With Amiibo rarity rising, you’d think I would learn to preorder Amiibo instead of scrambling on release day to find what I but that is exactly what I did last week. Luckily, I was able to scoop up the last Metroid 2-pack 30-40 minutes after they opened on my way to work. I was incredibly lucky this time around and this will probably be the last time I don’t preorder for a while. This Amiibo promises a few new things including somesquishy plastic, so let’s take a look and see if Nintendo has created the figures that Metroid fans deserve!
Box – Nintendo really did a fantastic job with the packaging and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was hard not to open this Amiibo! The box has this cool retro, sci-fi feel that fits the game so well.
Functionality – While I haven’t picked up this game yet, it is impressive how many things these Amiibo unlock! There is some controversy over having to buy an Amiibo to unlock game content (a higher difficulty in this case) which I can understand but beyond that, it looks like we’re getting much better “value” with these Amiibo than some of the other recent releases. I hope Nintendo will continue to pack this many features with each new Amiibo because it feels like better value than some of the recent Amiibo that just unlock a costume for example.
Pose – As you probably know, there is already a Super Smash Bros. Samus Amiibo which looks pretty nice. While the Smash Samus is just walking, you can sense Samus’s power and I think this was one of the strongest Amiibo releases in the early Smash Brothers waves. The new Samus Amiibo is quite different. She is larger and in a more static pose. It looks as if Samus just fired off a killing blow and is admiring her handiwork. I think this “move” is in is something you can see in the Metroid: Samus Returns game on 3DS so that makes seeing it in Amiibo form that much cooler. There is a relatively big flaw with this pose in my opinion though. From one side, you can view Samus’s neck which is a bit too long for the size of her head. It is fortunate that you can’t see this from three of the four directions you would view the Samus Amiibo from but it is a little disappointing as I can’t remember any Amiibo having proportions that look noticeably off before.
Paint and Details – Let’s face it, having cool metallic paint is really what we want in a Metroid figure and I think Nintendo delivered that here. Samus looks bright and shiny as she should. Her gun also looks really nice in a bright blue. There are tons of nice sculpted details on the gun and on Samus’s armor which makes this figure look great. Nintendo deserves credit for the yellowish-green paint in the underlying parts of Samus’s armor as well. The paint is neatly done and really pops on Samus. Amiibo fans expect Nintendo to deliver a high quality paint job with each figure and this Samus certainly delivers that.
Base – With the Metroid Amiibo, Nintendo has debuted yet another Amiibo base and color! While we’ve seen a lighter blue in the Kirby line, this darker blue works well with Samus and the silver S pattern on the base fits the character perfectly. I really like this base design and while it is simple, I think Nintendo has once again delivered something cool looking for Amiibo fans.
Comparison – While I tried to avoid comparing the two Samus Amiibo in my review, it was very challenging not to! For two figures that have the same armor colors and mostly the same design, you would think the two Amiibo are pretty similar but they really aren’t. The size is noticeably different. If the new Samus Amiibo was fully standing, I think she’d be nearly six inches tall which is much taller than the standard Amiibo size of around 4 inches. The larger size makes it a little easier to appreciate the details of the new Samus. For example, the new Samus Amiibo’s gun is much nicer looking in the larger scale and the lighter color looks better as well.
Usually, the pose between two Amiibo is a major difference and makes it easy to pick between the two but with these two, I think it is more of a personal taste than anything else. They’re both pretty solid and one is not dramatically better than the other. If I was forced to pick, I would probably give the edge to the Super Smash Bros. Amiibo even if a more dynamic pose in the future would be even cooler. Another area I think the new Samus excels is the base which really looks stellar. As a result, I would give the edge to the new Samus Amiibo though I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these Amiibo and personally, I’m glad I own both.
Pose – Since Metroids aren’t really articulated in the traditional sense, there isn’t a ton to say here. The Metroid looks like it is coming out of the capsule and ready to stalk its next prey. That is about all we could hope for in this case and the figure is well-designed.
Paint and Details – There isn’t a ton of paint on the Metroid compared to other Amiibo because of its clear plastic top but there are some nice details on the bottom of this figure. The red patterns and the mandibles both look great. Nintendo deserves credit for the cracked glass look of the capsule as well. Despite being plastic and not really cracked, it looks as if it could be broken glass. The only two parts that are possible disappointments are the pink spheres inside the Metroid. While the bumpy texture is nice, it is hard to see unless you really get close to the Metroid and the veins don’t look as noticeable as I would like compared to a lot of Metroid art. I don’t know if Nintendo could do the veins much better without making the Amiibo more expensive so this is a very minor complaint.
Squishy Plastic and Base – One of the most unique aspects of the Amiibo is the squishy plastic on the top of the Metroid. It is relatively soft though you can’t poke it too deeply because of the veins and honestly, I’m not sure what the real attraction to the squishy plastic is. It is fun to press down once or twice but it is a fairly simple gimmick. The Metroid base is surprisingly different than the Samus one. It is nice to see the ground and some wiring on the base which help fill out the scene and help us understand what is happening with the figure. Like some of the other Amiibo with ground textures, the base could use some shade to make the dirt look better but this style has been consistent from Nintendo and unlikely to change anytime soon.
Closing Thoughts – This was a long and detailed review and my feeling is probably clear already on these two Amiibo. They are well made and offer a few nice things for Metroid and Nintendo fans. Samus is an improvement on the older Amiibo which is great to see too. While I would always prefer new characters and styles get Amiibo first, whenever Nintendo wants to revisit older Amiibo and improve them, I’ll be there happily buying them and I think many of you will be too!