Splatoon 2: Review In Progress

splatoon 2 review

Hey Inklings! Splatoon 2 is out today and it’s really grown on me in the past 24 hours. Thanks to the fine folks at Nintendo Canada I received the game Tuesday for review. Matches on both Tuesday evening and Wednesday were hit or miss due to connection errors but by last night and this morning, things are running smooth like peanut butter. I played match after match last night eventually reaching level 6. Until I hit level 10, hopefully after this weekend, and try ranked games I won’t have a definitive review in place but the game much like fine scotch does get better with time.

You just got stick it out.

Here’s what I’ve enjoyed so far:

Boss Battles in single player are incredibly fun. From the character design to the actual fights I’ve really enjoyed taking on the big bad guys in each of the 6 chapters.

Salmon Run is an exciting new feature and it’s awesome! It’s a zombie hoard-like mode that has players blasting ink at wave after wave of these creepy sea creatures called Salmonids in search of golden eggs. Salmon Run can be played locally (I have not tried) or online with up to three other players. Each Salmon Run consists of 3 rounds, each with a certain amount of golden eggs to collect. Water levels change, multiple bosses show up, and you’re stuck with a random selection of rotating weapons that can make thing extremely fun or incredibly frustrating. It’s challenging and constantly changing and rewarding players with special gear and other goodies. It’s a very welcome addition.

The Splashdown. The Splashdown is 1 of 8 new specials weapons in Splatoon 2 and it’s really fun to use. When powered up it allows players to deliever an earth-shattering punch while on foot or mid-squid jump. It’s a killer move that puts a large smile on my face.

The controls. Splatoon 2 feels both awesome in handheld mode with the joycons and with the Pro controller. My go to is the Pro but I’ve really enjoyed switching between the two options.

Visuals. The game runs at a blazingly fast 60fps and is 1080p. NICE.

Moray Towers is a damn good online level. It has you jumping off huge drops to meet the enemy. I’d love a map like this in Overwatch. I’d be happy just playing this map on repeat.

Here’s what I’ve found ok but need more time with:

Weapons, maps and collectibles. When you start the game you’re given one weapon, one of four hairstyles and not many customizable options but as you collect money you can buy more a few more items like guns, shirts, hats, and shoes. I found myself making money pretty fast and easily and was buying out the stores at rapid pace. I’m waiting to see how frequently stores are updated and what is brought to the table before I can tell if I really like the system or not. I want me a Mario Skin!

The Hub world is pretty reminiscent of the first game.  It’s called Inkopolis and allows players to leave outrageous drawings behind for others to see. I’ve noticed some serious lag in this area and the drawings don’t add anything to my experience. I’m curious to see how this evolves with a larger playerbase. It’s also home of Crusty Sean’s Food Truck, which is where players can trade in special tickets for special meals and drinks. I’ve only collected a few tickets so I’ve yet to unlock it’s full potential.

The story mode has 27 stages that allow you to try out a number of guns and moves (On loan) but it’s short and a lot of the cool features introduced like the rope line aren’t used in multiplayer. It’s a step up from the original Splatoon but it’s not that exciting.

Here’s what I do not like:

The biggest problem I have with Splatoon 2 is it’s not a very portable game. Splatoon 2 is primarily an online game so on my next flight or long road trip I’m not going be able to play it. I appreciate the inclusion of a story mode but I don’t see the replayability in it especially since the story is pretty nonexistent and short. Sure I could play Zelda or any of the amazing indie games that exist on the Switch but if you spend a majority of your time playing your Switch on the go this game is probably not for you. This is an at home game. The only work around here would be if someone else in your car or plane has a Switch with Splatoon 2 so you can play locally. Its not a deal breaker but it’s a heads up depending on your play style.

The waiting rooms are incredibly boring and frustrating. I constantly found myself in rooms looking for players to join and found myself sitting there idly. The game doesn’t provide any kind of image to fidget with, and you can’t back out. You’ll have to wait for the timer to countdown and boot you. With no easy voice chat option you can’t even talk to the strangers in the room. Most of the time I’d be sitting there watching the timer, give up and look at my phone and losing my interest in the game. You can change the music but that doesn’t add anything to the experience.

Speaking of music, I’d rather play this game on mute. I’m not a fan of the sounds and tunes. It’s repetitive and gets annoying pretty quickly.

You can’t change your weapon in between rounds. Ideally, you want everyone on your team to be using different weapons but because you don’t know what they’ve chosen till the match starts you’re stuck. This is a serious flaw that I hope gets addressed. I don’t wanna have to go back to the hub world to change my weapon and lose the team I was playing with.

Salmon Run as fun as it is can only be played online at designated times much like Splatfest! You can expect the Salmonids to attack constantly for the first three days after launch but after that they will be sporadic. I want to play Salmon Run all the time!

No single system co-op. BOOOOOOO. You can play co-op if your buddy has a Switch and the game but it’s a no go on the same system.

Motion controls. I turned those off immediately. You are stuck doing the tutorial with them on unfortunately.

Voice Chat. Nintendo please make this an easier process. I really wanna shoot the shit with my pals @ryanturford and @seancapri!

Splatoon 2 has definitely won me over after about 10 hours of playtime. I honestly couldn’t get into it until I had my stats up and a variety of weapons to choose from. It’s got a long way to go to be a great game but for now, it’s an enjoyable experience for a few hours at a time. Once I see some more of my friends on there I might get more of a kick out the game. There were points during the past few days I thought I was playing a demo but after last nights update, I am really enjoying the game. It also helps I’m not half bad and usually end up in the top 2 of 4 in my games.

I’m excited to see the free content Nintendo has promised over the next little while. Free DLC is a huge bonus! Splatoon 2 is much better than the original and is a fun game at its core. Happy inking my friends.

Splatoon 2 is now available in stores and in Nintendo eShop at a suggested retail price of $79.99. The new Splatoon series amiibo are available at a suggested retail price of $15.99 each. (Sorry, but rare jellyfish or seashells are not accepted as payment.)

If you want to play with me online add my friend code – SW-7313-7112-6730

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin 🕹 🎮 Twitter @brockmclaughlin New Media (B)Rockstar. Blogger. Video Gamer. Podcaster at the Game Moose. UnBrocxer. Host/Producer at @comedygamers4u. Somewhat Charming.

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