splatoon.jpgNintendo’s next big franchise, Splatoon is here! This brand new fast-paced third-person action shooter game for the Wii U is developed by Nintendo’s internal EAD division, managed by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto of Super Mario Brothers fame. Splatter your enemies in ink, and claim your turf  in chaotic four-on-four, or one-on-one battles, only on the Wii U.

Splatoon is developed by Nintendo EAD Group and published by Nintendo
Release date: May 29th, 2015
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and up)
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo Wii U

Making a mess has never been this much fun

In Splatoon, you play as Inklings, characters who can transform between humanoid and squid form in a blink of the eye. In humanoid form, Inklings, can cover just about anything with colourful goopy ink using their special ink wielding weapons. Transforming into squid form allows you to swim at a high-speed though your ink, up walls, and through gates, just as if it was water. Also, while swimming in your ink you’ll be invsible from your enemies, and replenishing your valuable ink supply.

Consequently, you won’t be able to swim through your enemy’s ink. If you try walking through it, you’ll get stuck and walk at a snail’s pace, leaving you open to attack. Using the Wii U GamePad, you can view the map of your surroundings and teammates. By tapping on a teammate’s icon, your Inkling will instantly super jump to their location. The super jump allows you to quickly get back into the action on the front lines, or to support a teammate deep in enemy territory.

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The world of Splatoon

Welcome to Inkopolis, the city in which Inklings live. At the heart of this bussling city is Inkopolis Plaza, the central hub for Splatoon. Here you can hang out with other Inklings, gear up, travel to Octo Valley, and join ink battles. You will also see the most famous landmark of all in Inkopolis, the colossal Inkopolis tower. At its base you will find a lobby, where you can scout out battle stages, join your friends online, or head into online battle with other Inklings.

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Going solo in Octo Valley

Splatoon features a, surprisingly compelling, single player story mode called Hero mode. Equipped with the hero suit, and Splattershot gun, you head out for batlle against the Octarians under the leadership of Cap’n Cuttlefish. A decorated hero from the legendary Squidbeak Splatoon, Cap’n Cuttlefish guides you as you travel to Octo Valley to defeat the Octarians, and rescue Inkopolis’ stolen Zapfish.

Hero mode incorporates 3-D platforming, and puzzle solving mechanics that are reminiscent of my all-time favourite Wii game, Super Mario Galaxy. The boss battles are epic! They offer just the right level of challenge, not too easy and not too hard.

Furthermore, hidden throughout Octo Valley are 27 Sunken Scrolls that tell the story of Inkopolis’ past, and provide a background on the war between the Octarians and the Inklings. You’ll have to keep a watchful eye, as the Sunken Scrolls aren’t just sitting out in the open for you to grab. Can you collect all 27?

  

Practice your skills

Want to sharpen your skills before heading online? Then head to the second floor of Inkopolis tower, and check out the Battle Dojo. Here you can compete in local one-on-one battles with your family and friends. The goal in Battle Dojo is to pop more balloons than your adversary before time runs out.

Each balloon is worth one point, and they appear at markers on the screen in each stage as your battle progresses. Watch out! If you take damage your score will go down. My family and I had a complete blast with Battle Dojo, time flew by as we cheered each other on and perfected our skills against each other.

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Gear up for battle

You’re going to need some gear before you go into battle. Look no further than Booyah Base, a shopping mall located next to Inkopolis tower. here you will find an astounding variety of clothing, shoes, headgear, and high-tech weapons to purchase and equip, all with their own unique abilities. More than enough to fill all your Inklings battle needs.

Each of the four shop keepers have their own distinctive personalities that set them apart from one another. For example, stop by Ammo Knights and you’ll see the charismatic Sheldon, a horseshoe crab, who has all the latest weapons available for purchase including rapid-fire ink guns, long-range ink rifles, sub-weapons like ink sprinklers, and bombs.

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Un-inkin’ believable online battles

Splatoon offers two online multiplayer modes, Turf War, and Ranked Battle. Turf War pits two teams of four against each other in head-to-head, action-filled battles. Your goal: you guessed it—cover as much of the world as you can with your team’s ink within three minutes to win the match, earn cash and level your Inkling up.

Additionally, Ranked Battle mode, only accessible after your Inkling reaches level 10, keeps track of your online ranking in Splatoon. Splat Zones, a sub mode of Ranked Battle, has you attempting to dominate a specific area of the map with your ink, while keeping your enemies at bay.

In a move that may surprise some people, Nintendo decided not to include a voice chat option in Splatoon. This is due to the negativity that is generally associated with voice chat in competitive online games. Instead, Splatoon focuses on the positive aspect of online gaming, such as teamwork. To be honest, I agree with Nintendo’s decision not to include voice chat, a quick glance at the GamePad and I can see where my teammates and enemies are at all times.

While you’re waiting in the lobby to battle online, you can play an 8-bit style mini-game called Squid Jump on the GamePad. You play as a squid, whose main objective is to jump to the top of the level as quickly as possible. Now thats cool!

Splatoon launches with five multiplayer maps that will keep you entertained for hours, these include Arowana Mall, Blackbelley Skatepark, Saltspray Rig, Urchin Underpass, and Walleye Warehouse.

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Unlock exclusive content with amiibo

Alongside the launch of this highly anticipated game are Splatoon series amiibo: Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, and Inkling Squid, available exclusively in the 3-characer set. Each amiibo adds 20 different missions to play and unlocks special gear.

For example, Inkling Girl offers charger challenges where you take on stages in Octo Valley with only a charger. In addition, if you complete all the missions, bonus mini games are unlocked that can be played on the GamePad.

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A colourful word splashed in Ink

Splatoon has a charm and charisma from Nintendo, that will make you fall in love with the game. The action runs at a silky smooth 60 frames per second, and the 3D graphics of Splatoon are visually striking. With bright, colourful enemies and worlds, Splatoon has a level of polish that you come to expect from Nintendo.

The sound effects in Splatoon are both fascinating, and realistic. The first time you hear your Inkling dive into ink, you’ll be amazed. In addition, the music in Splatoon is catchy, you’ll find yourself humming, and tapping your toes to the many upbeat music tracks in the game. Click the link below and take a listen to the theme music for yourself, it will be in your head all day. 

                                      ♫♪♫      Listen to the Splatoon theme music     ♫♪♫

Final Thoughts

Splatoon is like nothing you have ever seen or played before from Nintendo. The gameplay is a perfect blend of fast-paced shooting, over-the-top-action, deep strategy, 3D platforming, with puzzle solving mechanics all in one perfectly polished game. Not to be outdone, Nintendo has planned free content throughout the summer with more clothes, head gear, weapons and multiplayer stages.

Wither you are playing hero mode, battling it out online, or battling with friends and family you’re bound to have an amazing time. I highly recommend Splatoon, it’s a game you and your whole family can enjoy. If you don’t already have a Wii U, then check out the special Wii U Splatoon Deluxe Setit includes Splatoon and other surprises. 

Let me know what you like most about Splatoon in the comments section below. Get ahead and get inked!

+ This game is an absolute blast to play
+ Compelling single player story mode
+ Extensive selection of gear to purchase and equip on your Inkling
+ Easy to learn controls

– Characters talk in gibberish, no voice acting

OVERALL

Gameplay: 5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5

Overall Rating 4.75/5 (95%)