The Wolf Link Amiibo is arguably one of the most exciting figures Nintendo has released and it breaks new ground in figure design for the Amiibo line. Zelda Amiibos have been very popular thus far in the United States and I anticipate this figure continuing that trend. If you haven’t heard, this Amiibo is initially only bundled with the Twilight Princess HD for Wii U for $60, eventually, you’ll be able to just buy the Amiibo if you don’t want the game. I really like Twilight Princess and certainly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played it, but other than that recommendation, this review will focus solely on the Amiibo and is not a review of the game. With so much information to cover, this review will be a bit longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy reading it. The goal is to make sure you understand what the Amiibo can do and explain if the figure itself is worth owning.
Rarity – While this has become less and less of an issue with Amiibo, I know many collectors worry that a figure might be hard to find or there could be a limited run on a figure and then you’re suddenly at the mercy of scalpers. Based on my experience, this Amiibo is somewhat hard to find in retail right now. This review was written a week or so after its release and I had to go to a couple of stores to find a copy and Toys R Us only had two left. Online retailers still have the Amiibo and game stocked however so if you want it, you should be able to find it. There hasn’t been a single Amiibo that came packaged with a game that has been hard to find because Nintendo always releases the Amiibo separately later on and the Wolf Link will get the same treatment eventually so I don’t think anyone needs to worry about this Amiibo being hard to get.
Box – The outer box for Twilight Princess is a beautiful foil color and even though the Amiibo is hard to see, it certainly makes you excited to buy the game. The Amiibo’s box is kind of ugly in my opinion which is a rarity for Amiibo. Midna is freaking out which is not in line with the figure or Twilight Princess and the bright gold color from the Tri-Forces clashes with the game’s darker design. I had no reservations about opening this Amiibo for a review since the box isn’t that nice looking.
Base – One of the exciting features of this Amiibo is a new base design and Nintendo’s first attempt at capturing the scenery around a character with their figures. The base looks beautiful with the gold Tri-Force pattern. It is kind of a dull gold that is shiny, but not too shiny which fits the game nicely. What is even more interesting is the rock pattern that Wolf Link stands on. This is something we’ve never seen in Amiibo before and it not only fits the character and game well, but makes the Amiibo the largest we’ve seen yet. I took a quick size comparison picture to the biggest Amiibo I have opened and you can see that Wolf Link is taller and wider than R.O.B. My only criticism of the base is how light the paint is on the rocks and how no shading was applied. If Nintendo had darkened some of the cracks and crevices in the rock, that would have made the Amiibo even better looking and fit the darker look of Twilight Princess.
Paint and Texture – While I always look forward to reviewing this part of any figure, I could talk about this part of the Wolf Link Amiibo for ages because Nintendo did so well with it. Wolf Link has pretty nice textured fur which you can see in the pictures above, but the details on his face are what truly stand out. His determined expression, the perfectly aligned eyes, and the decals on his head are really nice. I really don’t see any room for improvement with the sculpt or the paint on Link. Midna is quite possibly even better looking. Her crown has intricate details just like in the game and her impish smile is captured perfectly. On the back, you can see that her hair which turns into a hand at the bottom has a really nice color fade too just like in the game. Midna is the reason most people would buy this Amiibo and I’m happy to say, this is the best looking Amiibo Nintendo has ever done. The details are just incredible!
Functionality – On the box, Nintendo conveniently shows you what the Amiibo does in the game. I really like that the Amiibo unlocks some content in Twilight Princess, even if it is just optional stuff. Other Zelda Amiibo like Link, Princess Zelda, and Sheik can refill hearts or arrows. Gannondorf’s ability to make the game harder will make anyone looking for a challenge happy. I’m not a huge fan of the scan your Amiibo and make the game a little easier idea because I don’t buy the figures in the hopes they will make Nintendo games easier (that and Nintendo usually balances games well as it is). Looking beyond Twilight Princess, this Amiibo has very limited functionality and I would say that if you do not want Twilight Princess (and buy this Amiibo individually later on), you may not get a ton of usage out of it or not until more games come out anyway. Since it is a Zelda Amiibo, there is no reason to think there won’t be more games in the future which use this Amiibo, but for now it is all about Twilight Princess.
Closing Thoughts – A while back I wrote an article asking for more functionality in Amiibo and for Nintendo to release less Amiibo overall, but make them as high of quality as possible (which you can read here), and how this shift in strategy would make collectors get more excited about Amiibo. I think Wolf Link does that and more. If Nintendo can release figures that are this high quality and give us something meaningful to use them for in games, I believe Amiibos will remain popular and sell well to collectors and casual video game fans. While the functionality is neither amazing nor terrible, the figure itself is excellent. As a result, Wolf Link gets a very high recommendation and has me excited to see what Nintendo releases next!