Splatoon 2 - Nintendo Switch Review

A colorfully great time

Game Info: (Box Display)

  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo EPD
  • Release Date: July 21, 2017

Who it Caters to

Fans of the ink based third person shooter rejoice, Splatoon 2 is back and larger than ever before. With new maps, customization options and weapons, Splatoon 2 aims to be even larger than its predecessor. Hop online where up to eight players will battle it out, shooting out various colors to cover the map in their ink and win the day. Single player is back—named Hero Mode—where players will battle against the deadly Octarians. Also new is Salmon Run where players will team up with friends as they fight in a wave survival based game to see how long they can last against the Salmonids. Splatoon 2 brings back the ink wars to the Nintendo Switch for players to enjoy on the go or at home.

What to Expect

Splatoon 2 may be a third person shooter, but don’t expect to be using guns or weapons in the normal sense. Players will arm up with weapons that shoot colored ink as they slide and shoot their way to the glorious victory screen. As a squid-like being—Inkling—you’re able to color the floors, walls and various objects and then dive in and swim around. Players will need to learn how to master the best ways to shoot their ink all around to rack up high points and help their team win. If you’re a fan of Splatoon 1 then you’ll be happy to know Splatoon 2 has updated not only its graphics but has added new maps, music and awesome new ways to play the game either solo or with friends online.

Story

Taking place several months after Splatoon 1, we see some tension build between Marie—the victor of the Splatfest event—and her cousin Callie. While once they were extremely close and spent time together, recently they have begun to drift apart. Marie begins to wonder if Callie’s loss during the Splatfest event has somehow made her the way she currently is and decides to go to Callie’s home to see her and her parents. However, when Marie arrives, she learns that Callie and her family have vanished and feels like most likely this is the doing of the Octarians again. Assuming the role of Agent 4, you’re mission is to find out what happened to Callie and along the way save the Great Zapfish.

Gameplay

Splatoon 1 was regarded as a breath of fresh air in the third person shooter genre. Rather than gritty landscapes or militarized gameplay, Splatoon aimed at focusing on colors and paint like effects as the players primary weapon. Splatoon 2 acts as the latest installment in this series and definitely is a step up in the right direction in multiple ways. While it falls short with some elements, let’s first discuss what makes Splatoon 2 a must own title for your Nintendo Switch. Cause trust us folks, we’ll be honest Splatoon 2 is awesome.

Similar to the first Splatoon, Splatoon 2 gives players a medium to large size map and tasks them with covering every nook and cranny with the ink color of their team. Players will do this using various weapons such as large paint brushes, ink guns and ink grenades. Thanks to the fact you’re an Inkling—squid based human—you’re able to change into a squid and dive into your ink colors to hide and recharge your ink. The gameplay feels the same as before but that is indeed a good thing. The few new weapons added are fun additions to the game and allow for some new tactics to be implemented in a match, probably our favorites are the dual ink pistols that give you a lot of freedom in movement.

Once players level up to 4, they can begin really seeing some of the cooler concepts of Splatoon 2 in the form of equipment. Each piece—meaning headgear to feet—gives your Inkling new buffs and special increases to help you do better in combat. For example if you use the slower roller weapons then you may want to increase shoes that boost your speed so it can mitigate some of the speed loss or if you use the splatterguns you find it benefitting to use any piece of gear that increases your ink reload. There’s a lot of customization to be found in Splatoon 2 that really makes experimenting with new gear and weaponry a fun task, especially seeing as how each piece of equipment levels up unlocking random skills. There’s definitely a lot more equipment than Splatoon 1 meaning it will be a while if you want to get it all. Plus let us mention that those who have the Splatoon Amibos will be able to get some in game items as well, so better pick them up when you can.

What we really love is that the maps rotate every few hours meaning when you get bored of one map, just take a small break and you’ll be enjoying a new one before long. While some may have issues with this idea, we here at Honey’s Anime think it makes sense so you never get bored or feel as if you’re doing the same thing over and over again as with other multiplayer games like this. There are several maps in total and while we hope Nintendo plans on releasing more, for now the maps are varied enough to never feel overly repetitive.

