Nintendo’s Mii characters are making an unlikely comeback this year, thanks to two upcoming Switch games, Mario Golf: Super Rush and Miitopia.
The late ’00s were something of a golden age for video game avatars, particularly Xbox 360’s aptly named Avatars and, of course, Nintendo’s Miis, introduced alongside the Wii. Although the Wii U included its own social network based on Miis, the Miiverse, the self-created avatars began to fall out of the public lexicon with the Wii U’s commercial failure, and the Miiverse ultimately shut down in 2017. But in 2021, Nintendo Miis are making something of an unexpected comeback.
Of course, the popularity of these customizable avatars will likely never match Mii craze of 2006 or 2007, but the Switch has already featured a number of games that involve the Miis. Both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate carried over playable Mii support from their predecessors on Wii U, the latter still putting a significant emphasis on Mii Fighters with regular costume updates.
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2021’s Mii games put an even more significant focus on the avatars, however, making them the center of entire story modes. If fans are longing for the days of getting the Mii Channel theme stuck in their heads after hours of customization, 2021 may still be a disappointment, but Mario Golf: Super Rush and Miitopia could at least scratch that nostalgic itch.
Nintendo Miis In 2021: Mario Golf & Miitopia
Mario Golf: Super Rush, due out on June 25, is the first Mario Golf game since 2014’s Mario Golf: World Tour on 3DS. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a game where Mario characters play golf. However, the latest iteration harkens back to the series’ handheld RPGs with a full story mode, this time starring the player’s Mii. In many ways, Super Rush’s blend of Mario characters and player-created Miis pays homage to the heyday of the Nintendo Wii, where Miis made an appearance in nearly any game where it made even a little bit of sense. While most probably aren’t going to pick up Mario Golf: Super Rush just to play golf as their digital avatar, it’s still nice to see them included again.
The second game, Miitopia, is entirely Mii-centric. A port of a 2017 3Ds game headed to Switch on May 21, Miitopia has players create various Miis and assign them to story roles in a full-on RPG. A big plus for Mii fans is that Miitopia on Switch adds many new customization features, like makeup and wigs, that make Mii creation far more robust than in the 3DS version or in any vanilla Mii customizer. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about Miitopia, but it does seem to show Nintendo hasn’t forgotten what made Miis so fun: basic customization options that can be tweaked over and over to create anything, as long as the user is creative enough to figure out how.
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