MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, PICK UP YOUR ARMS AND PREPARE TO FIGHT. PREPARE TO DEFEND YOUR TERRITORY FROM THE HORDE OF OCTARIANS. TEACH YOUR ENEMY TO FEAR THE MIGHTY INKLINGS.
This ain’t your granddad’s war, this is SPLATOON, the newest and freshest IP to come from Nintendo. This game is a HUGE bucket of win. Paint bucket? Nope no paint here; what you’re spewing is ink. Those pesky Octarians have stolen the “Zapfish” to harness them as energy, and it is up to you, mighty Inkling, to save the day.
The heart of the game is the silly attitude that is present throughout. The combination of silly characters, flashy colors, sick beats and fresh style encapsulate the millennials attitude paralleling the “swagger of today”. Social media? Splatoon has that covered too with frequent updates from the Squid Sisters and their respective hyper and withdrawn personalities. This is a game that oozes attitude! Even the merchants treat you mockingly at first but as you level up in multiplayer and begin to dress to impress, they change their attitude and treat you based on the cred you’ve earned.
The controls will be your first struggle. Using the gamepad as a method to look/aim while moving with the joystick and constantly spamming Y to reset camera in the current direction you are looking sounds… complicated? It kind of is, not only that but after two, three, five hours of play, that little gamepad is starting to get heavy as you hold it like a steering wheel. However, run the tutorial a couple times and jump into some missions and you will be inking Octarians in no time.
Nintendo makes puzzle-solving glorious yet again. From invisible platforms that you must ink to reveal, little robots that clean up your ink to stop you from swimming, to monsters that aerial strike you from the sky, the story mode is hands down the bread and butter of this game. Get this game! Come for the online inking spree but stay for what is an authentic feeling Nintendo story mode.
The “level select area” is a mini-game itself as you try to find where the next level is (Mario Sunshine-style). Beat the level, find the hidden scroll and fight the bosses. Creative levels with fresh colours draw you in but having some of the most enjoyable boss fights is reason enough alone to buy this game. One of the best/original final boss fights that takes everything you have learned and uses it against you.
Online multiplayer is enjoyable but, in the style of online shooters, it is a grind to level up. That being said, the game does not focus on “splatting” your opponents but rather trying to cover as much of the field as possible in your teams colors. Once 8 people join a room the game launches and you begin to ink your way to victory. Warning: higher level players have better equipment so steer clear if you don’t want to end up a stain. Short rounds are what make this work. Long enough to feel like you’ve covered the entire map but short enough to have you say “OK, one more round”… AFTER EVERY ROUND. The colors are enough to keep you coming back “what color will I be this time? What color will my opponents be? I hope I get my favorite color!” Nothing fills you with more pride as you play as your favorite color and win the round.
To sum it all up: This game is great, the visuals are beautiful and fun, the music is fresh, you will have a great time playing it, you will have a great time scrambling to get the amiibo’s for the extra challenge levels and you will have a great time teaming up with friends in turf wars! Nintendo proves they can still make original masterpieces that are fun for all ages, so start inking and stay fresh!