We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
WiiU

North America

Splatoon (Wii U) Review

by Neal Ronaghan - May 31, 2015, 5:31 pm PDT
Total comments: 57

9

Nintendo’s foray into online shooters is radical and tubular, as long as the servers hold up.

Splatoon is uncharted territory for Nintendo. Removing the flashy Nickelodeon aesthetic and totally awesome “squidcore” soundtrack, this is a third-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on online play. Nintendo rarely makes games that check off both of those boxes. Maybe they should dip into unfamiliar genres more often, because Splatoon is incredible every step of the way, despite a few frustrating limitations and choices. The online is addictive and packed with depth and strategy. The single-player adventure, while short, rightfully earns comparisons to 3D Mario games. This is a full package that contains more unbridled joy and fun than you can shake a squid at.

It all starts with the feeling of controlling your Inkling. The hook to Splatoon is that you can switch between humanoid and squid form on the fly. You can only shoot ink while in humanoid form, but you can swim through your team’s ink when in squid form. For me, it was a bit of a learning curve to get adjusted to the way the character moves, but once it clicked, it felt freeing, as I jumped in and out of squid form, virtually flying through levels at times.

The centerpiece of Splatoon is the online multiplayer, which is frantic and fun while still requiring skill and strategy. The primary mode is Turf War, which is a four-on-four battle where each side tries to cover more of the ground with their paint color than the opposing team. Currently, the team makeups are randomized, changing after every battle even if you have the exact same players. Surprisingly, this works great. As you learn the ins and outs of each weapon and stage, you can easily see what weapons everybody has so you can figure out the best strategy. Voice chat would be handy in some of these situations, but thanks to smart visual and game design, words don’t seem to always be needed to work together in Splatoon. It also helps that, while you are on a team, the act of painting the ground and splatting enemies can be a personal, privately enjoyed experience. Your goal is to cover ground and splat enemies, which doesn’t really change whether you’re talking with your team directly or not. You can also always see where your teammates are by quickly glancing at the GamePad’s screen.

Where the lack of voice chat doesn’t totally work is the ranked battle mode Splat Zones. Splat Zones, which will be unlocked once enough players reach level 10, is also a four-on-four battle mode, but the goal is to claim one or two sections in the middle of the map and hold them. Communication is way more important here and the lack of voice chat or any other way to communicate strategy makes this mode frustrating. Especially in comparison to the raw energy and bliss of Turf War, Splat Zones falls flat. This mode requires teams to work together, which they can’t necessarily do. Thus, it often just becomes a hapless, maddening mess.

But even with one of the two modes being a bit of a dud, the online experience is still deep and engaging. As you play, you earn experience and money. The experience increases your level (all the way up to 20 at launch) and also unlocks new weapons for purchase. The money can be used in one of four different in-game stores. You can buy new weapons from a variety of different types as well as hats, shirts, and shoes for your Inkling. The different gear gives you different perks, ranging from easy-to-understand boosts such as improved running speed or a bigger ink tank to more interesting buffs such as Ninja Squid, which makes you invisible to other players when you’re swimming in ink. The gear itself fits the stylized aesthetic perfectly, as your Inkling can wear big headphones and a pair of pumped-up kicks. It sort of just feels like a bunch of ‘90s kids threw up neon green everywhere in the best way possible.

Online play also has a few clever touches that make the game and the lobbies more engaging. In matches, you can tap on the GamePad’s screen to Squid Jump to different areas of the map. It really kills downtime when you respawn far away from the action, or even when you just wind up on the opposite side of a big battle. Additionally, while you wait for a match to start, you can play the 8-bit arcade game Squid Jump. Ideally, you won’t have to wait at all, but having an amusing high-score-based game to play at all times is awesome. When you’re in a lobby waiting for a match to start, however, you can’t change your weapon or gear. It’s extremely frustrating and decreased my willingness to experiment with offbeat weapon types. The only way to change gear is to leave your current party and back out to the menu.

While it doesn’t last too long, Splatoon’s single-player is a pleasant surprise. The mode feels like a cross between Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine, as you jump between linear planetoid-like areas while spraying ink to fight enemies and solve light puzzles. The levels are all based around a specific concept or idea, whether it’s using your ink to reveal hidden platforms or battling Octolings in arena combat. The few boss battles all feel like they could have been ripped out of a 3D Mario game, as they are epic fights that pit you against huge monsters. In particular, the final battle is spectacular and a true test of your inky prowess. It took me roughly six hours to uncover everything, including the hidden Sunken Scrolls that offer amusing tidbits about the world’s back story. It’s a shame it ends as quickly as it does, but while it lasts, the single-player provides a nice breather from online shenanigans.

Aside from the single-player, the local experience is otherwise lacking. The one-on-one local multiplayer is amusing but forgettable and while the 8-bit arcade game Squid Jump is novel, it is best used as just a game you play while you’re waiting for the next online match to start. You can add to the single-player and the arcade games with the Splatoon Amiibo if you really want to, but that’s an added cost (if you can even find the three-pack).

