Dive in, and get inked!
There are still people trying to get their hands on Nintendos’ latest console, the Switch. And if you are one of the few that have one, you are probably wanting to keep that baby loaded with some great titles! If you’re done collecting Korok seeds in Breath of the Wild, and leaving your friends in the dust in Mario Kart 8 DX, you should give Splatoon 2 a try!
One of the newer original IP’s from Nintendo released on the Wii U in 2015, Splatoon brought to the table a new and fun way to blast your opponents. You play as an Inkling, a sort of half squid, half boy/girl in a marine themed world battling it out with others of your kind for control of territory by plastering everything with ink! As such, the world is colorful, and carries with it a funky vibe, with a pull on skater culture with its art and style (reminiscent of the classic game, Jet Set Radio/JSRF).
Splatoon 2 improves upon what was great about the original, and fleshes it all out some more. After you create your Inkling avatar, you’re dropped off into Inkopolis, your hub city for all activity in the game. You have a variety of shops to buy clothes and weapons (more on that later), and lobbies for both PvE and PvP battles. There are other NPC’s around that provide other functions or services, as well as access to the games single player campaign.
Combat generally involves you on a team, firing ink on stuff strategically, and maneuvering around the map via jumping platforms, or swimming in friendly ink while in your squid form. PvP is where you will first get your feet wet (pun intended), starting out in 4v4 battles, covering as much turf as you can as well as splatting the other team along the way! Level up a bit, and you can then access Ranked Battles, with increased stakes and more modes of play. Once you’ve reached a high enough rank, you can then move on to the more intense League Battles where, you guessed it, you will face even greater challenges!
On the PvE side of things, you have the fun and frantic Salmon Run, which is basically your standard Horde Mode. Initially you can only play this mode head to head via system link, but you can open it up for play with randoms after meeting Grizz (when his shop is open). There is also the solo campaign, where you travel various worlds and their stages, taking on the gameworlds story. You will find that platforming plays a greater role here, as you manuver about each stage in various ways.
Your gear and your playstyle should complement each other, and lucky for you, there’s ample variety of guns and fresh gear! There are several styles of weapons, ranging from your long range snipers types, medium range SMG styles, and some crazy close range stuffs like giant rollers, paint brushes, or just straight up buckets of ink! New weapons unlock every level, and you will probably want to try to get them all at some point! Clothing doesn’t just make your Inkling look Fresh, but also bestows upon you some passive abilities that you will want to take into account as you progress in the game. Each item features a Main ability, with some being stackable with others of its kind. Some gear, if you’re lucky, will feature up to 3 bonus slots that will grant you Sub skills once unlocked via battles. There is actually a complex system here, where avid players will Scrub, or re-roll gear, to try to get a Pure, an item with all the same skill, for maximum bonus for their play type!
It should be noted this is a Nintendo game in every sense of the name. One one hand, this is a very fun, easily accessible and solid title that makes you praise the Big N! On the other, there are some restrictions and functions that make you scratch your head and wonder “What were they thinking?!”. The maps that are played in PvP are cycled every few hours, 2 at a time. Certain modes, like the Salmon Run, are only available during certain times of the day. Want to hook up with your friends and go paint the town red (or some neon color)? To keep things friendly and fair, you will be placed randomly. Don’t expect to team up and Rick-Roll the opposition together! And of course, by now, everyone should be familiar with how Nintendo is handling voice chat. Download the Switch app to your mobile device of choice. Use it with your favorite headset, and you can chat with your teamates, or with your friends. If you go for the official Splatoon headset from Hori, expect a mess of wires as you plug your headset into a splitter, that then connects to both your Switch and your mobile device. Oh, is your console WAY over there by the TV? Extension cable.
So yeah, if you have a Switch, you really should get this game. It’s not the next Overwatch, and it does seem to tie your hands at times. But it’s a really solid title, and with Switches selling faster than Nintendo can make them, I expect the franchise to grow in popularity and get even better!