Video Game Review: Splatoon
I’m not going to say it, don’t you dare make me say it. I’m just going to say I hate North America’s commercials.
Splatoon for the Wii U! Nintendo’s new IP in….a long time. The game came out worldwide at the same time at the end of May this year, but I was barely able to get the game until a month ago. Splatoon was first shown in Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct if I recall back in 2013. A lot of buzz was around this game as this was the first time in a long time that Nintendo was going to release something totally new that didn’t revolve around its other game veterans such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and others. Also, it’s a shooter! The last shooter Nintendo made a game for was Metroid and lol. Also Star Fox but again lol. So people were pretty excited, including me! After some Global Testfires which hyped people up more, the game came out the following weeks. But again, I didn’t get it until recently. Is the game worth the hype? I’ll leave my answer until the end, so keep on reading.
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GAMEPLAY (ONLINE AND STORY MODE)
Let’s start with the gameplay. Splatoon is a third-person shooter and the basis of the game is teaming up with other players worldwide and coating as much of the map with your color ink, which is called a Turf War. You have to have some sort of strategy in mind. You can run full force and splat the opposing team, you can stick in the back and only focus on coating the map with your ink, you can do both. Or you can be really sneaky and stick in one spot and focus on just splatting the other players, but usually people with Chargers do this (I’ll get to weapons in a minute). These matches last for 3 minutes which I think is a good amount of time. It doesn’t feel too short, and it also doesn’t drag on, it’s perfect. You can play Regular Battles, where basically you just play for fun. But there are also Ranked Battles where things can get much more intense as you can play different modes to raise your rank. They have a different atmosphere than with regular battles. I’ve never had much of a problem with connectivity. There is no lag, but there have been some times where suddenly connection is lost during a battle. But really the online battles run smoothly 90% of the time so that makes me happy.
As well as these online battles, you also have the single player campaign. The story is simple, where you’re recruited to fight against the Octarians who have stolen the great Zapfish from the Inklings, who is the source of power of Inkopolis, the city.. The single player mode consists of five different areas, where you complete each level to save some of the zapfish. During the levels you’ll collect some orbs you can accumulate to power up your gear. You can also find the Sunken Scrolls, which are scrolls that contain lore about Splatoon’s world. You can also take these scrolls to the weapon shop to unlock new weapons. In the early stages the gameplay is pretty easy but later on it gets more tricky and a little hard. At the end of each area you have a boss battle, which weren’t very hard but still fun nonetheless. The final boss battle of the game was actually pretty hard and I died a couple times. And it’s pretty long! The battle incorporates all of the things you came across in levels so it’s extremely creative and fun. The story mode doesn’t have anything to do with the online battles so you can complete it whenever you want but I’d recommend completing it soon so you can unlock the story-only weapons.
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WEAPONS. THERE ARE SO MANY WEAPONS IN THE GAME. I’m only lvl 18 right now and I still haven’t unlocked them all yet. You can only unlock some by being a certain level. You have a plethora of weapons but you immediately start off with the Splattershot Jr. You have the main weapon, which can be a gun, a sniper, or a paint roller. You also have a sub-weapon which can be something like bombs, mines, etc. And then you have a special weapon which can be used when you fill up your ink gauge in battle. There are variations of the weapons, like ones with more firepower but bad range, or slow charge rate but the damage is great. They also switch up the sub and special weapons so no one weapon is the same. There are so many weapons out there that you’re bound to find something that you’ll be comfortable and main with. Just for those wondering, I absolutely love using the Aerospray RG.
Remember I mentioned strategy? For the online battles, the stages are picked randomly, but only two stages are available to play on. Every few hours the stages get switched, so you really have to pay attention to the ones that get chosen and familiarize yourself with them. Some weapons might be better in other stages so I’d actually recommend being good with more than one type of weapon.