Overall, Splatoon makes for an amazing online game, likely the most engaging online experience Nintendo has ever made. The multiplayer, regardless of its lack of voice chat or randomized parties, is sublime, successfully making a shooter that is easy to hop into but tough to master. The single-player might be short and linear, but it’s a wonderful change of pace from the frenzy of online play. Splatoon also represents a change of pace on a grand scale for Nintendo. This isn’t something the company normally does and reinforces the notion that maybe they should keep on trying to make new games and worlds and stop remaking old ones. Hopefully, the game is a success, and they’ll see this new direction pay off.

Summary

Pros
  • Deep, engaging online multiplayer
  • Dripping with tubular style
  • Inventive and fun single-player adventure
Cons
  • Limited local multiplayer experience
  • Splat Zones requires better communication; is otherwise frustrating

This is our final version of our Splatoon review. We originally published an unscored review pre-launch, but now that we've been able to play on live servers, we've settled on our final score.

Talkback

Evan_BMay 27, 2015

Glad to know this game is going to be great!*

*(as long as the servers work)

roykoopa64May 27, 2015

Sounds great! I'm glad to hear about the fun single player as well. I didn't have a chance to play the online demo so I don't have a good feel for the game yet, but I'm looking forward to playing it.

This is a game I'd hop on-board instantly if I had any friends that owned a Wii U and/or had a chance to actually try it out (was busy during all the test-fire times).

At $60, it's already a hard-sell given my circumstances.  I love the core concept of the game, but until I have an opportunity to at least rent (or if they release a limited demo) and try it, I can't get excited for this game.

Ian SaneMay 27, 2015

"Maybe they should dip into unfamiliar genres more often"

Yes, they should.  Nintendo's a very talented developer and there are tons of genres they haven't even sniffed at.  And when they pretty much have to carry a whole console themselves it should be obvious to them to try out new genres to help fill out the library.  This is why I flip out when Nintendo works on multiple 2D platformer series at once.  We know they could probably make any game they want and do a decent job of it and yet whole genres get ignored while they have multiple teams working on the same genre that Nintendo has already done 100 times.  It just feels like a huge waste of potential.

Unfortunately I personally am turned off by Splatoon's visual style.  It just seems too much like a deliberate attempt to be family friendly, though I'm starting to think that it might be more to attract Japan since this genre doesn't really matter there.  That and the lack of industry standard features is lame.  But it's still good to see Nintendo try something different and it sounds like they mostly have succeeded at it.  If they do this more often maybe next time they'll land on something that does catch my interest.

EnnerMay 27, 2015

The score is pending!


Sampling the first batch of reviews, there is an agreement on what the game is lacking in. The most echoed criticism is the small batch of multiplayer maps. The one behind it is the absence of genre-standard features such as changing load outs between matches and voice chat.


I do hope Nintendo is aggressive in their post-launch content and support for Splatoon. The lack of maps will be come a huge problem 1-2 weeks after release. I have doubt that the player base will stick around if there isn't new stuff within 4 weeks post-launch. Given Nintendo's support of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, I'm more confident that they will do right by Splatoon than I would be with the Nintendo of 2-3 years ago.

Quote from: Ian

Unfortunately I personally am turned off by Splatoon's visual style.  It just seems too much like a deliberate attempt to be family friendly, though I'm starting to think that it might be more to attract Japan since this genre doesn't really matter there.

You dislike probably one of my favorite things about the game.  I love the quirky and colorful asthetic, the colors are so vibrant that they stick out from everything, and the characters have a fun bit of 'tude to them.  I feel like there are too many shooters that take themselves too seriously.  The only thing I'm sort of "meh" about are the squids, but I've warmed up to that a bit.
How would you prefer this game look like?

MythtendoMay 27, 2015

Everything I see and hear about the game has me wanting it, except it has no AI bots. The reason I love games like Perfect Dark and the TimeSplitters series is because it was so much fun to play against the bots. I want to be able to play modes like Turf War against the computer because I don't always want to play online (or at times may not be able to). That is seriously holding me back from paying $64 for it.

broodwarsMay 27, 2015

The single-player interests me (especially when it's notably different from the MP mode), but I just can't justify full price to what obviously isn't a finished game.  Maybe I'll pick it up 6 months to a year from now when Nintendo's finally added all the features & maps expected of a modern multiplayer-centric shooter.

MythtendoMay 27, 2015

After listening to NFR, how is the free content coming in August a quarter of the game?

broodwarsMay 27, 2015

Quote from: Mythtendo

After listening to NFR, how is the free content coming in August a quarter of the game?

The full game's missing maps, modes, & features. All of which are expected to be added in post-release, so until it is added to me Nintendo's selling 1/4 of a game for $60.

Ian SaneMay 27, 2015

Quote from: lolmonade

Quote from: Ian

Unfortunately I personally am turned off by Splatoon's visual style.  It just seems too much like a deliberate attempt to be family friendly, though I'm starting to think that it might be more to attract Japan since this genre doesn't really matter there.

You dislike probably one of my favorite things about the game.  I love the quirky and colorful asthetic, the colors are so vibrant that they stick out from everything, and the characters have a fun bit of 'tude to them.  I feel like there are too many shooters that take themselves too seriously.  The only thing I'm sort of "meh" about are the squids, but I've warmed up to that a bit.
How would you prefer this game look like?

When I look at this I think "this is a really different take on a shooter" and that in a vacuum isn't a bad thing.  The problem is that because of Nintendo's poor third party support and their own lack of interest in the genre up until now the traditional shooter hasn't really been available to Nintendo fans.  An alternative shooter makes WAY more sense on a console with strong third party support where are there are tons of shooters.

