Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
At first glance Splatoon (Wii U) seems like one of those strangely styled kids games that takes a second thought to buy. It features characters called inklings which can switch between human and squid form depending on what mechanisms they are using to beat their opponents. The third person shooter takes the player through several different stages where they will shoot multicolored ink over others and their surroundings, trying to cover as much territory as possible. Deeply ingrained offense and defense mechanisms are used to excel yourself to the top of every fight and title quickly turns from strange to intensely fun, fresh, and unlike anything you’ve played in a long time. Let’s delve into what makes Splatoon’s fun and style, absolutely one of a kind.
The majority of Splatoon’s fun comes from the multiplayer action it supplies which can hold up to eight players online in four on four player matches. Single player campaign, and one on one player matches are also available but with this title, more the merrier.
Mechanisms the player uses depend on either the humanoid or squid forms you are taking at the time. As a humanoid, the player can shoot ink around the environment in their teams color or directly attack others. While in squid mode, the player can choose to swim through the ink. This is useful in racing to other ends of the stage to either attack others, or cover that part in more ink. The squid form also allows the player to scale walls, swim through gridded walls, or use the floors as cover from enemies.
While many shooters focus on dodge and shoot as their main mechanisms, movement in this game is as much a part of it as any. Not only does it give the player a chance to duck and cover, but also to replenish their ink supply, and tactically dance around the map in trying to dominate. I don’t know that there is another title I can think of where movement has been a main and strategic part in of itself. While moving through your own colored ink can be an advantage, moving through your opponents ink slows you to a snail-like crawl creating one more obstacle.
While the title starts you out with basic weaponry, players can earn money to buy other primary and secondary items through battling others. A chargeable rifle, mid-range gun, giant paint roller, paint bombs, grenades, and shields are just a few of the first and main weapons one can use to make their way to be champion of this game. Using the weapons fills a special meter which can then be used to buy sets of new items outside of the battle field.
Splatoon also focuses on space. It’s not as helpful here, for a player to go on a killing spree. Strategy is your best friend during online competition. The Wii U gamepad allows you to quickly glance down and find out which part of the map your team has yet to dominate which is key. When a player is killed they respawn to the base site and can launch to another player on their team to focus on a part of the map they have yet to dominate. This can also be a strategy the other team uses which is why sometimes, it’s best not to kill opponents.
As if they hadn’t put enough into Splatoon, special edition Amiibo’s have been launched with the title as well. Each Amiibo unlocks a series of missions and special equipment. A special mini game can also be unlocked which can be played in the lobby while waiting for your opponents to start the match.
I honestly couldn’t shake the feel of this title and it was hard for me to place for a while before this review. I know what it is now though. It reminds me a lot of several Sega classics including Nights into Dreams. It might be the art style, or it might be the unique approach that the developers took but either way, in some way, this game is a masterpiece all its own. The controls are tight which is essential for a game with this much movement and tactical appeal. The music and sound add a whimsical feel that is hard to find elsewhere and while a few negatives to the title like the annoying fact that you can’t switch between weapon packs while you wait in the multiplayer lobby, over all, with Nintendo throwing in some free future updates, this game is a must have for the system.
4 Out of 5
+Unique Gameplay and Style
+Fantastic Sound and Music
+Nice Array of Weaponry
+levels start simple and increase in difficulty
+Brisk fast paced and addictive gameplay
+Planned free updates!
+Decent single player mode for a game that is clearly multiplayer
-Why aren’t the updates available now?
– Can’t switch weapons in the muliplayer lobby
-Amiibo features could be more enticing