Game of the Month: Splatoon

By James Page

Developer: Nintendo
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Release Date: 05/29/2015
System: Wii U

Graphics: 3.5 out of 4.0
Game Play: 3.5 out of 4.0
Personal: 2.0 out of 2.0
Total Score: 9.0 out of 10.0

Player’s Page: Splatoon

Are the summer blues starting to set in? Do the normal activities such as baseball, swimming, and riding bike seem like a played out chore? Are your friends starting to seem stale due to the scorching heat of the long days? If you can answer yes to any of these questions then there is one simple solution. Kick your boring summer life to the curb and grab a bucket of paint it’s time to get fresh and rain down havoc on your enemies.

AugustLiveFromJapan1Travel to the wonderful city of Inkopolis, a place where the residents focus on the choicest fashion, the hippest moves, and the maddest skills. The squid-like inhabitants of this city would normally be a flat as day old soda, but they have developed a method of entertainment using their natural abilities and their desire for competition. In this city the citizens battle one another in games of violence and painting. Ink battles are all the rage and only the most talented and dedicated participants can reach the freshest of rankings.

To climb the rankings you must heed the call of the ink. Pick up a gun, grab some cans of paint, and coat the world in your color. However, there will be those who will stand in your way and believe that they are fresher than yourself. Slow them down by showing them the superiority of your color on the land. When they are trudging through your ink the time is right for you to splat them into a pile of oh so unfresh ink. When the dust settles everyone will know that your skills and talent have made you the freshest squid on the block, and you can rest easy with the knowledge that your summer blues have been erased by a rainbow of colorful ink.

Splatoon is a squad based shooter where teams face off against one another in battles to lay down the most ink. Players will assume the role of an inkling, a human squid hybrid creature; and participate in solo challenges or team battles. During these events, the player will be able to utilize the unique characteristics of the inkling to gain an upper hand over opponents and challenging terrain. Inklings are able to turn into squid and can submerge themselves in ink to traverse through areas which are painted with their color. This skill allows the inkling to quickly move across the land, scale vertical walls, hide from enemies, and maneuver into an advantageous position against foes.

AugustLiveFromJapan2The solo challenges allow a player to hone the skills necessary to master the main portion of the game. The player will traverse through a series of stages, which increase in difficulty; and battle against the evil octopus-like Octarians in order to rescue the Great Zapfish. Zapfish are essentially electrified catfish, and the Great Zapfish is the largest and most powerful of all the Zapfish. The solo challenges also flesh out the story of the game by providing background on certain characters and game play staples.

The heart of Splatoon rests with the team battles. Ink battles are between two teams consisting of four participants each, and the goal is to cover the most ground in the specific colored ink of your team. There are numerous weapons a player can choose from to help make this task a little bit easier including rapid fire guns, long range charging rifles, and gigantic paint rollers. Each weapon set comes with certain sub weapons, such as grenades and mines; as well as a special ability which can be truly devastating if properly utilized.

Fear not, players can also attack each other in addition to covering the ground with ink, and all opponents explode in blast of ink once there are defeated thus covering the ground in more of your team’s ink. From time to time Nintendo will hold special, limited time; events known as Splatfests which group players together based on the preference of one of two choices, such as cats or dogs; and awards special prizes for participation.

AugustLiveFromJapan3Players are able to customize their inkling via different types of hats, shirts, and shoes. Each item can be upgraded to bestow special skills boosts to the inkling during ink battles. In order to obtain new items and weapons one must purchase them from one of several shops using coins obtained through ink battles. However, if buying from a store does not seem like the hippest thing in the world the player can travel to a back alley to purchase “legitimate” items from a mysterious stranger.

Splatoon is a surprisingly fun and addictive game from Nintendo. The graphics and soundtrack combine to heighten the experience of the unique game play elements and make for an immersive experience in more than one way. The game allows for head to head game play on one console and can also drop an individual player into a match against random online opponents.

The seemingly simple game play premise will quickly fade into memory as one is immersed in a surprisingly complex game which absorb many hours of one’s day.

Remember, like all games if you play them just to have fun there will never be a bad game.

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