Opinion: Why the use of amiibo in Metroid: Samus Returns is terrible.

Metroid: Samus Returns, the remake of the Game Boy game Metroid II: Return of Samus, is coming up fast. Recently its amiibo functionalities were revealed by the official website and later confirmed by Nintendo and let’s just say some people are less than happy about what the amiibo do.

metroid-amiibo-packaging

The Super Smash Bros. Series Samus Aran amiibo unlocks a art gallery of Samus Returns.

The Super Smash Bros. Series Zero Suit Samus amiibo unlocks a Sound Test mode.

The Metroid Series Samus Aran amiibo unlocks a Metroid II art gallery.

And finally the Metroid Series Metroid amiibo unlocks a mode called “Fusion Mode. It is a harder difficulty of the game where you play in the Fusion Suit version of Samus from Metroid Fusion.

All of the above are unlocked after completing the game, even if you do have the amiibo. And Nintendo has confirmed that the rewards can be unlocked ONLY by using the amiibo AFTER completing the game. There is no way to unlock any of the items listed above simply by playing the game.

And that’s terrible.

Features that used to be part of games from the start (with perhaps other requirements inside the game to unlock them) are now locked behind a 15$ piece of plastic.

Normally, that would be the end of it, but it isn’t.

Another major issue that comes from the fact that these rewards can only be unlocked via amiibo usage is the fact that one needs to FIND those amiibo and buy them in the first place. And as a lot of people even remotely interested by amiibo know, passed the initial release those things are sometimes impossible to find. And even if you do plan on pre-ordering them, chances are high they will go on sale at some obscure time that doesn’t make any sense and/or scalpers will have bought them all in a matter of minutes, barely leaving any chance to people who actually WANT them to get the amiibo.

But wait, there’s more.

Only the New 2DS XL, New 3DS and New 3DS XL even have the ability to use amiibo. If you have the original 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS, you need to buy yet another accessory, the Nintendo 3DS NFC Reader, which costs 20$.

amiibo rewards are backward, anti-consumer and add no value to the amiibo itself. Most people only want the amiibo for the amiibo itself to begin with. There is no need for Nintendo to try and add any significance to them by making them unlock modes or exclusive items.

Of course there is the catch 22 Nintendo sometimes finds itself in in regard to what amiibo unlock. People often complain if the amiibo do not do anything significant, but if they do another group of people will complain just as loudly if not more.

And yes, there were people that complained about what the amiibo did in other games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and Breath of the Wild.

However, the reaction to the use of amiibo in Metroid: Samus Returns was probably made bigger because of the initial confusion that came with the first reveal of those functionalities via the Japanese website of the game. The text didn’t make it clear at first if there was a way to unlock all those rewards simply by playing the game. The confirmation that it didn’t only came a few days later, which didn’t help things.

Of course, I don’t want people to boycott Metroid: Samus Returns. We don’t want this series to disappear for another 10 years, do we? (Even if it wasn’t dead at all to begin with…) I’ll still buy it, you should still buy it. The previews and E3 impressions have been great so far. I’m sure it will be great.

And who knows, maybe Fusion Mode is simply Hard Mode with the Fusion Suit. Perhaps there still is a Hard Mode in the game, except without the added bonus of the Fusion Suit skin.

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