Best Use of amiibo To Date –
Released on April 30, 2015, amiibo Tap Nintendo’s Greatest Bits is a free download via the Wii U eShop and surprisingly makes the best use of amiibo seen so far. In fact, amiibo Tap is so well put together Nintendo might actually be cannibalizing their own Virtual Console sales with this free app.
What is amiibo Tap and why might Nintendo actually lose money? From the simple start up screen, any one of 30 Virtual Console games from NES and SNES will be unlocked by tapping any amiibo to the Wii U Gamepad. Unlocked games are random and have no affiliation with the game the amiibo is original from. For example, scanning the Link amiibo might unlock Kirby’s Adventure (NES) as opposed to the original Legend of Zelda (NES). You never know what you will unlock which gives this free app some extra appeal.
Here is the complete list of unlockable games:
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka Mario USA)
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
- Kirby’s Adventure
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
- Mach Rider
- Ice Climbers
- Kid Icarus
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Balloon Fight
- Wrecking Crew
- Clu Clu Land
- Wario’s Woods
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario Kart
- Kirby’s Dreamland 3
- Kirby’s Super Star
- Kirby’s Dream Course
- Super Metroid
- Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The entire game is not unlocked, however. Instead, the player has three minutes to basically play through the best parts of each title. As another example, I scanned my Donkey Kong amiibo and unlocked the original Metroid (NES). This first tap of my DK amiibo to the Gamepad let me play three minutes of Metroid from the very beginning of the game. However, if I tap the DK amiibo to the Gamepad for a second time, the app instantly takes me to the Kraid boss battle. If I tapped it another time, I was then transported to the Ridley fight. A couple more taps and I was fighting Mother Brain. These bookmarks not only instantly warp the player to the best parts of each game, they often do it with maxed health and stats too. If you could never get passed the first couple stages in the original Kid Icarus due to the game’s high difficulty, no worries, just keep tapping your amiibo to play through the best parts you have never seen. In other words, amiibo Tap does the work for you. The icing on the cake are the non-existent load times too.
Players can also take advantage of Nintendo’s generosity by cleverly cheating the system. Unlocking Mario Kart (SNES) or F-Zero (SNES) is a great example. Scanning through scenes with each amiibo tap limits the player to a certain vehicle on a certain stage. But at any time, the player can press the Start button to pause the game, hit exit to jump back to the main menu, and then pick any course with any playable character. The same goes for, say, Super Mario World (SNES). Just quickly die to be booted back to the overworld map to select any stage. Granted, the player is still limited to the 3-minute time trial period but allows the player to see even more of each game. The combination of these bookmarking checkpoints, called “scenes,” and the ability to back out and secretly start from the main menu, players have significant access to some of the best games available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console library! This is like the Masterpieces section of the Smash Bros. Wii U but on steroids.
amiibo Tap can also be used to expose players to hidden gems they might have missed like Kirby’s Dream Course, Wario’s Woods, Mach Rider or Wrecking Crew. Clu Clu Land and Yoshi might not exactly be the highest quality games but at least Urban Champion was not included.
The point of amiibo tap is to help warrant the purchase of that $12.99 figure and to try and earn additional Virtual Console sales by playing these old games that many amiibo characters came from. But since the player has access to the best parts of each game without the time and payment requirement, amiibo Tap might actually detract players from buying these Virtual Console titles. If you saw the best parts of movie, summarized in about 9-12 minutes, would you purchase the Blu-Ray or be ok what you saw? It might be a fine line to walk but as a gamer, I couldn’t be more stoked about amiibo Tap Nintendo’s Greatest Bits. Being able to play these great games without having the tenacity and time requirement is an awesome way to relive these gaming memories. But they also give me something else to do with my amiibo collection.
With 30 games to play test, users will need a rather large amiibo collection to see it all as one amiibo can only be used to unlock one random game. But for collectors, this is not an issue. Any and all amiibo work too and will not overwrite your Smash Bros. or Mario Party 10 data. Whether you own one amiibo or the entire set, the free amiibo Tap app is one of the best things you can download on the Wii U eShop.
Makes You Want: an Excitebike amiibo
Better Than: slogging through old, highly challenging 8 and 16-bit games
Also Try: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker with the Toad amiibo
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com