Is Splatoon a brand new and innovative experience or is it just a game of paint ball?
When 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.
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.
Splatoon 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Single Player Campaign has you working as an agent for a creepy old dude called Captain Cuttle Fish
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.