Nintendo’s Amiibo figurine line is finally out on the market and having a huge impact with gamers. The Skylanders inspired figurines are compatible with games on the Wii U and soon to release titles on Nintendo 3DS. Yet not all the games that are compatible fully utilize the figures to their full potential and give the most value to gamers who purchase them. Players find themselves only briefly using these capabilities for the games that are able to do so. One title in the Wii U’s library of games does however give a glimpse of how to implement the figures in the best way possible.
Hyrule Warriors, the Legend of Zelda spin-off title, shows how repetitive use of Amiibos over time can help liven up a player’s gaming experience. Each figurine that you scan on the Wii U gamepad can open up different items and gifts for use in the game, which can change when used again the next day. And while you can only gain extra content from a figure for Hyrule Warriors once a day, with up to a max of five different figures scanned per day, you still are able to gain new items for the game each and every day you play. This is a great foundation for other Nintendo titles to provide new additional content daily from the same figure a player may own.
Other Wii U titles, such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8, do have Amiibo support in interesting ways. Smash Bros. allows players to have a custom fighter unique to a specific figurine, while Mario Kart 8 opens up costumes for Mii characters in-game. This is okay and works well for those games, but at the same time limits using a figurine one time to one piece of additional content. To get the most value out of scanning a figure, future Nintendo games will need to allow figures to open up more new content through repetitive use over time.
An interesting way to spice up the content one would receive when scanning an Amiibo figure for a game would be to have challenges or maps for different games. Games like Captain Toad or even Super Smash Bros. could benefit from giving players the opportunity to obtain different maps or challenges from different figures. Additions like this could change daily or monthly in a similar fashion to the way Hyrule Warriors‘ allows for scanning a figure each day for new content. This could be compared to the various missions that can be downloaded in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, where many challenges can be downloaded with different mission criteria and stipulations.
Amiibos themselves are still very new and have yet to be fully realized in various Nintendo games. There are more games that are planned in the future to be compatible with the figures and provide different kinds of additional content from scanning them into the gamepad. The compatibility of the figures with different games will be unique to each specific title, but the key similarity should be encouraging gamers to constantly have their figures close by to scan again and again. Hopefully over time, Nintendo and other developers can figure out unique and interesting ways to keep us scanning our figures and prevent them from being long forgotten paperweights.