So, in case you haven’t heard about it yet, Metroid II is getting a remake called Samus Returns. Although it isn’t out yet, the footage I’ve seen so far seems to indicate the game will be good. Which is a positive thing, since Nintendo finally decided to give a shit about Metroid (instead of last year where they decided to release Federation Force as all they did for Metroids 30th birthday).
Having said that, it couldn’t be a good game with Nintendo pulling a… well, Nintendo move. For the uninitiated, a Nintendo move is a move that is so incomprehensibly stupid, only Nintendo could do. A good example of a Nintendo move is what they did with Star Fox Zero, where they crippled the game just to push their dual screen & motion control gimmicks. This time it’s with the reveal that content is going to be locked behind amiibo. You read that right. Content for Samus Returns is going to be locked behind amiibo.
Now amiibo have sort of a special case when it came to providing content for Nintendo games. In basically all instances, amiibo mostly act as a way of reducing the time needed to complete a game (Hyrule Warriors) or offer various cosmetics to the player (Federation Force/Super Mario Maker). At their core however, amiibo have thus far never locked any content behind DLC (even Kirby: Planet Robobot didn’t lock it’s Smash copy ability behind amiibo, but offered it both after 100% completion and behind the amiibo). That behavior always made me begrudginly accept amiibo for what they are, and considering they are pretty nice toys regardless, I personally always felt that the tradeoff of buying a figurine to unlock things in games was just, since you didn’t just get the game content but also a nice figurine you could play with. It basically brought the concept of Smash Bros (namely a kid playing with Nintendo toys) alive.
None of that happens in Samus Returns though. There are four amiibo thus far confirmed to unlock things in Samus Returns (The Smash figurines, the new armored Samus amiibo and the Metroid canister amiibo) and none of them have their content thus far confirmed as also being unlockable through normal gameplay. Quite the opposite it seems to be in fact, as Nintendo only recently confirmed that one of the special game modes unlocked through amiibo will only stay unlocked behind amiibo (the Metroid canister amiibo unlocks a special “Fusion” mode which was first thought to be hard mode, but was confirmed to be even harder than hard mode). The other unlocks are nothing to laugh at either, as they are:
The art gallery (a staple of the Metroid franchise which allows you to view the ending screens)
A Metroid map indicator (wtf, this should be in the normal game as an upgrade/config option, not as an amiibo)
The soundtrack (ye wut. If this isn’t blatantly shitty, I don’t know what is. Yes, Metroid games may never have had playable soundtracks, but modern Nintendo games usually feature a Sound Test option after completing the game, not just after completing the game and scanning the amiibo)
You know what this reminds me of? On-disc, day one DLC. You know that thing where DLC content is already pre-installed, but you just cannot use it until you purchase the additional DLC? That thing that caused such a public outrage most normal AAA publishers stopped doing it? That is what is happening with Samus Returns. And to wrap up the True Nintendo Move, they even try to defend it by saying something to hide it’s importance (look, we do have a hard mode, but fusion mode is even harder than hard. Bullshit. if I want to play a difficult mode, I shouldnt have to buy a fucking plastic toy before I can play it).
Nintendo, you have succesfully made me again partially lose interest in something that I was excited for. I will still get Samus Returns (since it’s still a Metroid game, and Metroid II was in serious need of a remake), but I will pray to fucking god that NoAmii will support Samus Returns, because this isn’t fucking acceptable. If I buy a game, I expect to be able to enjoy everything of said game content. Locking it behind on-disc DLC (which is what amiibo in this case act like) is not acceptable to me. I might buy the amiibo even (the Samus amiibo looks pretty cool), but I won’t buy it directly from you. I’ll try and get it on marktplaats or eBay second-hand. Because to me, you do not deserve money for on-disc DLC.