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.

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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

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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.

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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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Nintendo Land (Wii U) Review

A Nintendo amusement park? AWESOME !!!

game case

I remember when Nintendo Land first got announced at E3 back in 2012, I couldnt believe my eyes a Nintendo Theme Park with Attractions based on all of my favourite Nintendo IP’s, I was so excited and even though I didn’t own a Wii U at the time I couldn’t wait to watch people play it on YouTube.

Nintendo Land E3 Announcement

Nintendo Land was a genius idea but I couldn’t help being just a little sceptical because I remembered how excited I was for Wii Sports a game I thought I would love but instead I was bored of it after a week.

so how was Nintendo Land?

Nintendo Land does not really have a plot and I don’t see this as a bad thing because unlike other Nintendo Series such as Metroid and Zelda which have timelines connecting each game in the series, very interesting and epic character developments and some really in depth and well detailed story lines, the story in Nintendo Land is just that you are Mii visiting the theme park for fun and I personally think that as simplistic as this is it works perfectly considering where the game takes place.

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There are 12 attractions in Nintendo Land and each one is themed around a specific Nintendo Character or a Series and has a unique objective and playing style. I will now talk about each attraction briefly while explaining my personal opinion and reasons  why I may like or dislike certain attractions

The Attractions I don’t enjoy

Balloon Trip Breeze

Balloon Trip Breeze Image

I like the idea of this game, you play as your Mii travelling across the ocean via the transportation of floating balloons, the idea of the game is to draw on the Wii U game pad to create a breeze of wind to help blow your Mii out of the way of obstacles. I understand why a lot of people will enjoy this attraction, it’s slow paced and at times it can be very gripping but personally I found it a bit boring and it’s one of the games I play the least often.

Octopus Dance

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Is it just me or does anyone else find this game to be a bit dull?

The idea of Octopus Dance is to copy the dance moves performed by the scuba diver by using the Game Pad’s two analogue sticks and that’s it. This is my least favourite attraction because compared to the other attractions I think its fair to say that its the most unoriginal, also sometimes the Game doesn’t recognise me copy the dance move and I lose a life which is really annoying.

Is anyone else having this issue?

Captain Falcons Twister Race

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I was really excited for this attraction when I first saw it in Nintendo Land because the last F-zero game came out on the Game Cube so we haven’t seen a new F-zero game in a long time, I only have one problem with this and its not even the game it’s self, I hate that I have to look at the game pad while playing and all I can see is a birds eye view of myself and the track, while on the TV it looks like an F-zero game. I do enjoy playing this attraction but it’s the fact that I am forced to look at the game from a different perspective than what is shown on the TV and this factor really helps me too form a not so positive opinion.

The Attractions I enjoy

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day

animal crossing nintendo land

This attraction is a lot of fun especially when you have a bunch of friends over, any players using wii remotes will need to collect as many sweets as they can and drop the sweets into one of the many bowls located on the map, the player using the game pad must control the two guards, controlling one guard with the left analogue stick and the other guard with the right analogue stick. I had a lot of fun playing animal crossing sweet day with my brothers when they visited over the holidays.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

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The idea of this attraction is that Luigi is hunting down an escaped ghost in his mansion, all players using the wii remotes will play has the ghost hunters and the player using the game pad plays as the ghost, in order to win the game either the ghost hunters need to drain all 100 of the ghosts health hitting the ghost with the beam of light shining from the flash light or the ghost needs to catch the hunters 3 times. This attraction is really fun especially if you like games which require a bit of strategic thinking in order to catch the enemy when they least expect it.

Yoshi’s Fruit Cart

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In this attraction you need to guide the Yoshi cart to all of the fruit and then to the exit door, you do this by drawing a single route to all of fruit and the exit, the only catch is that on the game pad all of the fruit is invisible so you really need to plan out your route carefully. Later the game gets really tough as it starts adding holes you fall through and by making you collect fruit in a specific order. If you are a fan of puzzle games then you will love this.

My Favourite Attractions

Metroid Blast

Metroid Blast

Metroid Blast is the only game on Nintendo Land that I have actually managed to finish, the idea of the game is that you and a friend need to complete an objective while taking on a barrage of alien foes, these objectives can be anything from defeating all of the enemies on the map, collecting all of the character tokens, protecting civilians or overcoming a challenging boss fight.

The mulitplayer aspect allows you and your friend to fight eachother, one person will take control of the spaceship with the Wii U game Pad while shooting their target from above land and the other players will remain on land and will work together to take down the space ship. Metroid  Blast really is a Blast and it only makes me more excited for a future Metroid game on the Wii U.

