Splatoon is one of those games that gets everything it needs to right, this doesn’t make it perfect but it makes it worth well more than Nintendo are asking for. Splatoon is a third-person-shooter developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U in May 2015.
The story of Splatoon is silly and stupid, as any good FPS story should be with a basic story that doesn’t impose itself upon the player unless they want it to. The single player story is basically, the evil “Octarians” have taken all the “Zapfish”, including “The Great Zapfish” the main power source of the city. Your job is to stop their evil plans and take back the Zapfish. In single player mode you are limited to one weapon that you upgrade with currency. the currency is separate from the multiplayer currency and the weapon is only used in single player. The levels are pretty fun but the tasks you do within each chapter are very similar and do get a bit boring after a few plays. The way you actually start levels is by finding them in the single player over-world, “Octo Valley” This is pretty cool as you have to search for your objective yourself instead of having it pin pointed on your HUD. Each boss in the single player fun but not that challenging, but the FINAL BOSS is one of those grand fights that you feel like you’ve been fighting to the entire game. I’m not going to spoil any of the fight but just know its good. The credits screen is also a Nintendo standard “Play with the credits” credits screen. The single player is fun and serves its purpose well, not being the center of the game but still providing a fun experience. finish the story on this game if you have the time.
I went into the game expecting for the “game feel” to be atrocious due to it being exclusively on the Wii U game pad but, to my surprise it is great! Everything moves in a way you would expect and aiming and shooting feels exactly as its meant to. As for the general level design and balance, each map is pretty much symmetrical and no side has a real advantage based on spawn side. Turf War, the main mode in Splatoon is based on strategic placement and not on kills. most of the time killing someone is only because they will stop you from painting the floor (which is the only way to earn points in Turf War) so you won’t not kill someone if they spot you. On the topic of stealth, you have the ability to turn in to a squid at will and if your on your colour turf you will be submerged in the paint, unseen unless moving (but even then its only a small trail that blends into the paint). This can be used to actually hide and its a game-play mechanic that is unique and is really fun to do. Having turf means you can swim along as a squid in that turf and quickly get to areas where you need to paint. Did I mention that the matches are really short? Well the multiplayer matches (with the exception of ranked multiplayer) are 3 minutes long. This is not an issue though as if you had more time the matches would drag on and the dominant team would completely destroy the the other team. if its an even match it would be a close, but exhausting match of attrition. So the matches are short and sweet, the mechanics all feel like they should (even the completely new ones) and weapons… They are great too! All the weapons are part of a weapon type (e.g sniper, melee, automatic, burst fire, etc.) feel unique, all of them have their uses and none them are too over-powered. The matchmaking system is a bit messy sometimes, unranked matches are difficult to play with friends due to you only being able to join them when they are looking for a match. Ranked matches are easy to do with friends and the system used for ranked matchmaking (for joining friends) should be implemented for unranked but i can understand Nintendo’s reluctant’s on adding the system due to how it could make casual less fun for people on their own facing off against a coordinated team of pros. In short, Splatoon’s is great fun to play, but some matchmaking issues can be a problem in certain situations.
Within the game all the usual Nintendo social features like Miiverse posts are there and available and easy to use to connect to others who love the game. There is an in-game community event call a “SplatFest” where everyone votes for either of 2 things and matches will be played on a certain date to determine the winner. depending on what you vote on you will be placed on teams of people who also voted for that same thing, winning games earns points towards your team, etc. This event is good fun as 1: its a great way to play with like-minded people. 2: It allows you to socialize outside of the game. This event is great fun but it does limit matchmaking options to ONLY these types of matches. Ranked matches are still available but for casual matches, its only SplatFest matches for the day the event is happening, this can be an issue if you and a friend want to play together and voted for different things but its mostly a mute point. In short, The community is pretty chill.
Splatoon is a game that gets almost everything it needs to right, the matchmaking is okay with a few hitches but when you get playing all those issues sink away. The community is great with Nintendo really pushing it to the forefront, and the single player is good enough for it to be fun for the time you play it. This game gets a 8/10.