Splatoon

Date Completed: November 2, 2015

Splatoon-Box-Art
I heard about Splatoon from the Nintendo Direct presentations and from the very beginning I thought it looked like a lot of fun.  The whole shooter genre is often ignored on Nintendo platforms for reasons that I won’t speculate on here and this looked like a fun game I could play with the kids.  It just so happened to launch right before my birthday so it was a no brainer to put it on my wish list.

The most unique part about Splatoon is the ink diving mechanic.  You can paint a whole level with ink that you can dive into and swim around in at an accelerated speed.  When I first heard about this mechanic I thought it would be complicated to control but the implementation is actually quite simple.  You can dive into ink to avoid being shot, hide from enemies and bypass obstacles.  It’s a lot of fun and I can see several other games benefiting from this particular mechanic.  Splatoon racing?  Splatoon Soccer?  Splatoon House-Designer?  Maybe not that last one…

Splatoon has a single player mode but it is clearly meant to be a multi-player game.  I could see myself playing a lot of this game if I didn’t have kids, a job or other games to play but these days my time is limited.  I prefer to dedicate my energy towards games that have clear endings, not towards open ended multiplayer games.  I tried a few multiplayer matches which I enjoyed but I haven’t been online in several months now.

I spent most of my time in single player mode. Single player is more of a series of obstacle courses bespeckled with occasional boss fights.  It’s a completely different experience from the online modes but is still quite a bit of fun.  The only down side is that it’s fairly short.  There is also a local multiplayer mode that I tried to avoid playing whenever possible because my kids were awful at it and they would get frustrated if I didn’t stand still in front of them so they could shoot me.

Long story short, Splatoon is a fantastic game.  My only complaint with the game is that after playing for about 30 minutes I kept getting motion sick.  At first I thought I was coming down with an illness of some kind (The kids are germ traps after all) but I quickly realized that I only felt sick after playing Splatoon.  I traced the issue back to the motion controls – I was using motion controls on high sensitivity for aiming because that gave me the best control.  After switching to analog controls I didn’t have any more issues with motion sickness.  I’ve played video games for decades, often in the back of moving vehicles on twisty mountain passes and this is my first experience ever with gaming related motion sickness.  Is this a sign that I’m getting old?  I hope not.

Pros

  • Fun Ink Diving Mechanic
  • Lots of post-release updates / support

Cons

  • Single player mode is lacking.
  • I got motion-sick.
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 8/10
Length:  ~10 hours
System: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Action / Shooter

 

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