Five Things I Hate About Miitomo

Five Things I Hate About Miitomo

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Five Things I Hate About Miitomo

When Nintendo announced last year they would be developing mobile apps and games, I was considerably more optimistic about the idea of Nintendo on iOS and Android than others seemed to be. I understood the concern, as mobile apps are known to lack a certain integrity and fire that console and PC games have. I also understood the fear of in-game purchases, another problem that a lot of popular mobile games have. But we didn’t have to wait long before Nintendo released its first app, Miitomo. I’ve had a chance to play through it and I’ve got to say, there are a number of things about it that frustrated me, confused me, or just made me downright uncomfortable. Here’s five things I hate about Miitomo.

1: Making your Mii

On Wii U, there are two ways to create Miis: You can either make one from scratch or take a picture of yourself with the GamePad and let the camera scan your face to make a Mii that looks as little like you as possible. The facial recognition of the Wii U camera is absolutely awful, so when I learned that Miitomo also utilizes a similar feature, I was curious to see if Nintendo had improved on it.

Right off the bat I noticed a difference in the facial recognition interface that sort of made me nervous. Before taking the picture, you are first prompted to select your hairstyle and hair color. Personally, I took this as Nintendo’s way of telling me, “Hey man, we haven’t really gotten the whole hair thing down yet, but we can do everything else! We just need you to do the hair for us, and we can take care of the rest.” So I figured OK, at least they’re openly admitting they can’t get the hair right. So I got my hair perfect and proceeded to the next step of taking my picture. I started lining my face up with my phone — making sure to get my good side — when all of a sudden BOOM!, an unfamiliar looking Mii smacked right into my screen with a thud. Now, I’m man enough to admit that this startled me, but it didn’t stop there. More and more Miis continued to flood my screen, each one looking more and more different. I soon realized that these were the Miis the app was suggesting based on snapshots of my face. They were all different sizes, shapes, and races. Here’s the kicker: none of them shared the same hairstyle or even the same hair color as me. “Excuse me?!” What was the point of picking out my hairstyle back in step one? And that was when the last Mii hit the screen, looking bitterly disappointed. At least they got that right.

2: Your Mii’s voice

Oh, cool! In Miitomo, you can give your Mii a voice, rather than have them either be silent or spit Pikmin-like gibberish. What a time to be alive! However, there’s a catch: No matter what settings you choose for your Mii’s voice, they’re all going to sound like GLaDOS (from Portal) and a Speak & Spell had a terrifying child who hates you. Giving Miis a voice (as first seen in Tomodachi Life) is certainly a step in the right direction, provided we as a country invest in resources to prevent the eventual Mii uprising, but for now I think I’m going to turn off this feature.

There are plenty of games that have used voice customization effectively, usually through a selection of different voice actors and voice types such as Saint’s Row, Freedom Wars, and the NBA Street series. And with all the advances that have been made in the way of synthetic vocal technology, like Vocaloid and AI tech in Apple and Microsoft devices, I think a more immersive voice customization feature in Miitomo is certainly feasible. I understand the route Nintendo took for the voice setup in this app is probably much more cost effective, but Miis at their core are supposed to be caricatures of their respective players. An effective voice customization option would make our Miis that much more special. Until then, my irrational fear of Miis will continue to flourish.

3: Miitomo and social media

In an app where the majority of the appeal lies in interacting with your friends, I would have liked to have seen Miitomo take a different approach to adding friends. As it stands right now, there are two ways to add friends: You can either link Miitomo to your Twitter and/or Facebook account, or you can add someone near you by connecting face-to-face — sort of like how local battling and trading works in the Pokémon series or how Download Play works with 3DS games. Rather than being forced into making a Twitter or Facebook account, I would have liked an option to search for friends by name, or even a way to connect to my contact list on my phone and add friends that way. A way to see a list of my friends and add more people through those lists would have been a welcomed feature as well. Miitomo makes it hard to add friends, which I feel really diminishes the primary appeal of this app.

4: I don’t want to wear fruit, Nintendo!

This one is just … weird. Miitomo has a little mini-game called Miitomo Drop where you drop your Mii into a Pachinko machine for a chance to win rewards based on where your Mii lands. The prizes, however, are bizarre to say the least; they’re usually centered around a theme — Gothic-inspired clothing, for example — and some of the themes are really cool (particularly the ninja one), but for some reason most of the themes are centered around the idea of wearing food as clothing. There’s a pineapple suit, a strawberry sweater, cherry headphones, pancake dresses, and so on. These sets are meant to be special rare prizes exclusive to Miitomo Drop, which I suppose is why they’re so wacky. They may have went a little crazy with the food idea, however. I would like to see more Miitomo Drop themes like the ninja set — maybe a robot theme or even themes based on Nintendo franchises like Zelda and Metroid. I’d love to have more Nintendo related garb to go with my Mario hat! I would also like a way to send clothing to my friends as gifts, so I can guilt them into wearing pineapple hats.

5: Something’s missing

After exploring just about every nook and cranny of Miitomo, I found myself feeling the same way about it as I did with Miiverse. Something seems to be missing, and I think I know now what both of these apps need for me to consider them worth downloading and utilizing: each other. Miiverse and Miitomo would work great together. With a connection between the apps, we could have the social and personal aspects of Miitomo combined with the expressive and game-oriented platform of Miiverse. Separately they both feel a little hollow, but together I think that they’d make a fantastic app that enhances the overall Nintendo experience.


