I like collecting Amiibo more than actually using them. Unlike Skylanders, Nintendo’s toys-to-life line isn’t built around a specific series. The figures work differently with a bunch of games.
Sometimes, tapping an Amiibo to your controller will unlock in-game items. This is the case for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Certain Amiibo can make powerful items appear. It feels like cheating. Other games, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, just unlock costumes. The items are cosmetic, but you need the Amiibo to get them.
Super Mario Odyssey has the best and fairest use of Amiibo yet. They have two functions. Like in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they unlock costumes. Using a Wedding Peach Amiibo nets you a white dress for Mario, for example. The difference is that you don’t need Amiibo to unlock the outfit.
You can eventually buy all of the Amiibo outfits at the in-game stores by collecting Moons. They’re just expensive, sometimes costing around 1,000 coins. So you’re still getting value out of the Amiibo, since tapping a figuring is a lot easier. But the content isn’t locked behind a toy.
Amiibo can also help you find Moons. Some levels have more than 50 of them. Tracking them down can be difficult, especially when you only need to gather a few more of them in a stage. After you finish some of the first objectives in each kingdom (usually beating a boss or something), an Amiibo robot and a Toad character will appear near your ship at the stage’s start area.
If you talk to the robot, you can tap up to three Amiibo (any of them). They will then go out and “hunt for Moons.” After five minutes, you can talk to the robot again and he’ll mark your map with Moon locations. This doesn’t take away the entire challenge of gather Moons, since you usually need to solve some puzzle to actually earn them. But knowing where to look is a big help.
But, once again, you don’t need Amiibo. That Toad standing next to the robot will do the same thing for you. You just need to pay him 50 coins for each hint. If you have Amiibo, you get a nice perk. If you don’t, you just need to spend a little bit of in-game currency for the same benefit.
I hope Nintendo continues this trend for future games that support Amiibo. It’s nice to get something special from them, but it shouldn’t be exclusive or challenge-breaking content.