Amiibo launch day hands-on first impressions



November 21’st marked the launch day that Nintendo fans have been waiting for, and that is the launch of both Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, and Super Smash Bros. Wii U. As excited I am to learn the ins and outs of these games, I am equally excited for the launch of Nintendo’s newest product, a line of NFC figurines called Amiibo.

My first interaction with Amiibo was at E3 2014 where Nintendo had the first 12 Amiibo available to endlessly stare at their craftsmanship and anticipate their release. Now that the time has finally come for them to be released and allow fans of various Nintendo games to get their hands on some of their favorite characters in the form of Amiibo figures.

Now since my first impression at E3, I had already decided to pick up as many of these high quality 8 inch iconic Nintendo  characters that I could get my hands on. Now that Nintendo has launched the first wave of characters which include: Donkey Kong, Fox, Kirby, Link, Mario, Marth, Peach, Pikachu, Samus, Villager (Animal Crossing), Wii Fit Trainer, and Yoshi.

Now there were reports prior to launch stating that the quality of the Amiibo had dropped since the initial presentation at E3 and those were in fact true. Originally at E3 the characters that were in some type of pose were supported by a clear round cylinder that was meant to draw as little attention as possible, however the first wave now has bigger support beams in different colors depending on the character. Now while some of these still look great and the changes do not take away from the characters’ overall quality (Donkey Kong, Mario, Kirby,Yoshi,Pikachu), but for some of them this is not the case since it served as more of a distraction (Link, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, Fox).

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Now besides the aesthetic there is the functionality of the Amiibos. As of now they are compatible with 3 available titles: Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Hyrule Warriors, with each game having its own benefits depending on the Amiibo used.

With Smash you are able to level up the Amiibos to give you a greater challenge in matches as well as being able to add custom abilities to the characters like healing while crouched, or causing explosions on perfect shields. Other games have less of an effect such as Mario Kart where you can unlock character themed costumes for your mii, and in other games certain characters will have special features; for example, using Link with Hyrule Warriors will unlock a new weapon type for Link to use, while other characters will generate either rupees or materials for upgrading your characters.

Overall I am pleased with Nintendo’s first wave of figures even with the few characters having flaws. I hope that successful sales will potentially lead to improved quality in future waves at least by wave 3, since wave 2 is likely already in its final steps of production.

Wave 2 launches in December and will include: Captain Falcon, Diddy Kong, Little Mac, Luigi, Pit, and Zelda. Wave 3 is slated for February 2015 and will potentially be my favorite wave since it includes Bowser, Ike, King Dedede, Lucario, Mega Man, Meta Knight, Rosalina and Luma, Sheik, Shulk, Sonic, and the most important one of all Toon Link.


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