Monday, January 26, 2015

Bit by Bit: January 2015

With Silver Bit's Year in Review 2014 ending last week, it is time to look forward to everything coming out in the next 12 months.  Aside from a few games, most being re-releases, this January has been slow on the games front.  On the news front, there has been a steady flow of new information on upcoming games already known or recently revealed.  An onslaught of news came from Nintendo as their January Nintendo Direct revealed their entire winter line-up from the launch of the New 3DS to Mario Party 10.  Keep reading for more on the latest Direct.  Also keep reading as I have lots to cover in the first Bit by Bit of 2015.

Game of the Month
When I write The Games I Missed article of the Year in Review, it takes me a while to actually start playing any of them.  Thanks to the Steam Holiday Sale and a greater desire to play games on my computer, things were different this year as I jumped into playing a couple games on the list.  Playing one game, in particular, would go on to influence my decisions for the Game of the Month.  The Game of the Month was about to go to Pokemon Omega Ruby before I got into The Wolf Among Us.  While I spent a shorter amount of time with The Wolf Among Us compared to Omega Ruby, it left quite a impact on me.  

The Wolf Among Us is Telltale's Game first game after the incredible The Walking Dead Season One.  Coming after such a lauded game by both gamers and critics alike, Wolf Among Us had high expectations to live up to.  After beating the game, it is safe to say that Wolf Among Us demolishes those expectations.  Although it has some beautiful character moments that bring to light the intricacies of Bigby, Snow White and other fables, the game is a lot more plot-driven than The Walking Dead.  Speaking of the plot, The Wolf Among Us delivers some mind-blowing twists that had my mind racing in speculation for hours on end.  While story takes centre stage, the conversation-based gameplay and quick-time action sequences brings the entire experience together.  Despite needing to complete school readings, each episode had me eager to sit down and play more, the one thing all episodic games should do.  

Most Anticipated Game of the Month
Last week, Nintendo delivered their first Nintendo Direct of 2015.  The 45-minute presentation was great as the Big N announced their entire line-up for the first quarter of the year including release dates (something they usually withhold until the very last minute).  While the New Nintendo 3DS's reveal for North America headlined the show, I am not as enamored with the update as the vast majority.  Personally, I am not spending upwards of 200 dollars to get new features which can be added to my 3DS through peripherals.  It is a wise choice for those with the original 3DS, but not for those with an XL.  I can continue with this tangent, but it is time to get down to business.

My favourite piece of news from the Direct was the announcement of the new Fire Emblem for 3DS.  From the trailer, the new Fire Emblem looks to be very similar in gameplay and art style to Awakening, which isn't a bad thing considering Awakening is, in my opinion, the best 3DS game released to date.  Also the rumours about Fire Emblem's potential release in 2015 has spiked my anticipation for the game tenfold.  More Fire Emblem is always a good thing in my books.  Now, if we can only get an update on Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem from Nintendo.

Video of the Month
Usually when a Nintendo Direct is released, I am hard pressed to include a video of or from the event as the Video of the Month.  This time around that precedence isn't the case as there is a video even better.  Funny enough, my video of choice is Nintendo related as well.  It comes from a great Youtube show called Game Theory, a show which seeks to use video games as a tool for education.  The episode dives into the tragic hidden lore of the Super Smash Bros. series.  It is quite fascinating especially when MatPat looks at the lore's connections to creator Masahiro Sakurai and the possible inner dilemma the famed creator faces with Smash Bros.  If you enjoy this video, I highly encourage watching past episodes of Game Theory.  You might learn some interesting connections between academic theories and video games such as applying multiverse theory to Pokemon.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Year in Review 2014: Game of the Year

Every year, all roads lead to one placethe Game of the Year.  The title gets thrown around a lot throughout a year as gamers and critics voice their pleasure with select games.  But what truly makes a game worthy of being called Game of the Year?  Is it the most unique experience on the market?  Is it the game with the highest aggregate rating on Metacritic?  Is it the title that sold the most units?  Or is it the most popular game released in the last 12 months?  The criteria for what determines someone's Game of the Year differs with the person.  Personally, I determine Game of the Year with a mix of my highest rated games of the year and the strong feelings I experienced while playing each game.  In a cheesy way, my Game of the Year usually elicits a sense of childlike glee from the bowels of my soul.  The one game to do just that in 2014 was Shovel Knight.
Full disclosure, I backed Shovel Knight when developer Yacht Club Games pitched the game on Kickstarter in early 2013.  At the time, it looked like a cool mash-up of classic NES games like DuckTales, Castlevania and Mega Man that I found very appealing.  Also with the game set for release on Wii U, I jumped at the chance to support a game for the then struggling console.  Shovel Knight made its goal and backers waited almost a year and a half before the game was released.  While I was very excited for this throwback to NES games of the past, nothing could have prepared me for the final product.