It reminds me a lot of SSB on the N64 which I originally was not very interested in.  The N64 had a very weak selection of fighting games compared to the PlayStation and Saturn.  So Nintendo releases their own fighting game which in theory seems like a great idea to fill in a void on their console.  Except that this fighting game plays completely differently than every other fighting game in existence.  That's actually really good for people that own multiple consoles who've had their fill of games like Tekken and Street Fighter and want to try something else.  But an N64 owner would not yet have had his fill of traditional fighters.  Why are you giving me an alternative when I haven't even had the norm yet?  If you were an N64 owner and were interested in fighting games SSB did not solve that void at all.  It was another good game but if you wanted the experience you had been craving you still needed to go buy a PlayStation.  Paper Mario was the same way.  It was too different of an RPG experience to fill the void left by the vacancy of Final Fantasy.  If you wanted to scratch your RPG itch you still needed to buy a PlayStation.  Nintendo did something too different to fill the void.

Nintendo had great shooters on the N64 thanks to Rare.  Then they sold Rare and Nintendo fans have essentially gone without shooters for 15 years.  If you wanted to scratch that itch you had to buy another console.  Finally Nintendo does something in that genre but it's so different than the norm that if you want the traditional shooter experience you STILL need to buy another console.  The whole approach just makes no sense.

Since I don't have much familiarity with third person or first person shooters due to sticking too close to Nintendo all these years I would like something that's a little more conventional that could show me what I've been missing.  I haven't missed Splatoon.  No one has.  It's really it's own thing.  Something in the Gears of War style is still completely foreign to a Nintendo-only gamer.  Nintendo is very talented so I figure if they did something more conventional they could do it better than everyone else.  I would prefer they go out and show the industry how shooters are done instead of doing some weird take on the genre that will likely be regarded as a curiosity at best and have no influence on the genre.

Fill the genre void first - then go with the alternative stuff.  Nintendo makes Fire Emblem first and then Codename S.T.E.A.M.  They didn't give us the weird and unconventional S.T.E.A.M. and said "there's your strategy game".  No, they didn't bust that out until after the genre gap was filled.  But with Splatoon they're giving us something weird and unconventional and saying "there's your shooter".

pokepal148May 27, 2015

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: lolmonade

Quote from: Ian

Unfortunately I personally am turned off by Splatoon's visual style.  It just seems too much like a deliberate attempt to be family friendly, though I'm starting to think that it might be more to attract Japan since this genre doesn't really matter there.

You dislike probably one of my favorite things about the game.  I love the quirky and colorful asthetic, the colors are so vibrant that they stick out from everything, and the characters have a fun bit of 'tude to them.  I feel like there are too many shooters that take themselves too seriously.  The only thing I'm sort of "meh" about are the squids, but I've warmed up to that a bit.
How would you prefer this game look like?

Fill the genre void first - then go with the alternative stuff.  Nintendo makes Fire Emblem first and then Codename S.T.E.A.M.  They didn't give us the weird and unconventional S.T.E.A.M. and said "there's your strategy game".  No, they didn't bust that out until after the genre gap was filled.  But with Splatoon they're giving us something weird and unconventional and saying "there's your shooter".

So basically you're saying Nintendo should have made a 2d Mario on N64 first just to give us something 'conventional.'

KhushrenadaMay 27, 2015

Nah, if Nintendo had made a conventional shooter, then Ian Sane would have complained that they are just phoning it in and are lazy developers and can't do anything new. Whatever Nintendo does, he will always take the opposite viewpoint.

Here's the thing. Nintendo is trying to sell the Wii U to the audience of Xbox and PS gamers. If they released a traditional shooter, it would probably have a high standard of quality. (Although it would probably be rejected without voicechat anyways) Yet, why should anyone with a PS or Xbox buy a Wii U to play one traditional shooter when they have plenty of such options already available to them without buying a new console. But by making an unconventional shooter, then Nintendo has something that may be more of interest to them. Something different they can only get by buying a Wii U.

If it can then prove there is a market for shooters or such types of games on the Wii U, then it may cause a third party or two to try to release a conventional shooter on the Wii U. Let them release the conventional stuff since they've been doing it long enough. Nintendo games sell well on Nintendo consoles so if they release a conventional shooter, it would most likely sell better than any third party offering. This still leaves the door open for third party sales as Nintendo is not dominating another genre on the Wii U system and is an experience third parties can provide if they want while Splatoon may appeal to other system owners to give the Wii U a shot. Seems like a good strategy to me.

Ian SaneMay 27, 2015

Quote from: Khushrenada

Here's the thing. Nintendo is trying to sell the Wii U to the audience of Xbox and PS gamers. If they released a traditional shooter, it would probably have a high standard of quality. (Although it would probably be rejected without voicechat anyways) Yet, why should anyone with a PS or Xbox buy a Wii U to play one traditional shooter when they have plenty of such options already available to them without buying a new console. But by making an unconventional shooter, then Nintendo has something that may be more of interest to them. Something different they can only get by buying a Wii U.

Well let's assume in this alternate universe where Nintendo is making a different shooter that Nintendo isn't leaving out industry standard features like voicechat.

