Like it or not, Nintendo so far has proven the Switch as a worthy successor to the ill-fated Wii U. Then again, the more time individuals a part of that lucky 1.5 million club get a chance to play it, the clearer it becomes of how much of the Wii U’s DNA remains within the historic Kyoto, Japan-based developer’s first hybrid home/portable console. This is why it made sense for Nintendo to announce a sequel to Splatoon during the initial Switch reveal with a clever Esports tie-in.
When the original Splatoon hit the Wii U in 2015, critics and consumers alike praised the game for delivering an incredibly non-violent and child-friendly take on the third-person shooter dominated by the likes of Gears of War. To be honest, the team over at Nintendo EAD made the most genre-defying product since the original multiplayer fighter Super Smash Bros. in 1999. The squad/ink concept worked well mechanically, shooting rival Teuthida or things felt great, there was a layer of team strategy that rivaled its contemporaries and the visuals mixed highly stylized 90s cartoon aesthetic with an adequate technical display of Wii U’s low horsepower. All of that lead to well-deserved total sales of almost five million copies.
And, this is why Splatoon 2 could do for Switch what Super Smash Bros. Melee did Gamecube after trying out a few matches during the Testfire weekend. Taking a more “ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach, there are some significant additions that were noticeable out the gate. The biggest being the ability to play it exactly how one wants to thanks in part to the Switch’s design. I played some rounds on the sofa, while in bed and taking a shit. Literally, just like the commercial.
What can I say? I’m a busy man and those eight plus hour gaming sessions are difficult when you have a needy(and expensive as fuck) five-month-old. When on the commode, mobile os games from iOS to Android always felt like half-assed versions of things better done on either home or dedicated portable consoles. I refuse to play Mobile Strike, Candy Crush or Kim Kardashian Hollywood and console specific genre standards suck with a touchscreen.
And no, I’m not going to walk around with a PS4 controller just to play a five-year-old port of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The fuck I look like?
But, I digress.
Keeping things serious, Splatoon 2 adds some new weapon types like dual wielding to keep things interesting and the visuals seem to be bumped up from its predecessor. This means 1080P and 60FPS which really makes a difference when playing online. Most importantly, it plays great.
Splatoon 2 is the game I can see my five-month-old enjoying when she gets around six or seven years of age before she hates me in her teens and becomes a fan of Halo 15 or Call of Duty: Insert Generic Adjective Warfare. One thing remains questionable, however. What’s the single player going to look like?