Graphically, Splatoon 2 looks amazing on either a nice HD TV or on the impressive Nintendo Switch screen. The colors are even more vibrant than the first one and seeing bright colors on a map never looks dull but always cool. The Story mode maps feel a bit overly generic at times but even when they are, the colors really make them still have their own punch. The same could be said with the music which we will say is just incredible. The tunes really have a hip-hop aesthetic and we love how well it works when you’re in a heated turf war. While there isn’t any voice acting—all the characters have an Animal Crossing-like effect—it’s still cute to hear their odd sound effects.

Now we hate mentioning what doesn’t work in a game here at Honey’s Anime but few games are perfect and there are some issues to be found in Splatoon 2. Our first major issue comes in the form of the story mode. While it’s not horrible by any means it lacks the same fun that the various online modes bring and just inserts bland enemies and an overly simple difficulty. While we didn’t hate it and there are some cool level designs at times, it overall just feels like a tacked on mode to give the game some way of having a single player. We hope that Nintendo can fix this and make a stronger story mode with Splatoon 3 possibly but for now it works but it easily one of the weaker modes available.

Now let’s shift gears and look at Salmon Run which is where we have some love and hate to discuss. Essentially Salmon Run acts as a horde- like mode where players team up in 4 Inkling squads to gain eggs each round and meet a quota. Doing enough rounds and you’ll be granted various goodies as you reach certain tiers, akin to the level up system found in the multiplayer. While there is fun to be had here thanks to the random boss enemies that need different means of taking them down and the random weapons you get per round, we do have some major gripes with the execution of Salmon Run. The biggest flaw is not having Salmon Run open all the time, players will need to be online at certain times to play and on certain days if they wish to go online with random players or friends not close to them. If you’re lucky to have friends nearby with their own copies of Splatoon 2 and Nintendo Switches, then you can play via wireless options but otherwise you need to adhere to the set dates and times which is just flat out bizarre. Otherwise Salmon Run is one of the most fun modes available since it allows for a nice break from the multiplayer and gives you plenty of interesting new gameplay elements to enjoy.

Finally let’s end our gripes with the motion controls. While we here at Honey’s Anime tested various modes of play, no matter what controllers we were using, motion controls just flat out weren’t enjoyable. Luckily every controller option has the ability to turn off the default motion control option but it really isn’t a pleasant gameplay choice. Probably some players can feel like this adds some cool elements to aiming and such but for us we just didn’t think it was worth having on even after experimenting with it for a few hours. This is a minor gripe with the game and honestly motion controls should have been set a possible means to play not a set default.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

When a sequel releases we always worry that the title will not be as good as the first game. Thankfully Nintendo hear our cries with Splatoon 1 and really did a phenomenal job with Splatoon 2. While we have minor gripes here and there, Splatoon 2 as a whole is an excellent third person shooter and a title we’re having loads of fun playing. The new weapons, maps and customization are truly impressive and while we hope Nintendo will release even more maps at a later date, we are perfectly content with what we have now. Honestly, if you’re a Nintendo Switch owner you need to pick up Splatoon 2 and add it to your gaming library as soon as possible.

Honey's Pros:

  • Amazing Gameplay
  • Awesome Music
  • New Weapons and Maps
  • Loads of customization options
  • Online Runs smooth and fine

Honey's Cons:

  • Story Mode is boring
  • Salmon Run is poorly implemented
  • Weak motion controls

Honey's Final Verdict:

Splatoon 2 is honestly one of the best Nintendo Switch titles we’ve played so far. We’re already finding ourselves addicted to shooting ink all over the place and truly while it sounds repetitive on paper, it’s anything but. Folks we here at Honey’s Anime don’t always go and say to rush out and buy a game but if you own the Nintendo Switch if you have the funds, you’d be missing out if you don’t pick Splatoon 2 up. Now then folks we would love to hear if you’re planning on picking up Splatoon 2. As always folks if you loved our review let us know in the comments below and be sure to keep following Honey’s Anime for more reviews soon to release.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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