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How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/10/2016, 9:39 am
I've thought about this for a while, and I think I've gotten all of my thoughts down here. Please note, this is a long read, but I believe this is how Nintendo could save amiibo after the Smash line ends.

I don’t think it is a secret that amiibo functionality in Nintendo games is pretty mediocre overall. When I go out to buy an amiibo, I don’t think about how much fun I’m gonna have training this amiibo in Smash Bros. or how stylish the Mario Kart 8 Mii costume is going to look on my Mii. I instead think, “this thing is gonna look so cool on my shelf.” And that’s a problem.

An amiibo’s primary function is to be plopped down on a Wii U Gamepad or 3DS bottom screen and be used for in-game bonuses and content. You go to amiibo’s website and you don’t find them advertising how cool the figures are - they are talking about their in-game uses. I am not saying that people who buy amiibos just for the figures themselves are bad or are doing something wrong. I’m saying that when the amiibo’s primary focus shifts from being used in-game to being a cool figure that sits on a shelf for most people, something should be done about it.

Why is this a problem? Back when amiibo originally came out, there was a hype culture surrounding them. Due to poor stock management on Nintendo’s end, people would rush to stores before they opened and constantly refresh websites so they could get a figure that they might not have if it was supposedly going to be hard to find. This was a constant trend throughout 2015. It’s now 2016, and things have drastically changed. Preorders don’t immediately sell out. I can go to Toy R’ Us’s website and buy a Villager amiibo for 13.99 (why do they markup things again?) when before people were charging a hundred dollars or more for one. Nintendo has finally gotten their act together, right? Sort of.

Nintendo has only addressed one of the problems with amiibo. While most people will still buy every amiibo that comes out without hesitation, some people will realize that they don’t need to waste their time trying to snag amiibos when they first come out anymore. Some will realize their amiibos aren’t going to be worth as much anymore and stop trying to buy a whole set immediately. The focus of amiibo shifts from “wow I can’t believe I snagged this one before it sold out!” to “why am I buying these again?”, which can result in overall loss of interest.

This is why Nintendo needs to focus on amiibo functionality now. If a parent walks down the aisle and needs to make a decision between Disney Infinity (RIP), Skylanders, LEGO Dimensions, and amiibo, they are going to ask which one brings to most value to their dollar. Amiibos are unarguably the least valuable when it comes to in-game content. While yes, you don’t need amiibo to play games and they are arguably the least-money-grabby compared to the other options, parents are still going to choose which one offers the most content - the other brands give you playable characters, vehicles, sometimes brand new levels. You can’t really be sure with amiibo, since they all do something different in games. While an amiibo does work with multiple games, they usually only unlock a costume - and some games require saved data on the amiibo, which can limit its use in other games. Other games, such as Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, have more in-game use, but Smash Bros. amiibo training is pretty much the only example of decent amiibo usage and Amiibo Festival’s use for amiibo literally just replaces a button press. I'm sorry, but simply unlocking costumes is not substantial and doesn't fully compensate a 12.99 price tag.

How can Nintendo fix this problem with amiibo? I have a possible solution.

There needs to be a “main” game for amiibos. A game that requires an amiibo, and is functional with all released amiibo.

“Wait,” you say. “That goes against amiibo ENHANCING the gameplay; they’re BECOMING the gameplay.”

Well, this rule has already been broken with Amiibo Festival. And, yeah, it wasn’t a good game - but not through the fault of the amiibo. It was designed to make amiibo for Animal Crossing, and all they did was replace a button press. Not ideal, but I have a feeling the game wasn’t made to really be enjoyed - just to sell amiibo figures (I know all my Animal Crossing amiibo NEVER see actual use in that game). However, if there was a game - ideally “free to start” (since it would require amiibo) - that allowed you to scan in ANY amiibo and use that character in the game, it could potentially not only spark interest in the amiibo, but also make sure that amiibo is successful long after the Smash Bros. line ends.

