As much as I like amiibo’s I’ve never really caught on to the craze. I’ve been gifted a dozen or so figures over the last several years but I’ve only used them no more than once or twice and really, only for review periods where the amiibo was the main draw for the game I was working on. It’s crazy that the figures sell out in minutes but each new figure is hard to find on any digital storefront these days and next month’s The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will have its own amiibo that I’m scratching my head at.
There’s been some blowback online regarding the new amiibo figure that features Princess Zelda and Loftwing. Not because of how it looks or anything visibly wrong with it but because of its functionality. In Skyward Sword, you’re able to fly through the sky with the help of Loftwing and you need to visit Skyloft at times in the game to progress. On the Wii, calling your partner meant visiting certain areas and from there being able to take to the sky, it was a bit archaic even then but Nintendo’s taken the mechanic to a whole new level on the Nintendo Switch.
On the Switch, you can freely call Loftwing and take flight from anywhere but there is one major caveat – you need to purchase the amiibo to use the function. This amiibo also allows you to return to the spot you originally used the amiibo on the surface and speculation around how speedrunners will use this is making rounds on YouTube and discussion boards. Fans are also annoyed that Nintendo gated this feature behind an amiibo and instead not offering it as part of the HD remastering.
Remember when Capcom thought it was okay to ship DLC characters on-disc but not offer them to paying customers? This is exactly the same situation and it feels like the weirdest cash grab from Nintendo and yet even the uproar isn’t nearly as loud as the one when Capcom decided that it was okay to lock content on a whim.