Review: Splatoon 2 – A Splatting Good Time

Pros:
+New weapons are a nice little added bonus to the game
+Graphics have noticeably improved from Splatoon to Splatoon 2
+
The soundtrack is still rather catchy and fun to listen to
+Multiplayer modes whether competitive or cooperative are enjoyable

Cons:
-Overly complicated voice chatting with friends
-Salmon Run cooperative mode is available only during certain times


Splatoon2_scrn_weapon_Ink_Armor_01

When you’re in a world filled with shooter games, it’s hard to find one that you enjoy, and that sticks out. Most commonly you’ll hear fans of many varied games. Some will name off titles such as Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch while others will blurt out titles such as Battlefield 1 and Bluehole’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. While all these are great choices, there’s something about relaxing when it comes to Splatoon 2.

To begin, some of you may be familiar with the game is that it’s pretty close to it’s predecessor. While the first one certainly rejuvenated the arena shooter genre, Splatoon 2 doesn’t deliver the same leaps and bounds, but what it does do is offer an unusual twist to the series. Which is nice to see some of our favorite Ink Boy and Ink Girl Splatfest battles getting underway!

Having recently launched on the Nintendo Switch, Splatoon 2 serves up as a third-person shooter for everyone, literally, everyone of all ages. In the game, players trade out bullets in order to unload ink all over the map, and splat their enemies with it in order to force them to respawn. The fun part is, the game isn’t like the more adult games, it’s one that’s all about folks, playing as kid sin order to enjoy the game the way they are while dressing them up in beanies, long sleeve shirts, and more.

Splatoon_SC01

Set in a world where the post apocalypse has come and gone. In the wake of it, there has been a new form of life that has derived from it. A life where marine life has evolved, allowing marine life to evolve unexpectedly to live on the surface, and in the form of humanoid octopi and even squid kids. Their new fight? Over dwindling energy sources and vanishing landmasses. This is where the lore for Splatoon is absurd, and it’s perfect in so many ways.

While you may be wondering if the story is good, there’s no doubt that Splatoon is known for its multiplayer, which is renowned, and quite enjoyable. Once again the single-player is something enjoyable, but nothing to write home about, but for those wondering: players are sent to help Callie, the pop star singer you may recognize from Splatoon, whom has gone missing, and now it’s your job to find out just what has happened to her. As someone who completed the original game in 2015, there’s no doubt that the events from the first game played a role in the game itself. All of this actually happens because of a real-life event that took place as a contest back in 2016, and now we know what it was for.

Much as you’d expect, your story will take place across five different unique locales. Each one will be served up with its own central hub, and an overworld alone was a nice addition. While many of these new min-puzzles added often make it a nice little addition into the  game. Just like in the first game, players can ink everything in sight if it’s something they want to do. Let alone can they do that, there’s always those moments where exploration of “how do I get up there” can occur. Let alone does that happen, players even have moments where they will find themselves darting across the overworld in timed races.

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Because of these designs, races can feel rather well paced, and rather enjoyable. However, the game does see some rather nice additions into the game such as grinding up rails while spraying down enemies with a ink based LMG, ink-shotguns, and even things such as paint buckets to throw ink out of. Of course Nintendo also has a habit of turning paint brushes into lethal ink-based weapons.

While it’s easy to barrel through each of the games levels, players can easily jump from platform to platform using their ink-based ability, while also slipping through the map in order to take out enemies that may be in your way. Each level is quite enjoyable and one that deserves a reasonable nod. While levels within Splatoon 2 can feel dream-like or even half-unimaginable, players can enjoy what is going on, including the detail to the world around them from the stop signs clear down to the water battles littering the pavement.

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However, my time in Splatoon 2 wasn spent as heavily in the campaign as it sounds. Instead, much of my time could be seen going through the games diverse and lively world of mutliplayer, where the community is actually pretty chill, and rather fun to game with. It’s a community I’ve come to adore. The most enjoyable part of it? I enjoy walking through the multiplayer lobby, checking out to see what my Inkling Boy is wearing, representing some brand of clothes, hats, and shoes. The Inkopolis Square, in ways, is a hub that is enjoyable to be within thanks to everything that is going on outside of multiplayer matches.

