Splatoon (Wii U) (2015) Review

Is Splatoon a brand new and innovative experience or is it just a game of paint ball?

Game CoverWhen Splatoon first got announce at E3 last year the reaction from most Nintendo fans was firstly excitement for a brand IP and secondly fear due to the game being a First Person Shooter, personally I was ready to pre-order the game when I first saw it but I did worry that it would end having a generic FPS feel and not so much a Nintendo feel.

After almost a year of waiting Splatoon has now finally been released and I am ready to share my opinion with you all.

The first thing that shocked me about Splatoon is that before we even got any explanation of a plot we had to create a character by choosing gender, skin tone and eye colour.

gender select

I chose to play as the female inkling as I prefer her character design over the design of the Male inkling.

Once you’ve chosen your character and his/her features you are then taken to a short tutorial level which teaches you the main mechanics of the game.

tutorialSplatoon mostly focuses on multi-player game play in a mode called Turf Wars, in Turf Wars you will first need to pick your weapon, at first you will only have access too a weapon called the splat shot junior which is simply a standard machine gun but as you battle you will earn more money allowing you too go to shops in the main hub where you can buy new weapons and clothing.

splatoon_weapons_01_thumb

Each weapon, shirt, hat and pair of shoes you buy each come with a perk which can help enhance your characters abilities during Turf Wars for example some items will give you a faster running speed, quicker re-spawn times, allow you to hold more ink and so on.

The different weapons are definitely the most interesting due to the various variety of weapons available and the different battling styles they offer, my favourite weapon at the moment is the 5.2 Gallon which is a more powerful version of the splat shot but it has a shorter range, another favourite weapon choice is the roller which is essentially just a giant paint roller that you can roll all over the map spreading Ink everywhere while also running over and taking out enemy players.

Each weapon also comes with a sub weapon, these sub weapons are only available after you spread enough Ink, some examples of these weapons are mines, sprinkler systems and giant Ink canons.

When you enter a match of Turf Wars you are put into a team of three other inklings and its your objective to cover more of the map with Ink than the other team before the timer stops.

Spyke

When your not in Turf Wars there is still plenty to do in the main hub, one of the more interesting things is that if you speak to another player you can order their clothes and weapons from this guy in the alleyway called Spyke this is super cool as it appears that every players has a random assortment of clothing available in stores upon booting the game, the only downside to ordering it is that you need to wait 24 hours before the gear is available.

Other cool things are small arcade games that you can play if your bored or stuck in a lobby waiting for a game.

arcade mahine

A local multi-player mode called Battle Dojo, in Battle Dojo you and a friend go against each other to see who can pop the most balloons before the end of the match, killing the other player will take away points from there score so this game can be a fun a little blood bath if you want it too be.

battle dojoThe Single Player Campaign has you working as an agent for a creepy old dude called Captain Cuttle Fish

splatoon_captain_small

 

and its your mission to rescue to Zap Fish from the evil Octarians, The Zap Fish provide all of the electricity in Inkopolis (the world of Splatoon).

Single Player

The Single Player Campaign is great it has a lot of action when you are running around and blasting the Octarians but it also has a lot of puzzle and strategy elements as well.

Yes this is a shooter so you are going to have to use good aiming and strategy to take out enemies but certain parts of the levels will have the player needing to throw Ink Grenades to distract shielded enemies so that they become vulnerable to enough to hit and also the creativity of the stages also offers a wide variety of puzzles, some stages will have an invisible floor and invisible platforms which you will need to find by spraying your Ink in order to make the path clear, another example is that some stages have sponge platforms and if you shoot these platforms the sponge will absorb your ink and will expand this will help you reach higher platforms and some platforms that are further away.

splatoon200

The most iconic part of both multi-player and single player is the ability to turn your self into a squid, you can do this whenever you want and the ability has many advantages as well as disadvantages, if you turn into a squid you can hide underneath your own ink making you invisible to enemies and you can also swim through your own ink allowing you to move through out the levels and maps faster, turning into a squid is a very good strategy to use in both multi-player and single player.

The disadvantage is that you cant swim through enemy ink, you cant fire your weapons or grenades while you are a squid and if you walk on enemy ink you will get stuck making you slow down.

The final thing relating to gameplay I want to talk about is Amiibo Support, Splatoon has three Amiibo available Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and (Limited) Inkling Squid.

amiibo

If you find the amiibo section of the main hub and you scan your amiibo it will offer you additional challenges in the single player campaign, completing these challenges will offer you awards such as money and armour.

