Splatoon was conceptualised by Shintaro Sato who created a generic 4-v-4 paint-based territory control game. The barebones idea was quickly expanded and turned into Splatoon. The game quickly became one of the most original IPs in recent Nintendo history. There isn’t a ton of backstory in Splatoon which I definitely didn’t have an issue with. The single player campaign is based around players rescuing great Zapfish, which are Inkopolis’s source of power. Players control Inklings in either a boy or girl form. They can transform from human to squid form which adds possibility for future games.Visually, Splatoon is the most exciting game that i’ve played this year. The over-stylised world is alive with different objects that change depending on how covered in paint they are. The character design is exceptional. Everything feels like it belongs in the world of Inkopolis whilst still remaining fresh throughout the whole campaign.The music throughout the game is incredibly catchy and suits the frantic nature of the gameplay perfectly. The sound effects are equally as awesome. Everything from a ink-gun firing to your squid diving into ink is extremely well thought out and adds to the overall fun experience that is Splatoon.I’ll be honest in saying that I didn’t know a whole lot about Splatoon before I started playing it. I always had the misconception of it being an online only shooter that was cashing in on the recent trend of online only shooters. Upon booting up Splatoon, it’s clear that you’re going to be in for an absolute treat. The over-stylised nature of the game beginning with hosts of an apparent TV series if just the beginning of many whacky things to come.
At the forefront, Splatoon is a team-based third-person shooter that is played out in teams of four. You control an inkling who has the ability to change from human to squid on the fly. The main objective of the online components is to cover as much ground as possible with ink. As a human, you can shoot ink all over the map or take aim at other inklings to kill them. As a squid you’re able to quickly travel through your own ink. This allows you to not only hide from enemies, but replenish your ink ammo.
The beauty of Splatoon is the fact that it’s incredibly easy for anybody of any age to pick up and have a great time. Thankfully, there is a lot more to the game if you’d like to play competitively. To be successful in this game, use of the Gamepad is almost necessary. The gamepad shows you exactly how much ground you’ve covered and also allows you to jump to any other player on your team to assist them in covering as much ground as possible with your ink.
Inklings have a primary weapon, a secondary weapon and a special weapon. You’re able to purchase certain combinations based on level requirement with the use of coins. Your primary weapon ranges anywhere from a paint roller to a rifle. Secondary weapons consist of items such as bombs and grenades. Your special weapon which can be activated after covering a certain amount of ground with your ink allows you to activate a shield or enemy detector.This is fleshed out even further with the use of customisable clothing. At first, it seems like these are pointless items that change the look of your inkling, but upon further inspection they actually change some pretty important stats. This ranges anywhere from changing the amount of ink that your main weapon consumes or helping you respawn quicker.
There are essentially two online modes in Splatoon. You’re forced to start out in the Regular Battle arena. This is where you learn the basics, earn cash and find your perfect combination. Once you’ve levelled up to level 10, you’re able to take part in Ranked Battles. The game uses a ranking system that ranges from C- to A+ and will change depending on consecutive wins and losses. Ranked Battles uses a mode called Splat Zones. This is a king of the hill styled mode which you’re tasked which controlling a certain area for a certain amount of time. Nintendo have confirmed that more online modes will be coming in the near future which promises to keep the game fresh.
There are 2 maps at any given time with them being on a four hour rotation. This is something that I had a slight issue with. The games online matches are 3 minutes long and playing consecutive matches on the same maps quickly gets old within a four hour period.What surprised me most about Splatoon was just how good the campaign was. Titled Octo Valley, players are tasked with making it through enemies and obstacles to capture Zapfish. Your player is equipped with a default weapon that you’re able to upgrade throughout the game. Each world has a certain theme and manages to keep it feeling quite fresh throughout the campaign. In each level, there is a hidden scroll which adds a certain aspect of replayability. There is also a boss level at the end of each world which is where Splatoon is at it’s creative best. Overall, the story is quite barebones but it’s a great addition to the multiplayer and is a great starting point for a sequel.
Splatoon also supports Amiibo. Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy & Squid all get a beautiful Amiibo to accompany the game. Each Amiibo unlocks a certain set of missions which allow you to use different equipment within the games story.
Battle Dojo is a local multiplayer mode. One player uses the Wii U Gamepad and another uses the Wii U Pro Controller. The aim of the game is pop the most balloons. It’s definitely the most shallow of all the modes, but it’s good that the option is there for those gamers that don’t want to play online.Splatoon is by far my favourite game that i’ve played on Wii U. It’s colourful art-style and quirky personality make it addictive from the word go. It’s straight up fun that absolutely anybody could enjoy and is a perfect entry into the online world for Nintendo. It’s really shows off the Gamepad in the best possible way. It’s an extremely polished game from Nintendo and one that’s hard to fault.