If I couldn’t see the Joy-Con controller in my hand, I would have been convinced I was playing Splatoon on a Wii U at Nintendo’s recent Switch preview event. While that’s fairly damning, it might be one of Splatoon 2‘s biggest strengths.
There are two ways to look at this — either Nintendo is re-releasing a damn near identical game (WITH MORE WEAPONS AND STUFF, fanboys shout), or it is exposing those who didn’t buy a Wii U to a pretty phenomenal shooter. There are plenty in that camp, so I’m happy to think of this upcoming release in the latter way.
Splatoon 2 was a crowd pleaser at the event, and that’s well-deserved. It, alongside Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — another franchise in the same boat — were the games that had people grouping together, trading quips and shouts of, “good move!” as matches carried on.
If you’re unaware, Splatoon is a very Nintendo shooter. Armed with various ink-throwing weapons, the goal is to cover an arena with more of your team’s ink than the oppositions. You are able to ‘kill’ enemies with a barrage of ink, but it’s quite secondary. The team who focuses on a Call of Duty-style frag rather than play objectives (hey, this sounds familiar) will find themselves on the losing side every time.
Squid-kids were constantly laughing, smiling and most importantly, demanding another round, using the aforementioned Joy-Cons, a Pro controller or the Switch’s handheld configuration. It didn’t matter how people were playing, but that they were, and having fun. With unconfirmed reports of strange voice chat offerings when it comes to the Switch itself, Splatoon 2 shines through local multiplayer, with players shouting out rather than screaming down a mic.
Sure, it’s the same damn game you’ve played before, but it’s the same damn game you’ve played before on a home console that doubles as a handheld one (though probably with content from day one, unlike the original). If you’re not having difficulties shelling out $470 AUD for the Switch in March, I doubt you’ll have a problem paying full price for Splatoon 2 a month later.