Despite Shovel Knight borrowing its mechanics and aesthetics from NES era games, it makes these elements feel distinctly its own through a great amount of polish and refinement.  Everything is so finely tuned that with practice and perseverance anybody can learn to play the game with any sort of mastery.  Some of the incredible feats one can perform in escaping death or reaching a hidden area will make any jaw drop.  In addition to Shovel Knight's gameplay and aesthetics, the game packs a great amount of items to collect, feats to accomplish and tons of cheats to experiment with.  For just 15 dollars, Shovel Knight gives enough content to rival games four times its price with even more on the way through free updates.

Although I find no fault with Shovel Knight, that reason alone is not why I chose it for Game of the Year.  It is hard to describe what exactly makes Shovel Knight so special because one aspect of the game doesn't make it stand out.  It is the combination of perfectly tuned mechanics, beautiful retro-inspired graphics, wonderful chiptune soundtrack and respectful reverence for a bygone era which makes Shovel Knight stand above any game released in 2014.  Don't let the cheaper price tag and downloadable distribution method fool you, sometimes the best games come in smallest packages.  In Shovel Knight's case, the Game of the Year came a small affordable package.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Year in Review 2014: The Games

2014 was a strange year for video games.  Originally predicted to be an overwhelmingly successful year for the industry coming off of the excellent launch of the next generation, 2014 slowly morphed into a year of disappointment, polarization and the unexpected.  Many of the games people were clamouring for got pushed to 2015 and beyond, huge AAA titles like Assassin's Creed Unity, The Elder Scrolls Online and Watch Dogs fell far short of their tremendous hype and to top it all off, the best games of the year came from the most unexpected places.

Some of the best experiences of 2014 came from independent developers, free-to-play games and Nintendo's Wii U.  In fact, three quarters of the games I played during 2014 were on either Wii U or 3DS and it definitely shows in this list.  While I personally like to play a diversity of games throughout the year, nothing really sunk its claws into me like the offerings on Nintendo's systems during the last calendar year.  Before we dive into the games I consider the best of 2014, there are some great games that just missed the cut: Azure Striker Gunvolt, Bravely Default, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition and Infamous: Second Son.

While the games on this list are the best games I played in 2014, there is still on more article in this Year in Review—the Game of the Year.  Stay tuned for that article in the coming week and enjoy my favourite games of 2014.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
The initial response to the reveal of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was not favourable.  During a dire time for Nintendo and the Wii U, fans were hoping for Retro Studios to reveal an epic new title like a new Metroid or whole new IP to turn around the bad situation.  Despite their pedigree, nobody wanted Retro to make another Donkey Kong and resentment towards Tropical Freeze ensued.  Nintendo and Retro would make the haters eat their words upon the game's release this past February.

Much like Donkey Kong Country Returns, Tropical Freeze brings back pixel perfect 2.5D platforming to the fore front.  It is one of the most difficult games available on the Wii U as each level will test the limits of one's reflexes.  In being difficult, Tropical Freeze isn't cheap or punishing.  With each death, you learn about the intricacies of the gameplay and controls which will help in overcoming the obstacles ahead.  In addition to the platforming and difficult, Tropical Freeze adds more Kongs outside of Diddy to accompany DK on his adventure.  Each Kong, Diddy, Dixie and Cranky, has their own moves and special abilities to help DK avoid death, collect items and reach secret areas.  The option of which Kong to use adds for more experimentation and replayability to Tropical Freeze over its predecessors.

After the slew of great releases for the Wii U in 2014, do not lose Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in the shuffle.  It may have come out very early in 2014, but Tropical Freeze is worth it no matter what.
Mario Golf: World Tour
After such a strong 2013, the 3DS had nowhere to go but plateau in 2014.  There were a good number of great titles released for the system during the past year, but nothing could compete with the frequency of the releases in 2013.  Despite a lighter year for the 3DS, Nintendo and Camelot produced one of the finest titles in the system's history and the Mario sports game period.

