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A Trip to Nintendo Of Canada and I Now Understand Amiibo


If you have no idea what Amiibo is or why you should be excited about it, you probably are not alone. I was in the same boat. Sure, I had seen all the videos and images, but I wasn’t 100% sure what purpose they were going to serve. Obviously, it was going to be implemented with the launch of Super Smash Bros, and would be compatible with Mario Kart. Aside from that, I didn’t know much else.

We all know what Skylanders and Disney Infinity are all about. Skylanders came first; players used their minion with various different elemental powers to traverse through levels. Certain areas of the level where unreachable unless certain characters were purchased. Infinity took the Skylanders idea and brough about the open, expandable world, both through the playsets that came out and the open world toy box mode. Everybody understood both of these franchises because they were bundled with actual games. You won’t find the official Amiibo Game when these toys hit shelves in November, which could cause confusion.

This week I was invited to a media holiday event in Toronto, Canada, hosted by Nintendo of Canada. When I received the invite and saw that Amiibo was going to be playable, I was hopeful; hopeful that finally, after many lengthy videos, presentations, and promises, that I would understand what Amiibo was.

I finally know what Amiibo is, at least in relation to Super Smash Bros. Was I going to buy Amiibo? Of course, if for no other reason than to have those amazing little toys on my shelf at home. But now they will serve their actual purpose in my home. I’m going to make a bold statement: Amiibo’s are smarter toys than Skylanders or Infinity characters. Let me explain.

I call Amiibo’s smart because, within the context of Super Smash Bros, the Amiibo that you choose to play with will adapt to your fighting style as it levels up (maxing out at level 50). If you jump a lot, your Amiibo will jump a lot, and if you like to use ranged attacks, your Amiibo will use ranged attacks. Why does this matter? I really couldn’t tell you. It’s a nice idea that your Amiibo will play like yourself, but if I’m bringing my Amiibo to a fight with friends, I want it to compliment me rather than mimic me. Fortunately, your Amiibo is completely customizable, so if you dislike how he mimics your style of play, go ahead and change it up!


There is a purpose to leveling up your Amiibo. As you level him up, his stats will increase and you can attribute bonuses and perks to your Amiibo. I was able to demo a level 50 Pikachu, which when placed in my game, had the added perk of beginning the fight with an item. 

I’ve explained what an Amiibo does, but haven’t explain why you might want one. Lets say you and 4 friends who own a copy of Smash decide to get together and play. If you all owned your own, fully customziable Amiibo, you could engage in a Team Battle: you and your Amiibo against your friends and their chosen allies. It allows you to avoid playing with an AI opponent who you don’t fully understand, or who doesn’t fight in the style that would compliment your own. I hope you will be able to take your Amiibo into online fights; even better: have a specific game type where a team of a human player and Amiibo is necessary.

What may kill Amiibo this holiday season is parents, and to some extent many Ninendo fans, not fully understanding what an Amiibo is and why they should buy one. At the price of 12.99, it’s hard to justify when their is no official Amiibo specific game to drop the characters into (although I’m not 100% sure we won’t see an Amiibo specific title next E3). If you have written off Amiibo, go back and take a second look. I did, and changed my mind almost instantly. 



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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel