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Super Smash Bros. Could Be Amiibo's Trojan Horse

by Neal Ronaghan - September 4, 2014, 9:23 am PDT
Total comments: 14

While the use of Amiibo in Smash Bros. might not be compelling, those figures do look wonderful and collectable.

Back at E3 2014, I tried to unpack what Nintendo showed with Amiibo. I still stand by a lot of what I said. I think Amiibo has the potential to just be another eReader, making it the latest in a long line of Nintendo peripherals that got a major push and faded away. But there’s something that Amiibo has in its pocket that the eReader or the Balanced Board or Wii Motion Plus never had: attractive collectability.

The first series of Smash Bros. Amiibo was announced last week and the Nintendo community was abuzz with people announcing what Amiibo they pre-ordered and from where. Amazon was a hotbed, running out of several figures almost instantly. And hey, if you’re a member of the Best Buy Gamer’s Club, you got a discount for pre-ordering. I hope you acted fast, because those pre-orders are likely all closed up.

Most of these people who pre-ordered appear to be in this just for the figures. Whether they just want to add another Mario figurine to their collection or proudly display the Villager on their desk at work, Amiibo is a hot commodity primarily because they are cool looking toys to display.

I’m still very wary of the actual implementation of Amiibo in games. I’m not diving in on good faith that Nintendo will blow my mind with this. But when push comes to shove, I’ll be trotting out to Target and Toys”R”Us, likely keeping an eye out when the trucks arrive so I can make sure I get the one Marth packed in per case (I grew up with an older brother who went nuts with Star Wars figures and I went through this with Skylanders three years ago). I mean, there’s a Marth figure. They’ve got that cool Link one, too. And hey, if they sell well and more come out, I can potentially put Toon Link, Little Mac, Pit, and Mega Man next to each other. I know myself well enough. I’m going to get way too deep into these figures. And judging by the pre-order talk, I don’t think I’m alone. Maybe that’s part of Nintendo’s strategy.

Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, you’re a big Nintendo fan. You’re getting some Amiibo when they come out. You’re stoked for Smash Bros. What are you going to do with those figures when you get them? You’ll set them up. You’ll play some Smash Bros. Maybe you only want to play with friends online but no one’s on, or all of your friends went home and you can only play by yourself. Maybe you’ll grab that Wii Fit Trainer figure and plop her on the GamePad. Maybe you’ll start training against her. Maybe you’ll start using your Wii Fit Trainer as a partner in game. Maybe you decide to do that with Kirby, too.

Smash Bros. is basically a Trojan Horse for Nintendo’s NFC platform. Clearly, Pokémon Rumble U didn’t do the job. But what better game to try to do the job with than the already hyped Smash Bros.? Or Mario Kart 8? And who knows, maybe it will actually be really fun to use your Amiibo in every game.

I still have my doubts, and this is more likely my excitement for Smash Bros. bubbling up, but maybe Amiibo will be awesome.

Talkback

OblivionSeptember 04, 2014

Isn't it basically Amiibo's only horse?

Leo13September 04, 2014

I don't get why everyone is hating on the smash bros implementation of Amiibo it's basically adding an RPG mode to Smash Bros and most of us love RPGs. Basically you choose your character and you grind with him/her until he/she is good enough to help you win the next battle that is an RPG. You can bet I'll but at least one so that I can play the RPG mode.

AdrockSeptember 04, 2014

I don't mind Amiibo integration because it's completely optional, at least in Super Smash Bros. I didn't pre-order any of the figures. I will probably pick up the Samus one at some point because it looks awesome. I'll probably use them more as decoration than anything else. Since at least one of them will be out of the box, I may at least try it in Super Smash Bros.

BlackNMild2k1September 04, 2014

Quote from: Oblivion

Isn't it basically Amiibo's only horse?

where did my applaud button go?

I know it was around here somewhere. At one point couldn't get rid of it, but now that I want to use it, I can't find it...

OblivionSeptember 04, 2014

Aww, its the thought that counts.

Mop it upSeptember 04, 2014

I hope Amiibos aren't yet another thing people point at and say "You don't have this so you're not a Nintendo fan like me!"

Ian SaneSeptember 04, 2014

While I understand that videogames are a business, I like it when the design is to make a great game and the business strategy is that because it's a great game it will sell well and make money.  I don't like it when there is some sort of alternate corporate agenda involved.