Mario Golf: World Tour perfectly blends the superbly tuned gameplay and mechanics from console Mario Golfs with the popular RPG systems of the portable entries in the series.  Speaking of the gameplay, World Tour has made the controls more approachable than in past installments.  I was adding top spin and back spin to shots with ease, something I found unnecessarily difficult in previous games.  In blending styles, World Tour brings the single and multiplayer modes closer than ever before.  Everything you do in the single player Castle Club mode prepares your Mii avatar for competition in local and online multiplayer.  In particular, the online multiplayer is where World Tour truly shines the brightest as the connection is incredibly smooth and allows players to post scores at their own pace.

Everything in Mario Golf: World Tour comes together to create a cartridge that will stay in your 3DS for months on end.
Mario Kart 8
As great of a game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was, it didn't turn around the Wii U's struggling sales.  That honour goes to Mario's return to kart racing.  Mario Kart 8's huge sales were not the result of name alone as the newest Mario Kart is easily the best entry since Mario Kart DS less than a decade ago.

Mario Kart 8 quite literally flipped Nintendo's kart racing franchise on its head with the addition of anti-gravity sections pulled from F-Zero.  The use of anti-gravity injects new life into Mario Kart's track design as they twist and turn in intricate ways, contain a plethora of shortcuts and offer plenty of opportunities to gain race-changing speed boosts.  Another addition to the Mario Kart formula comes in the form of new items, which improve the game's balance especially the Super Horn.  Using the Super Horn to stop a Blue Shell at the last minute is one of the most exhilarating experiences in video games this past year.  As great of a game Mario Kart 8 is, the lacking Battle Mode and inclusion of too many clone characters hold it back from being the best Mario Kart ever.

Despite Mario Kart 8's shortcomings, Mario Kart 8 is a ball to play.  Along with being loads of fun. the game is the first step in Mario Kart's next major evolution.
Bayonetta 2
Insanity is the best word to use in describing Bayonetta 2.  Everything from the story to the characters to the combat will have you laughing hysterically due to the game's over-the-top nature.

With Bayonetta 2, Platinum Games improves on every facet of the original title.  The controls are streamlined, combat feels smoother, combos are easier to pull off, levels are better paced, action sequences are more varied and quick-time events are better utilized.  On top of all the improvements, Platinum has included a plethora of Nintendo costumes which actually change aspects of the game—even adding an Arwing from Star Fox to one of the vehicle sections—and an online multiplayer mode to tackle waves of enemies with others.

All in all, Bayonetta 2 is one of the finest action games on the market today and a major reason to own a Wii U.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS
You can't include one of the new Smash Bros. games without the other. While the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game share certain modes, features and the character roster, both offer different experiences.

The 3DS version is naturally focused on shorter, fast-paced sessions of play.  In turn, all the modes in the game are balanced for the shorter sessions as rounds of Classic, All Star and the new Smash Run modes can each be completed within 10 minutes.  Speaking of Smash Run, this 3DS exclusive mode is just incredible.  Smash Run mixes the best parts of the Subspace Emissary and Adventure modes from past Smash game with the core of this series—the fighting.  You have five minutes to collect as many power-ups, trophies and other secrets strewn across a ginormous map populated with grunts from different Nintendo franchises.  When the five minutes are up, you and your three opponents compete in a Smash Battle or Race to the Finish with enhanced stats.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Wii U version is made for longer play sessions as it is packed to the brim with content.  In addition to including all the modes in the 3DS version except Smash Run, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has 8-Player Smash, Event Mode, Master and Crazy Orders, Stage Builder, Amiibo support, Gamecube controller support and Masterpieces.  While Smash for 3DS is the appetizer, Smash for Wii U is the full course.

I can go on for hours about all the finer details of these two titles, but we don't have the time or space.  Both Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS are among the top tier for their respective systems.  Due to both games offering different experiences, I encourage everybody to pick them both up.  If you can only choose one, you're getting a stellar game either way.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review 2014: Games I Missed

Compared to previous years, the video game industry seemed much more concerned with the future than the present in 2014.  There were a lot of games released over the course of the past twelve months, but not to the extent of being overwhelming like past years.  2014 was suppose to be the coming out party for the next generation of consoles.  With an onslaught of delays, re-releases, unfulfilled hype and buggy launches, 2014 felt more like a transitional year for developers to ramp up production for their true next gen titles.

