Nintendo is known for picking previous games from key franchises, such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, and bringing them to their current console. The most recent game receiving a remaster and port to Nintendo’s current console, the Nintendo Switch, is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. This remaster provides a higher frame rate, better graphics, and other quality-of-life improvements for the game. As with most Nintendo remasters, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will cost $60. However, if you want to get the whole experience, you will have to be glued to your computer and fork over extra money.
The Full Experience
Zelda fans will need to get their hands on the amiibo of Zelda with her Loftwing to get the whole “HD” experience. Unlike previous amiibo, Zelda and her Loftwing provide an in-game mechanic that drastically changes an individual’s experience with the upcoming release. This amiibo allows the player to fast travel at will, regardless of where you are in the world. Previous benefits of amiibo did not drastically change the experience. Instead, they provided small conveniences such as weapons, armor, health, or small amounts of currency.
The ability to fast travel at will within this game will provide players the ability to travel to the sky at a moment’s notice. For example, suppose you are most of the way through a dungeon and are running low on health. In that case, you can escape by simply tapping the Zelda and Loftwing amiibo against your JoyCon. Not only does it allow you to leave the dungeon at will, but you are also able to return to the spot you left by tapping it against the JoyCon again. Thus, providing players the ability to leave, re-evaluate, and return with a better plan, items, and full health. Unfortunately, this power comes at a price if you can find it.
The Price of Power
Being able to fast travel via the amiibo will cost you a minimum of $25. A price tag that is nearly twice as expensive as the retail prices for other new amiibo. While, in theory, the high price point may be because you get two characters in one amiibo and a significant advantage in-game, it may block many individuals from using the new game feature. Twenty-five dollars is nearly the price of half another game, forcing a portion of the audience to decide if they want this amiibo or save it towards another game. With The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDand Zelda and Loftwing amiibo coming out to be $85, it may be a tough call for many gamers. That price is if you are lucky enough to purchase the amiibo at a retail store.
Preorders at retailers selling the Zelda and Loftwing amiibo are currently out of stock. With this amiibo in limited supply, scalpers will see this as a prime opportunity to make extra money, specifically from hardcore Zelda fans and avid amiibo collectors.
The Bottom Line
Nintendo’s decision to lock a significant improvement to a game behind a $25 physical item is unbelievable. This feels like a money grab to increase the profitability of a mid-tier Zelda game and an effort of Nintendo to increase their bottom line. Worse yet, Nintendo is accustomed to using these tactics to get the most money out of their products.
Nintendo relied heavily on “fear of missing out” for Mario’s 35th birthday. When Super Mario 3D All-Stars was released last year, they stated that the game would be discontinued on March 31, 2021. Incentivizing individuals to purchase the game before it was gone. Their decision was ridiculed by many within game’s journalism and by many gamers.
Even with the ridicule and dissatisfaction of the choices made, Nintendo will continue to use these tactics to line their pockets as long as consumers buy their items.