When it comes right down to it, there’s just something special about Splatoon. When it was revealed, we weren’t sure what to make of it, then we got to see more and more of it and we realized it was something cool. A couple of Global Splatfests later and we were hooked. Splatoon became one of the best selling games on the Wii U in a way that mattered, and all eyes were on Nintendo to bring it back, and soon. Little did we know that “soon” would mean 2 years later. Little did we know just how good that sequel, Splatoon 2, would be.
Game Name: Splatoon 2
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Price: $59.99 | Amazon
Now, I will admit that those that binged the Wii U original will need to take some time to get the controls down. I myself played in Tablet Mode solely, so I can’t speak to how the Joy-Cons work separately or how it works on the docked form, it’s just not how I like to play my Switch. Regardless though, once you find your favorite way to play, Splatoon 2 will show you everything you want and more.
Turf War is back, and it’s just as glorious as ever. But in a twist, even though there are old and new maps in the game, many of the old maps have gotten some additions and improvements. Mooray Towers, for example, has rails that you can go into to get to higher or lower ground. Port Mackerel has the sponge blocks that were in the story mode from the original game. These subtle changes make the maps feel new, not that they needed to because even now, these maps are a blast to play. The new ones add some fresh ink to the formula, and it all adds up to a great experience.
Speaking of fresh ink, the Nintendo Switch really makes Splatoon 2 pop. From the character models, to how everything is rendered, to the subtle animations that make it all the more beautiful, it’s good stuff. Pearl and Marina are great examples of this, as you’ll notice little extra details as they announce the new stages and events.
Also new is the slew of fresh (and returning) weapons that truly change up the Splatoon 2 formula. There are new ways to play, and more are coming, and with new sub-weapons and Specials, you’ll want to fight hard in order to get the best combo. I’m eagerly awaiting the combo of the Splat Dualies and the Inkjet. I do wish some of the original specials stayed, but I can understand why they wanted to show off these new ones.
Story Mode is also back, and as I outlined in my preview, it’s just as good as the original game, if not better. The level design is tight, battling old and new versions of the Octarians who once again steal the great Zapfish…they really need a hobby. You’ll be seeing the levels from all-new perspectives, and you will need to think about how you progress through some of them, it’s not a cakewalk.
Seeing Marie return to guide you on your quest is fun, and she makes numerous references to the original game that you’ll enjoy no doubt. It’s still short, however, it really is the perfect tutorial for how the game plays not just in the style, but with all the weapons you can get. I know you might want to rush off to do Turf War or Ranked Battle, or League Battle, but trust me, the Story Mode is totally worth it.
Do you want to know what’s also worth it? Salmon Run.this mode is addictive to high heaven in the best way possible. You might call it Splatoon 2‘s Horde Mode, but by the time you play a few rounds, you’ll only refer to it as Salmon Run. It truly twists the Splatoon formula by making teamwork absolutely essential, because if you don’t have it? You will die. Plus, the challenge here is much greater than Turf War or the other battle modes, as numerous kinds of Salmonids are just waiting to get their hands on you. True, the mode is restricted in how long you can play it, and that will rub you the wrong way at times. But when you do get to play it? Yeah, it’s something special.
Which brings me to the fact that honestly can’t be ignored, this game is just plain fun! Because of the review code restrictions, I was only able to play the game at certain times to ensure that my fellow reviewers and I were able to get matches going. So when the Splatfest came up? And I got to play it for hours on end with others? It reminded me just how free and fun this title is.
There’s just something special about Splatoon 2. Maybe it’s all the modes and content (that many fans noted was lacking when the original game launched), maybe it’s the style that the world is shown off in, or maybe it’s just fun shooting people with in, I don’t know! But what I do know, is that I loved Splatoon, and I love Splatoon 2.
Now yes, there are faults. Story Mode is great, but, there are a lot of times when you are forced to wield a certain weapon. This is ok for the first time, but when you’re advancing and these restrictions keep happening? It’s kind of annoying. Which also goes for the dialogue in the mode that sometimes repeats for no reason (I’m looking at you Sheldon!).
Gameplay wise, the camera does have issues at times. Despite being able to adjust the camera, I still feel it could be better, and it feels as though I always have to play with the tablet leaned away from me.
Finally, I wish that in Turf War you could play with two friends and one random person, instead, they make it so you have to play with four people. Thankfully, Salmon Run doesn’t require that, but, the others do, and that feels like a step back instead of a step forward.
But these small problems aside, Splatoon 2 is still a magnificent game and the fact that we’re getting this within the first six months of the Nintendo Switch’s release? Yeah, that’s a blessing. I wish I knew 7 people around me so I could join them in local multiplayer matches, but I’ll be fine joining random people online or my friends across the globe.
I’m going to be playing this game for a long time, and I have a feeling you will be too.
Review Disclosure Statement: Splatoon 2 was provided to us by Nintendo of America for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Want more game reviews from The Outerhaven? Consider the following:
Splatoon 2 Review
Splatoon 2 is an incredible sequel that brings you new joy while still maintaining the fun and style that made it great. New weapons and Salmon Run make the sequel stand out even more, and this is a must buy for all Switch owners!
- A great sequel that brings new modes, weapons, and fun to a game that was already great.