Although there were less games released in 2014, no one person can play through them all.  There were quite a few games that I personally wanted to make time for, but never got around to with my constantly busy schedule.  Hopefully, a new year will bring plenty of chances to play these missed titles.
The Wolf Among Us
Some may debate the position of The Wolf Among Us on this list due to the first episode releasing late 2013.  Considering the majority of the game released during this past calendar year, I believe it is safe to say The Wolf Among Us is a 2014 release.  Ever since I saw the preview for it in an issue of Game Informer, The Wolf Among Us has ranked high among the games I want to play especially after experiencing Telltale's exceptional work on The Walking Dead.  I almost got the chance to put some time into Wolf Among Us when I purchased the game during the Steam Summer Sale and installed it on my Mac.  Funny enough, the fall semester of university came, I got a brand new laptop and completely forgot about The Wolf Among Us.  It has been in the back of my mind for months now, but I never made the time.  A lot of good things have been said about the game's take on the Fables universe and highly interactive action scenes that I look forward to making time for The Wolf Among Us in the near future.
Child of Light and Valiant Hearts: The Great War
2014 hasn't been the best year for Ubisoft.  Most of their major titles, including Assassin's Creed Unity, The Crew and Watch Dogs, suffered from being over hyped, extremely buggy and rushed to market.  While these titles hurt the French publisher, there were two downloadable games that brought some much needed good faith Ubisoft's way.  I'm speaking of Child of Light and Valiant Hearts.  As the first two games to use the incredible UbiArt engine outside of the recent Rayman titles, they both show how flexible the engine is in crafting games of different genres.  While the presentation of each game is second-to-none, both feature compelling and creative gameplay to complement the beautiful art.  Due to their unique premises and gameplay, both games are deserving of being on anyone's must play lists.
Everybody seems to have an opinion about Bungie's newest title, except me.  While I have seen tons of coverage for the game and watched my brothers play it multiple times, I never had the motivation to sit down and play Destiny since the beta.  Considering Destiny is such a massive game that one can lose hours in, it doesn't work well with my extremely hectic schedule during the school year.  It is no fault of the game; I just prefer playing in smaller chucks during the term.  Despite the polarizing opinions people have on Destiny, I really want to play the game for myself to form my own opinion instead of being swayed by the masses.  While I am a little afraid of being outclassed by those playing since launch, it will be exciting to see how Destiny has changed since the beta.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bit by Bit: December 2014

The funny thing about plans is that they get thrown out the window at a moment's notice.  Coming off of school, I had a lot of ideas swirling around my head in which I was so eager to write about.  During this time, life has been a lot more eventful than I anticipated it to be and plans changed to cover these new developments like The Game Awards, Amiibogeddon and the Uncharted 4 demo.  In all honesty, I was hoping to produce a lot more content than I actually did, but I am really happy with the quality of articles posted in the last month.

As 2014 comes to a close, Silver Bit starts its annual Year in Review series.  Check back in the coming weeks to see the great games I missed out on, my favourite games of the year and the illustrious Game of the Year.  Starting with this new edition of Bit by Bit, Silver Bit is going to bring in 2015 in style.

Game of the Month
With Silver Bit's Year in Review just around the corner, I am going to be highlighting a lot of great games.  Sadly, I am going to be cutting back on the number of games I highlight in The Games portion of the Year in Review.  I am making this decision due to how little games I played this year compared to previous years.  Since I am cutting back, some great games are not going to make the cut.  Most of these titles have already been highlighted in past editions of Bit by Bit or through reviews and previews.  With that in mind, I want to shine the spotlight on one more title that deserves some love despite not making the cut.  Without any further ado, December's Game of the Month is Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Wii U.

Many people fondly remember the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World for their change in pace and unorthodox gameplay.  Mario games are known for their pixel perfect platforming and these levels stripped that away.  Since Captain Toad couldn't jump, players needed to maneuver the camera in order to reveal the optimal path for Toad to take.  While there were only a handful of Captain Toad levels in 3D World, they left quite the impression on players.  In fact, these levels left such a great impression that Nintendo elaborated on the gameplay and puzzles to create an entire game revolving around the whimsical captain.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features over 70 levels to complete on Toad and Toadette's quest to collect treasure and defeat the psychedelic bird Wingo.  The levels in Treasure Tracker grow to be four to five times larger than the ones found in 3D World.  This expansion in level size creates new challenges for players to overcome as the puzzles involve multiple levels and more enemies stand in the way.  Adding to this challenge are the special objectives, such as collecting three gems, completing a level without taking damage or finding the Gold Mushroom, offered for every level.  All-in-all, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a charmingly fun puzzle platformer that deserves more than getting lost in the hustle and bustle of larger titles this holiday season.