Personally, Miitomo just isn’t for me. There are some great things about it, however. The personality questions, the candy collecting, and the general Mii quirkiness are all things I love about it, but it’s just not enough to keep me coming back and picking up my daily rewards. But don’t take my word for it! If you’re one of the few that hasn’t downloaded Miitomo, try it out for yourself. It’s free, after all.

Be sure to follow Nintendo News on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus for more of the latest on Miitomo.

12 Comments

  1. Wow, just wow comes out of me when I read the list of things that went wrong. It just solidifies my intention not to touch anything Nintendo again. I am basically evil, yes, but the main reason is I do not support a company that is too arrogant to take a look at the competition and act accordingly. They are still convinced that THEY are all that matters. This is poor business conduction and it shows in the general downfall of this company.

    • Really? That’s what you take from this article? Sounds like you’re letting you pre-existing bias against Nintendo warp your assessment.

      In an app store full of whats app clones a company tries to come up with a social media product that doesn’t follow the norm and is genuinely different and because they aren’t totally successful you hate on them for daring to try.

      Just forget about the Nintendo brand for a minute and imagine it was a company you felt neutrally about. Would you still be trying so desperately to put a negative spin on this?

  2. The game is very limited to Q&A; so in this game Nintendo lets you do the bad things like swear but they’re not confident enough to let you make your own posts, questions, or straight up P2P talk to your friends. Everything’s done through vague personal questions, which I increasingly enjoyed answering more and more uncomfortably or negatively ( and the disparity between what I said and my mii’s canned response emerging ) “What’s one memory you’ll never forget?” “The day my pet died *Mii does little fluffy swoony heart dance* Yeah I’ll never forget that!”

    The game encourages you to keep booting the app up every day for new specials and dailies and question answering/replying goals. Jokes on them – this is a huge flaw, but I reached the limit of Mii questions. It tops out around 500 or 600. Not because I like the game, I’m just a compulsive test-taker. Once you’ve completed, it will just throw the same 3 questions at you every day ( “What did you eat last night? ” “What will you do on the weekend?” ) The rewards for completing daily Q goals were also paltry, at 15 gold a Q. If the mega-dailies are 200-2000 gold a piece, Nintendo should pony up a little more incentive.

    The game would feel more whole if you could interact with people more P2P, and give them things like gifts and clothing, especially since your Mii Store dailies are unique to you. Also the room needs to be customized. I had hoped that Mii was maybe rushed to market early and they’d start fixing it and adding new content to keep people interested. But since I already topped out my questions, I’m stuck replying to other people’s questions with wacky and uncomfortable pictures because I’m bored. My friends are moving at a snail’s pace, so the game has a little life yet until they finish.

    I secretly hope the data mining of all these answers will be somehow incorporated into a game with dynamic NPCs, especially my answers

  3. I find the enjoyment that you get out of Miitomo depends on 2 things: how active you and your friends are in using the app, and how creative you as a group can get on it. It’s a blast making totally stupid Miifotos of yourselves doing the Cha-Cha Slide in dirty bathrooms, but Miitomo burnout can be extremely contagious for obvious reasons. It’s like an unbalanced intimate relationship that you have with your entire social circle. You start putting so much into it but don’t get anything out and you start to wonder what you stuck around for. Oh yeah, it’s the only way to save up Platinum coins, woo…

  4. People make their Miis to look like them? People care that Miis have robotic voices? Come on! Making ugly ass, mutant Miis with crazy voices is part of what makes Miis awesome! I think Vinesauce showed how much goofy stupidity you can get out of Tomodachi Life, and people have been doing pretty much the same thing with Miitomo. I can tell you my Miitomo Mii doesn’t look like me at all, or even like a human being.

    Only thing I’d like for Miitomo is some sort of interaction with the Wii U and/or 3DS so you can copy Miis over. I have plenty of horrors on my 3DS to share. >:)

  5. Wow guys, they can’t “have” a list of people instantly, just like Facebook and other social media in their youth, people have to be making a lot of Miis first and interact with each other before they can actually give you suggestions that make a little bit of sense and sure enough, that’s exactly what the app is doing for me right now. Okay I only have 3 suggestions but there was not Facebook involved and I don’t think there’s that many people I know using Miitomo anyway.
    As for the Mii making, I just focus on making a cuter version, there isn’t a single Mii ever that looks one bit like me, I really don’t think this is a big deal.

  6. There is some Splatoon gear coming.

    There is more than fruit right now in Miitomo Drop, I got a pretty black Gothic dress lol.

    Don’t use the camera for your Mii, better to do from scratch.

    My Mii voice is hilarious, play with the pitch accent and depth, you get different voice articulation.

    Agreed something is missing. Make it more Nintendo by having different Nintendo mascots showing up in your room periodically instead of friends.

    For what the shop is, it does everything it is supposed to do. Sometimes tweaking the Mii takes few extra minutes, but it is a solid app overall.

  7. It’s a boring thing for sure, and I imagine most only picked this up simply because they were interested in Nintendo’s first app- it’s why I did, and I don’t play it, I’m not into Tomodachi Life, and if I want to game, I’ll use my 3DS, my phone is a phone, my 3DS is a game system.

  8. Totally agree – at this stage, Miitomo really seems like a Tomodachi life Lite… i.e. there’s nothing much to do, and just as extremely difficult to add friends in what seems like an archaic system for “social media”. Hope they expand soon.

  9. My theory is that Miitomo will eventually replace Miiverse and Mii Maker in the Nintendo ecosystem. When NX comes out, you will have a version of Miitomo on that and it will be updated so you can join communities, etc.

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