I get the strategy and in theory it makes sense.  In this case though I'm going to say outright that virtually NO PlayStation or Xbox gamer will buy a Wii U for Splatoon because it looks like a kids game.  The strategy is not bad but it would need something that doesn't appear to cater so much to kids.

Timing also matters.  No one is switching over to the Wii U at this point.  The Wii U has lost and everyone knows it just like how by the time SSB and Paper Mario showed up on the N64 the race was long over.  The time to get converts was within the first few years.  Wii U games in the here and now should be targeted at the existing userbase and Nintendo fans that just have not gotten around to a Wii U purchase yet.  In that sense an alternative shooter like Splatoon seems odd.

Unless the assumption is that die hard Nintendo fans that are used to the lack of third party support and are generally not interested in non-Nintendo games need the genre "Nintendofied" in order for them to be interested.  In that scenario Splatoon makes more sense.  But then Mario Paintball would probably make more sense.

Personally a game that has kids shooting paint says to me "Ian, you as a Nintendo fan are too fragile to handle bullets and death so you get paint instead" and I take offense with being talked down to like that.  If I could handle Goldeneye when I was still a minor I don't need paint guns when I'm over 30.  Either Nintendo is patronizing me or I'm just not the target audience so it doesn't appeal to me.

TOPHATANT123May 27, 2015

Well there's always Devil's Third if you want a more by the numbers shooter, although I think the market will speak for it's self which kind of game it wants.

The thing that differentiates Splatoon from GoldenEye paintball mode is that in Splatoon the paint acts as both censorship and a unique gameplay mechanic that could not be achieved with bullets. The paint splats two birds with one stone and can appeal to both children who are too young to play actual shooters, but also adults who can appreciate the game's design and the strategy associated with being a squid kid.

OedoMay 27, 2015

That's a shame about Splat Zones, although I expected that where's the lack of voice chat and friend matching would hurt the most. Turf War is obviously really fun, but I was probably looking forward to the other game mode a little more after seeing the Treehouse presentation. Seeing gameplay of that was the moment this game clicked with me and got me really hyped. I'm sure it'll still be fun, but it probably won't really get going until friend matching comes in August.


The single player is a pleasant though.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMay 27, 2015

Ian you can't swim in realistic bullets. Unless... What if it was Scrooge McDuck style?

I never got the impression Nintendo was trying to be family friendly with their approach. In the latest Iwata asks we find out it was cubes of Tofu shooting ink everywhere marking up territory, they would use that ink to camouflage. I mean what else were they going to come up with? The gameplay design came before the characters and the type of characters they have now fit with what's going on.

I suppose we could have had roid raging bald eagles shooting eggs and swimming threw the yolks but that's too edgy.

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: lolmonade

Quote from: Ian

Unfortunately I personally am turned off by Splatoon's visual style.  It just seems too much like a deliberate attempt to be family friendly, though I'm starting to think that it might be more to attract Japan since this genre doesn't really matter there.

You dislike probably one of my favorite things about the game.  I love the quirky and colorful asthetic, the colors are so vibrant that they stick out from everything, and the characters have a fun bit of 'tude to them.  I feel like there are too many shooters that take themselves too seriously.  The only thing I'm sort of "meh" about are the squids, but I've warmed up to that a bit.
How would you prefer this game look like?

When I look at this I think "this is a really different take on a shooter" and that in a vacuum isn't a bad thing.  The problem is that because of Nintendo's poor third party support and their own lack of interest in the genre up until now the traditional shooter hasn't really been available to Nintendo fans.  An alternative shooter makes WAY more sense on a console with strong third party support where are there are tons of shooters.

It reminds me a lot of SSB on the N64 which I originally was not very interested in.  The N64 had a very weak selection of fighting games compared to the PlayStation and Saturn.  So Nintendo releases their own fighting game which in theory seems like a great idea to fill in a void on their console.  Except that this fighting game plays completely differently than every other fighting game in existence.  That's actually really good for people that own multiple consoles who've had their fill of games like Tekken and Street Fighter and want to try something else.  But an N64 owner would not yet have had his fill of traditional fighters.  Why are you giving me an alternative when I haven't even had the norm yet?  If you were an N64 owner and were interested in fighting games SSB did not solve that void at all.  It was another good game but if you wanted the experience you had been craving you still needed to go buy a PlayStation.  Paper Mario was the same way.  It was too different of an RPG experience to fill the void left by the vacancy of Final Fantasy.  If you wanted to scratch your RPG itch you still needed to buy a PlayStation.  Nintendo did something too different to fill the void.

Nintendo had great shooters on the N64 thanks to Rare.  Then they sold Rare and Nintendo fans have essentially gone without shooters for 15 years.  If you wanted to scratch that itch you had to buy another console.  Finally Nintendo does something in that genre but it's so different than the norm that if you want the traditional shooter experience you STILL need to buy another console.  The whole approach just makes no sense.

Since I don't have much familiarity with third person or first person shooters due to sticking too close to Nintendo all these years I would like something that's a little more conventional that could show me what I've been missing.  I haven't missed Splatoon.  No one has.  It's really it's own thing.  Something in the Gears of War style is still completely foreign to a Nintendo-only gamer.  Nintendo is very talented so I figure if they did something more conventional they could do it better than everyone else.  I would prefer they go out and show the industry how shooters are done instead of doing some weird take on the genre that will likely be regarded as a curiosity at best and have no influence on the genre.

