Splatoon 2 (Special Episode)
THE GRINDSTONE TRIBUNAL:
When you play a Switch game when you’re normally a PC game show… you… tend not to have too many people join you. DarkNin, MisterBright, and I give up more in-depth takes on the ink-spewing Waifu War simulator.
A sequel in name only. Born out of necessity. Murdering its predecessor as its former host dies in darkness.
What? Too morbid? OK, I’ll try it this way…
Ok, Splatoon 2 is a game that needed to exist, but already did. It’s simultaneously an unnecessary sequel, and a completely required one. It exists in this strange limbo where it does absolutely nothing to carry the franchise forward, but had to be made despite the love and strength of the original. This seriously is the exact same game that was on the Wii U… except it’s not on the Wii U. And if you know anything about the Wii U, you’ll know exactly why.
I’m not being entirely fair, I know, but there really isn’t ANYTHING about Splatoon 2 that will make it immediately an improvement over the last game. It’s improvements lie in the hardware, and control. The game itself, and every revision and added mode could have easily been done on the Wii U version. Hell, one might even consider this version a step backward and having the map on the Gamepad allowed for more real time game tracking, and the more interesting specials like “Inkstrike” had to be removed in order to fit this lack of a feature.
…but I’d still rather play this game on a Pro Controller, so I guess I’ll deal.
Splatoon 2, and in essence Splatoon is one of my favorite salt generators. I get angry…. angry… playing this game. Unfair trash-tier PvE mechanics as the missiles rain down from a boss that can’t be killed unless it’s already shooting you. Paste-swilling brain-dead simpletons for teammates who run toward our base with the Rainmaker, trying to snipe people for more kills. Netcoding by cocaine-addled chimpanzees that cause me to watch enemy players teleport around, kill me with invisible bombs and one-shots from halfway across the map, as I drown them in three gallons of ink and watch them shrug it off before I’m disconnected. Things that will get me yelling “I hate this fucking game!” more often than I should be doing past 11pm.
But I don’t hate this game. I hate when things go tits up, and the game goes full tilt on me, giving me some of the most frustrating losing streaks, but it feels good to win. It’s great when a plan comes together. It’s awesome to survive a Salmon Run wave by the skin of our tentacles, and breathe that sigh of relief as the counter runs down, and we collect our rewards for a nightmare well dreamt.
There are improvements. The more freeform upgrade mechanic is a welcome change, and again, I’m Mr. “Four with Two Dice”. Just watching the ability slots roll about sloppily as I just hope I can get something that would be useful, was not fun in the original game. Sure the replacement system is a bit of a grind, but I have options.
…I… kinda like “Off the Hook” more than the “Squid Sisters”. Once I got over the ridiculous psychological hurdle of “Grr, different things bad!” I really appreciated the fact we were given two very different presenters in both physical look and personality, instead of “Girl in Purple Sparkle Dress” and “Girl in Green Sparkle Dress”. I guess the downside is not it’s as honest for me to select what Splatfest side I want considering it’s less of the theme and more of who is presenting it. Yeah, I’m one of those people.
Marina Waifu is Laifu. Fight me IRL.
My issues with the final boss aside, the Single Player is a vast improvement over the original, with far more clever puzzle elements, and interesting bosses and stages, especially since they aren’t all designed around the same weapon now.
Splatoon 2 is a game I enjoy. It will make you angry. Nintendo seems oddly good at making family-friendly fare into relationship-ending vitriol-siphons (just as anyone who’s played Mario Kart or Mario Party alongside friends.) But this kind of anger gives way to a much bigger high when you overcome it, and this is an experience unlike so many others. You have a Switch? You probably already have this. But if you don’t… try it out.
Splatoon 2 on the Switch is almost identical to Splatoon on the Wii U…and I liked the original Splatoon quite a bit. It was a very solid multiplayer shooter that had a very unique take on team based gameplay. It wasn’t about how many kills you got in a match, it was about how much of the map you colored with your teams ink. They didn’t change much in this version. It’s just as fun as ever. Turf War is identical to the original. Ranked Mode will still beat your ass. I’ve never been a high enough rank to even play in League Mode. Salmon Run is the new mode and it’s pretty fun for a highly randomized multiplayer mode, even if i’m not super great at it. Being on a set schedule is really stupid though, so you can only play it if it is available…unless you are playing locally.
Overall, Nintendo did what they should have done with this game, just give us the same rock solid gameplay with some new additions, modes, weapons and maps to play on. It’s not flawless, but it’s just as rock solid as the original and will only get better with time (and all the free updates they are planning to do). If you didn’t like Splatoon before, you still aren’t going to like it now. For anyone who hasn’t played it yet though and is curious, I say definitely give the game a shot…
Recommended?: YES. 8.5 out of 10 – Would get splashdowned again… (He only splashdowned me like twice…anyone who says otherwise is a liar…)