through the game.)
  • Crown (Earned from clearing Room 13)
  • Ultimate Hat (Earned from clearing Room 13 on your second trip through the game.)

Of all of ’em, I enjoy the crown, mostly because I got used to seeing my Mii wearing it while stuck inside a cramped cage. See:

For being free, Find Mii a fine little distraction, something to do every now and then when you notice you have a tag or abundance of Play Coins, but once all the hats are collected, that’ll be it. Maybe via system updates, Nintendo can include new dungeons (and hats!), as well as new puzzles to collect pieces for. Doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do. Plus, I have like 150+ Play Coins just sitting there, collecting (3D)e-dust, waiting to be spent. Let’s keep this going, okay?

A weekend full of StreetPass tags

Over the weekend, I attended and exhibited at MoCCA in New York City, a fun comics convention that is brimming with indie art titles and nice people. Also, tons of 3DS owners. How do I know this? Well, for two days, I kept my 3DS on Sleep Mode in my front pocket, ready to tag other traveling systems, and when it was all said and done, after giving in to pure obsession and checking again and again, I went from having one dude in my Mii Plaza to having 51 Mii peeps. Let me embiggen that number for you:

51

That’s a lot of tags. I even got lucky and ended up tagging several Miis multiple times, increasing their level each time. Sometimes, as I was checking who I had tagged, I’d tag two to three more people walking by. It was amazing and overwhelming and a little bit like drug use in that seeing that green light at the top corner of my 3DS sent a rush of tingles through my body each and every time.

With all these tags, I was able to get much farther in Find Mii, the built-in RPG for the 3DS, unlocking several more hats like Link’s Hat, the Kirby Hat, and Dog Ears. Still haven’t rescued my own Mii, but we’re creeping closer; got hung up on a shielded ghost, and nobody I tagged seemed to like the color light blue. There was also some puzzle piece swapping, but that function is ultimately uninteresting. You collect puzzle pieces, and your reward for finding them all is…you get to look at a picture! Oh joy. I completed an image of Link and a bunch of Pikmin if you were curious.

Here’s a tidbit to chew on: roughly 90% of all tags over the weekend were from male 3DS owners, and it seemed like the title of choice was Super Street Fighter IV 3D. I disappointed another exhibitor when I told him I had bought Pilotwings Resort instead.

But now with all this tagging done and an army of Miis at my control, I have to wonder what’s next. I mean, they just kind of stand around. Are they going to be added to any future 3DS games I play that use Miis? I wish there was more to do with them, with tagging, with communicating. Why can’t I simply add some of these people to my friends list since we’ve tagged each other? StreetPass is all about the short-term satisfaction, and it’s great at it, but there’s not much meat to it in the end.

The only bummer to all this crazy excitement is that I sort of burned myself out on the 3DS and have not carried it with me now for the past two days. I’ll get back to it though as I’m looking to increase the amount of walking I do now that the weather is turning, but there’s no longer any real incentive now that I’ve seen what a good amount of tags amount to: some quick entertainment, nothing more.