Staaay Fresh! Understanding the hype that is Splatoon.

19 June 2015

If you’re into gaming, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of this game. Heck, you might even own it. It’s the quirky, and definitely addictive “shooter” game from Nintendo, Splatoon. It’s been out since late May, but during the birthday weekend (13th), I finally picked it up.

MKGL Splatoon They see me rollin'

I remember when I first heard about it, I was like “what the heck is this game?!” And not in a “OMG MUST HAVE DAY 1” sort of way. I seriously couldn’t wrap my head around it. Even after it came out, I was a little hesitant. I knew it looked fun, and some of the others in my gaming league were raving… but… I mean. Squid people?!

I’ve had the game for less than a week, and I can tell you, if you have a Wii U, you should definitely pick this up.

Ok. So here’s the background that you need to know: Yes, this gets labeled as a “shooter” game, but really it’s more than that. It almost feels like some sort of old school playground game mixed in with elements of shooting games. I’ve never played paintball, maybe it’s like that… but we did A LOT of variations on capture the flag style games at summer camp. And this brings back those memories.

Now, I don’t like traditional shooting games. Running around killing things doesn’t really get me going. Running around trying to paint the entire map, defending your area, and taking out the enemy? Yeah, I can get behind that. And that’s basically what you’re doing in Splatoon. Your kill count doesn’t effect the final score. It’s all about who got the most paint on the ground. The battles are quick, just 3-minutes. And it’s so, so easy to catch yourself saying “just one more” for a couple hours before you finally put it down.

There’s also a 1-player story mode. I haven’t really gotten into that much yet, mainly because I keep working on leveling up and increasing my rank in battles. But I’ve heard many awesome things about the story mode, and if you want to take a good look at it, TJ‘s started filming them and you can check out the first video here.

Here are some of my initial thoughts regarding Splatoon’s battle mode:

» This is a game of percentages. It’s all about how much of the map you covered. Sometimes you’ll win big, sometimes you’ll lost hard. (As you can see below.) You can have 25 kills, but it doesn’t mean your team is going to win. Focus on the map and take out other players defensively. Don’t be that dick who lies hiding by the other team’s base sniping people right after they’ve respawned. (Not cool… just not cool.)

Photo Jun 15, 5 45 16 PM Photo Jun 16, 4 53 16 PM

» Definitely experiment with the different weapons. Each work for a different kind of game play. After about 10 hours I think I’ve found what works best for me, but a lot of times winning just depends on team work. Sometimes you get teamed up with people who really know how to support others on a team. Other times you get people who just go solo and don’t assist.

» Watch the map when you can. You’ll be able to watch your teammates, super jump to them if need be, and see the opposing team’s activity. Obviously, if you’re in the thick of things you can’t always spare a moment to look down. You can get a general idea of how your team is doing from the top of the screen. If your squids are big, it means you’re in the lead. If any squids have an X over them, that means someone was splatted (aka killed). If you’re not keeping an eye on your map, you can lose major ground.

» This may seem obvious, but for the love of Judd, COVER THE MAP. Get your base and the areas near by. Last thing you want to do is spend the last minute scrambling to cover land you could have gotten in the first 15 seconds, and it leaves it open for the opposing team to nab it. Seriously, nothing frustrates me more than seeing rollers run out to the middle and get in tangles with the enemy while the area by the base is left bare.

» Getting away from tactics and such… This game is just fun. It’s all bright colors: neon green, yellow, pink, bright blue, dark blue, fuchsia-y purple, bright orange… And then you’ve got all the weapons. Giant paint rollers and brushes, various squirt guns, even an NES zapper. There are special weapons like a missile launcher that creates a paint tornado-waterspout. Or one that creates a sonic boom and knocks out enemies in range (called the Killer Wail). The arenas have a surprising amount of places to explore. Also, I actually really like the music. You have all these bright colors and cute characters doing a silly thing like painting everything, and there’s this pseudo-metal in the background. I love it.

Splatoon: Inkling Rini

And then there’s the inklings. At first you’re all like “squid people? really?” … But yeah, the inklings grow on you. I mean, check out my girl. So fresh! (And yes, I’m #TeamCats.)

  • I was the same and originally ignored it because it was a shooter and I’m really not into those kinds of games. It really came onto my radar just before it released when gaming blogsphere exploded in rage over Nintendo’s decision to completely remove comms. I absolutely hate how gamers will tear apart a new title for not doing things the way “other” games do it, and so I am absolutely stoked to see it’s doing so well!

    Thanks for the great breakdown 🙂

  • Katie Conigliaro

    The second they announced this game at E3 I was freaking out. It was the first game I ever pre-ordered, and I beta tested it during their pre-release splat fests. I LOVE this game. My only complain is I regularly get kicked during games and when you’re in ranked battle mode that actually hurts your rank score. There have been many a profanity screamed at my tv.

    Katie @ katsyxo.com (well..soon anyway)

    • That stinks about getting kicked out of ranked games. I haven’t played in a while now, so I don’t remember that happening. But I also didn’t do too many ranked. But the gaming league has been playing more, and getting to team up with them has been awesome!

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