Fill the genre void first - then go with the alternative stuff.  Nintendo makes Fire Emblem first and then Codename S.T.E.A.M.  They didn't give us the weird and unconventional S.T.E.A.M. and said "there's your strategy game".  No, they didn't bust that out until after the genre gap was filled.  But with Splatoon they're giving us something weird and unconventional and saying "there's your shooter".


I'll simply argue here that if someone wanted a traditional 3rd person shooter with online components, they'd be playing on an Xbox 360.  I think most who care that much about that genre have a competing console to play Gears of War on.
 
Additionally, I dont' look to Nintendo to create samey franchises that you get on the other consoles, I look to get unique Nintendo experinces that play with the conventional expected mechanics in the cases they "take-on" other genres.  It's hit or miss, but in this case, it's the only thing that's made me remotely interested in this franchise.

I'd be really curious of how many Wii U owners also own a competing console, I bet the crossover is larger than you might think, with Wii U being the "complimentary" console.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 28, 2015

Ian, am I hearing your argument correctly?  Nintendo failed by making a shooter that is *too* different, they should have made one like what is already on PlayStation and XBox.  Also, the war is over and Nintendo has already lost, so no one is going to pick up a Wii U over one of those other systems.

To me, that seems contradictory at best, insane at worst.

Making a game that's already on the other systems sure isn't going to get anyone to switch over.  No one is going to buy Generic Shooter N when they can already play Generic Shooters X, Y, and Z without having to shell out $300+ on another system.  And, as you pointed out, no one is going to switch to Wii at this point anyway.  So, why not just let Nintendo make they game they want to make, give some diversity to the general market as a whole?

The whole reason people are interested in this game is because it's different. If Nintendo just made the same shooter everybody else is making, nobody would give a shit, especially if it was missing stuff like voice chat.

SorenMay 28, 2015

No one is coming to Nintendo systems for traditional shooters so Splatoon is great for Nintendo. I'm picking this up tomorrow for sure.

Ian SaneMay 28, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

The whole reason people are interested in this game is because it's different. If Nintendo just made the same shooter everybody else is making, nobody would give a ****, especially if it was missing stuff like voice chat.

I think Wii U owners are pretty much interested in any game Nintendo makes for the Wii U because you either play this or go more months with nothing.  It would be hard for Nintendo to make a Wii U game at this point that no one would pay any attention to.

If the approach is "let's make a new game" and then they come up with this ink-squid idea it's a pretty cool idea.  I think the problem is this emphasis of it as an online third person shooter or like it's Nintendo's answer for that genre.  I don't know if Nintendo started that emphasis or fans and the media did.  I feel that looking at it from that point of view it is too different.  It's like how Metroid Prime being a first person game where you shoot things was seen as a FPS.  Nintendo made sure to promote it as a first person adventure, which probably fell on deaf ears for the most part but the idea was right.  If you saw Metroid Prime as a Halo-killer it failed in that role because it was such a different game than what it was being compared to.  Still an absolutely amazing game but not the Halo-killer people tried to make it out to be.  It's no different than when people call Pikmin an RTS which makes it sound like it's going to take down StarCraft.  No, it's a completely different game and if you were expecting it to fill your desire for an RTS it will not do so.

So really I feel like I'm one of those idiots that couldn't see Metroid Prime as anything but an FPS who then got all pissy because it didn't play like Halo.  Splatoon really is its own thing.  If Nintendo has been promoting it as their Gears of War then that's the problem because this isn't that and if you wanted to see Nintendo tackle something like that you're still going to be waiting.  Did Nintendo hype this up as such or was it us?  If Nintendo was doing it, that was the mistake.  If I look at it with those sorts of expectations this doesn't even come close but just as some new game Nintendo is busting out that really is its own unique thing then it works.

Mop it upMay 28, 2015

Quote from: Ian

Nintendo had great shooters on the N64 thanks to Rare. Then they sold Rare and Nintendo fans have essentially gone without shooters for 15 years. If you wanted to scratch that itch you had to buy another console.

Incorrect. Nintendo systems may have gotten less games but they still received stuff like TimeSplitters, James Bond games, Call of Duty, etc. Even the Wii U has two Call of Duty games on it. For someone like me who wants only 1 or 2 normal shooters, that's plenty.

Ian SaneMay 28, 2015

Quote from: Soren

No one is coming to Nintendo systems for traditional shooters

...because Nintendo never makes those types of games and doesn't have the third party support to fill the void.  Isn't that a self-fulfilling prophecy?  On the N64 you could you have said "people don't buy Nintendo systems for RPGs" but then the DS was just overflowing with them so suddenly that rule no longer made any damn sense.  If good games are available people will buy the system and buy the games.  The consoles most associated with specific genres tends to move around each generation anyway.

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

The whole reason people are interested in this game is because it's different. If Nintendo just made the same shooter everybody else is making, nobody would give a ****, especially if it was missing stuff like voice chat.

I think Wii U owners are pretty much interested in any game Nintendo makes for the Wii U because you either play this or go more months with nothing.  It would be hard for Nintendo to make a Wii U game at this point that no one would pay any attention to.

