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Nintendo Addresses the Metroid: Samus Returns Amiibo Controversy

So you can unlock a hard mode in the game, but...

News by Matt Kim, .

At a preview event for Metroid: Samus Returns, Nintendo finally clarified amiibo support for the game, especially with regards to how Hard Mode will work in the game. As it turns out, this probably was a case where better communication could have cleared up the whole problem.

Here's the lowdown of what Nintendo told USgamer. When I asked Nintendo representatives at the preview event if hard mode was locked behind amiibos, they were clear to make the distinction. "Fusion Mode," they corrected me. Yes, Fusion Mode—which will give players access to Samus' Fusion Suit as well as a more challenging difficulty in the game—is indeed locked behind the Metroid amiibo. This content will not be offered as a separate DLC in Nintendo's digital eShop. However, there will be a standard hard mode that will be unlockable once players complete the game on regular difficulty. This mode, which is confusingly separate from the Fusion Mode's harder difficulty, is said to be harder than the standard difficulty but not as hard as that found in Fusion Mode.

Metroid: Samus Returns Difficulty Modes

  • Standard Mode (No amiibo required)
  • Hard Mode (No amiibo required)
  • Fusion Mode (amiibo required)
All four Metroid amiibo

It was previously reported that an amiibo tie-in for Metroid: Samus Returns will unlock hard mode for the game. In fact, purchasing the amiibo would be the only way for players to access the Fusion Mode content, making it a mandatory accessory if players wanted to access everything Samus Returns has to offer. This is still the case, only Nintendo failed to explain that the Fusion Mode difficulty is separate from a standard Hard Mode. Nintendo's attempt to explain the situation—pointing media outlets to the vague Facebook post—certainly didn't help assuage worries about how fans could only access the game's full content by purchasing the amiibo set.

In our preview of Samus Returns, we mentioned that amiibo support for the game is completely optional, which is still technically true. However, it's also technically true that there are bonuses in the game, from image galleries to the aforementioned Fusion Mode which can only be accessed via amiibo support. So if you really do want to see everything Samus Returns has to offer, you will have to pick up some amiibo to go with it. Luckily, the amiibo aren't tied to any specific account, so you could just borrow your friend's amiibo to unlock the content in your copy of Samus Returns if you're so inclined.

Correction 5:38 am: The post has been updated to make it clearer that Fusion Mode is even harder than the unlockable hard mode

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Comments 7

  • Avatar for Ralek #1 Ralek 12 days ago
    I don't know, I don't think this is objectively any worse than locking hardmode behind a season-pass purchase, as they did with Zelda. Don't get me wrong, I waited patiently for that DLC before I jumped into the game, and I love the game to death, and I'm fine with purchasing a season-pass for it ... but still, others might not be that enthusiastic or patient about it and it is hard to pretend that making folks pay for an enhanced difficulty mode is not somewhat shaddy - esp. since the price is hefty, as the DLC cannot be purchased individually.

    I think the trouble with these amiibo in part stems from the fact, that in many places, you simply can't purchase them - or if you can, you have to pay prices that make the game itself look cheap by comparison. On the upside, there are always amiibo cards and also, these two new Metroid amiibo look really cool. I hated the pose on the original SSB Samus, and I never felt any desire to have the Zero Suit one, so I never bothered with either of them, but the new kneeling Samus amiibo captures here character pretty good, I think, plus the Metroid seems to be actually ... well, squishy, which is very neat :-)

    Most of all, this is just another example of Nintendo being HORRIBLE at communicating anything to anyone. Frankly, I have no idea why they not long since have gone out and got some serious help from companies who deal in these kind of public relations affairs. Stuff like this keeps happening every all time and Nintendo ... well, they just keep going like nothing happened. The do some aspects of PR, like the Directs, very well, but others, like on a day-to-day basis, they just can't get right.
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  • Avatar for admiralsnackbar #2 admiralsnackbar 12 days ago
    @Ralek My issue is, I could buy the Hard Mode for BOTW at any time, press of a button.

    Nintendo has proven they can't meet initial Amiibo stock demand. There is a good chance I won't be able to find one of these Amiibo or even an Amiibo card, thus locking me from content unless I pay a scalper.

    It's absurd.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #3 metalangel 12 days ago
    I need to spend more than the price of the game to play the crappy AnimalCrossing board game (whatever it's called) with more than two players... and the devs even admitted they only made the game so Nintendo would make AC amiibos.

    These things are such a lame cash grab.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #4 The-Challenger 12 days ago
    Better than buying a GBA and Metroid Fusion, plus a link cable, just so you can access all the in-game stuff extras Prime had to offer. But I'm still not wasting money on these useless trinkets.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #5 Jonnyboy407 12 days ago
    Nintendo not good at communicating? I'm shocked! Shocked!

    This doesn't seem all that objectionable to me now that they've clarified. Still not ideal but not as bad as it seemed.

    Shit, was that their plan the whole time?!?
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  • Avatar for Ralek #6 Ralek 12 days ago
    @admiralsnackbar Yeah, like I said, supply - or lack thereof - is a major part while people are upset about this. To be fair though, you can always just get or make an amiibo card. It's basically costs like a dollar - literally. I mean, if Nintendo can't get its' **** in terms of supply together, that's on them and not on anyone else. At the very least, I would consider it a legitimate avenue at this point.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #7 Kuni-Nino 12 days ago
    I was able to snag a Zero Suit Samus pretty easily awhile back when Nintendo reprinted. I doubt I'll ever play something like Fusion Mode. I don't play Metroid games to be challenged like that.
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