Nintendo Switch8.70
Overall 8.70
I should just say read my first splatoon review and call it a day, but that would be lazy but fitting. Splatoon 2 is one of those quick sequels, the ones usually tied to yearly games where a new feature or two is added and boom new game. It retains the frantic, mechanically brilliant gameplay of the first and offers enough content to make this game absolutely worth playing but it's not the leap I expected.

It does have a totally new campaign, but it's identical in structure meaning no real innovations were made, it might as well be DLC added missions. The main change from the first is that now every level can be played with any weapon. The first time you start a level you are normally assigned a weapon, the level is designed around that weapon which is a subtle way to teach the player the strengths of these weapons for multiplayer. Then you can go back and play each level with a new weapon and work new strategies to get through. The designs are not so clever as to making multiple treks through the same levels something that feels fresh and exciting, it can feel slightly different with a new weapon but it's no substitute for more unique content.

These levels are better designed that the first game with more variety than before. There are rollers you shoot that fly across a map and squash anything in its path. Paths and switches that manipulate platforms which create neat traversal challenges on top of the usual group of enemies. Enemies are mostly unchanged, even the way the levels are structured with lots of jump points leading to the next group of platforms is pretty much the same as the first game. Bosses are very well done screen filling pattern bosses that make great use of the skills you learn. The first game ended in one of the greatest final boss battles I've ever played, a battle that makes use of every single action you learned in the entire campaign, that does not happen in the sequel, so the ending is a letdown. Overall the campaign is well done, it's like 6 hours long and offers me a great change of pace when I get bored of online play.

The core of splatoon, turf war and the ranked matches are practically untouched. There are new weapons with tweaks to the balance of which someone like me can't differentiate as I didn't play the first that much. Even the new special attacks don't feel like they change much of the game. For the most part I was able to jump right back into the game and everything I did in the first game works in the second. These modes are still frantic and mechanically fun in ways I don't find most online modes to be. I have never been a fan of shooters all about fast and accurate aiming and killing; I rather use skills and traversal. This is almost the perfect online game for me where killing is not the focus, where movement and the paint mechanic create a beautiful gameplay loop. Plus I love the fast battles that get me in and out, no lingering on a lost battle for 10 minutes. I am also a fan of 4 v 4 and how every mode is built around simple teamwork. It's not the deepest game but it's one of the most fun to play online games out there.

What sucks is how there are zero new ranked modes, not a one. It's the same three modes on four new maps and four old ones, so half the maps aren't even knew. Yes there will be constant free updates but I am reviewing what's out of the box, this is kind of crappy for a full priced sequel. Also none of the lessons were learned about the poor online features. There is still a stupid map rotation that locks in two maps per two hours now instead of four. Ranked matches are still whatever mode is chosen for those hours. The game still makes it a pain to join friends and I don't even want to get into this cell phone Nintendo online service crap.

Probably the biggest addition to splatoon 2 is the new coop horde mode salmon run. This is a 4 player mode where you fight all sorts of crazy enemies which when defeated release golden eggs which need to be retrieved and returned to a base. You have a few minutes each round to stay alive and meet the quota. This mode is a blast and utterly unpredictable which makes the experience very uneven. First it's only available every other day, why, who the fuck knows. Then each day the map (one of two, I know huge selection) and guns that are distributed are chosen for you. Then the match starts and who the hell knows what will happen. There are all kinds of crazy missions that occur randomly that can lead to massive difficulty spikes out of nowhere. One round a fog can obscure all your vision, then the tide will rise so you lose a piece of the map, sometimes you get a devilish mix of boss enemies that is near impossible to handle, or you get an easy group of enemies. Who knows and that's part of the fun but it's also part of the weirdness of it all.

The enemies in this mode are really well designed and are catered to certain weapons and working as a team. But there are like 8 and you see them all after a match or two. There just isn't enough variety to make this a long term event worth playing. It's super fun but it needs a better structure than someone hitting a randomize button and calling it a day.

Something about splatoon clicks with me the way other multiplayer focused games don't. A lot of it is the gameplay but it's also the way progression works. Leveling up grants you access to new weapon loadouts, which almost all multiplayer games do but I feel it's more controlled in splatoon. Yes I am arguing for less customization, I see a create a loadouts screen in CoD and I am customing everything down to the barrel of a gun and I'm like I don't care. Just cut the fat get right to meaningful landmarks to achieve and I am happy. In splatoon you level up to level 10 to unlock rank modes, the rank modes have clear grades and a simple system of moving up and down depending on your wins and loses. I have a clear goal, not just earn exp until I reach level 50. Plus when I get bored of competitive online there are other modes to mess around with.

Graphically the game is like a suped up Wii U game. It runs at a perfect 60 FPS online so that is very nice. I love the art style and the colors are so vibrant, give me bright colors over muted brown any day. The music is the same strange style as the first, whatever it is it works. There is even this mini game in the games hub where you can play a rhythm game to any of the music tracks from the game, neat addition.

Splatoon 2 is a disappointment only in that it didn't try to change much of anything up. They could have focused more on the campaign and really make an all time great platformer out of it. They could have added more modes and expanded the multiplayer features, but that did not. Salmon run is a neat new feature but it is very basic. This game succeeds in the merits of its gameplay which was fresh and exciting the last time and this time I little bit less so. If you never played the first this will be an amazing game well worth your money and time. Even playing the first it's well worth the money, it's still great, it's technically better than the first but I can't help feel a tinge of disappointment at how similar it all is.

Posted by Dvader Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:57:27
Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:00:08
This sums the game up perfectly.
Sat, 05 Aug 2017 16:06:22
This review is for babies. You know what isn't for babies? Gears of War. Real men shooting real guns. That's just a fact. Nyaa
Sun, 06 Aug 2017 14:24:43
What are these 4 old maps in ranked? There are only 2 old maps in the game - re-worked. I just need new dlc stages and some major balance changes regarding the guns, respawn rate and tentamissile spam. That said I actually prefer S1 over two so far. And the game plays better on the U gamepad and not just because of the second screen. The joycons button size and stick placement are fine in every other game. In Splatoon it feels just less than ideal.
Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:13:16
Is it still for babies?
Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:28:20
Archie LOL
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