It’s been forever since I’ve even thought about Tomodachi Life. Kind of surprising, considering how well it did and how much I’ve liked it, but one of Sakamoto’s real, core problems as a developer is that he makes these really, really, really fun games… that don’t last long at all. This is probably most obvious with the Wario Ware series, but I would argue that a lot of his other work, including Metroid, suffers from that as well.
And Tomodachi Life, in spite of all the cool stuff it does, simply has one really crippling issue: you don’t feel involved enough in the lives of your Miis. I LOVED seeing really bizarre relationships develop between Miis I would make. Samus Aran and Voldemort starting a family together has to be the stand out moment for me. Writing cheesy love songs about how she taught him how to overcome his desire for world conquest was an absolute blast.
But I didn’t stick with it. And I believe I haven’t touched the game at all since March of last year. Why? Because there’s no reason to. The game feels way too repetitive, in spite of it’s really cool features, and that sort of turned me away from it. It’s still a fun game, and I’m anxious to see how it evolves in the future, but Nintendo needs to give it more features.
And I think Miitopia, as weird as it sounds, is a step in the right direction.
The tech behind Tomodachi Life is incredibly flexible. Miis can end up saying whatever you want, to any character you can imagine. Making this into an RPG is, to me, an extremely interesting idea because it becomes an RPG that is entirely built on the things and people most important in your life.
People are saying Miitopia is too Japanese to come over here, but they said the same thing about Tomodachi before it was revealed out of the blue. I think Miitopia, like Tomodachi Life, will have a surprisingly large audience over here. Especially if it manages to have a real reason to play through it, over and over again.
It’d be funny for me to see Samus Aran, Ashitaka, Maribelle from Fire Emblem teaming up to fight Voldemort. And I think that sort of appeal is what’s going to make the game a success.