Developer: Nintendo EPD
Rated: Everyone 10+
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo is the master of creating strange and weird game ideas that most any other company probably couldn’t pull off. Case and point, Splatoon 2. While the Wii U housed the first, the Switch is bringing the franchise to an expanded audience with their unique online focused 3rd person ink-splatting shooter. Whether this is going to be your first jump into this series or your looking to continue, Splatoon 2 is Nintendo’s latest must own title.
In Splatoon 2, it twists the classic shooter by switching the focus from trying to rack up as many kills as you can during a match to trying to cover as much of the map as you can in your team’s ink in the games main mode Turf War. You’ll be on a team of 4 competing against another team in a game of tug of war as your constantly trying to reink captured territory and so on. Sure, you can still “splat” your enemies to rack up some kills, but what matters in the end is the percentage of the map your team covered in ink compared to your opponent.
While Turf War is the star of the show with regular battles, ranked battles, and league battles, there is still plenty of other options to keep you occupied. For those looking to go it alone, you can play through the story mode which has enough stages to take you through 6 hours on average. The highlight of that mode are the bosses, each one feeling like they would fit right in a Mario game.
Otherwise sticking online, you also have Salmon Road, the fully new mode that is going to suck you in and spit you out. In it you will again join a team of four, but this time you are working on collecting super salmon eggs during three rounds while you try to survive onslaught of normal enemies and bigger, badder boss salmon that each have their own unique way to splat you. The mode certainly gets frantic and oozes charm with the unique salmon that are thrown at you.
What really makes your battle experience unique are the plethora of gear and weapons. For gear, you can equip something for your head, body, and feet, all which give you extra boosts for an extra level of customization. As for weapons, you have all sorts of types to choose from long range to short, heavy damage ones to rapid fire. Most all weapons feel unique themselves, but they also give you a different bomb to use and a different special attack. It can also make things a give and take as you might really might like one weapon, but hate the bomb and special that go with it. Pick and choose wisely, but either way you’ll enjoy the variety.
For as stuffed as Splatoon 2 is full of features, the most disappointing area must be the lack of any sort of split screen. If you have friends with their own Switch and copy of the game, you can play most of the modes local, but if not your out of luck. Salmon Run especially is a mode that could make Splatoon 2 rival Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as your go to game for get togethers. Not supporting split screen at all seems very anti-Nintendo from an otherwise very Nintendo feeling game.
Splatoon 2 has a learning curve that allows anyone to jump in quickly and have tons of fun, but also has enough complexities that can keep regular gamers hooked. Every play session I’ve done, I’ve wanted to do just one more match, it just gets really addicting and has plenty of modes to switch between to keep things fresh. On the downside, if you are not looking to play online, the short story mode might not make this a worthwhile purchase. The odd lack of split screen is also an annoying exclusion. Even with those two blots against it, Splatoon 2 proves that the series has some serious legs as one of Nintendo’s top newer properties in one of the most addicting Switch games yet.