Splatoon 2 Review

Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s new IPs that was launched on the Wii U. To almost everyone’s surprise it was an instant hit and really hit it off with casual and hardcore gamers alike. This is because of its unique take on the shooter genre. Instead of spraying bullets into your opponent you are using ink to color the map to victory. The game also puts a lot of its stats into being fashionable instead of customizing a gun you will be customizing your player character for a little extra edge in the arena.

Story

Splatoon takes place in what seems to be a post-apocalyptic world where sea life has taken the top of the food chains. In this world, Squids are at war with the Octopi forces. There was a huge war between the two opposing sides long ago and now every inkling trains via sporting events in Inkopolis. The sporting events have taken on a less military approach and are now more of a sport for the squid kids. Inkopolis is a giant hub for this world and centered around the Deca tower where Turf wars and other ink related competitions are held.

In the first Splatoon, the great Zap fish was stolen from the tower and you had to work to save it with pop idols Callie and Marie. In order to do this, you had to fight through the Octoling armies and get to the final boss to reclaim the Zap Fish. This time around it looks like the same thing has happened only Marie has gone missing and Callie is the only one here to help you. The first Splatoon boasted one of the funniest boss fights on the Wii U platform at the end. You can only wonder what lies in wait for you with this one!

Gameplay

Splatoon’s gameplay is basic on the surface but becomes deeper when you start factoring in all the different factors that can affect gameplay. The basics are simple ink the map with your team’s color. The team who has most of the map in their color will win the match. The matches are 4v4 with a time limit that will be either your best friend or your worst enemies. There are also other modes you can play in, these generally stay with the competitive modes though. These are variations of capture the tower, capture the point, and a mode called rainmaker that involves escort.

The whole prospect of covering the map in ink is an addictive process. You get scored for each bit of map you take control of. This includes retaking map that the other team has taken over. The more towards the middle you go the more opposition you will meet. The goal is to either keep the other team towards the middle of a push into their base with your color in. If a team gets ink into your side of the map pass the middle point then you may be in trouble. Often times the games will go back and forth to the time runs out.

To further influence the flow of the game make sure to find the weapon you are going to be best with. Like any shooter, Splatoon has a plethora of weapons you can purchase to use in a match. Make sure to go to the practice grounds with each weapon to get a good read on their range and spread. If you blindly go into a match without getting the hang of a weapon it can quickly spell disaster as they only function differently from each other. This also means that depending on the weapon you choose you will have different strengths and weaknesses against other weapons. Each weapon will also have its own ultimate move and a sub attack that will use most of your ink.

Next let’s talk about melee weapons, like the roller. This class of weapons generally spreads ink well but has little to no range at all. If you can manage to get up close to an enemy it generally will take you a hit to kill them. That being said you will have to greatly rely on your teammates to pick off long distance targets before they can get to you. You also will have to make sure to refill your ink at timely intervals to keep from running out unexpectedly. If played properly melee weapons can be great tools for running a strong charge into the opposing base with your teammate’s help.

Fashion

Fashion in Splatoon isn’t about just making the avatar that you want, it’s also about giving you an edge in battle. You have 3 types of apparel items you can purchase. There are hats, shirts, and shoes that all come with ability slots for you to feel. To feel these slots you will have to level up and be awarded abilities. The way these are awarded through is by a random roll of luck that will determine what ability is given to you. While this may be a downer for most players especially if you don’t like the ability fear not for there are always ways around this.

The first was around it is to level up til you can use Murch. He is the character sat near the cafe in the square with a sea urchin on his head. By talking to him you can reroll for an ability on your gear for a fee of course. As you go up in levels you can also pay to add ability slots to your favorite gear or erase slots altogether. Be sure to check out an ability list and use it to figure out what would best aid you in the matches.

Stores change their merchandise daily. That means that you should check in every day to see the new fashion you can customize your inkling with. Splatoon has a ton of different style for you to enjoy and once they are bought you can change them to your heart’s content. The best part is all outfits in this game are based on real-life fashion and promise to be super stylish just like the overall theme of the game.

Salmon Run

The newest model for Splatoon is dubbed Salmon runs and plays a lot like Call of Duty zombies. To get into this mode you will first have to reach level 4 by playing a few matches in Turf war. Once there go see the shady looking business next to the tower to sign up for a part-time job. This mode will help you and your friends have fun while earning you a little bit of extra cash for shopping. This mode also can be played using local wireless for those of us who love to take our switch on the go.

This game is all about collecting eggs while defending yourself. The game is played in waves and there is a set number of eggs you will need to collect in order to progress. Unlike the main the main game’s modes in this if you die you will be brought back on a floating lifesaver. Your teammates and you will have to work together to ink the lifesaver in order to bring each other back if you fall prey to the enemies. This game mode gets tougher as it goes on and you do not get to pick your weapons. There is a weapon rotation each round so make sure to practice with each available weapon that you can when no playing Salmon Run.

Campaign Mode

The campaign mode is where the story of Splatoon 2 is held. In this mode, you are an agent who is hunting down Octolings to reclaim the lost Zap Fish. Levels are set up in an overworld and are unlocked by completing other levels. You will always have the option to redo levels to practice or find secrets you might have missed on your first run through. This will be a lot more battle oriented than even the multiplayer mode as the main goal is to take down the Octolings instead of just inking the course.

Ink in this mode is mostly used for attacking and getting around obstacles. You will need to ink walls and even time swimming in squid mode right to get around obstacles. Some of the courses can be insanely tough at times or frustrating depending on the puzzle. The campaign mode isn’t extremely long and won’t take more than 5 hours to beat for most people. That being said it has an extremely high replay value and can be great at getting you used to the controls of the game.

Strategy

Last, let’s talk about some strategy to get you and your team to victory. One of the best things you can do during the start of any turf war map is to ink the area around you. The area at the start can’t be easily reached by the other team and could give you just the edge you need in a tight match to help you win. By making sure you get every bit before the middle of the map you are covering an area that the other team won’t get to most. In a lot of match results I’ve seen if the other team would have just focused more on their side then they easily would have won.

Pick your weapons carefully. If you are lucky enough to play on a team of friends make sure you all have different weapons. When playing on a team full of roller you can easily be picked off from a distance with no problem. A well-balanced team is the difference between winning and failing at all times. In online mode make sure to try and stay with your other teammates as much as possible, even though you can’t communicate you can easily access the situation if you can see first hand what’s going on.

Next, try to play a few matches every day. In Splatoon the maps rotate daily meaning you will always be playing on a different set until of maps. If you play every day you can learn every map a lot easier than just dropping in at random times. A lot of maps have areas that you can easily walk off of if you are not paying attention as well. When first playing on a map take things a little slow to you have a full grasp on your surroundings.

If you want to take a more offensive approach then try hiding as a squid. When you hide in your color ink as a squid you are undetectable. This means it is easy to make a small spot in enemy territory and then ambush them. Use this to lie in wait for more troublesome players and quickly take them out. You can also use squid form to crawl up a few walls and get a good spot if you want to attack from above. Also, make sure to time out your ultimates until they will be most effective on the enemy team. A good timed ultimate attack can wipe a whole team and make claiming territory a breeze.

Splatfests and Updates

The last thing you will need to know about are splatfests and update. Splatoon features events called splatfest where you choose a side of a debate like pizza vs. Pie. Once you choose a side and sign up simply play on the date of the splatfest to help your team out. Depending on how much and how well you play you will be rewarded with Super Sea Snails that can be redeemed for items slots on your gear. If that is not enough remember that Nintendo releases free updates regularly to give you new maps, modes, and weapons to play with!

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.
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