Graphics - 9.5
Gameplay - 9.5
Value - 10
Story - 8
Sound - 9.5
Splatoon is a great game, and one you'll play for a long time just to have fun. It's fast, creative, and nothing like you've played before. Get this game.
There’s an old saying that “there’s nothing new under the sun”,meaning if it could have been done before or created, it has. For the video game industry, that’s honestly very true. Rarely, if ever, does a game truly break a mold. In some ways that’s not bad. It just means we have to get more creative to make it fun. Nintendo has been doing that for decades now, and with their newest IP, Splatoon, they’ve again showed how a little creativity can go a long way. I hope this Splatoon Review proves that this is one Nintendo title you should definitely try out.
In a video game world filled with shooters, both first-person and third-person, Splatoon is a breath of fresh air, or a vial of fresh ink, whichever you prefer to use in this analogy. Focusing not on killing your opponents, but rather getting turf covered in your color ink, this simple change makes all the difference.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would like Splatoon starting out, but after doing the Global Testfires I knew this was something special. Now having done this for hours on end (I really wanted to do this Splatoon review), it’s amazing how simple and fun it is. At the beginning it was a little slow, I had to build up my rank and earn cash so I could go beyond the basic gear and weapons, but once I did, the game changed.
That’s honestly one of the pure joys of Splatoon. It’s that customization isn’t just choosing a weapon, it’s building up your character to fit your strategy. True, other shooters do this, but usually that’s in regards to the weapons (or sub-weapons) you carry. But with Splatoon, the very things you are wearing affects the game, and how you play it. Your gear can boost your defense, it can help you reload ink fast, it can make you faster, make your special attack load faster, and on and on. Depending on how you play, you’ll be looking for key pieces of gear to up your powerset. And each piece of gear can get more abilities onto itself if you know what to do.
And then there’s the weapons themselves, vast, varied, and furious in what they do. You get three weapons in the game, and two are varied depending on what your primary is. Shooters are short range, good for splatting turf. Chargers are sniper rifles that makes for getting a certain area quickly. And Rollers allow you to ink a large area by simply moving about. Each have their pros and cons, and you’ll need to figure out which kind of inker you are quickly, cause once you start getting into the matches, your choice of weapon and strategy could determine victory or defeat. (Oh, and there’s plenty of versions of each weapon to choose from! Many more have been added since the beginning and my Splatoon Review!)
Which of course brings me to the maps. Each one is unique, which is what you want, right? And each one has a different set of open areas, choke points, secret passages, high ground perches, and more. You cannot play two maps the same way, you will lose, and that’s awesome! Some maps, like the recently added Kelp Dome, are huge areas with lots of potential for inking. Other areas, like Port Mackerel, have more focused areas that you’ll need to get. This variety is a lot of fun, as you’ll have to sometimes change your game on the fly in online matches.
Getting into online matches is easy, you’re literally looking at the place they’re held in when you arrive in Inkopolis. And as long as you have a good connection, you’ll be in a game in seconds…a minute or two at the latest. I’l be fair, I’ve had some small connection issues, and I’ve been kicked out of a game for no apparent reason. But those are few and far between.
The two main battles (at the posting of this Splatoon Review) you can partake in are Regular Battles, where you just try to ink as much area as you can before time runs out. And Ranked Battles: Splat Zones, where you do your best to control a certain area, and when you do, a counter will drop, if it hits zero, you win, if time runs out, the one with the lower counter wins. I personally prefer Regular Battles, as it’s more open to strategy and possibilities. But, there’s is a certain fun fever you get when doing Ranked Battles, cause you want to up your rank and face tougher opponents.
Speaking personally, there’s just something inherent fun about the battles. You’d think that 3-5 minute battle wouldn’t be fun, they’d go to quickly. But on the contrary, they are fast, furious, and fun. Just when you think you have the game one, a run from a single player can shift things entirely. And that’s the point! Every. Team. Member. Matters. I’ve had matches where for some reason a player got into the game…but didn’t do anything. We lost every time that happened. Because a single player makes a big impact.
The only problem I honestly have with the online mode is that they only allow you to play two maps at a time (at the posting of this Splatoon Review). While not at the beginning, if you play long sessions, you’ll wish you could go to another map. With more maps being added seemingly every week (seriously, there have been two additions since it launched) I wouldn’t be surprised if this was amended.
But wait! There’s more! There’s a story mode as well, where you take on the Octarians, and get back the Zapfish they’ve stolen. It’s clear, that the team of Splatoon took a few pages from Mario and Donkey Kong when crafting the story mode, and you know what? That’s fine by me. The levels are simple, but creative and fun. While it basically is a “Go From A to B” scenario, the crew adds a lot of fun by making full use of both the Octarians and your inking abilities. You won’t just be shooting enemies, you’ll be creating new platforms, running up and down walls in ink form, and battling Octolings who challenge you.
Yes, you can blast through it in a day, but that’s fine, it’s a fun distraction, and it shows (at least in my mind) that they wanted to use the Inklings and their world to their fullest potential.
Which brings me to the end with Inkopolis. Though small in some respects, it’s teeming with life. You’ll see other Inkling characters that other players have created. You’ll even have the option to special order their gear and outfits. There’s store for you to enjoy, a Battle Dojo for 1v1 matches with friends, and a few hidden surprises as well. Again, it’s a simple concept, but it works oh so well. And who knows? Maybe there will be some new additions down the line…
As I near the end of this Splatoon review, I recall some concerns that i heard both before the game was released and after. There was worry that the content wasn’t all there, that we were getting a shell that would be added to with DLC. Was it worth the full price we had to pay for it? For me, and me alone this is my Splatoon review, I say yes. To be fair, yes, there were only a few maps at the beginning, but, there have been two sense, with more on the way. The DLC is free, so unlike other games, it’s not a “pay if you want the fun stuff” kind of thing. Also, there is plenty to do and have fun with in regards to the stages and weapons, and story mode, that it makes the wait worth it.
Splatoon Review Conclusion:
Nintendo definitely took a risk with Splatoon. It’s quirky, brightly colored, and not like other shooters out there. And just like Nintendo does oh so well, they proved that it’s totally fine to take a left turn when everyone else is going right. If you’re up for a fun time, and want to ink like no one’s business, get Splatoon.