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REVIEW: Splatoon 2

The best thing about Splatoon 2 is that it feels like a quality continuation to the original. Some games go out of their way to change what works. Instead, Splatoon 2 adds to the fun with a new mode, a fresh single player story campaign, and of course lots of great multiplayer PVP action! This release is comfortable but an expansive enough update to warrant a sequel. Plus there’s still more goodies being released post launch, so there’s always more to come!

For the uninitiated, Splatoon features characters called Inklings in what many fans believe to be a post-human world. There’s these competitions held between them where they blast each other with different colored ink and try to cover as much turf in their teams color as possible. This whole concept alone is really neat to behold. I’m not sure but I think the paint effects have even been improved for this sequel. Regardless, when you use your attacks with various weapons you’ll paint the ground up with big puddles of your current color. Not only can this be used as cover by turning into a squid and diving into these ink puddles, but it refills your ink ammo to do so. But wait, there’s more! Painting floors and even walls allows you to swim along them in squid form.

Personally I’ve always been a fan of the single player component of Splatoon and I was happy to see it return in the sequel. This time Callie has gone missing and Marie is undercover trying to find out what has happened. The Great Zapfish is gone again too but I’m sure we all saw that coming. Like the previous release single player has five areas with multiple levels to discover in each. I do mean discover too because the kettles which activate them are invisible and you need to wander around to find them. This aspect alone is fun since you sometimes need decent puzzling skills to figure out what walls to paint and swim up. In a way it has a similar feel to Portal really, just not as intense.

Splatoon 2 goes even further than the original by adding Salmon Run. It’s essentially a survival co-op horde mode in which you’ll try to harvest eggs from Salmonids creatures. The coolest thing about this mode is that it’s clearly not just tacked on. Salmon Run not only has you trying your best on a team of four, but also features some pretty sweet boss battles. The best part is that there is a solid ten bosses to battle against. Ten! So you need to change up your tactics and pay attention to what one you’re fighting to try and earn golden eggs to earn a profit in this new mode. As much as I like single player, this new mode really captured my attention. It’s a lot of fun and it felt good to be on a team helping your fellow Inklings with an actual enemy instead of fighting against one another.

Salmon Run

Of course there still gear to purchase with in game currency you earn through Turf War PVP battles and Salmon Run. Various pieces of gear like shirts, shoes, and hats all give boosts and bonuses to your character as well. This includes unlocks for some pieces of gear as you play more. I really like to just be a dork and dress my Inkling the way I like.

All of your gear and new weapons are purchased in the games new hub area. While it feels familiar it also has it’s own unique flair. There is a return of Miiverse like postings as well from each player character that populates your hub. They don’t actually move around or such, but they add to the city section and make it more lively. I think though that the social area really highlights where the game should go as a series. Multiplayer stages have already begun to move towards areas that feel more like real world locations and the hub area of Inkopolis Square just adds to that yearning. It would be cool to see more of Inkopolis accessible much like city sections of Yakuza games. That and like before I’d still like to see apartments or such be added to the game to give players more loot to grind for in PVP.

For what it is though Splatoon 2 is fantastic! It adds more of what you want and even switches up the intros to your play sessions with two new announcers. Marina and Pearl are fun additions that are a reminder that this is a sequel. Instead of just having Callie and Marie starring again, these two add fresh life into the stage announcement screens that greet you each day. Speaking of stages, the new selection of arenas in Splatoon 2 are great! I love the new additions more than the original and I find they get me playing PVP more than I normally would have. There’s more detail it feels like and new areas such as a skate park and a large sailing ship are great additions. PVP is as much fun as ever and with the addition of special weapon abilities it has a new feel to it.

Splatoon 2, much like the original game’s catch phrase, stays fresh. In handheld mode, docked to play on the TV, with motion controls or without, the game controls well. My wife actually preferred playing with motion controls and in handheld mode. When I was playing I preferred the TV and no motion controls myself. It’s easy to find a play style that suits you and if anything this sequel feels easier to interact with.

So is it worthwhile to pick up the latest Inkling outing? I’d say so. Salmon Run is a perfect addition to the game and allows for you to change up your play style if you get bored with PVP or single player. There’s a lot to the game to keep you going and the setting feels as fun as ever! Nintendo has a hit on their hands yet again and hopefully over the years Splatoon will continue to evolve. I’d say it’s worthwhile to join in, play the occasional Splatfest events that pit players on polarizing sides of an argument such as ketchup or mayo, and enjoy the continuing fun!

I want to thank Nintendo for our press coverage of Splatoon 2 as well. I personally got to break the story of Splatoon 2’s story mode after an event earlier this year in Toronto. After my close friend and founder of BrokenJoysticks.net posted my article on Reddit many news outlets online picked up the story. I’d searched beforehand to see if anyone had said anything about Splatoon 2’s single player campaign and I didn’t see any news. So I don’t know if I was, but if I really did break the news I’m truly honored to have been a part of it in such a huge way!

If you haven’t played Splatoon before and you love PVP action, it’s worthwhile to look into this game. We’re all waiting on more titles for the Switch but there’s some great stuff out there and the consoles are becoming much more plentiful. With bundles on the way for the holidays it’s a great time to switch up your gaming and get into Nintendo’s new console / handheld hybrid. Zelda is a huge adventure that is a must have for the Switch, but Splatoon 2 and it’s multiplayer will have you coming back for more.

Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9
Overall 9