What could this gameplay be? That’s the cool part - it could really be anything. Even if you just copy-pasted the overall gameplay from Skylanders and made it so that Nintendo characters were usable, you could have a winner. If you wanted it to be a freakin’ turn-based RPG where all 100+ amiibo figures were usable as recruitable party members, it could be a winner. If it was just large open areas you could explore based on the Nintendo franchises, with any of the 100+ amiibo, it could be a winner. The game just NEEDS to be enjoyable, it NEEDS to be good, and it NEEDS to support all of the amiibo. If not, the whole idea falls apart. I can’t say exactly what needs to be present to make it a good game, as everyone has different tastes. But if this game did exist, here’s an example of how it could work in amiibo’s favor:

Say that it existed nowadays, and the new wave of Mario amiibo were announced. Yeah, we’re getting some re-releases of characters like DK, Wario, and Rosalina, but imagine that suddenly, in this awesome game that doesn’t exist (but we’ll pretend is awesome), Waluigi, Daisy, and freakin’ Boo are now playable. That is going to make some people hype, especially those that wanted these characters in Smash.

I could go on, but my main point is that there should be some sort of main amiibo tie-in game. Before, it was Smash Bros, but with the Smash Bros. line ending, amiibo needs something new. My idea of a game that supports every amiibo figure may seem extreme, but it would be something that toys-to-life games haven’t ever really tried before. “Wow! This character is so cool in this game! AND I get to use it to unlock some extras in other games like Mario Kart!” It could really be something, I feel.


TL;DR - amiibo needs a new tie-in game that supports all amiibo now and in the future, to make sure that amiibo doesn’t completely die after the Smash Bros. line ends.
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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/11/2016, 12:15 am
The problem is, is if you go out and make a game that supports 100+ amiibo figures in a "Let's play as this character" format ala the other games to life series, that would be a ton of excess.

If I were to propose anything, that it would be a 3D platformer type game where scanning the amiibo lets you use the character and level them up - but limit the amount of characters to at the very least a handful.

Only use the amiibo of characters who are important to Nintendo and their marketing strategies.


To me, what would make sense given Nintendo's releases would be compatible amiibo from these franchises:


  • Super Mario
  • Kirby
  • Zelda
  • Animal Crossing
  • Fire Emblem
  • Splatoon


And perhaps throw in Metroid and Star Fox in because of recent games and to attract western audiences.

I'd throw in Pokemon as well, but let's be honest. GameFreak while they've stated (somewhere) that they like the concept of amiibo, the Pokemon amiibo having lack of compatibility in comparison to Sonic, Pac-Man, and Mega Man - who have racing suits in Mario Kart 8, who have specialized costumes in Woolly World - is... Lacking. And because of that, I don't see Pokemon making the jump to be compatible with a 3D platform amiibo game.

And even then, I'd limit the amount of playable characters to the core main characters - Which means characters like Waluigi, Daisy, and Lottie would not be playable.

What this does is provides a nice showcase of franchises - these are franchises that have popular and recent games - franchises that Nintendo makes games for and people are out there and able to recognize on the shelves.


I would say though, that if Nintendo goes through with it, I would like them to not create a whole new set of amiibo to supply the game with.


Think about it. We have plenty of collectors ignoring the generics because they aren't a part of a set - and when you've got a game that's a 3D platformer which requires amiibo to play, unlike a party game - you have incentive for people to go and give the game a try - especially if you package it with an amiibo - maybe three different versions coming with their own generic amiibo.

This would also help ease people into buying generics of Fire Emblem characters, and maybe a set of generic Zelda amiibo instead of amiibo based off of a specific game. And factoring Star Fox and Metroid getting in on the game, they could release generics of them so they can help gauge more interest in a new Star Fox game or a more traditional Metroid game.


