Miitopia is a new role-playing game for the 3DS that encourages you to bring your Mii-transformed buddies into it, to fill the roles of various NPCs both good and bad. If your friend list isn't all that big, then you can also import characters from Tomodachi Life, and they’ll appear as villagers and the like. Me? I’ve very few Mii buddies, and I never played Tomodachi Life. So, let’s see what happens.
Miitopia is the weirdest game I’ve played in, probably, forever.
I’m staying at an inn, eating 'goblin ham', beside Mii interpretations of Snoop Dogg and Nicolas Cage. Both were available to select from Mii Central, a sort of stockpile of known characters and personalities drawn as bobble-headed Nintendo avatars. They both enjoy the goblin ham, and it boosts their stats. I'm a warrior in newly-purchased leather armour, with more of a sweet tooth, and move on to the slime jelly. Delicious. Plus 10 MP!
I shared a room with Nic, or 'Nick' as he is here, at the previous inn, and to use the game’s terminology we are now “acquainted.” This means we can pair up for some special attacks in Miitopia ’s turn-based battles (where “escape” is presented as “Leg it!” — the localisation is great). It also means that little hearts sometimes appear between us, and we sort of, well, nuzzle. Look, Nic, I liked Face/Off a lot, but I really didn't expect a personal performance.
Oh, also: Nic Cage is a popstar with a fabulous bow in his hair, who whacks enemies with a megaphone. Snoop is new to the party, and was summoned by a quest-giving god who constantly says “ho ho ho” while conversing with my character’s subconsciousness, which does seem kind of like a diss. Snoop is a mage of naturally laid-back demeanour. I suppose when you’re as baked as he is, day in, day out, everything seems pretty magical.
And this is just the first hour or so of Miitopia — and so, so far from encompassing the full spectrum of the surreal that has since unfolded. The first village I come to, as my own little Mii, is home to G-Man: yes, that G-Man, the one from Half-Life. Only this incarnation of the G-Man is a “cheeky child”, scampering about the place, being a right little ratbag to his wound-up mother. Before I bumped into him, the first NPC I chatted to was Marvel’s Iron Man, Mii edition. Just as I'm getting used to this, both G-Man and Iron Man lose their faces as the game’s big bad shows up and, um, steals them. Then plasters them across the heads of monsters spread across the game’s cutesy world.
“I hope you like a life of wordless terror, because that’s all you’ve got now!” says the imaginatively-named Dark Lord, a floating purple devil that cackles over music that belongs in a Final Fantasy boss battle. And off he goes, with a clutch of faces, because why not. Wait — Face/Off ? This is all starting to come together.
The Dark Lord also needs a face of his or her own, which you choose – I fancy a particularly pointy one and click confirm, then notice this face is labelled “Satan”. So here I am, in a party of three with Ghost Rider and Huggy Bear, chasing after Satan, on the instruction of someone who speaks directly in my character's brain and chuckles like Santa. Wait: Satan, Santa... Face/Off, faces off... Miitopia is twisting my melon, man. Hey Snoop, pass that J.
But before I can really focus on what's really happening, Nic Cage batters a giant butterfly with Iron Man’s face on it. In Miitopia that’s the most normal thing in the world, and to be fair we know Nic's got historical animosity towards airborne insects. You will believe a man can act.
God where am I going with this. There is no god, only wicker man? Miitopia please, whatever you’ve been drinking, or smoking, I think you should stop. What’s happening here might be on me, the no-3DS-buddies me, but Nintendo is supposed to be a family-friendly company. This is next-level weird, and Snoop Dogg's giving me that knowing smile from the corner. Nintendo has let this happen, facilitated the crazy, and fuck knows how I’m sleeping tonight.
Ah, who am I kidding — three in a bed with the lads, of course. Push up Nic, roll over Snoop, and let's get acquainted.