Mii Spotlight: A look ahead

We're taking a break this week from our usual Mii Spotlight format to discuss the future of Miis, including the forthcoming Mii-focused channel, and what we would like to see in the way of updates to the Mii creation process. We hope you don't mind ... and anyway, we're short on Miis! We can only guess you guys were far too busy immersing yourselves bodily in E3 videos and news to create any new little people this week.

But no worries! Not only will we have new and interesting ways in which to wield our Miis in the near future, games like MySims seem to be running with the super-cute avatar idea, and soon we'll be able to expand our tiny armies of near-lookalikes to epic proportions. Miis even turn up in Wii Fit, though there it seems they must do battle with faceless VR mannequins who threaten to take over our exercise plans.

Actually, Miis v. Mannequins could be an excellent game inside Wii Fit. Too bad we're mostly sure it isn't included. We do love our cartoon violence ... perhaps a little too much.

The newly-re-announced (that's quite a word we had to build) Check Mii Out channel has been producing a bevy of mixed reactions since it was mentioned at GDC. Wii Fanboy staffers and commenters alike tended to agree on one thing, though -- just voting on Miis really isn't enough. Perhaps that's part of why the channel, which was supposed to hit in April, was delayed. Now it looks like there will be contests and other promotions, which we're all for. It may not be Thunderdome, or even the vanquishing of mannequins, but a little Mii-creation-status never hurt anyone.

But is it enough? Sure, we'll probably play around with the channel -- we certainly have some Miis we like to show off, which is rather the point of this weekly feature! -- but what about the use of Miis in more games, or additional features for the Mii channel? We've long felt that there are things that are just missing from the Mii creation process, and we're not alone. I've been bemoaning the lack of funky hair colors since before the channel even became a reality, because, let's face it ... streaks and Crayola-inspired colors and highlights are getting more and more common, as well as body art and jewelry. If the Miis are about bringing more individuality into the Wii experience and gaming as a whole, don't we need to reflect that? Perhaps Nintendo should look to EA (not something we ever thought we'd say) and the Sims franchise, particularly the upcoming MySims, for some ideas on how to expand. You guys had some interesting ideas yourselves when asked:

Reader DiGamma had some good ideas -- "More glasses, and hairstyles. And styled shirts. Nintendo should just release packs, along with the regular VC updates. More hair colors, and accessories. Watches, hats... Nintendo's missing out on a gold mine."

And we can't help but wonder if reader hvnlysoldr is down south with us: "Indians and Cavs caps. Boots. Mullets. More hair colors. Backpacks. Jeans. Shorts. Sunglasses. Blue overalls."

Sounds like everything we see on shopping trips around here. Laugh it up, sure, but it's all the little idiosyncrasies like this that make us who we are. Even the sizing scale of Miis doesn't quite offer enough options. What about pregnancy? Not easy to reflect in a Mii, and since the little caricatures are so easy to update and change around, shouldn't they be able to reflect massive (yet temporary) changes such as that?

There are other things that would add to the Mii experience as well. Being able to download and trade Miis is great, but why can't we edit them? If a friend sends over a Star Wars Mii and a flash of inspiration offers the perfect way to improve it, the entire Mii has to be recreated. That seems like a bit of a bother. After all, this is my Mii Plaza, and I should be able to give you a neckbeard if I want to. What good is a friendship if you can't gently poke fun at people, anyway? Imagine the looks on your friends' faces when they pop over for a little bowling and you've switched genders on them. Comedy gold, yes?

Something else, suggested by reader reef that we think would be a great addition is the idea of being able to design custom clothes for your Mii -- using your DS. We'd love to see expanded (and useful) DS/Wii connectivity in the future, and this seems like a fantastic opportunity. It's much easier to draw and design using the stylus.

But unless you spend a great deal of time playing Wii Sports or Wii Play, some days, it hardly seems worth creating Miis. They're fun to fiddle with when you're inspired, and we're pleased that more games are coming to support them, but even more would be nice. It's fun to play as your real self, and fun to play as a caricature of a celebrity or character as well, and while we maybe wouldn't want that in Zelda, there are other places in which Miis would fit in nicely. We can only hope to see more of that in the future, and since Miis have turned up in other games, like Mario Party 8, it seems likely. But the wait is long, and we are impatient little fanfolk at times.

What changes would you like to see for the future of Miis? Don't just tell us (though we welcome that as well) -- show us! We have an all-new challenge for a future edition of the Mii Spotlight: take a Mii, either a photo or a Mii created with one of the flash tools available on the internet, and get photoshopping. Show us how you would like to liven up your Miis, and we'll present the altered versions some week. We will probably even play along with altered staff Miis. We're also still looking for music Miis, and we'd be happy to do a non-themed week in preparation for the Check Mii Out channel. You think you have something you want to submit for voting? Show us first and maybe we and the readers can give you tips to make them even better. Send us the goods at mii [at] nintendowiifanboy [dot] com! We promise that next week, we'll get back to showing off creations instead of jabbering about all the things that could be.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.