I remember when the first Splatoon game was announced. At a time of the Wii U and yet another senseless fool going “oh Nintendo doesn’t make anything new, it just uses its IPs”. Well for one, that’s something Nintendo has that the others don’t but also, they were proved wrong with such a bizarre concept, that ended up keeping the ailing console going for a bit longer in time for the Switch and the inevitable sequel, and now we have a sequel to that with the 3rd in this franchise.
So right off, if you have played Splatoon 1 or 2 this game will fit you easily. Mechanically there is no difference. I couldn’t notice any real control different between 2 and 3. It’s also worth noting if you have saved data from 2 that will transfer things like Ranked level over to 3 allowing you to get back into that action early.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of additions. We have new weapon types, a new location, a new story a new card game mode. Plenty of tweaks. Hey if it aint broke don’t fix it. Splatoon works so don’t destroy what worked.
So right off you can now choose an Inkling or Octoling right away, either gender and customize their appearance somewhat. Previously you needed to Octo expansion to play as an octoling but now you can get it right from the start. There are a few new weapon types and most of the super moves have been changed plus the cooperative horde mode salmon run is now constantly available.
We have our new idol group Deep Cut which this time is a trio bringing 3 choices to splatfests instead of 2, but also make prominent appearances in the new story mode unlike the idols of the second game who had to wait for the expansion for that (Off the hook will apparently be showing up in dlc for this game released later).
The new story mode takes a lot of cues from the octo expansion in how it works. With levels having much more challenges and different weapons you pick at the start, ones less suited for the task offering higher rewards. The end of the story even plays out more how octo expansion ended with a series of levels leading to the final boss rather than just entry way to the final boss. Definitely though this game we are able to get much more personality out of characters early on this time in the story.
The game is not without its faults, some of the challenges in story mode just aren’t fun. Any level that has you on rails if you choose the harder weapon just… don’t… Salmon run has quite a bit of tuning by the looks of it with one particular enemy I would have preferred dropped and the New King Salmonid needing quite a few tweaks including a horrible drop rate for his special currencies. Sadly, these facts prevent me from giving it 5 out of 5.
All in all though, it’s still Splatoon, it’s still fun. The multiplayer works great. Sure, you have to get used to the weapon you use but when you find one you like you do well. I do think they could have moved some of the ranked only modes into casual however to spice up casual a bit more. Currently waiting on the first splatfest post release and I can see if doing it as 3 choices rather than just 2 will sort one of the major issues with splatfests (namely popular always lost because it would fight itself and get no points while making the vote part almost worthless). But let’s get our giant oversized rollers, dink them with colourful ink while we enjoy some nice tunes while we splat.