SSB's design approach should be to make a four player fighting game using Nintendo characters and make it great.  I don't like it when "sell this peripheral", "incorporate this product placement", "push this feature", "target this broader audience", "incorporate microtransactions", "play up to this current trend/fad", etc. is shoved into the design by corporate execs.  I find it dishonest.  The idea is that I want to play a great game and will give you money if you make a great game.  If your focus goes beyond providing me with that great game then we're not bargaining in good faith.  You're trying to get something else from me, hoping my desire for your game exceeds my willingness to put up with bullshit.

The design for this SSB is clearly "sell Amiibo" and I'm not interested in that.  I want a great SSB game and will pay for that.  I don't want to have features that require me to purchase a bunch of extra toys.  It's optional but so is DLC and microtransactions.  Nintendo devs that are focused on shoehorning in Amiibo are not focusing as much on making their games great.  I didn't like last gen when "push motion control" was their corporate agenda and how it negatively affected the bulk of the games involving it.  Besides it will be optional this time and borderline mandatory the next.  I know how this stuff goes.  You're fooling yourself if you don't think that Nintendo would charge you $1000 for an empty box if they thought they could.

poweronpubSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Mop

I hope Amiibos aren't yet another thing people point at and say "You don't have this so you're not a Nintendo fan like me!"

Sadly, wouldn't surprise me...

marvel_moviefan_2012September 04, 2014

Quote from: poweronpub

Quote from: Mop

I hope Amiibos aren't yet another thing people point at and say "You don't have this so you're not a Nintendo fan like me!"

Sadly, wouldn't surprise me...

What if your like me and ONLY have the amiibos but no Wii U, who is the real fan then?

Clearly you live in Japan. Enjoy your New 3DS LL.

marvel_moviefan_2012September 04, 2014

Quote from: Shaymin

Clearly you live in Japan. Enjoy your New 3DS LL.

Not even close, I am just not interested in Wii U, but I AM interested in PS4 and sort of Xbox One. I am starting to get into Wii U but not there yet.

akeesSeptember 04, 2014

Pay2win for Nintendo games. 

kryzethSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Ian

While I understand that videogames are a business, I like it when the design is to make a great game and the business strategy is that because it's a great game it will sell well and make money.  I don't like it when there is some sort of alternate corporate agenda involved.

SSB's design approach should be to make a four player fighting game using Nintendo characters and make it great.  I don't like it when "sell this peripheral", "incorporate this product placement", "push this feature", "target this broader audience", "incorporate microtransactions", "play up to this current trend/fad", etc. is shoved into the design by corporate execs.  I find it dishonest.  The idea is that I want to play a great game and will give you money if you make a great game.  If your focus goes beyond providing me with that great game then we're not bargaining in good faith.  You're trying to get something else from me, hoping my desire for your game exceeds my willingness to put up with bullshit.

The design for this SSB is clearly "sell Amiibo" and I'm not interested in that.  I want a great SSB game and will pay for that.  I don't want to have features that require me to purchase a bunch of extra toys.  It's optional but so is DLC and microtransactions.  Nintendo devs that are focused on shoehorning in Amiibo are not focusing as much on making their games great.  I didn't like last gen when "push motion control" was their corporate agenda and how it negatively affected the bulk of the games involving it.  Besides it will be optional this time and borderline mandatory the next.  I know how this stuff goes.  You're fooling yourself if you don't think that Nintendo would charge you $1000 for an empty box if they thought they could.

^I find this quote really funny, because the amiibo integration adds literally nothing to the game It's a CPU character that you train against yourself or have it battle other people for you. It's not like an extra story mission, or some bonus challenges; it's not even like an extra costume slot; It's pretty much absolutely worthless addition to Smash Bros. You dont need it in any sense of the word; and the game will still be fun to play as it was meant to be played (with friends or random people in muliplayer matches, basically) The amiibo is really only for collectors, or for those who have nobody else to play with, and get bored of regular lvl9 cpu's. But honestly, it adds less than an extra costune would add. Really no reason to complain about this freedom of choice. Trust me, it's nothing like locking away story content, other modes, or extra characters that are stored on the disc itself, to be unlocked by paying for the dlc. Well... that is to say, if they dont actually make some characters dlc. I recall Sakurai saying something about wanting to deliver the full package in the disc, without using dlc, but I dunno.
Aaaanyways. tl;dr, silly quote is silly.

marvel_moviefan_2012September 05, 2014

No personal insults.

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