Most Anticipated Toys of the Month
Nintendo's line of Amiibo figures have gotten tons of attention since they released alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U this past November.  This attention stems from the ensuing craze started from these figures selling out across the globe.  I have been fortunate enough to get every Amiibo released in the first two waves.  Now, my sights are set on collecting the third wave releasing this coming February.  So far, I have pre-ordered every figure available through EB Games including the exclusive Shulk figure and am impatiently waiting to pre-order the other exclusive figures as soon as they are available.  To say these figures are my most anticipated things of the month may be an understatement as collecting these toys are becoming a job unto itself.

Video of the Month 
There was nothing better at The Game Awards than the world premiere gameplay for the new Legend of Zelda for Wii U.  Way back at E3, Nintendo gave us a thin little snippet of a trailer to show the initial vision of the game.  While only four minutes in length, this video gave gamers a ton more information to chew on.  No piece of information made my jaw drop than the sheer size of Hyrule in the new Zelda.  From the few seconds focused on the map, Hyrule looks to be as expansive as the largest open worlds from the past generation.  Some cool moments came from showcasing the horseback combat especially the slow motion vaulting bow attack.  Altogether, the gameplay video for the new Legend of Zelda is something to behold.  Take four minutes out of your busy schedule to take in the awesomeness of the next evolution in this legendary franchise.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First Byte: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Two weekends ago, Sony held an event in Las Vegas called the PlayStation Experience.  This event was open to the public and press with the keynote conference and demos streamed on Twitch for those unable to be in attendance.  A lot of big news came out of the PlayStation Experience such as the reveal of David Jaffe's new game Drawn to Death, Bastion, Shovel Knight and Super Time Force all making the jump to PlayStation and Street Fighter V being a PS4 console exclusive.  The next God of War game was even unintentionally confirmed by series director Cory Balrog during a panel at the event.  In addition to the news, the PlayStation Experience gave gamers a comprehensive look at the upcoming projects from all the first and third-party studios working on both PS4 and Vita.  It served as a great way for Sony to continue their upward momentum while simultaneously enticing undecided consumers to buy a PS4 during the holiday season.

The biggest thing to come out of the PlayStation Experience was the 15 minute gameplay demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.  Sony revealed the new Uncharted over a year ago at the launch party for the PS4.  Sony followed up that reveal with a brief cinematic teaser at E3 which revealed the game's subtitle and setting.  While these two teasers got many excited for Uncharted 4, I personally needed to see more to get behind the hype for this game especially since so many games have fallen short of their hype in the past year.  After the gameplay trailer from the PlayStation Experience, my doubts over Uncharted 4 are now nonexistent.  Although it was a 15 minute snippet of gameplay, Naughty Dog packed a lot of information about Uncharted's PS4 evolution into this demo.

The demo starts with protagonist Nathan Drake standing on a cliff overlooking the dangerous terrain the island setting has to offer.  This view and the following movement of the camera shows off Uncharted 4's gorgeous graphics and great water effects.  Drake then enters a nearby cave which provides ample opportunities to see that the game's platforming mechanics in action.  In short, the platforming looks to work just as great as they did in previous entries in the series.  More platforming sections follow once Drake exits the cave, but with an added twist.  He finds a spike which can be used on certain rock formations as an anchor point in order to grab out-of-reach ledges and cervices.  The demo showed a few exciting instances where using the spike while jumping is necessary to reach new areas and save Drake from falling to certain death.

As Drake makes his way around the island, he eventually meets up with some hostiles.  While this encounter lasts rest of the demo, it perfectly showcases Uncharted's next-gen evolution.  Since Drake is usually placed against insurmountable odds, stealth has played a huge part in the Uncharted series.  It certainly takes centre stage in Uncharted 4 as Drake can use the large patches of flora and fauna to get the jump on enemies and for hiding when spotted.  In addition to the stealth mechanics, combat has received some retooling especially the hand-to-hand combat.  These hand-to-hand fights look a lot more fluid and dynamic as Drake and his opponents can use the environment as a part of their offence, transition to different positions like belly-to-back and throw grapples such as an arm drag.  These new combat scenarios can even occur when platforming around a firefight.  During a particular moment in the demo, Drake is trying to climb up a cliff only to be cut-off by a boot to the face.  Drake takes the boot in stride, punches the enemy and throws him off the cliff in a similar fashion to ledge takedowns from past Uncharteds.  Instead of falling to his doom, the enemy grabs onto Drake's foot thus leading to more input in order to escape the enemy's grasp.  Moments like these should make Uncharted 4's combat unpredictable and exciting throughout the entire game.

