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Splatoon: Paint Your Heart Out!

Nintendo has always been a studio hell bent on coming up with creative and clever twists to gaming as well as throwing in it's own unique style and personality. Splatoon is Nintendo's new spin on shooters.  Splatoon is a 3rd person shooter where your ammunition is ink and your character, is a squid.  Think about that for a second, go ahead I'll wait.  Yeah that's what I thought, CRAZY!  Nintendo is just that way though, never wanting to copy or take the easy path, they are out to try something adventurous.

On to the reason I want to talk about Splatoon, I might be reaching here but from what I have heard the shooter genre is pretty cookie cutter nowadays and gamers are clamoring for something innovative and original, or atleast that's what they are claiming perhaps not what they are doing.  Now I will save the arguments about Call of Duty / Battlefield and other yearly UPDATES for another day but I need to point out that these games have been at the center of this ongoing issue for quite some time.  While these are first person shooters I do believe Splatoon merits being talked about in the same conversation due to the 'desire' for a more unique experience.  My goal isn't to say Call of Duty / Battlefield are bad games, my goal is to point out that these games all are very predictable with what to expect.  If gamers want something different they shouldn't buy the next yearly installment and wait for the company to react to their desires.  OK, enough ranting, I wanted to give a preview to those who really are interested in something other than the norm.


Splatoon, as I said above, is a 3rd person shooter with both single player and multi player aspects. The game is centered around a turf war so to speak, between two teams who tell themselves apart by color.  The unique or weird part about the game is what the teams consist of... SQUIDS!! That's right, squids, who woulda thought huh?  Well Nintendo woulda and dida.  The characters the players control are squids, squids who's weaponry fires ink (woh).
Squid character for a blue team.
Squid character for an orange team.

The object of the game turns out to be rather simple, and each game mode will add a different twist or "gimmick" to the main gameplay mechanic.   The goal is to spread more ink around the map than the other team.  Sounds simple right?  Well, when your opponent shoots ink it will overwrite the ink that you and your team has spread.  Luckily if you hit your opponent with ink they can be killed and sent back to the starting area so the game also still includes the classic deathmatch feel while adding another goal to the mix.  There are multiple elements to the game to increase the challenge / strategy of the game.  For instance if you step on the opposing teams color of ink you will receive a speed debuff making your character move very slowly.  There are also many different weapons besides the standard paintball gun.  Weapons such as rocket launchers make their way into the game with a bit of a twist on their functionality.

Movement has always been a very integral  part to shooters and Splatoon is no different in this area.  Movement can be done in both the humanish form and the squid form.  The squid form allows the character to move very quickly through ink of the same color and also allows for the character to blast off to any teammate on the map, a very handy feature to allow the player to get back in the action almost immediately should they fall in battle.


Splatoon Hub-World
What is also neat about Splatoon is that it brings back an old classic, the hub-world.  The hub world is where everything outside of combat is located.  The hub-world is how you get to the multiplayer or singleplayer games to actually play.  However, the hub-world isn't just for these to things there are also other things to do here.  First and foremost, this is where you get new weapons and get the ability to customize your loadout for your matches.  This is also where you buy clothing for your character.

Clothing functions like armor does in other games.  It provides your character with certain attributes that allow the customization of play styles.  For example, certain clothing may provide a boost to damage but reduce speed.  The clothing accessories allow for players to customize their characters to fit their unique play styles.


While I am not what you would call a hardcore shooter fan I do enjoy the occasional battle of the bullets, or paint in this case, yet I have never felt that any shooter really fits how I want to play.  I am not big on the seriousness of the Battlefields or Call of Duty's or similar games but I do enjoy quirky games like Ratchet and Clank.  It should go without saying then that when I saw Splatoon, more importantly saw that it was being made by Nintendo, I was immediately drawn to the concept.  It represents a shooter game that doesn't take itself to seriously and yet there is still room for the possibility of serious competition.