The Amiibo toys launched this week alongside Super Smash Bros. Wii U, the colourful pieces of plastic adding a new dimension to Nintendo's brawler and several other titles. Want to see them in action?
Utilising my capture box and a precariously perched webcam, I put together a series of videos demonstrating exactly how the Amiibo toys interact with the Wii U gamepad and the games it's playing. While creating these elaborately staged videos I realised the stream from the television was somewhat slower than the webcam. I apologise in advance.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
Seeing as the Smash Bros. logo is on the base of every Amiibo figure, it's obvious these little guys were made to play with this game. Simply tap a figure to the Wii U gamepad's NFC sensor area to read it, then set it aside while you battle against the A.I. fighter it generates or feed it items to increase its stats. Once you're done, tap again to save, and you're little plastic buddy is safe and secure.
The Amiibo figures, like the Skylanders and Disney Infinity toys before them, don't store a lot of data -- just the pertinent ownership and statistics info for Smash Bros., and that's it. Their functionality in other games thus far is limited to essentially being keys to unlock new content.
Mario Kart 8
Nintendo might-as-well just included codes in every Amiibo package, for in Mario Kart 8 all they do is unlock new outfits for your Mii racer. They're very nice outfits, mind you, but just outfits.
Also note that only ten of the first wave of a dozen figures will work with Mario Kart. Marth and Pikachu return an unsupported figure message when applied.
The Amiibo patch for Hyrule Warriors isn't out until next week, so right now the toys have no functionality in the game. Once they do however, every Amiibo figure will at least unlock some sort of item for in-game use. Using the Link Amiibo figure will unlock the Spinner weapon from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Any other Amiibo can be tapped to the sensor once a day to unlock a three stars or lower weapon, bonus Rupees or crafting materials.
Should You Get Them?
For Super Smash Bros. Wii U? Definitely. Having a small of custom AI warriors at your disposal is quite nice, especially when your nephew gets uppity with his skills. "Allow me to introduce my champion, level 50 Link."
For the other two games? If you're not a Smash fan or a toy collector with an addictive personality (hi!), there's really no point. If you want the special Mario Kart outfits, find a friend with the toys and tap them in. If you're big into Hyrule Warriors, all you really need is Link for the Spinner.