When Nintendo first announced the concept of the Amiibo Figurines, I was extremely skeptical. Nintendo figurines using the same technology made notorious by Skylanders and Disney Infinity sounded to me like a cash grab on the part of Nintendo. I will admit I didn’t fully understand the concept of these figurines and what exact purpose they would serve for future Nintendo titles. I wasn’t sold on the idea until a recent Amiibo Q&A with Bill Trenin changed my mind. So on Super Smash Bros. launch day I decided to get my hands on a few of these Amiibos and see what they really can do, and whether or not this is a cheap fad or the real deal.
For around $15 I wasn’t expecting much, but the Amiibo figurines are really well done. They look so good you’ll almost be tempted not to remove them from the packaging. $15 is a reasonable price for any sort of figurine, let alone one with NFC technology incorporated into the base. Several of the Amiibos are in action poses and are securely mounted to their bases with robust pegs. The paint job on these figurines is well done for the most part, although I did notice small marks on the sword of the Link Amiibo I purchased where paint was missing. These figurines also have a pretty rugged design, which is a must since kids of all ages will be throwing these things around and chewing on them, and whatever else children do these days. So if you’re a parent looking to purchase one of these Amiibos for your child, you won’t have to worry about them destroying it in a matter of minutes.
So far the launch of the Amiibo has been pretty smooth. I was expecting a few hiccups when attempting to use the figurines for Super Smash Bros. but they are incredibly easy to use. In the Smash Bros. character selection screen you simply place the Amiibo base onto the bottom left corner of the Wii U game pad for a brief second and then you’re free to place it aside while you enjoy the game. Since all of the data is stored in the Amiibo, to save your progress you just repeat the process of placing it on the game pad and you’re good to go.
One thing I was surprised to learn about the Amiibo was that you don’t actually play as the character when playing Super Smash Bros. Instead, you train the Amiibo by teaming up with it in battle or going toe to toe with it. The Amiibo will gain experience and learn from each battle, and can reach up to level 50. Upon booting up your Amiibo for the first time you need to choose the owner of the figurine, give it a name, and choose the color of the costume it will wear. As you gain levels and progress through the game you can customize the Amiibo’s three main stats, attack, defense, and speed, by using badges and equipment you collect. You can also customize the Amiibo’s move set.
Overall I have to say I was really impressed with the Nintendo Amiibo figurines. Battling the characters as the progress in level is a ton of fun, and the customization is pretty addicting. For the reasonable price and the endless possibilities for them to be used in future Nintendo titles, the Amiibo figurines are a great addition to the Nintendo empire. With the holiday season quickly upon us, the Nintendo Amiibo Figurines make for a great stocking stuffer for gamers of all ages.