Splatoon 2 Review
Splatoon was the surprisingly popular Wii U game that was Nintendo’s answer to shooters. With its huge success, a sequel was imminent, and that sequel is Splatoon 2. Yes, it should have been called Splat2n, but, what can you do? So, does the sequel improve on the original, or was this a one time deal?
Before we get into the story of Splatoon 2, some background knowledge. In the world of Splatoon, there are two races, the Inklings and Octarians. Most Octarians are bad, but some, like Marina, are good. However, in Splatoon, you fought off the Octarian menace, led by DJ Octavio, and with the help of the Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie. However, when Splatoon 2 starts, not only has the Great Zapfish, the source of power in Inkopolis Square, and Callie has gone missing. So, things aren’t looking to good.
After you’re given a tutorial when booting up the game for the first time, you can see Marie standing in a corner of the square, If you follow her, you end up in Octo Valley, the hub world for the single player mode. She tells you about Callie being gone and the Octarians attacking again. Marie then grants you the title Agent 4. Callie is Agent 1, Marie is Agent 2, and the original Splatoon had you become Agent 3, so it’s a nice little throwback.
The story mode has you play many different, and very unique levels, all culminating in you getting a Zapfish at the end of the level. These levels are so much better than the original games, and it’s all because of the unique set pieces. There are objects like dash tracks, and my favorite, the grind rails. These have you ride along the ink rail while blasting away at Octarians, and I love how it’s used in the final battle.
Once you’ve reached the final world and beat all the levels, you reach the final boss, Callie and DJ Octavio. They fight like in Splatoon, with huge rocket fists that you have to shoot back. Marie then arrives and shoots off Callie’s hypnoglasses, which was what made her loyal to DJ Octavio. This is what really bothers me about the story, Callie is not used correctly at all. She’s introduced in the beginning, and in the end. In the end, she doesn’t do anything though, so this fight is really only meaningful for Splatoon players and not newcomers to the series. Either way, the final part of the fight is the highlight of the boss fights. You use a modified Rainmaker that shoots ink rockets, and use ink rails to knock out DJ Octavio. So you, Agent 4 saved Inkopolis, and reunited the Squid Sisters.
Although Splatoon 2 is a shooter, it has a large variety of gameplay modes, one of the features which makes it so unique. For the sake of time, I will be giving a brief description of each mode.
This is the main mode of the game, and what you’ll be playing most of the time. You, along with three other teammates must cover more land than the other team.
The new mode on the block, you and up to three other players collect precious golden eggs, while fighting off Salmonids, some more threatening than others.
For info on what a Splatfest is, along with the theme and results of the first Splatoon 2 Splatfest, check here. Also, the next Splatfest theme is…Mayo vs Ketchup. You can choose your team the first weekend in August.
These next three modes are only available for play in the Ranked Mode, which gives you a rank based on your wins and losses. However, you can only play in this mode after reaching level 10.
Cover large areas on the map with your ink, and keep the enemy team away from those areas.
You must ride a moving tower into a goal point located on the enemy team’s side.
Carry a rocket launcher type weapon into the enemy’s base.
These are two hour battles that are highly competitive, that won’t affect an individual’s rank. You must be at least rank B- to access these however.
These are all in addition to Octo Valley, which is the story mode of Splatoon 2. In short, it has you go through different worlds, each ending with bosses. For specific information, check the story section above.
Splatoon 2 has the graphics and aesthetic of 90’s Nickoledeon. Colorful slime, and radical vernacular is abundant in Inkopolis. The Inklings are able to be squids and kids, with both designs looking very good, and having the team colors incorporated into the design. Speaking of which, the two colors for teams always work well together, so not only are the battles epic, they look nice too.
Splatoon 2 is great, but still succumbs to a few problems, some of which are the same as the original game’s. One problem I have is that stages don’t have many of the set pieces used in Single player mode. On some stages there are inkrails or sponges, but they just aren’t the most interesting. This doesn’t stop the game from being a very fun experience, and, although I felt that the story could have been changed to be a bit stronger, it was still quite fun. It definetly shows that Nintendo has started to master the shooter, and now have that much more variety in their game catalog.