When Splatoon was revealed at E3 2014, people were surprised at the unique look that it had and the interesting take it had on third-person shooter gameplay. As time went on, the anticipation grew and it became of the most hyped games for Nintendo in 2015. One thing that made some people raise an eyebrow was the “lack of content” it supposedly didn’t have. To be fair, Splatoon launched with only a few maps, a Story Mode, and some customization. With the promise of much more over the coming months. Many were skeptical, but then Splatoon launched, the updates (all of which were free) started rolling out, and the fun hasn’t stopped since.
There’s been a lot of updates, both big and small, for Splatoon since its launch in late May. Today, I’m going to show off some of the best ones, and why they matter in the grand scheme of things.
5. Weapons and Gear Galore!
One of the best parts about Splatoon is being able to customize your Inkling to whatever style of gameplay you want to use. Like up close and personal action? They have weapons for that. Rather try and gain the most territory? They have weapons for that too. Even more fun is the fact that there are similar weapons with different abilities, so you can keep your playstyle, but get better supports for what you want to do.
Nintendo has not been shy about making sure gamers have plenty of weapons to choose from in Splatoon. In fact, they’ve gone above and beyond the call by adding two new weapons classes! Ensuring that every play style is covered, and whole new ways to play are available to everyone.
As for the gear, who doesn’t want to look stylish? And the ability to see your gear upgrade, and then alter the gear (through special items) to get the boosts you want personally? Excellent for the fully customizable experience players love. And more than any other update these two get added to the game at a very frequent rate.
4. New Levels!
Many players noted that the low number of levels in Splatoon was a detriment to the game. Personally? I think it made us appreciate them more after they arrived.
There are 11 maps in Splatoon currently, with one more guaranteed on the way. For me, what makes these maps so interesting is that each one is entirely different than the others. You have maps with great open spaces like the Saltspray Rig and the Kelp Dome. Then very enclosed spaces like Port Mackerel and Arowana Mall. Each map is truly unique, and you can’t you the same strategy twice, else you’ll fail.
Some maps are so detailed that you need a few times just to feel out the level so you can devise a strategy! It’s an invigorating feeling to be honest with you, and a testament to excellent level design. With each new map? A new chance to test your skills, and refine them! The only thing left for Nintendo to do is up the time it takes to rotate the maps in multiplayer! Seriously… they need to do that.
3. Level Cap Increase!
Ok, This one is really simple. Leveling up your characters in Splatoon allows you to get more gear and weapons pretty quickly. Nintendo realized that a lot of people were reaching the max level of twenty. Fans were begging for a level cap increase! Nintendo accommodated them. They increased it to 50, and changed how you leveled up so you had to work at it a little bit more.
Add that to the new weapons and gear that they added at the same time, and you get a new and fresh reason to keep playing. This one was simple, but it shows that Nintendo listens to their fans, and isn’t that what we want from them?
2. Ranked Battles!
This was easily one of the bigger complaints at first, but it did make sense in context. Ranked Battles were not going to be available until a bunch of people reached Level 10. Once they did though, reactions were a bit mixed. Splat Zones was fun, but we wanted a bit more. So, Nintendo obliged and gave us Tower Control and Rain Maker Ranked Battles for free. Much like the maps of Splatoon, these modes were entirely different from one another, adding much more fun to the process.
I totally dig Tower Control, it’s fast and furious, and can end in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful. And Rain Maker? Wow! That mode is Capture the Flag on ink steroids! What a blast to play as, almost literally! These modes (with possibly more on the way) show that Nintendo is truly going outside the box and not just stick to tried and true staples of the shooter genre. This is how Nintendo made their name, but shaking things up, and they did that here.
Technically this isn’t an update, but it feels like one, and it most certainly is an important part of Splatoon that came after the launch.
Splatfest’s are a special time where fans gets to team up for love, ink, and rewards to see which of two choices are the best. Roller Coasters or Waterslides? Hot Dogs Or Smores? Autobots or Decepticons? These tough choices divide the gamers into teams, and they duke it out for supremacy!
Splatfest’s are honestly one of my favorite parts about Splatoon. Everything turns into a party! The Squid Sisters sing in Inkopolis, the music for the levels is different, the stages themselves have a night theme to them, and the more you battle (and win) the more you help your team! Unlike other modes, you’re truly fighting to win for your team and not just yourself. But also, you’re trying to get the highest rank for you team, which is not an easy task. Your loyalty to your team, not to mention your skills int he game are put to the ultimate (and funnest) test. It’s amazing, and irreverent, and I love every time it comes around.
Whatever problems Splatoon may have had in the beginning at launch have long gone away. Fans love Splatoon, sales continue to go up, and with every free update, positive word of mouth gives more life to the game, bringing in new players!
The best part? You know there’s more coming! The fun comes in when you wonder the simple question, “What else can Nintendo bring to Splatoon?” That’s an answer I can’t wait to get. Bring on more updates for Splatoon!