If the approach is "let's make a new game" and then they come up with this ink-squid idea it's a pretty cool idea.  I think the problem is this emphasis of it as an online third person shooter or like it's Nintendo's answer for that genre.  I don't know if Nintendo started that emphasis or fans and the media did.  I feel that looking at it from that point of view it is too different.  It's like how Metroid Prime being a first person game where you shoot things was seen as a FPS.  Nintendo made sure to promote it as a first person adventure, which probably fell on deaf ears for the most part but the idea was right.  If you saw Metroid Prime as a Halo-killer it failed in that role because it was such a different game than what it was being compared to.  Still an absolutely amazing game but not the Halo-killer people tried to make it out to be.  It's no different than when people call Pikmin an RTS which makes it sound like it's going to take down StarCraft.  No, it's a completely different game and if you were expecting it to fill your desire for an RTS it will not do so.

So really I feel like I'm one of those idiots that couldn't see Metroid Prime as anything but an FPS who then got all pissy because it didn't play like Halo.  Splatoon really is its own thing.  If Nintendo has been promoting it as their Gears of War then that's the problem because this isn't that and if you wanted to see Nintendo tackle something like that you're still going to be waiting.  Did Nintendo hype this up as such or was it us?  If Nintendo was doing it, that was the mistake.  If I look at it with those sorts of expectations this doesn't even come close but just as some new game Nintendo is busting out that really is its own unique thing then it works.

It's been promoted as a squad-based online shooter, which it is. It's Gears of War in the same way Pikmin is Starcraft. At this point I figure you have to just be looking for reasons to be upset with Nintendo if you can find fault with them coming up with a new IP that's a unique take on a genre they haven't explored in the past.

broodwarsMay 28, 2015

I don't have a problem with Nintendo creating their own spin on the genre. It worked out fantastically with Smash Bros., so the more the merrier. My issue with this game since they announced the launch details is that this release is a joke. If ANY other company had released a multiplayer-centric shooter like this with this many missing features; maps; & modes, people would riot.

Really, can you imagine a Call of Duty release where all you get in the box is the SP campaign & the MP Team Deathmatch mode on 5 maps (with King of the Hill unlocked when you prestige)? Zombies mode? The ability to form teams with your friends? More maps? Capture the Flag mode? You get those features you've come to expect from multiplayer-centric shooters months later. There would be riots in the streets, and reviews would be so scathing of the spectacular lack of content it would break Metacritic. But hey, this is Nintendo, who we apparently must always treat with Kid Gloves like it's ****ing Elementary School, where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up because heaven forbid we have expectations on something they made actually stacking up against their competitors!  Because hey...MAKING GAMES IS HARD!  ::)

Part of me still wants to buy this game for the SP portion, pretty much because Sony delayed the much more desirable Ratchet & Clank reboot to next year, but what Nintendo's providing at launch is pathetic and it's unbelievable how much people are letting them slide over that.

broodwarsMay 28, 2015

You know, it just occurred to me what Splatoon is: it's Activision's Destiny all over again.

Video review is now embedded in the article.

Luigi DudeMay 28, 2015

Quote from: broodwars

I don't have a problem with Nintendo creating their own spin on the genre. It worked out fantastically with Smash Bros., so the more the merrier. My issue with this game since they announced the launch details is that this release is a joke. If ANY other company had released a multiplayer-centric shooter like this with this many missing features; maps; & modes, people would riot.

Really, can you imagine a Call of Duty release where all you get in the box is the SP campaign & the MP Team Deathmatch mode on 5 maps (with King of the Hill unlocked when you prestige)? Zombies mode? The ability to form teams with your friends? More maps? Capture the Flag mode? You get those features you've come to expect from multiplayer-centric shooters months later. There would be riots in the streets, and reviews would be so scathing of the spectacular lack of content it would break Metacritic. But hey, this is Nintendo, who we apparently must always treat with Kid Gloves like it's ****ing Elementary School, where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up because heaven forbid we have expectations on something they made actually stacking up against their competitors!  Because hey...MAKING GAMES IS HARD!  ::)

Part of me still wants to buy this game for the SP portion, pretty much because Sony delayed the much more desirable Ratchet & Clank reboot to next year, but what Nintendo's providing at launch is pathetic and it's unbelievable how much people are letting them slide over that.

I'm guessing you just left the cave you've been in the last month because Nintendo has gotten criticized for the lack of those features.

The game is currently at 81% on Gamerankings
http://www.gamerankings.com/wii-u/805617-splatoon/index.html

And 81% on Metacritic
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u/splatoon

The number one complaint is exactly what you say people don't seem to care about. 

Ian SaneMay 28, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

At this point I figure you have to just be looking for reasons to be upset with Nintendo if you can find fault with them coming up with a new IP that's a unique take on a genre they haven't explored in the past.

I think the written nature of a forum makes me look more negative than I am.  This is a "eh, this doesn't really interest me that much" vs. a "this boneheaded decision is going to tornedo the console".  There are different degrees of criticism.

I don't recall Nintendo making Pikmin vs. StarCraft comparisons and that's good because that really isn't fair to Pikmin.  In that sense I feel that making direct comparisons between Splatoon and the overall online shooter genre does it a disservice.

