Tag Archives: Splatoon

Splatoon 3 Review

Yeah, I know, I’m about two months late. Better late than never, right?

Splatoon 3 was a game I was very excited about ever since watching the gameplay trailer back in April. The fast-paced combat and improved specials made me think Splatoon finally achieved its highest form. Did it? Well, that depends.

Splatoon 3 and Splatoon 2 are very similar in a lot of ways. Granted, you could argue that all Splatoon games are similar to each other, and you wouldn’t be wrong. It’s the addition of weapons, new stages, and overall balancing that makes each Splatoon unique. Of course, the single-player campaign is different in each game as well, but let’s face it, that’s not the reason you buy a Splatoon game.

This game also introduces lockers, a customizable locker that adds nothing to the gameplay, but it sure is fun to decorate. In fact, I found myself addicted to this game partially for the locker system alone. It was fun spending money at the general store to buy stickers, items, and colors for my locker. At levels 15 and 30, your locker size will increase, giving you even more room to decorate, fueling your addiction. Pls help.

My locker in Splatoon 3

It is also unique in that you can test out weapons while waiting for a match to start. While I do miss the minigames from the original Splatoon, it is a step up from Splatoon 2’s nothing. No, pressing buttons to alter music doesn’t count.

Splatoon 3’s single campaign is also very addicting. This was the first single-player campaign where I felt encouraged and excited to try out new weapons. The way the stages were designed made me have a blast playing with weapons I normally would never touch. The stages were also very well thought out, and none of them were particularly boring or so difficult that I found myself rage-quitting. The story was also a breath of fresh air, finally focusing on something that wasn’t the Great Zap Fish or the Octarians. While I didn’t particularly enjoy the final boss, I had a blast with this mode.

But by far, the biggest improvements of this game are the quality of life improvements. Battling with friends has never been easier. Gone are the days when one person would join a lobby and the other three or four would be sitting there, waiting for a slot to open just to be disconnected the moment the match started. No, now you can create a lobby that your friends can join and search from there. My only question is… Why can you switch gear in Turf Wars but not League Battles? This is especially infuriating when playing with a group of friends. If one person wants to switch out gear, everyone¬†has to leave the lobby, wait for the host to recreate it, and rejoin, just so that one person can change their weapon. Seriously, fix this.

Disconnecting has also been fixed. Somewhat. If a player disconnects within the first minute of the game, the match immediately ends in a draw. Okay? Part of me finds this more annoying than having one less player on my team. Why couldn’t they add an AI player instead? Not to mention if you’re playing League Battles and a player disconnects three minutes in, you’re either severely disadvantaged or have a huge advantage. Overall, I think this could have been handled better.

League Battles have mostly remained the same as they were in Splatoon 2, with Clam Blitz receiving a slight update, from what I’m told. The only thing different now is that you have one shared rank between the modes. This change actually confused me. I imagine the ranks were separate in previous games to avoid a wonky balancing system. Say one person was extremely good at Splat Zones but terrible in Clam Blitz. They could play Splat Zones all day and get to A+, and then decide they want to do a match of Clam Blitz, which subsequently is now A+. Levels are hidden in Turf War, and so are ranks in League, so I’m not entirely sure if players are still being matched with other players their same rank.

Finally, it all comes down to the gameplay. I think the specials have been balanced far more than any previous Splatoon game. Bomb Rush being removed was a big improvement, especially with how common it was in Splatoon 2. None of these specials make me feel like I’m screwed with no way out. Except for Reef Lux. Please, nerf this thing. It kills me every time.

The biggest change to the gameplay, however, is the speed. EVERYTHING is so much faster now! This is the Smash Melee of Splatoon. And it is for this sole reason that Splatoon 3 has become my least favorite in the series. Everything is way too fast and I no longer have time to think or react. All of the weapons I used to play in the previous two games I now hate, because I can’t play them the same way. I’ve been forced into playing weapons I don’t usually play because I essentially have to relearn the game to find what does and doesn’t work.

I know this is more so a personal problem (even if a couple people have told me they have the same problem), and I don’t by any means think this game is bad. This game is amazing in a lot of ways, as previously stated. Me, personally? I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love so many of the features that were tweaked or added, but because of this one change, I find myself playing it less and less. In fact, I have been playing the first two games a lot more recently, and I’m finding the first game to potentially be my favorite. It doesn’t have a lot of Splatoon 2’s spammy specials, but it also has fewer weapons and fewer techniques. That’s okay. I don’t think Splatoon necessarily needs to be a flashy game with precision perfect moves.

Splatoon 3 is a fantastic game, but it’s not for me. I hope this review helps shed light for anyone who is currently struggling with the newest entry on why this game feels so different than the last two, or why you’re finding certain weapons don’t work for you like they used to. For anyone who hasn’t played it, I would still highly recommend this game, especially if you do prefer faster games!

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My Experience Replaying OG Splatoon

About a month ago, I decided I wanted to try replaying Splatoon on the Wii U. There was just one problem. My Wii U wouldn’t recognize the disc. Okay, try another disc. Mario Kart 8? Fine. Xenoblade Chronicles X? Fine. Star Fox Zero? Fine. Mario Maker? That thing hasn’t worked in ages. Why is every disc except Splatoon (and Mario Maker) working?! Maybe there’s some invisible scratch? A smudge somewhere? There’s this tiny little smudge that can barely be classified as a smudge. Maybe that’s it? Is it safe to clean a disc with a baby wipe? If it safe for glasses it’s safe for a disc! Or so I was told by Google! Nope. Nada. Maybe actually give the disc a chance to dry.

A month later, a new trailer for Splatoon 3 was shown. Huh, this looks closer to the original than 2. If only Splatoon for the Wii U worked! What’s that? The eshop will stop accepting credit cards after next month? Time to wishlist Donkey Kong 64!

Then I noticed it. Something… beautiful. Something I had been craving the entire month to see.

THIS WAS IT! DJ OCTOROK REVIVED HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD TO BRING MY COPY OF SPLATOON BACK TO LIFE!

Or the disc dried. Either or.

This was it! My chance to play Splatoon again! Man… Was the game always this blurry? Or this loud for that matter? I’m (really not) positive my Wii U won’t implode!

All right. Time to select a weapon and try out a match-

Welp. No biggie! Just try again! Got my weapon, the lobby filled up instantly. Wait, why isn’t there any music? The sound effects work just fine. This is getting creepy-

Really funny. Okay, just try it again. My Wii U sounds like it will combust at any moment, but I’ve gotta at least get through one match!

Maybe one more time? This time, starting up the game made my Wii U crash entirely. The next time also made it crash. Maybe I should stop- Nahhh, this is too fun.

I did eventually make it into another match. I didn’t even get to play for a minute by the time the dreaded error showed up again. Before anyone asks why I don’t just buy another disc, the thing is… The problem isn’t the disc. It’s the disc drive. Several Wii U owners have complained about random discs not being read. These users have gone through multiple discs, even going so far as to buy a brand new copy of the game. The most frequent games to have this problem are Mario Maker (well that explains that!) and New Super Mario Bros. U. It can happen with any Wii U game as we can see with my copy of Splatoon.

So the moral of the story is…

I GOT TO SEE KILLER WAIL BEFORE MY WII U CRASHED!

Update: I decided to try it again after making this post. I don’t know why, but suddenly the game works. I was able to make it through an entire match. The music occasionally cuts out, but otherwise runs fine. New moral of the story: If something doesn’t work, complain.

Splatoon 3 or Mario Kart 9? Did the Wii U Ever Happen?

Mario Kart has been around for a while now. We’ve seen it ever since the SNES games. A new Mario Kart game releases each generation without fail. Super Mario Kart for the SNES, Mario Kart 64 for the N64, Mario Kart Super Circuit for the GBA, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS. and finally, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. No, Mario Kart Tour doesn’t count. There was even some speculation that Mario Kart 9 would also release for the Wii U. …Yeah, I don’t know where people got that idea from.

Mario Kart released in 2014 for the Wii U. Later in 2014, the first DLC pack released, featuring three new racers and eight new courses. In 2015, the next DLC pack released with another three racers and eight courses. This was the first time Mario Kart had ever received DLC, let alone paid DLC. But it wasn’t surprising. This was around the time DLC really started taking off.

In 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe released for the Nintendo Switch, a month after the Switch itself released. This was a direct port of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, with all of its DLC included. Okay, understandable. Mario Kart 8 was a HUGE success on the Wii U, it makes sense to bring it over to the Switch, especially this early in its lifetime. Little strange that they didn’t release 9 instead of porting it over, but I guess it makes sense from a business stand point. They’re just releasing this to hold us over until Mario Kart 9 releases, right?

Five years later in 2022 when Mario Kart 8 may as well be dead, it was announced that 48 retro tracks would be released as paid DLC that you could by standalone, or included in the online membership program.

Seriously???

So they decided to rerelease 48 tracks that are basically a port of Mario Kart Tour’s tracks, from the mobile game, with only slight revisions to make the art style fit the rest of the game? Why? Is Nintendo just that lazy that they’re choosing to milk Mario Kart 8 with lazy ports of old courses and charge money for them instead of creating an entirely new game? Like they’ve done for literally every system?

Toad Circuit looks especially lazy this time around. I’d argue that it was more impressive on the 3DS during its time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tracks from this new DLC that I love,. Especially the Mario Kart Tour tracks Paris Promenade and Ninja Hideout. I’m glad we get to experience these courses on a console. But at the same time, why not bring these courses back in a new Mario Kart game? That’s the thing about this DLC pack. They’re all retro courses. Some of them are retro courses we’ve seen brought back before such as Choco Mountain and Coconut mall. Why not include these 48 new retro tracks in Mario Kart 9? You have half of a game right there. Sure, it’s more work creating entirely new tracks when you can lazily port tracks over and call it DLC. But with a little extra work, you can charge 30 more dollars and sell it as a new game. This is just laziness at its finest.

Paris Promenade actually looks really nice in this game. Most of the original Tour tracks do, with a few exceptions.

The sad thing is, this DLC pack pretty much seals the fate of Mario Kart 9. It most likely won’t release until the next system.

Now we have Splatoon. A fairly new IP that Nintendo released in 2014 for the Wii U. I like to think of 2014-2016 as Nintendo’s experimental years, where they kept pushing new IPs or using existing IPs in new ways such as Splatoon, Code Name Steam, Amiibo Festival, Chibi Robo, Mario Maker, Triforce Heroes, etc. While most of these ideas were… failures, to say the least, Splatoon was a phenomenal success. In fact, Splatoon was such a big success that they decided to release a sequel for the Switch in 2017.

Splatoon 2 was also a phenomenal success, selling twice as much as the original. It was very similar to its predecessor, but now featured more weapons, new subs and specials, more ranked modes, the addition of Salmon Run, and of course, paid DLC. The paid DLC added playable octolings as well as a new solo campaign.

Both games featured events known as Splatfests. Splatfests would have a theme, such as Ketchup vs Mayo, Unicorn vs Narwhal, Pineapple vs no Pineapple, etc. Each player would pick the side they agreed with (or didn’t agree with, their choice) and would fight for that side. The winning team was determined by popularity and clout. The final Splatfest for the original game came two years after its initial release. Many fans thought Splatoon 2’s Splatfests would go on for longer considering the growing popularity and the fact that it released at the beginning of the Switch’s life, but Splatfests also ended two years later. After Splatfests ended, that more or less marked the end of updates to the game. It still gets updated from time to time to fix bugs, but weapons and stages are no longer being added to the game. The same was true for both the original and the sequel. Oddly enough, a year after Splatoon 2’s Splatfests ended, a rematch of Ketchup vs Mayo was announced. Three more Splatfests were held after that, two of which were entirely new.

Splatoon was a game that was predicted to release much like Mario Kart: One game per console. However, in 2021 it was announced that Splatoon 3 would be releasing for the Switch sometime the following year.

What? Did Nintendo just prioritize Splatoon over Mario Kart? Don’t get me wrong, Splatoon is a well loved game that many fans want to see more of. But it has literally been 8 years since a new Mario Kart game has released. Deluxe doesn’t count. They chose to make an entirely new Splatoon game and release ported retro tracks as DLC for Mario Kart 8? What even was the thought process for this???

This of course could just be Nintendo being lazy and going for the quick buck instead of investing time into a new game, which is what I’m more inclined to believe. However, at times it almost seems like they’re trying to make everyone forget that the Wii U ever existed. Games like Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, New Super Mario Bros U, Super Mario 3D World were all ported to the Switch. Games like Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World and Mario Maker received sequels almost immediately after the Switch launched. Almost all of the Wii U’s successful titles (Xenoblade X where are youuuu) were either ported or otherwise received sequels on the Switch, giving you little to no reason to ever buy a Wii U. Could it be that Nintendo wants us to forget their Wii U mistake? Is this why Mario Kart 8 is on the Switch and not 9?

No, that’s a little too much conspiracy theory. But it is fun to speculate, and makes me slightly less angry that Mario Kart 9 still isn’t out.