Most of time shooting games are super violent. The Nintendo Wii U game “Splatoon” turns the conventions of first person shooting and makes them more family friendly and it is quite fun. “Splatoon” stars a cast of squids and it replaces the use of bullets with brightly colored ink. The goal is not to kill the other players, but to cover as much of the game board as you can with your ink color.
The controls and the physics are very similar to the Gamecube classic “Super Mario Sunshine” but instead of using a water pack to clean things up you are trying to make the biggest mess possible. “Splatoon” has the same amount of polish that you are used to from Nintendo games. This game is bright and colorful. Controls are great and is a ton of family fun.
Splatoon” stars a cast of human like creatures called “Inklings.” They have the ability to transform into squids and swim through any of the ink that is your color. The more of the map you have covered the more of an advantage you have because you have more places to swim to. “Splatoon” is more a turf war than a deathmatch.
The gameplay is fast and fun and there is variation in ways you can play. When you are in human form, the shooting is so-so but you don’t have to be that accurate because you are shooting more at walls then other people. The real fun is swimming around as the squid. If you are playing with motion controls it can be frustrating so you should use a normal pro controller to play. If you have trouble with the shooting you can use the paint roller weapon which spreads paint really fast but it isn’t very effective at taking out your opponents.
It is possible to play “Splatoon” solo but the real fun is when you play with friends. There are two main online game modes in which you can compete. The first is called “Turf War,” which has you filling the game map with the most amount of paint in three minutes. The team with the most painted areas wins.
The other online game is called “Splat Zone,” the opposite of turf war. You have a section of the map that is your color and you have to protect it from other teams. The only issue with Splat Zone is it can only be played in ranked matches which you can’t do until you reach level 10. It’s a good thing Turf War is so fun because you might just have that for a while.
The online matches can get pretty intense and competitive which leads to the issue of not having voice chat. You can’t talk with the other players so it’s hard to plan what you are going to do as you play. This is one of the first shooter games I have played that doesn’t have it. You also can’t just play with your friends in the online game play. You can’t create an online match but you can join in. There are no private matches, you have to play online with strangers.
You can play with friends locally but it’s just the one-on-one game mode so that limits what you can do. The online functionality of “Splatoon” isn’t great but most Nintendo games don’t do online very well. It can be fun online as long as you don’t mind playing with people you don’t know.
If you do well online you earn money you can use toward new outfits for your Inkling, depending on the gear you buy you can change your gun ranges and even change the rate in which you use up your ink ammo. There is a good amount of equipment you can purchase and several customization options. There are a few maps that come with the game but right now there isn’t much until the DLC comes out that has more maps to look forward to.
I like “Splatoon.” Gameplay is fast and fun and I love that it’s a family-friendly shooter. Not every game has to be violent to be fun. It’s a blast to shoot paint and even more fun to swim in it. There is a pretty hefty single player mode but the multiplayer is what will have you coming back for more. This is one of the first new original series Nintendo has put out in a long time and it shows why they are the best when it comes to family fun.
If you are into shooter games and want something to play with the family you will love “Splatoon” and there is more to come thanks to downloadable content.
“Splatoon” is one of the most fun experiences I had this year and no one died.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: Wii U
Rated: E10+ for Everyone 10 and older: Cartoon Violence
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Nintendo