Graphically the game looks fantastic, I personally feel that it has a similar graphical style to the Jet Set Radio games , the game has had a lot of work put into it which was very much needed as the competition when it comes to FPS’s is the Call of Duty games which as much as I’m not a fan of that series I cant deny that it has an extremely large fan base which in reality is probably at this point bigger than the Nintendo fan base.

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My favourite aspect of the look of the game is the shininess of the Ink, you can clearly see where the brightness of the sun is hitting the Ink while the Inklings are fighting and that small detail really helps make the game look and feel more realistic, another thing I really like is that some miiverse art that people make is occasionally painted on the walls as graffiti which is a great nod to fans and the best part is that these miiverse images are enhanced to look like actual graffiti instead it just looking like the developers have simply thrown it on the wall.

The games music is pretty fun to listen too it reminds me of a lot of rock/punk bands I would listen too when I was a kid, the music isn’t too memorable but the main theme song I honestly cant get out of my head.

The Splatoon Main Theme

I am pleased to announce that Splatoon surpassed my expectations and is in fact a fantastic game, it has very tight and easy to learn controls, fun and energetic on-line game play, the local is also pretty fun, I like the character customization that was thrown into the mix as it makes playing on-line have a reward system allowing you to spend money that you win on new weapons and clothing, the single player campaign is a lot of fun but its way to short and its a bit of a disappointment especially if you don’t happen to have internet access as you will getting a lot less out of the game.

Apart from that Splatoon is like Jet Set Radio meets Super Mario Sunshine an odd mix but the final result is absolutely brilliant.

9.2/10

 

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Lets take a look at Splatoon Global Test Fire

With Nintendo’s new IP Splatoon getting released in only 20 days Nintendo decided to allow all Wii U players to test out the game today by downloading the demo and joining three different hour long mulitplayer games split over three different time slots, also please note that I am not going to discuss graphics and audio since I am doing a review of the full game at the beginning of June just after the game release.

Title Screen

This Demo allows players to try their luck at Turf War where two teams go up against each other and battle to see which team can cover the most land with their ink by the end of the match.

I am so pleased that we were given the opportunity to try out the game before its release and I am even more pleased that I wasn’t at all disappointed with it.

Spraying Ink

 

As I previously mentioned the objective to Turf War and the basic gameplay element of Splatoon is very different to that of an ordinary FPS which was a risky move but ultimately it works extremely well.

I had a blast playing the Demo and I was surprised when I realised that I was actually quite good at it which is something I cannot say about most FPS’s.

When you start the Demo the first thing you are told too do is to create your Inkling by choosing your gender, skin tone and finally eye colour, there wasn’t much choice here but I am sure there will be in the final product.

game mode

 

Next you are taken through the tutorial level where you learn the basic game play mechanics such as shooting, travelling in squid mode and throwing bombs.

splatroller

Finally you have to choose your weapons for battle before you join a multi-player game

There are four weapons to choose from.

you have two machine gun type weapons which can fire rapid shots of Ink at a fast rate, the bigger gun can shoot further but not as fast and the JR version can shoot faster but not as far.

You have a sniper rifle type weapon which can shoot enemies from far away with some very powerful shots, I didn’t like this weapon personally as I felt it slowed me down and left me at quite a disadvantage compared to the other players who mostly used weapons which sprayed a lot of ink.

Finally you get the Splat Roller which as you may have guessed is a weapon that you roll all over the battle arena leaving a lot of Ink behind, you can attack enemies with this weapon but the attack is extremely low range and is a physical attack unlike the other weapons which can all fire bullets.

turf wars

Turf wars is a lot of fun I really enjoyed running around and just shooting everything to spread my ink and I was pleased to learn that I could actually defeat enemy players when I dealt them enough damage, turf wars takes a lot of strategy  to win as you have to shoot every thing but at the same time you need to turn into a squid and swim through your own Ink to refill on ammunition and its a lot harder than it sounds.

Getting into matches was very quick and very easy, I never had to wait more than two minutes to get into a game and while I was waiting I got play a pleasant little mini game where I had to bounce a squid onto different platforms.

Pros

  • Fun game play
  • Quick tutorial
  • Quick joining matches
  • Mini game on the loading screen

Cons

  • Only two maps available
  • Cant skip tutorial
  • Wish we had access to at least one more game mode.

Splatoon Global Test fire was a lot of fun and if you would like to give it shot, you can download it on the Wii U E-shop and you can join the match tonight at 8.00pm until 9.00pm

I hope you enjoyed my look at Splatoon Global Tesfire

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer