How do Nintendo best implement amiibo?

Nintendo are tying some pretty meaty content to the Metroid Samus Returns’ amiibo, but have the struck the right balance?

Script

C1: Hey everyone, welcome to P Myth Gaming! The internet was all aflutter last week after Nintendo unveiled the amiibo functionality for the soon to be released Metroid Samus Returns.

VO: The upcoming remake of Metroid II for 3DS is launching alongside two new amiibo, one of Samus herself, and another featuring a squishy Metroid. The former unlocks an extra energy tank and an art gallery when you finish the game. Whilst the latter unlocks a new hard mode, as well as Samus’ Fusion suit from the GBA game of the same name.

C1: One of the criticisms of amiibo is that they don’t really do a lot in most of the games they’re compatible with. But with the news that these new features, including an entire difficult level, are to be locked behind amiibo, some people are less than enthused.

Amiibo to date have essentially functioned as physical DLC, mostly unlocking skins and outfits and things across various games. But one of the big criticisms of DLC is that it sometimes contains features

C2: Like oh I dunno, difficulty levels

C1: That the general consensus says should be included in the first place. Tying these things to amiibo that are notoriously difficult to get hold of, means that some people will be locked out of this content completely.

The flip side of the argument is that now these amiibo are actually worth buying

C2: Outside of just being really cool looking

C1: Because they unlock worthwhile content in the game. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk, Nintendo could theoretically offer the same content to purchase, perhaps at a slightly discounted rate, from within the game as more traditional DLC so nobody misses out.

C2: But does that then undermine the value of amiibo?

As you can tell from all of the figures here, I’ve invested a not insignificant amount of time and money acquiring these things.

C2: Don’t ask me how much I paid for Little Mac

C1:Whilst they undoubtedly look great

C2: Even if I am running out of space to put them

C1: I’d be less inclined to buyer’s remorse if I knew these figures genuinely held the key to extra content.

Smash Bros on Wii U, that amiibo were initially created for, had pretty cool functionality, allowing you to train up your amiibo by fighting it in game. It was a lot of fun, and pitching your trained amiibo against a friend’s was cool too.

C2: My bowser is an absolute tank

Similarly, the way Breath of the Wild handled them was pretty sweet, with daily item drops and some exclusive armour tied to a handful of figures.

But these examples are few and far between. It’s a real shame because unlike say Skylanders, amiibo have the potential to function across multiple games, theoretically increasing their value with each new bit of software that makes use of them. But to be honest, many of these I’ve opened for the first time just to have them in this video, and Nintendo have so far failed to capitalise on that versatility.

C1: I do feel like Nintendo is on to something with tying some meatier content to the figures like they are doing with Samus Returns, I just hope that they make the content available to those who aren’t able to get their hands on the amiibo themselves.

C2: Or, crazy idea, be sure to make enough of the damn things.

C1: So so far I think amiibo still have a lot of unrealised potential, but in order to reach it, Nintendo need to make sure the content tied to the figures makes them worth a purchase,

C2: And isn’t just content that should be included anyway

C1: whilst simultaneously making sure that people can actually get hold of them, or failing that, offering them a way to access the content through other means.

How many of you, dear viewers, were similarly caught up in the amiibo craze but find yourself a little disappointed at their under-use? Or how do you think Nintendo should approach their toys-to-life line in future? Let me know via carrier pigeon.

C1: Thanks very much for watching everyone, give the like button a tickle on your way out if you enjoyed the video, and do be sure to check out some of the other content and subscribe if you’re new around here. New video goes up every Sunday, and I shall see you then

 

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