Look, not everyone sets out to have a massive Amiibo collection. A lot of people start out like I just did: with one.
At the start of this week, I didn’t own a single Amiibo. Nintendo’s little chip-enabled figures just didn’t appeal to me. Unlike some of my colleagues I’ve never been a big toy person, nor do I go in for physical collectables. I figure my money is better spent elsewhere.
I don’t know what it was that inspired me to purchase the Splatoon Inkling Girl™ Amiibo. Doubtless it was partly due to the my unexpected obsession with Splatoon 2 after having skipped the first one. I’d also just ordered a USB ethernet adapter for my Switch to ensure that I had the best time playing Splatoon 2 online and was already in a spending mood. What the hell, I thought, tossing it into my Amazon shopping cart.
I was curious, as well. What would it be like to own one of these things? How does it work when you plug it into your game?
The first thing I noticed after it arrived was the packaging. That is some very nice packaging! I followed a video guide to open it up without destroying the box, which was pretty easy to do.
I loaded up Splatoon 2 and walked my character back to the Amiibo station behind Crusty Sean’s food truck. I started waving the Amiibo around my controller, but nothing happened.
I realized I’d have to actually walk up to the Amiibo case and interact with it. That brought up a registration screen that asked me to give this Amiibo a nickname. I was not expecting this, and it felt like a lot of pressure.
I looked at my Amiibo’s face. “What’s your name?” I asked her. She looked like a Jane to me, so I named her “Jane.” I placed Jane on my controller and lo and behold, she warped into my game.
We had a brief conversation, the duration of which I spent processing the fact that I’d just placed a toy next to my game controller and it had appeared in my game and started talking to me. It even asked if we could be friends.
I of course said yes, after which Jane and my little Inkling hung out and posed for photos together.
It was cute, but that was about as far as it went. I got some neat earrings from her, and she says I’ll get more gear if I win more games and check back with her. I can save a loadout to my Amiibo and tap it to my controller to quickly switch my gear and gun. The Amiibo itself is also just a well-made little figure and looks cool on my desk.
Despite the many warnings I have received on social media, I do not feel as though I’ve crested the lip of a slippery slope. I don’t feel a compelling urge to buy a second Amiibo, let alone a third or a fourth. There’s a good chance that the Inkling Girl™ will remain my sole Amiibo for some time to come.
Unless she doesn’t. Unless Nintendo makes an even better Amiibo that does something even cooler in one of their upcoming games. I heard one of the upcoming Metroid Amiibo will unlock a higher difficulty? That’s a pretty cheap trick by Nintendo, but also... kind of makes me want that Amiibo...
Shit. This is how it begins.