Quote from: broodwars

But hey, this is Nintendo, who we apparently must always treat with Kid Gloves like it's ****ing Elementary School

That's funny because a lot of the time it feels like Nintendo treats us like we're in elementary school.  Nintendo was upfront about some of this stuff showing up late and honesty goes a long way in improving perception.  That doesn't excuse them but that sort of approach works pretty well.

Splatoon is an online shooter, though. Comparisons to those games are unavoidable. Unless you want Nintendo to pretend that those don't exist, and this is a completely new concept.

broodwarsMay 28, 2015

Quote from: Luigi

The game is currently at 81% on Gamerankings
http://www.gamerankings.com/wii-u/805617-splatoon/index.html

And 81% on Metacritic
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u/splatoon

The number one complaint is exactly what you say people don't seem to care about.

Suffice it to say that I find an 81 extraordinarily kind for an unfinished game released at full price w/ almost none of the expected features for this type of game.

MythtendoMay 28, 2015

The game isn't unfinished just because they plan to add FREE content in 6 or 7 weeks. They will be expanding a finished game. Do you consider all games with DLC to be unfinished? Is The Witcher 3 unfinished because they pla to add DLC?

AdrockMay 28, 2015

Dude, Splatoon is being released unfinished due to the features and content it's missing. Even the most ardent Nintendo fan would have a hard time defending this.

ymeegodMay 28, 2015

$60 for five maps and two modes with missing features is a bit steep IMO.  You might save face in Europe or Japan but in the NA market the game is retailing at full $60 day one. That's whole "free" DLC doesn't help much since it should already have been included like the ability to play with friends?  To be honest, I think Nintendo should have delayed the game or at least sell us what the game is currently worth--not something with "future" promises. 

broodwarsMay 28, 2015

Quote from: Mythtendo

The game isn't unfinished just because they plan to add FREE content in 6 or 7 weeks. They will be expanding a finished game. Do you consider all games with DLC to be unfinished? Is The Witcher 3 unfinished because they pla to add DLC?

My god...where to even start with this idiotic comparison?

First off, Witcher 3 is a massive 25 -> 200 hour RPG full of probably 100 -> 200 sidequests and optional hunts, and every sidequest is specially crafted with cinematic camera work & voice acting. By contrast to its nearest competitors (Skyrim & Dragon Age Inquisition), there's just as muchcontent and (IMO, in regards to Skyrim) better content in Witcher 3. The game has some technical issues, but far less and far less game-breaking than something like Skyrim. And yes, CD Projeckt Red is only going to add more content with the DLC packs. No, Witcher 3 is not "unfinished" in the same way Splatoon is.

By comparison, Splatoon's feature set at launch is a joke. It's a multiplayer-centric online shooter that has barely any online multiplayer content in it. Its feature set is on-par with something like Dead Space 2, a single-player 3rd person shooter with a tacked-on MP mode. And I highly doubt Splatoon can hang with Dead Space 2 when it comes to its single-player mode, incidentally. And that's not "free DLC", btw. Those are the missing features and maps that should have been in the game at launch, but with your full priced purchase you're paying Nintendo to finish them so they can provided them to you at a later time.

Splatoon is the equivalent of last year's NHL 15 release, where EA released the game without most of the modes that were standard to the franchise and then "patched them in" over the next few months as "free DLC."

OedoMay 28, 2015

Is it bull that Nintendo is charging $60/$70 in North America for a game that clearly is missing some stuff that should be there at launch? Undoubtedly. That doesn't necessarily preclude what is there from being really good though.


I begrudgingly paid $70 for that very reason. I put off pre-ordering after the Direct because all of this stuff rubbed me the wrong way, but the fact of the matter is I found the game (even in its current state) to be a ton of fun. I'm not going to forgo enjoying the game in the name of principles. And that's what it probably came down to for the reviewers too. "Reviewing what's there" works both ways. You can dock points because it's missing stuff that should be there, but if what's actually there is still a good game, it deserves a good score.

Servers held up pretty well to the opening barrage. I got one error message on the night, and that was after playing 8 or 10 matches without any issue. So far, so good.

Ian SaneMay 29, 2015

Nintendo tends to not drop game prices very quickly, if at all, and in Splatoon's case that rep will help them out.  Most games tend to drop to pretty much half price within less than a year after release.  If you could expect Nintendo to do that as well you could just wait until the DLC shows up for Splatoon and buy it then instead of paying a higher price for LESS content.  Though because it's Nintendo the price likely won't drop.

Quote from: Oedo

You can dock points because it's missing stuff that should be there, but if what's actually there is still a good game, it deserves a good score.

I think price plays a factor.  Some games offer good content but not that much of it and are a good game but not worth $60.  I would want reviewers to point that out.  Reviews are supposed to be for the benefit of consumers.

nickmitchMay 29, 2015

But then you're doing relative comparisons.  And price is always tricky to review on since prices can differ by region and some people are just more ballin' than others.

kokumakerMay 31, 2015

I've barely been able to play it, because my daughter is totally addicted to it. She has shunned the single-player mode completely and only plays online. I've seen maybe two of her games get dropped in the last couple of days, but for the most part, the online has been seamless.

Leo13May 31, 2015

Look everyone wants to talk about what determines if this game has enough features and modes. For me there's only 1 question. I bought the game at release will I, as a 30 year old guy, get $60 worth of fun out of this game. It's too early to tell for sure, but as of right now it looks like I probably will because I'm loving it and to top it off the shocker of all... My wife loves it and asks me to play the 2 player mode with her. How often can I say I played Nintendo/PlayStation with my wife? Right now I can

EnnerMay 31, 2015

Glorious 9!

Neal is so kind to a game that has launched so bare bones :p

Quote from: broodwars

You know, it just occurred to me what Splatoon is: it's Activision's Destiny all over again.

Quite an apt comparison. Of course, Splatoon and Nintendo "benefits" from the lack of grandiose posturing and marketing. As well as Nintendo's peculiar relations with the enthusiast press where they are regarded simultaneously with derision and fondness.

Leo13May 31, 2015

Did anyone try this? I wanted to do it, but I must've done something wrong because in 4 tries it never worked

NeoThunderMay 31, 2015

I feel like the only reason this game is getting a lot of attention and high scores is because there's no other games for WiiU right now. There's really only a fun little 4 on 4 online multiplayer to this game, that's it. There's really no story or campaign. I feel like it's really a $30 retail game or a $20 download game at best, and if there were a bunch of other A+ games coming out and available. This game would get a 6/10. I feel like everyone has drank the kool-aid. When did this become the standard for a 9/10 game?

KDR_11kMay 31, 2015

There is a campaign and nobody owns only a Wii U....


I find it odd that the shout options are "come here" and "cool" in the German version whereas the former seems to be just "booyah" in the US version? Kinda changes the meaning...

azekeMay 31, 2015

It's "To me!" and "Nice" in UK version.

So far, I've plunked 40 hours into Splatoon over the past few weeks. I'm on my second trip through the campaign (partially because the review copy was a separate review build and my save data didn't carry over but I'm still enjoying the campaign a second time through). I'm not bored of multiplayer. I can't wait for my Amiibo 3-pack to arrive so I can mess with the new challenges.

I know folks will think that this game is barebones or that it was released half-finished. With the rollout plan for maps, that might be true. But even with 5 maps at launch and some wonky online things, Splatoon is fun as hell and it's not showing any signs of slowing down for me.

So, that's why I gave it a 9. A 9 was the best-case scenario if the servers ran fine. They run fine and this game rocks.

Leo13June 01, 2015

Quote from: NeoThunder

I feel like the only reason this game is getting a lot of attention and high scores is because there's no other games for WiiU right now. There's really only a fun little 4 on 4 online multiplayer to this game, that's it. There's really no story or campaign. I feel like it's really a $30 retail game or a $20 download game at best, and if there were a bunch of other A+ games coming out and available. This game would get a 6/10. I feel like everyone has drank the kool-aid. When did this become the standard for a 9/10 game?

Sorry man, but Neal isn't an "inflate the score because it's a Nintendo game" kind of guy. Of you remember he gave Mario Kart 8 a 7.5, and got death threats for it, but refused to change it. I'm thinking if Neal is giving it a9 it's a legit 9 for him. If it had been someone like Daan Koopman I'd wonder if maybe he'd played so many bad games lately that it's just him being amazed with a game that's not terrible (if you don't know what I'm talking about go look at the last 10 games Daan has reviewed)

ThunderRazorJune 01, 2015

Nice review.  I'm loving Splatoon.  It's the best shooter I've played since Doom II.  But I guess I've always preferred movement focus instead of aiming focus.  Very high marks for Splatoon in my book.

pokepal148June 01, 2015

Look at this clickbate review by Neal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once again artificially raising the metacritic average, did Reggie give you an autographed gold mario Amiibo for this review?!?!???!???!!!!!?!?

Gawd!!!!!!!!!! This is why we need #gamergate.

kokumakerJune 01, 2015

Apparently, if a reviewer really enjoys a game that you aren't interested in, then the reviewer is an idiot and you should devote your time and energy to flaming him over it. God, do some of you guys ever give the gaming community a shitty name.

Splatoon is an awesome fun game, by the way.

KhushrenadaJune 02, 2015

Pokepal148: Giving the gaming a community a shitty name.

broodwarsJune 02, 2015

Quote from: Khushrenada

Pokepal148: Giving the gaming a community a shitty name.

Are we sure he wasn't being facetious? Because it was so over the top that's how it sounded to me.

KhushrenadaJune 02, 2015

Of course he was joking. He's making a joke about the Mario Kart 7.5 score and how people made complaints about it being clickbait for being a low score. However, kokumaker then made a comment about how others are now complaining about a score being too high and I saw the perfect opportunity to use that comment and direct it at Pokepal148 to make a joke at his expense. I like to fling a zing at anything. And now you know the rest of the story.

ShyGuyJune 02, 2015

why so low?

LucarioJune 21, 2015

have you guys noticed that Splatoon gets all the older guys and games like COD Counter-strike etc, gets the twelves?

Share + Bookmark





WiiU

Game Profile

Splatoon Box Art

Genre Shooter
Developer Nintendo
Online1 - 8

Worldwide Releases

na: Splatoon
Release May 29, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Splatoon
Release May 28, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Splatoon
Release May 29, 2015
PublisherNintendo
Rating7+
aus: Splatoon
Release May 30, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingParental Guidance

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement