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Friday, May 29, 2015

The May 29 Purchases: Splatoon and amiibo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The trip to Best Buy, as promised.

It is the time that I have been waiting for since E3 2014, when I first fell in love with Splatoon and declared it my second-most anticipated game of the show. Yup, Nintendo's entry into team-based third-person shooters (not counting Kid Icarus: Uprising) is here! As I wrote about yesterday, I set out to make it a Day 1 purchase at my local Best Buy since I pre-ordered it. (As opposed to the non-local Best Buy Nintendo World Championships happening tomorrow.)

Well, I'm sure y'all are dying to know about my adventures, so apologies to write this article so late at night (but that's sorta been the case with every article this week). I was... busy playing Splatoon, you see.

Splatoon Wii U disc jewel case
The disc is so cool.
It's also competing with Smash 4.

So I go to Best Buy and I don't immediately go to Store Pick-Up, because my copy is gonna stay there until June 6. No, I go to the Nintendo section... to the amiibo. Here's what I saw.

Pikachu Diddy Kong Pac-Man Charizard Yoshi Bowser amiibo Best Buy
Pac-Man! That vile, vile bastard!

Well, of course no one is gonna buy Pac-Man, he's awful. Charizard, too. King Dad is just sittin' there, but there were like four King Dad amiibo when I was there last (when I bought one) so he's sellin' through.

Inkling Boy amiibo on display Best Buy
Wait, woah. It's one Inkling Boy!

But... I'm not looking for just Inkling Boy. I'm looking for Inkling Girl and the Squid, as well. I would've bought the boy right here and then, but one problem: The Inkling Squid amiibo is exclusive to the three-pack. So if you want all three, then buying Inkling Boy or Inkling Girl individually is a waste of money. (Unless you wanna scalp them later.)

Silver Mario amiibo on shelf
Three Mario amiibo and three Silver Mario amiibo.

By far, and just like before, the most unsold amiibo is Mario's. In fact, I bet the three Super Smash Bros. series ones are the same ones from this article in December! No one wants this dude! Why is there also now a silver version of him taking up valuable shelf space?

Oh yeah, there was also the demo of the Splatoon single-player available. No sense touching that since I can play it at home! You can check if your Best Buy and/or GameStop have it available here. There are a lot of locations on those lists, so... You're likely good-to-go. On top of that, I saw a copy of Splatoon just sitting on the shelf, so pre-ordering the game was ultimately pointless. There was also the Wii U-Splatoon bundle! Get that if you don't already own a Wii U.

So that's it. No three-pack. Blegh. So I go to the store pick-up and have to stand there for like 15 minutes because the employees were bantering. The female employee was being harassed by the male one and neither were doing their job. "You should be helping customers instead of harassing me!" Said the female.

So yeah, finally got Splatoon! As of publishing, I'm at level 6 and played the first mission of single-player. It feels just as intuitive and inherently fun as it was in the Splatoon Global Testfire, but there are some crucial depth differences since we're in the main version.

Well, you're locked into using the Splattershot Jr. for your first match, but then you can buy the other three weapon load-outs (Splattershot, Splatcharger, and Little Mac Splatroller) before level 4. After that, we start seeing new weapons purchasable as you go up the levels. Each has a locked-in sub-weapon and special weapon pairing.

If you go to the other shops before you're level 4, the shopkeepers will tell you to screw off because you smell bad (or, you're not fresh, so you're an expired squid). Once you get to level 4, achievable in less than an hour of playing online Turf War, you can stop looking like a generic newbie and start buying fashion! And every piece of fashion not only serves an aesthetic purpose, but they have an ability as well, along with promising another ability (that is unknown to you at the time of purchasing and might be random?) that appears when you've played Turf War 1-2 times with that piece of clothing on. (Unless you're really bad, then it might take 3-4 times.) These abilities range from replenishing your ink faster as a squid, to moving faster, to Super-Jumping faster, to having improved abilities in the first 30 seconds (I got that one).

These can have a noticeable difference to play-style, which is why the game has two maps cycle every four hours, announced by Callie and Marie. (They interrupt your down-time with a news-cast. They're also terrible journalists.) Different weapons and abilities are more effective depending on the map, so you can optimise accordingly.

Then it was 9 PM Eastern, and... I ran to Amazon and refreshed until around 9:03 PM when they made available (at normal prices) the Splatoon amiibo three-pack! They were available for about 10 minutes (much longer than, say, Robin's reportedly was... which was apparently around 5 seconds). The ones from Amazon are all sold out now and now the scalper-prices back.

Inkling Boy, Girl, and Squid 3-pack on Amazon
Have fun with your $61 for a $35 package. Nice 75% mark-up there.

I don't have screenshots of my purchase in action (gotta go fast!), but Amazon claims I'll get my amiibo in on Tuesday so I should have picture-proof then. That's fine with me! I already have a ton of good-will with Amazon thanks to them delivering Super Smash Bros. For Wii U early, so they're doing really well from my perspective.

Nintendo is also doing really well, 'cause Splatoon is really fun. My only complaint is that I don't have enough time in the day to appreciate it, but Splatoon is something I'll be playing for many months ahead. Don't forget about the announced DLC in the summer, documented here!

Ludwig had this music playing while he was writing this article, and maybe you should've had it playing while reading it. You should totally Wii U friend request him at NNID PrinceOfKoopas, and you can expect his Miiverse posts will have lots of squid in them now. Also, check out Squidboards for the Splatoon community!

For other Splatoon-related music, check out this set of "Squid Kid" commercial remixes!
If you buy digitally, you don't have to worry about changing discs. That's something RawkHawk2010 strongly advocates.
Squidwig finally returns to warn about the evils of the EPA. ...What?
After over five months, it's time to re-visit Best Buy and pick up some amiibo.
Over two years later, Ludwig buys Splatoon 2 at Best Buy on release day!


  1. If Nintendo met the Amiibo demand, do you think it would make them as much money as it appears it would right now? Or do you think the sense that Amiibos are rare, because of the low supply, has made the demand much higher than it would if there were enough Amiibos to go around?

    1. I think that right now, people are getting a sense of the inherent value of amiibo.

      Lack of supply by itself doesn't make demand higher. All these strange amiibo collectors are still gonna be collecting even if amiibo are actually not that hard to get, and everyone doing it for disc-locked-content can actually be able to get it.
      So yeah, they'd make more money.

  2. I bought Splatoon and I've been loving it. Probably wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't read about it on this blog.

    1. Wow, thanks for giving me this amazing feeling. ^.^

      Splatoon is definitely lovable and amazing.


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