Once queued players will come rather familiar with Splatoon’s fan-favorite mode known as “Turfs Wars.”, where players will find two teams of four players duking it out over territory control. Instead of knocking players out, the goal here is to absolutely dominate the map by “splatting” as much ink as possible around the map. While splatting enemies does help, the focus here is to full in the most ink as possible and outdoing your opponents. While this sounds like a hassle, it can be done quiet easily, and more-so with a group of friends or a team that’s working together. Funny part about this? You can rank the-best-of-the-best without ever splatting another play. The premise of the mod? Pull the trigger from start to finish.

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Most often, players will find themselves battling back and forth between opposing teams. Central locales on maps will constantly become a place of interest within Splatoon 2 and teams will come accustomed to their ongoing situation of tug-o-war. If you are someone who’s OCD about how much ink is somewhere? You’ll find yourself ripping your hear out by the handfuls as teammates can be reckless and miss globules of ink in areas.

While it’s easy to say Splatoon 2 isn’t like most shooters, you’ll still find yourself able to draw parallels from one shooter to the next. The game offers multiple play styles for any player wanting to test the waters. Want to go melee? You can do that with the paint brush. Want to become a sniper? There’s actually an ink-based sniper in the game. Want to run-a-muck with dual-SMG’s? You can do that as well. Nintendo wasn’t afraid to test the waters with their newest release and it actually works quite well in their favor.

As players go through the matches, they’ll find themselves diving in and out of ink-based pools to regenerate their “ammo” storage. Players will be able to climb up walls, fall through grates, and even use special “ropes” to move across maps as quick as possible. In truth, it’s hard to keep track of time due to Splatoon 2‘s multiplayer component. It’s a game that’s mostly about fun and remains doing so from match-to-match, which on average lasts between 2-3 minutes at most. So players trying to keep track of time will have a hard time doing so while running across the map, choosing the abilities their clothing has, and optimizing their characters based on their play style.

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If splatting other players isn’t your thing, Nintendo drove this home with a rather enjoyable cooperative mode called “Salmon Run”. This mode pushes players to enjoy this games own take on the horde mode where two to four players will duke it out against waves of enemies as they come barreling down upon them. Their whole goal? Collect eggs from a grizzly bear while on an oil platform surrounded by irradiated and toxic waste. If you ask me? Sounds like Nintendo may need you to cross your dot your X’s and cross your T’s before going into battle.

Enemies approach in waves, moving through the terrain with their sludge coating it (their ink). Each round, players will get a random weapon selected by the game, and with it, players will find this mechanic to add a constantly shifting role to play between each wave. As waves go on, players will eventually find themselves trading blows with a boss-style enemy, one that will cause a ruckus while he’s at it. So if you plan on taking it out? You may want to work together and take him out while ensuring that you’ve claimed as many eggs as possible in order to earn levels and gain new gear.

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Also the tickets earned there? They give up limited-time bonuses that you can use at the food vendor in town. As much as the game sounds good, it goes without saying that what all shines, may not be gold. Nintendo has seemed to struggle once more developing a solid online multiplayer components. If you have to back out before a match starts? This isn’t possible. The only way to do it? Close the app or even shut down your Nintendo Switch, which neither is a viable option. The other struggle is map rotations. The game doesn’t allow you to play more than two maps at a time and they rotate on an hourly basis. Want to play Salmon Run during your graveyard shift lunch break? That’s only available at specific times, so you may not be able to.

Want to voice chat with you friends? Well you have to go download an app on your phone, sync it to your Nintendo Switch, and THEN you can voice chat with your friends, but don’t worry. You may not team up with them at all during the match you’re in even if you queue as a group. While these sound like small issues, it goes to show that Nintendo still hasn’t quite figured out that if friends game, they want to game together. Sure I’ve enjoyed splatting my dual splatters or my brush, but it’s not refreshing as watching a friend rage as an opponent inks down their freshly inked floor.

Splatoon 2 – Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)
Developer:
 Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $59.99 USD

While this sounds like an annoyance, it’s more of a gripe than anything else. It goes to show Nintendo still has a lot of room to grow and doing so will take them time. While Splatoon 2 does have its own share of shortcomings, it’s enjoyable, and honestly? It’s one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch as far as I’m concerned. It’s multiplayer even puts ARMs in a corner and steals its lunch money. If you’re on the go? It’s even better. I’ve played the game using my Sprint hotspot without any issues. No lag, nothing. Just pure fun shooting ink all over a map.


Our review is based upon a retail version we purchased.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

 

 

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