Let’s talk about amiibo. I know we do that plenty here, but I’m talking big picture. How do you feel so far about the way Nintendo has integrated amiibo support into games? Are you worried about amiibo changing Nintendo’s approaches to game development? Self-proclaimed amiibo skeptic Stephen Totilo of Kotaku voiced some of his concerns about amiibo in an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto. If you want answers to your amiibo questions, why not go straight to the top?

I’m guessing by nature of being a follower of Nintendo Inquirer, and likely Amiibo News, you probably have at least some vested interest in amiibo. If you’re like us, you have at least a full set of pristine boxed North American versions. Even if you haven’t caught the bug quite that bad, I’m going to wager that you have a few. So let me ask you: What drives your amiibo purchases? I don’t think there’s a wrong, or bad, answer here. Some of us may be working on a full roster of level 50 Smash Bros. opponents, but others just like the way they look on the shelf. I would put myself somewhere in the middle.

AmiiboShelf

Mr. Totilo’s primary concern for amiibo is that, in considering amiibo integration during the development process of every Nintendo game, will we reach a point where a lack of amiibo will make for an incomplete experience? It’s clear, at this point, that Nintendo is definitely looking to incorporate amiibo into all of its games. And that begs the question: Will they ever hold back important and significant content from those who choose to opt out of the amiibo craze?

Let’s face it; many of us might not have the room, funds or desire to buy ten, twenty, a hundred amiibo. Should there still be an option to get the “full” experience? Stephen starts by asking Mr. Miyamoto about Star Fox Zero, specifically, and if Nintendo has any guiding principles that would affect what can and can’t be hidden behind an amiibo pay wall.

“In terms of being able to unlock content, I don’t really want to go down that path,” Miyamoto replied. He went on to explain that, for Star Fox Zero, at least, he views amiibo as a way to reward owners with “a little something extra.” Nothing that would change the game, he implied, using alternate Arwing skins as a possible example.

Amiibo-StarFox2_500

This sounds a lot like the amiibo functionality we have been seeing thus far. I mean, Mario Kart 8 uses literally the same approach.

Stephen goes on to press the topic a bit deeper and broader by bringing up the amiibo content in Splatoon. If you’re not familiar, this is a very different case. The three Splatoon amiibo actually unlock some substantial and rewarding gameplay content in their game. Content that non-amiibo owners completely miss out on.

Unwilling to get too candid about Nintendo as a whole, Miyamoto again framed his answer in relation to Star Fox Zero. “I’m not really thinking about there being locked content or there being a mode that you won’t be able to play if you don’t have one.”

He went on to reiterate that he views amiibo as a perk, a reward for the loyal Nintendo fan that is willing to invest in an entirely new facet of the company’s offerings. He points out that if people already own Smash Bros. amiibo (and they certainly do), they will want to try them on Star Fox anyway. “I want to make sure there is something that gives them a nice charge when they do that,” he finished.

So let me rephrase my question. What do you expect from amiibo? Is a small cosmetic perk in every Nintendo game you buy enough reason for you to shell out $13 for each of your favorite characters? Do you mind some of those characters, in certain games, allowing or denying substantial amounts of content? Or is it enough just to finally have a little Link sitting on your computer desk?

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Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.

Brittin Shauers

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  1. Rammstein says:

    I like the approach that Amiibo have DLC “locked” as the haters call it, behind the Amiibo. The implementation in Smash is about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, you get, what, 20 missions per Amiibo, weapons and armor unlocks? THAT to me is significant. I would like the Amiibo I am so desperately trying to get my hands on, to have more than just the garbage implementation seen in Smash and Mario Kart.

    TL;DR: Bring on the “locked” DLC!

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  2. Marty Confetti says:

    I like locked content like in Splatoon since it doesn’t really give an unfair advantage. Just a lot of really cool extras.

    Fire Emblem If has the kind of functionality I like as well. You can reportedly have characters like Marth and Robin join your party, which you can also do with Code Name STEAM.

    Basically, I like the idea of unlocking extra playable characters, stages, and powerups the most.

    I also like amiibo because they just look cool and I enjoy collecting useless stuff. 😛

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  3. Noah Urbanovsky says:

    I like getting any content with amiibo, whether it’s big or small. Even if it’s simply a cosmetic change, I like getting a little (or a lot) extra something for the figures, and since most do at least something in multiple games, it ends up being really worth it. Their value is also great because the figures are high-quality and look fantastic!

    I do think that it doesn’t help when you can’t obtain the DLC because the amiibo are impossible to find, but that’s another story for another time…

    Reply →
  4. DariusQ says:

    As far as I’m concerned the only issues I’ve had with Amiibos is their availability. My primary use for Amiibos is SSB where I compete against friends to see who can train their figs better. Its such a simple thing but genuinely fun.

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  5. Izak Fullmetal Gainor says:

    $13?
    Don’t you mean $20-$900?
    Oh, you mean for those of us who wait in line for hours and hours on end at the wee hours of the morning and THEN pay $13. Gotcha.

    Reply →
    • Brittin_NI says:

      Well, as far as Nintendo is concerned these figures cost us $13. There’s plenty of amiibo shortage articles out there, this is more about functionality and the effects they may or may not be having on game development.

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      • Gordon Bonn says:

        you are right on , the rest of these things people what they are talking about is nothing if you can’t get an AMIIBO. it seen like nintendo doesn’t even care. we want amiibo and lots of them! what we don’t want suppling one store in an area where there are 6 stores one one special amiibo. you wait in line for hours and you are #12 in line and when the store opens they say they only have 10 amiibo!!!!! there should be a minum of 20 or none at all!!! come on NINTENDO don’t do a job half-assed, do the right thing!!

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  6. Mike "Top Gun" Wazowski says:

    I think by far one of the biggest problems facing amiibo, at least in america, is the stupendous lack of release dates. It will be July in 48 hrs and still no updated release information on Dark Pit and Palutena.

    Reply →
  7. My concerns have nothing to do with DLC and everything to do with SUPPLY. The so-called “restocks” aren’t helping at all. Nor is Amazon’s policy of scanning them in at retail warehouses one at a time, and them “flickering” as available at MSRP immediately afterward. Why can’t they stockpile inventory and add it all at once so people have at least a ghost’s chance of getting it before it disappears?

    Reply →
  8. Alexander Williams says:

    The biggest issue is definitely availability, but as time progresses this issue seems as if it is being resolved on a gradient scale. With the exception of the lucina and robin figures (fire emblem characters as outliers in availability is nothing new), the last wave of amiibos had the highest accessibility for customers than previous waves. Particularly the store exclusives, such as ness, jigglypuff, and greninja, were relatively easy and painless for me to get even with me living in a highly populated area with high amiibo demand (louisville) hours after stores had opened on launch. The biggest factor that has changed is that retailers are actively innovating ways to prevent scalping of figures so that people can buy them directly, especially toys r us and gamestop (target is very poor at this though).

    As for the content unlocked by amiibos, I like the direction that nintendo is going for. For the smash bros amiibos, the figures are meant mostly as collectibles and training partners, with the nintendo characters we know and love. Splatoon, on the other hand, is a popular new nintendo title rather than an established franchise and it makes sense to release supplementary material for the game in a way that kills 2 birds with one stone by building nintendo amiibo brand recognition and creating further demand for future amiibos to be released. This is the type of gameplay I’m looking forward to very much with chibi robo zip lash, and with the amiibo packaged with the game then availability for the amiibo individually is as much of a problem as if they have the game in stock.

    (Anybody around louisville looking to trade a lucario amiibo for my unopened golden mario?)

    Reply →