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In this game, you play as Inklings, which are squid type of people. In the gameplay you can switch from your humanoid form to your squid form which you can swim fast, climb walls, while also replenishing your ink. Starting up the game, you choose which gender Inkling you want to play as. Then you get to choose what skin and eye color you want, which you can then change later on if you want. The great thing about this game is you can customize! After picking your Inkling you can also buy some gear in the game. You can buy hats, shoes, and tops and they all come with abilities you have to unlock through online battles. There’s a lot of gear too so you can always pick different outfits for your Inkling. I’m the shallow loser that picks the cuter clothes, but really the most important thing about the clothes are the abilities. When you buy them from the shops they come with no ability because you have to unlock them in the online battles, and there are so many abilities that can help you in your strategies during the matches (like faster running speed, invisible swimming, ink replenishes faster after getting splatted, etc.).
Also, which I thought is very cute and hilarious, is one of the gear sets is dedicated to the Squid Girl anime. The hat, dress, and shoes. You can make your Inkling look like the squid girl from…well, Squid Girl. I think the boys can too because I think all the gear are gender neutral.
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I’ve basically summarized everything. I can go on and on about the details in the game, but I really want to talk about something that people have argued over when talking about this game. Nintendo didn’t put chat for the online battles. Now, people got mad at this because every other shooter has voice chat so they thought Splatoon would have it too. Okay, now here’s my opinion.
GOOD. Thank you, Nintendo. I can’t thank you enough for making such a smart decision. Not putting voice chat in the game was probably the smartest thing you guys did.
Nintendo has always been family friendly. They’ve always targeted kids. And of course Nintendo’s games aren’t only for children, they’re for everyone! Kids, teenagers, and adults alike. Everyone can play these games and have fun. But do you know other video game companies that are specifically for children? Any others? Sony? No. Microsoft? NO. Nintendo has always been there for children. Children play these games, so lots of children are going to be playing Splatoon. Us older gamers like to think that only we are good enough to be playing these games and dismiss children. Can you just imagine what the voice chat would be like? Basically like all the gross Call of Duty fucks that scream obscenities and vulgarities for no good reason thinking they’re “funny”? So we’re going to have all these grown men calling shit out at the kids? Do you really want that? And I know what you’re going to say, “Berry, there’s a lot of little kids that play Call of Duty (or -insert other shooter game-) and they talk shit too!” Well, do I look like their mama? That’s all on the parents. Call of Duty is marketed toward older players, and there happens to be some parents that don’t pay attention to what games their kids play and this stuff happens. But Splatoon is different because it’s specifically for kids. Parents trust Nintendo and will let their children play the game because it’s marketed towards them. It’s supposed to be a fun and happy game for them. So of course you expect children playing this. So to have voice chat just for older people to talk shit and hurt these kids’ feelings, making the online battles, which is the core of the game, an uncomfortable and scary place? Yeah, I don’t think so. I do admit that I scream at my TV when my team messes up, but then I stop to think that maybe I’m playing with some kids and they’re not as good as me, so then I calm down. Of course if there were chat there’s also the option of just turning it off. But of course there are some people that leave it on and purposefully yell because they’re little shits.
Also, the goal of the game is so simple. There’s no missions you complete with your team. Like I mentioned before, the goal of the Turf Wars are to cover as much of the map with your color ink. You play the game through the TV, but on the Game Pad you have the map on the screen which shows where your teammates are and what areas that haven’t been inked or the opposing color. So, just look at the map, and go to that area. See a spot not covered in ink? Cover it in ink. That’s it, it’s nothing that needs voice chat for such complex strategies. YOU DON’T NEED IT. The game is so simple that voice chat is useless, so you can drop the “We need to talk for strategy!” argument because I just knocked it down.
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So, should you buy Splatoon? I would say that, yes. You should. It’s a very fun game. Other than voice chat, other cons people pointed out were the lack of maps during launch but it was updated later on and I bought the game after the update, so I didn’t face that problem. Another would be that it might be repetitive and I would agree. The story mode is kind of short, so I think something they could have done is make the story mode longer because after that all you have are the online battles. But the incentives of repeatedly playing the online battles are unlocking new weapons and gear. So I’m a little ehhh about that. Still, I’m still having a lot of fun with this game and I’m so glad that Nintendo finally did something new. I always feel so happy when I play Nintendo’s games and I hope they experiment more.
Also, here’s my fave outfit for my Inkling girl.
NOTE: Sorry I can’t talk about the amiibo because I don’t have any of them. But I do know that if you buy the girl Inkling amiibo you get a school uniform outfit that’s super cute. ;(