I think it is safe to say that the toys to life trend is dead. We watched Skylanders, Disney Infinity, LEGO Dimensions and more all fizzle and die, with only amiibo holding some sway. Then the number of released amiibo per year started to dwindle, and the way they were used in games also started to decline, going from “oh, cool” to “nice to have”.
Now Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is around the corner and while I am super happy with my little Legend of Zelda amiibo collection, the use of the latest one is a bit iffy.
The new amiibo, which has Zelda and Loftwing standing on a single base, looks gorgeous. As a collector of things that just go and sit on a shelf for me to look at, it is a brilliant mini-sculpture. But its in-game use is to basically unlock an option in a menu each time you use it.
In Skyward Sword, you spend a load of time hopping between being up in the sky, flying around high above the clouds, or exploring down on foot. To get between the two, you need to use specific portals to switch. Unless you have the new amiibo. Those who manage to get the amiibo can use it to switch between the two from basically anywhere. Even mid-dungeon, you can use the amiibo and head into the sky, then when you heal up or feel ready to go back, tap the amiibo again and get whisked straight back to where you left.
It would be a great quality of life upgrade for the game, but instead, it is locked behind an amiibo. Dang.