Video game review: Splatoon Wii U, Splatoon the perfect ink blot

INKOPOLIS – Splatoon is a third-person shooter published by Nintendo for the Wii U that was released early 2015 amid critical praise and accolades. It’s been almost a year since launch and Splatoon is really catching on with younger gamers.

splatoon-digitalNintendo, the world’s most famous video game producer, took a chance by starting fresh with Splatoon. Instead of utilizing fan favourites such as Mario, Zelda or Pokemon they introduced Inklings – hybrid beings that can shape-shift between human and squid form.Splatoon_2_-_Turquoise_ink

The premise of the game is very simple. Inklings enter a 4vs4 multiplayer arena and shoot ink at the environment or at each other with Super Soaker like weapons and other painting tools like giant rollers. You have to paint as much of the level with your teams colour than the other team and use your weapons to hit the enemies and score “kills”.

It plays very much like a splashy version of laser tag with one minor difference — you need to recharge your ammo by switching into squid form and swimming around in the ink. The squid form is really cool because you can spray ink on the side of a wall in human form and then morph into a squid and swim along the wall. When swimming in ink your character becomes hidden.

The game offers many upgrades that can be unlocked such as machine guns, shotguns, gatling guns and sniper rifles, to melee weapons such as paint rollers, brushes, and buckets. There are also visual customizations for your character like headgear, clothes and shoes from the neighbouring shops, with more items becoming available as the player’s level increases.Splatoon_2_-_Yellow_ink

Although Splatoon focuses primarily on player vs player online competition it does have a single player campaign called Octo Valley. In this story mode Captain Cuttlefish hires you to rescue The Great Zapfish which is Inkopolis’ source of power from the evil Octarians.

Two Row Gamer Mahalia Garlow says her favourite part of the game is beating all the bosses in Octo Valley. “I like it, because when you beat the final boss you get rewards like the hero suit and costumes,” she told us.

It’s easy to see why this game was a #1 best seller in Japan and the U.K. because the innovative gameplay mixed with super bright colours and cool music is very exciting. It’s also great for all ages because there is no violence or bloodshed while still maintaining the edge that fans of the shooter genre are used to.

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  1. This was my surprise of 2015. I didn’t ‘get’ it from watching gameplay videos and almost didn’t buy it, but the Wii U has a sparse release calendar so I did pick it up on release. Very glad that I did. It’s quickly become my favorite online competitive game and one of my favorite shooters.

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