A few months ago, Nintendo released its latest iteration of its much beloved and anticipated Super Smash Brothers series. In this beat-em-up party game, players take control of the most popular characters from Nintendo’s most popular franchises to fight friends, computers, and even total strangers from around the world via its online mode. With this new version of the game comes a variety of new features, including 8-man multiplayer, character creation and customization, new challenge modes, and as always, lots of new stages and fighters. Perhaps one of the most interesting new features, however, is completely external to the game itself: small figurines called Amiibos.

Similar to Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures, Amiibos are toys containing computer chips that allow them to interact with designated video games. However, unlike these examples, which are figures containing a playable character that saves certain stats and items, Amiibos instead contain an AI capable of learning and leveling up through training, essentially becoming a digital pet that plays Smash.…

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