The other week I found myself in my local used game store, I had just traded in a few Gameboy games and had $13.00 store credit burning a hole in my pocket. I went over to look at the Nintendo Amiibos. They look so damn cool, and they’re $12.99, so I’d basically only be paying the sales tax on them. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into these things though—I wasn’t even really sure what you do with them. But then the clerk saw me looking at them and told me I could take one and call it even, forget about the tax. And the decision was made.
So I got the Samus Amiibo, because I’ve been playing the hell out of the Metroid games lately, and fired up my copy of Super Smash. It came with no instructions, but it wasn’t hard to figure out how to set it up. You can give your Amiibo a nickname, not that it matters, so I named my Samus Sugartits because I’m easily amused sometimes.
Once I finally got to play, I realized she was fighting on her own. I had thought I would play as my Amiibo, but apparently not. I can play along side my Amiibo. So that’s cool I guess. The AI on it is good, and only gets better as it levels up. Unless I was fighting her she almost always came on top in the four way matches. And always leveled up. Every single match. Which means that at a ceiling of level 50, you’ll max one out real fast. My Samus is already at 50, and my Kirby is at level 34. Yeah, a week later I got a Kirby from a friend as an early Christmas present. I named him Jack after the legendary comic book artist. Because in case you didn’t know it, I’m a nerd.
There’s more, just not much more
So I went online to see what more I could do with these things. Because surely this couldn’t be it. It turned out they were also compatible with Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors. This got me rather excited as I had both those games. Would I get to race as Kirby in Mario Kart? Would I get to play as Samus in Hyrule Warriors? Nope. The compatibility with Mario Kart is it will give your Mii driver (which I never use) a bike and helmet themed like your Amiibo character.
And it isn’t even compatible with all of them. As for Hyrule Warriors if you have one of the Legend of Zelda Amiibos it will unlock a weapon for you. Because I sure can’t wait to run out and spend $12.99 for a new weapon.
I never got into the Skylanders stuff or Disney Infinity. But I really don’t see how the Amiibos will be able to compete with either of them. From what I understand Skylanders has superior gameplay, and Disney Infinity has a huge wealth of characters, what with traditional Disney characters, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. So far the only edge the Amiibos seem to have is the sculpt. They look absolutely gorgeous, and display quite nice on my one book shelf in front of my games.
I can honestly see these being worth getting just for that purpose if you’re a real big fan of the character. I admit I’ll likely get the Mega Man one when it comes out with just that in mind. But these are meant to be game accessories, not statues, and in that they’re rather lacking.
I want to love Amiibos, I really do. But so far Nintendo is not giving me many reasons to. Sure they look great and are mildly amusing in what they actually do, but this really feels like wasted potential. Maybe, hopefully, Nintendo will have greater compatibility in future games, and maybe a chance to stick characters in different games with them. Imagine going through a Mario game with Link fighting beside you? Something like that. For now though, I wouldn’t waste the money unless it was a character you absolutely love.