Nintendo’s amiibo have always walked a line between the pure toys to life products like Disney Infinity, being downloadable content, and serving as collector figurines for Nintendo’s iconic characters. The downloadable content aspect has always been the most controversial (barring supply issues and scalping concerns) when it was limited to costumes but sparking greater concerns on releases like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD where it granted access to a special combat dungeon. Still, those concerns may reach a new height with the information about what the new Metroid: Samus Returns amiibo will be unlocking.

Metroid: Samus Returns will work with four different amiibo, two new special Samus Returns amiibo, and the two older Super Smash Bros amiibo line Samuses. Each amiibo unlocks two things with Metroid: Samus Returns, one that is available immediately and another only after beating the game. Here is a quick rundown of what the amiibo are and a short description of what they each unlock:

Samus Aran (Metroid Amiibo Series)

  • Elon Reserve Tank (Special Ability Recovery)
  • Metroid II Art Gallery (unlocks after beating game)

Metroid (Metroid Amiibo Series)

  • Metroid Marker (Tells you location of nearest Metroid)
  • FUSION Difficulty Mode (Unlocks a harder difficulty where you play with Fusion Suit, unlocks after beating game)

Samus Aran (Super Smash Bros. Amiibo Series)

  • Missile Reserve Tank (Missile Recovery)
  • Concept Art Gallery (unlocks after beating game)

Zero Suit Samus (Super Smash Bros. Amiibo Series)

  • Energy Reserve Tank (Energy Recovery)
  • Sound Test (unlocks after beating game)

The new Metroid of the Metroid Series is the one provoking most of the discussion and anger online, the FUSION difficulty in particular. There was originally hope among some that it would be unlocked by either beating the game or using the amiibo, but Nintendo quashed that hope with a statement to Eurogamer:

This unlockable content is only unlocked using amiibo

Beyond the Metroid amiibo, things like the art gallery and sound test have been available in past games without the need for amiibo to unlock them. There’s also the potential issue that as a 3DS release, most of the install base will not be able to use the amiibos due to having older models of the 3DS.


Quick Take

I’m not really a fan of this, as Nintendo seems to be pushing further and further with what they are locking behind an amiibo wall. This is a problem, especially considering supply issues for some amiibo still, and the new ones are likely to have a similar issue. A bit of hope could be that while the FUSION difficulty gets locked behind an amiibo, another hard difficulty could also be included in the game, although that is pure speculation/hope.

What do you think of Metroid: Samus Returns amiibo usage? Do you think locking difficulty is going too far? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.