I never played the original Splatoon. When Splatoon 2 was announced for Switch, everyone was raving about it. To be totally honest, it looked like a sort of shooter for kids in my book. I mean... It was a game about shooting ink. It really didn't grab my attention at all. I should point out that when Splatoon 2 was released I was pretty heavy into both Overwatch and Paladins - two other competitive team based shooters. So not only did I feel like I had enough of this sort of game in my life, but it reinforced my feeling that Splatoon 2 was for kids.
But people still raved about Splatoon 2. It was inescapable. Here we are a year later and people are still talking about the damn game. It's just now received a huge expansion called the Octo Expansion which adds 80-something levels of a single player campaign. Plus, there are some very cute Amiibos related to this game. It felt like maybe I was missing out on something big. Maybe just maybe I was missing a game that I'd really enjoy.
After years of Overwatch obsession, I was starting to feel tired. I felt like maybe I needed some other competitive game to scratch that itch. But maybe something a little less demanding. And then one Saturday morning I was up with my daughter and we were watching the Nintendo Youtube channel. There was a Splatoon 2 tournament being shown, and I don't know - the game just started to make sense to me.
And so I've been super into this game now. All my experience playing Overwatch seems to carry over to an extent. The whole thinking like a team thing. The prioritizing the objective (inking) over getting kills (splats). The being aware of the full map instead of just where I am. The paying attention to your teammates. The way that your loadout is pretty much a class. I just kind of get it now.
It's a bummer that I'm sort of late to the party, though. I missed the last Splatfest, and it doesn't seem like Nintendo is supporting this game the way they are Smash. But yup. I do love this game.
I started using the NES Zapper 85 and things got really good and fast paced for me. There's something about that weapon that just felt really good. I ended up going on quite a winning spree in random matches, and was quickly at level 10 which means that the ranked mode opened up.
There's nothing quite like getting sucked into a game. That feeling when you stop thinking about what you might play next because you're so content with the game you are playing. I'm so into this game, I find myself thinking about all periphery stuff I want now. I want the starter guide that Nintendo put out; I want all the Splatoon Amiibos; heck, I want a Splatoon t-shirt.
This is one of those games that I've really sunk my teeth into. I've ordered a copy of the strategy guide. I'm constantly trying to find the right balance of gear - doing my best to have good functional attire that still retains the 90's grunge look I'm going for with my character. And I'm taking my time experimenting with new weapons. I'm always trying to get better.
And still, I've yet to really dip my toe into the ranked mode. For now I'm having a blast just experimenting and trying to improve in the casual mode. I'm trying to explore some of the other modes more now. I did another Salmon Run with randos, and then I started working on the single player mode which is something I didn't mess with much back when I first played this. I don't know if finishing the single player will grant me anything other than being able to say I finished it, but I figured why not. It's certainly still a little extra 'practice.' Plus, it occurs to me that I also have the Octo expansion to get through as well. So I guess I can dabble with those offline modes in between playing actual (casual) matches. I figure it'll be a little while before I really feel confident enough to jump into ranked mode.
I picked up the lovely Splategy Guide from ebay and have been thumbing through it. I kind of wish I had had it from the get-go. It would have been fun to treat their "how to get good" section as assignments, such as completing the single player first, then leveling up to a certain level and moving on to the next task. Oh well.
Of course guides for online games are almost outdated from day one. Like, the N-Zapper (my weapon of choice) isn't even mentioned in the guide. But it's still a really neat little piece of memorabilia to possess. I love stuff like this. I feel like some Splatoon amiibo are in my near future.
The throwback Splat Fest was fun! Though I only got to dabble in it briefly. And my team lost - because people don't like science. But whatever. This game still rules for me. I think that when all is said and done, Splatoon 2 will go down in history as one of my favorite Switch exclusives.