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Editor's Choice: amiibo


Editor's Choice

amiibo

Gaming giant Nintendo goes back to its roots with this roster of iconic toy figurines that can be scanned and then used in-game. With an impressive roster of instantly recognisable figures, Nintendo's amiibo range makes for a tempting offer for those wanting a new way to interact with their games.

Bringing character figurines to use in a game is simple enough, pick the figure, or figurines, you want, place the figure on the designated item, Skylanders for example uses a Portal of Power, and then play the character in-game, personalising and levelling it up. Simple stuff.

It's a concept that's proven to be massively successful with games like Skylanders series and Disney Infinity, so it's hardly surprising that with such a rich catalogue of cracking characters, Nintendo has created its own version – ‘amiibo'.

There are 12 amiibo available now with an additional 6 more amiibo characters 19th December. Each figure captures the essence of the character, with Link in mid-dodge, Pikachu looking cute and flagship character Mario, mid-fireball.

Here are the first 12 amiibo characters for us fanboys and girls to choose from:

But what do you actually do with the amiibo figurines?

To use an amiibo, simply touch it to the Nintendo Wii U Gamepads NFC point. Thankfully, there are already a host of Wii U games that are amiibo-enabled; some offer simple rewards – Mario Kart 8 unlocks the amiibo's costume for your Mii to wear, while Hyrule Warriors sees new and extra weapons being introduced. At the other end of the scale is Super Smash Bros Wii U, which offers a far deeper set of options to play with.

Heading to Super Smash Bros' amiibo menu sees you placing the figure on your Gamepad for scanning. Once activated, you name and choose an outfit for your amiibo before unleashing it within the game itself. And this is where the main difference between amiibo and, say, Skylanders becomes obvious; the latter allows you to actually play as the scanned character but Super Smash Bros. focuses on training your amiibo either as a character to partner up with, as a rival or as a fighter to unleash on your friends' fellow amiibos.

Training itself is spread across three different disciplines – Bruiser, Defender and Speedy – and 50 levels. To boost your stats, you'll need to feed equipment to your amiibo or put it in fights so it ‘learns' its opponents' strengths and weaknesses. Best of all for us completists, your amiibo will offer up trophies and equipment as it races up the ranks.

The whole system is simple and fuss-free, and best viewed at the moment, as an opportunity to rear a virtual pet rather than playing with your own bespoke character in-game. With a 3DS adapter coming out next year, we're sure Nintendo will come up with ever more imaginative ways in which to make its latest creation shine.

Published: 27/11/2014

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