Mario Chase

mario chase

Mario Chase is very similar to the animal crossing game, the only difference is that this time the objective is to either avoid the Toads or catch Mario. The reason I enjoy this game more than Animal Crossing Sweet Day is because in my opinion Mario Chase has much better maps, the Animal Crossing maps were fun but the Mario Chase maps are much bigger, you are able to pick up power stars, they have obstacles and one of the maps has slides. freaking slides !!!. Mario Chase is a multiplayer only game but everytime you play it it’s going to be heaps of fun.

The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest

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In The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest you and your friends take control over what appears to be the four link’s from the Legend of Zelda Four Swords. The idea of the game is to defeat all of the enemies quickly and strategically until the hero’s manage to reach the Triforce which is located at the end of each stage, the Triforce is sometimes guarded by a boss, the player with the game pad will need to use a bow and arrow for some long range attacks on oncoming foes and any players using the wii remotes will need to attack enemies at close range with their swords. This game is really awesome to play especially with friends, I personally don’t like that its on rails but I understand that this does add to the challenge and many players will appreciate this aspect of the attraction.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course

 

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Donkey Kong’s Crash Course seems to be a very popular attraction among many of the guests who visit Nintendo Land and I think the reason behind this is because the game is very challenging but its also very fun to play which is a perfect combination for gamers of all ages. The idea of the game is to guide a rickety cart through an obstacle course which is filled with many fun puzzles for players to solve. This game is so far the only reason I have had to blow into the microphone on my Wii U game pad, its a quirky little feature that I hope more Wii U titles will implement in the future.

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle

Takamarus ninja Castle

 

Is Takamaru a new IP or have I missed out on a past Nintendo Series?

In all seriousness I don’t know who Takamaru is but I do know that Takamaru’s ninja castle is wonderful. The player needs to turn the Wii U game pad vertically towards the tv, the player will then need to swipe the game pad in order to throw shurikens at paper ninjas who appear on the tv. This game really helps show the capabilities of the game pad and its so intense its bound to get your heart pounding.

Pikmin AdventurePikmin Adventure

 

This is by far my favourite attraction in Nintendo Land, one player will use the Wii U game pad and will take control of Captain Olimar and any players using Wii remotes will play as Big pikmin, The idea of the game is to destroy blocks and defeat enemies in order to collect nectar, the nectar will give your character experience points and after collecting a certain amount of nectar that players character will level up. Leveling up is important as it will make your character more powerful, if you are playing as pikmin your objective is to use your fists to beat up the enemies but the player controlling Captain olimar will need to tap on enemies in order to hurl their pikmin at them (real pikmin not the other players). The goal is to reach the end of stage alive but be warned once all players are defeated its back to the beginning of the stage. I have never played a pikmin game before and after playing this I am detertimed too one day to at least play Pikmin 3.

A small side mission you can do in the game is to use a pachinko machine in order to try and win prizes for your park, these prizes can be any thing from music you can play on the juke box, buttons which can do really cool things such as changing it from day to night and bits of memorabilia from the attractions.

pachinko

while playing all of these attractions you will notice that everything in the game is formed from some sort of hand made material for example in Mario chase the Yoshi Carts are made out of wood and appear to be wind up toys, in The Legend of Zelda Battle Quests everything is made of a cloth like material and you can even see the stitching and in the Pikmin game all of the creatures are robotic and also appear to be wind up toys. I believe this feature helps give Nintendo Land its own charm and it also helps show that all of the games are just attractions and that the player is in no real danger just like in an amusement park.

The Music isn’t all that memorable but I think this is fine considering the purpose of the game, the idea of Nintendo Land is to help player get use to using the Wii U game pad while at the same time showing off some of its key features, so there is no need for epic orchestral masterpieces which you may find in The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Super Mario Galaxy. The Music in Nintendo Land may not be that memorable but it is nice to listen too and for me that’s good enough.

Nintendo Land is a fantastic game which definitely outlived my expectations, there were some attractions that I personally didn’t enjoy but I had a lot of fun with the attractions I did like. I am really happy that we didn’t get a sports game to show off the Wii U game pad as that was one of my biggest fears as Sports games are not everyone’s cup of tea but luckily Nintendo Land provides a variety of game play styles and challenges and I am certain that everyone will find something they enjoy.

Nintendo Land is a great game for all the family 9.0/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Nintendo Land

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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