When Splatoon 2 was first shown in the Nintendo Switch Reveal, and most opinions were that it was indeed a port of the 2015 Wii U original. In January, however, these opinions were wiped out as it was indeed confirmed that it would be a sequel. This created a conflict amongst Nintendo fans including myself. From the footage we had seen, it was hard to believe that it was indeed a successor to the great Splatoon. After its launch on the 21st July this year, there were still those elements of succession, and even the fact that it was probably too repetitive.
Splatoon 2 manages to use the original platform to give those that never bought a Wii U, like myself, the chance to play a similar game to what it was. I think it worked out greatly. For those who have never heard of Splatoon, you control a boy or girl inkling depending on your preference. Your inkling can transform to and from a squid which slides across the floor. The key to everything is… INK! Your weapons all shoot ink, and ink always you to move much quicker in squid form. This ink is also what kills enemy inklings in online battles or other enemies in story mode. So, let’s jump in to the meat and potatoes.
Turf War and the three ranked battle modes, Splat Zones, Tower Control and Rainmaker return, and being a newbie to the series, these modes kept me playing for a long time. The competitiveness in what comes across as being a ‘light-hearted shooter’ is really something to be amazed about. When you are able to overtake another player right at the end of a match that went to overtime, it can give you a real sense of joy. This is what makes Splatoon 2 great; the fact that it’s a relatively laid back, yet an intense shooter at times.
Nintendo have also continued to support Splatoon 2 with FREE Downloadable Content including: adding weapons, gear, and maps into the game which makes it a much more enjoyable game. For example, the Custom Splattershot Jr. being added suited many people who loved it in the original Splatoon. Stuff like this adds to the content of the game, and therefore contributing to the overall enjoyment of the customers playing the title.
This leads me sweetly on to the stages and weapons themselves. I personally have much preferred to stick to the classic Aerospray RG, but the other weapons inside the game have been carefully thought out by Nintendo. In addition to the original Shooters, Rollers, Chargers, Sloshers, Splatlings, Blasters and Brushes, the new additions are the Brellas, and the star of the two, the Dualies. These new weapon types allow for players to have an even better gaming experience with an entire range of weapons on one team. As you progress through the story mode, the weapons improve, and at every level Sheldon, your personal weapon supplier, grants you a brand-new weapon to play with. Personally, I struggle to use Chargers, Sloshers and even Brellas, and I find myself using shooters often, but everything is pretty balanced.
Most of the online stages have been ‘switched’ up since the original Splatoon. It’s very fair to say the large variety of stages is a key part to keeping things fresh. Everyone has a favourite stage where they know a secret passage or the where they like to fight at. Personally, I love Starfish Mainstage as it is one of the smaller stages. While playing Splat Zones on this map, one crafty way of taking the zone first is going around the edge of the stage and attacking your opponents by surprise. It’s small things like this that make the game ever more satisfying to play, and everyone has different strategies and approaches.
While the online game modes are similar, some things have been changed from the original Splatoon. There is a new League Battle mode, which is like Ranked Battles. This allows you to fight together with friends and defeat the competition that lies ahead with a single teammate, or with 3 other teammates. At the end of 7 battles the game will tell you how many points you got, and your goal is to beat your High-Score. League Battle is a new twist on Ranked Battle, and it adds to the competitive side of the game.
There is also a new Hero Mode (Story Mode) which is worth mentioning. This title has a very interesting plot once we realise that one of the stars of the last game, Callie, has disappeared. I am not going to go in to spoiler territory, but the little valuables, my favourite being the scrolls, that you can collect along the way make you want to keep going back through the levels to make sure you have all of them. Hero Mode is actually really enjoyable, and whilst the Splatoon series will always be commended for its multiplayer, Hero Mode is an excellent example of how it can also make an impressive single player mode as well.
Possibly the best addition to Splatoon 2 is Salmon Run, an all-new Game Mode outside of the typical Turf War and Ranked Modes. This new mode puts you in a team with 3 other people, and you collect power eggs to get rewards and a pay raise from Mr. Grizz, your employer. The different maps and interesting context to what is happening makes Salmon Run an impressive new mode and I know for sure that most players would enjoy it. The different types of bosses and waves of enemies is a completely unique style of gameplay for Splatoon, and it’s very much welcomed.
There are some features which are a real let down here. When wanting to select a weapon, you must quit the online lobby you are in, change weapons, and then find a new lobby. So, if you are trying out a lot of new weapons, this is a real inconvenience. Nintendo also managed to make Voice Chat with friends difficult to use. Instead of just being able to plug in your ear phones to the console and use the Voice Chat, you now have to connect up to your mobile device and the SplatNet 2 application before you can use this function. It just doesn’t make sense. This all becomes quite confusing, especially as there’s wires going into all the different devices.
These issues are all minor things though. The big plus is, Splatoon 2 is good. There may be pesky, small tiny details that hold the game down from being outstanding, the main gameplay of Splatoon 2, and the improved visuals, make the game one that you should buy. The new stages, weapons, Hero Mode and the pick of the bunch, Salmon Run, are really fun to use and play. Splatoon 2 is a great sequel to the original, and it is a great experience.