The last thing I want to touch on from the Uncharted 4 demo is the grappling hook.  While it is only used two times throughout the entire demo, it leaves one amazing impression.  The first time we see it is in the heat of battle as an enemy throws a grenade at Drake's feet.  With only a few seconds to react, Drake jumps to the right and throws out his grabbing hook at a nearby branch with the press of the R1 button.  In that brief instant, he sours through the air directly toward the grenade-throwing enemy to deliver a devastating punch to the face.  In my opinion, this sequence is one of the most exhilarating parts of the demo and perfectly shows the combat capabilities of the grappling hook.  Aside from its use in combat, the grappling hook adds new dimensions to Uncharted's exploration and platforming as it gives Drake more versatility in maneuvering around the environment.

All-in-all, this 15 minute demo has completely sold me on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.  It looks like a spectacular showcase of the PS4's power and solidifies Naughty Dog's position as one of the elite developers in this industry.  Now sitting upon my list of most anticipated games of 2015, I really look forward to playing Uncharted 4 next holiday season.  If you do not agree with my analysis, the gameplay video of Uncharted 4's demo is included below so you can see for yourself.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Every year around the holidays, there is usually one item that everybody wants to get their hands on.  Last year, it was the PlayStation 4.  A few years ago, it was Activision's Skylanders figures.  History loves to repeat itself as this time it's Nintendo's line of Amiibo figures.  If you have not heard by now, Nintendo's Amiibo figures are selling out across the globe due to limited supplies.  Along with that news, rumors about the discontinuation of certain figures, namely Marth, Wii Fit Trainer and Villager, have sent people into a fervor over the Amiibos as a whole.  People are pre-ordering  every figure, buying multiples to cash in on the demand and relentlessly searching for hard-to-find Amiibos.  The Amiibogeddon name may sound really cheesy, but the magnitude of this ongoing craziness is being felt by Nintendo fans who want to pick up their favourite character or collectors who want to own them all.  While Nintendo is the only one that can fix this situation, they are highly notorious for being slow to restock retailers after the initial shipment of their products.

Despite Nintendo's frustrating practices of building demand for certain products, their handling of this entire situation has left a lot to be desired.  First, they completely underestimated the demand for the Amiibos especially the figures involving characters from franchises with a cult following like Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing.  Activision did the exact same thing when Skylanders initially released in 2011.  Since Amiibo is directly inspired by the Skylanders line of games and toys,  it is baffling for Nintendo to not at least learn from Skylander's growing pains.  Second, Nintendo hasn't done anything to dismiss these rumors of discontinuation.  In fact, they have added more fuel to the fire by not giving a definitive "yes" or "no" answer to the question.  All that has been clarified is more popular characters will be in regular stock while certain sold-out figures may be restocked at a later date.  No definition of what characters are deemed popular enough for regular stock, outside of Mario and Link, and no concrete timetable of when these figures will be restocked if ever.  On top of all this wonderful news, the Captain Falcon, Luigi and Pit figures from the second wave of Amiibos have been delayed until further notice.

Not everything surrounding the Amiibos is negative.  As a matter of fact, the figures are really well made and their uses in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors are really cool.  They have a lot of potential that hopefully Nintendo can capitalize on.

The feelings on Nintendo's mishaps surrounding the Amiibogeddon fiasco can be boiled down to one word--frustrating.  These figures were made to capitalize on the toys to life market in order to make back the money lost on poor Wii U sales.  It is puzzling that Nintendo isn't making greater efforts to meet the demand, even with "niche" characters like Marth, Wii Fit Trainer and Villager.  If these figures are making a profit, there should be absolutely no reason to consider discontinuing or limiting the stock for any of them.  While I personally don't believe Nintendo will fix this fiasco before the new year, the longer they wait to actually address the issue, the more they will alienate the Amiibo's target audience.