By Vaughn Collins aka Big Papi
I have never played the first Splatoon on the Wii U. To be honest I haven’t played that many games on the Wii U besides Smash 4. I kept seeing Splatoon everywhere from YouTube to Twitch and even some articles online. Everyone loved this strange game where team work is essential to ink the whole map in your color. But in the end I just ended up not buying it and letting my Wii U collect dust. Fast forward to July 2017 Splatoon 2 comes out for the Nintendo Switch and I’m thinking I’ll give it a shot in my downtime to see why people love Splatoon so much. I will only be speaking of my first impressions of the Splatoon 2 multiplayer and not the single player mode. I will conquer that road once I master the online play.
When first booting up Splatoon 2 I had no idea what to expect. The tutorial booted up and it imposed onto to me motion controls which I turned off as soon as I could. The typical move set is there from most third person shooters. You know, run, jump, shoot, use sub weapon, and then eventually a super move. The tutorial taught me about how to quickly traverse any surface by just pressing a button to turn into a squid. In squid form you move faster but you can only move in your own color ink and every other ink color will slow you down. Also you cannot shoot unless you either let go of the button or start to shoot your weapon of choice. You can only swim in your own colored ink as well. Once shooting said weapon of choice, you will notice that the tank on your back will deplete. The only way to refill your weapon is to go to squid form in your own ink. Once swimming around a bar appears next to your character showing you how full your ink tank is and also how much ink is needed to use your sub weapon.
Once the tutorial was over I was introduced to the main hub area as to which I could start the story mode, jump online, or play with friends. I was also shown the various shops as to which I could buy gear to outfit my little inkling boy with shirts, pants, and hats that boost random attributes. A shirt could have increased move speed while a pair of pants will have increased ink refill speed, or a hat could have increased sub weapon proficiency. Weapons that were available all water gun or paint based themed such as paint brush, paint roller, or weapon that resembled a Super Soaker. All of those outfits can be mixed and matched with each different weapon that has their own special moves. Weapons each have their own sub weapon and special that accompanies it. Some of which include a paint grenade like water balloon or a sprinkler while the specials like obtaining jet pack and rocket launcher or ink armor. That is a surprising amount of customization for your loadout in Splatoon 2. Unfortunately I was not able to really dig into the clothing option because I wasn’t “fresh” enough. Meaning, I was not high enough of a level to access the clothing. The same thing could be said for the weapons as well.
With the formalities done I was free to just get my inking on in online play. Turns out I did not have access to all of the online modes such as Ranked or League Play because I was not a high enough level. I was able to dive into quick play to get my feet wet. The mode was Turf War which was a 4v4 to see who could ink the most turf in their team’s ink color. To my surprise my first match was not with people close to my level but instead I was matched with people of all levels from 1 to 30. I was very much concerned because some of the higher level people were on the opposing team. Needless to say I got destroyed. People were using weapons I have never even heard of and had equipment I had never seen with multiple attribute slots. I was outclassed in almost every way as I got killed over and over again. In my frustration of getting destroyed I happened to come across the map at spawn and after selecting a fellow teammate you could super jump to them covering a great deal of distance in a short amount of time. The game did not tell me this or I just glossed over it because I was feeling cocky.
I lost a great deal of games before I gained enough levels to buy new guns and equipment. I also got destroyed a bunch of times as well to the point where I should have just stopped playing. Yet I found myself drawn to playing more Splatoon 2 multiplayer. The rounds are only 3 minutes long so they take no time whatsoever and you get enough currency to buy almost any outfit that you need. I also discovered that my clothing could level up to get a new ability slot. That new ability slot could roll to have any kind of ability from ink resistance up to increased super jump speed. All of a sudden I just wanted to go on a spending spree to buy every piece of clothing possible. Not to mention every weapon to see how
What made me enjoy my time with Splatoon 2 was the fact that there is so much to learn. The customization options seem to be extremely diverse and almost limitless. I could pick whatever I want that I think will work well with the weapon I chose. I haven’t cared so much about the clothes my character wore in a game since skin hunting in Overwatch. The online matches are incredibly quick and never dull in Splatoon 2. Although I do end up being matched with people with better gear and weapons than myself I just find myself charging forward trying to take them down. All I want to do is just get better and find new ways to do so. I know there are still many more modes out there such as the Salmon Run which is a horde mode of such. Splatoon 2 is absolutely fun and incredibly lighthearted. The controls are also very tight and responsive so every action you can’t blame on the game but only yourself. As far as first impressions go, Splatoon 2 is hitting all the marks so I can highly recommend playing it!