Overall, I like the idea, but what I hope for if they do go that route, is not make a new set as all it will do is bring the collectors in and leave us with the same situation. We have Splatoon amiibo, we have a generic Kirby amiibo, give us a game that can properly use them.

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/11/2016, 12:27 am
Tbh I feel this should also be posted in /r/amiibo.
But yeah, that is a pretty good idea. It just needs to be set apart from Skylanders and "Nintendo-ified".

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/11/2016, 12:36 am
To add onto Nintendo's intention of amiibo being primarily for their uses, not as a collectible, Nintendo didn't help with the situation at all. The smash series of amiibo, which is made for Super Smash Brothers, was stocked as though it were a collectible. Rather than changing the stock to suit the popularity of the character in that game, they stocked it based on the popularity of the character in their respective franchise. The result? Characters that are popular in smash, like Captain Falcon and For Glory Little Macs, weren't common because their respective franchises, Punch Out! and F-Zero, are not so popular.

They weren't aiming at the content when it came to the stock, you were looking at the stock and you would see Mario, Link, Peach, Luigi and maybe a Pikachu if you got lucky. You'd see the figurines and think "Oh wow, Nintendo's mascots. ". You like playing Falcon? Too bad! Get a Mario!

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/11/2016, 12:53 am
@GreninjaNerfer wrote:Tbh I feel this should also be posted in /r/amiibo.
But yeah, that is a pretty good idea. It just needs to be set apart from Skylanders and "Nintendo-ified".

As if the people at /r/amiibo are concerned with anything involving in-game use.

They'll mention compatibility, but only to complain that an amiibo isn't fully compatible with a game, or ask a fairly obvious question on if an amiibo is compatible with a game.

Any more in-depth talk involves complaining that amiibo have literally no use with compatibility and are only good as collectable figurines.

I hate to be cynical, but they won't care about an idea like that - only if they could get a brand new set out of it. I mean, how many topics do you see on there about them 'reminiscing' on the days of lines on release day with limited numbers and people talking about if their collections are rare.



That's why if they do make a game like that, I'd urge Nintendo to not create a whole new set for it - but make generics for the series the characters represent that don't have generics, and bundle the game with generics that already exist - that way it plugs in a mindset that amiibo are to be used, not collected.

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 7/11/2016, 1:25 am
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Hmm... Maybe if they release Sm4sh to the NX (or whatever they will call it), AND that NX Smash game still supports amiibo functionality, they could add a new amiibo mode, like an 8-bit JRPG-style adventure game that utilizes your amiibo as a playable character.

I don't know, I'm pretty tired right now...

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 8/22/2016, 2:06 pm
I think an expanded amiibo exclusive Smash Run type adventure game would be the perfect amiibo game. Most amiibo compatible characters would already have data. The others could be pseudo clones with different atk/def/sped stats, exchanged moves, and maybe some of the costume moves and custom animations for moves. For instance Walugi could work from Luigi's attack data and with Peach's forward smash, Daisy could be built from Peach but have some of her smash costumes instead, Boo and Waddle Dee could be built from Kirby, Jigglypuff, and Meta Knight data. Other characters like the Inklings can be built from Mii Fighter data. Throw in a stage creator, and the ability to play other people's stages like Mario Maker, and Nintendo will have real amiibo money making property.

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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 8/22/2016, 11:25 pm
Wow I forgot I posted this.

ibroussard, that could definitely work, especially since Smash Run is... well, done. I'd say that expanding upon possible official stage layouts, having the ability to choose post-run matches will be, adding new enemies, and being able to "mess up" your opponents by meeting them during the match would make decent inclusions (or is that just my wishlist for traditional smash run? Iunno)
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Re: How Nintendo Could Save Amiibo

on 8/24/2016, 11:00 pm
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It would be cool if they could pull off a Dynasty Warriors/Xenoblade Chronicles type game where you level up characters and actually be able to have them roam around and explore the different worlds of the different franchises. 

I think that would be pretty awesome, honestly.

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