As an avid Nintendo fan I am ecstatic about the release of the Switch. Well, I will be. You know, once they get more than one game on it (Full disclosure: I realize there are a dozen titles for the system, but as of now Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the only one I, and many others, care about). While I may complain about the prospects of purchasing a system with one great game and a Mario Kart game that I, in essence, already have for my Wii U, I am still going to buy this system as soon as it gets one more game from a popular Nintendo property. For me, that game will be Splatoon 2.
Truth be told, I had never gotten into any online shooters prior to Splatoon. Thus, I never heard the utterance “GG” or had to listen to a 12 year old go on about how well he made relatives of mine climax during coitus. I was too busy reading comics and playing every Pokemon game ever made. Many of you were molded by online gaming, developing emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually? I merely adopted the community as an adult, while playing a childish online shooter.
Splatoon was great though, winning a plethora of awards including IGN’s Best of 2015 “Best Shooter” category. With that said, there are definitely some improvements I would like to see made that could help Splatoon evolve into the online shooter that Nintendo could really use to build its online and competitive community.
More maps at launch
Having bought Splatoon early after release, I truly was not expecting that much from it. It was getting decent reviews, but not the spectacular ones that it would later receive. Truth be told, one of the main reasons I picked it up was because I was running out of Wii U games. I mean, I can only play Smash Bros. so many times. Well, that’s a lie. I literally just played it while my wife was watching Grey’s Anatomy for the fourth time around. Who am I to judge playing the same game for two and a half years now though? I wonder what Doctor Mario’s specialty would be at Grey Sloan Memorial? Proctologist? Sorry, I’ll probe this topic during my free time.
Back to the point. A big reason Splatoon did not receive the great reviews it would eventually receive, was because of the lack of content, particularly available maps. As the game evolved and more was added, re-reviews were released offering praise. With this lesson in mind, Splatoon 2 needs to come out strong with more maps, more gear, and more available weapons so any new players that are riding in on the Switch (Let’s be honest: Breath of the Wild) wave will not get bored and go back to playing their Overwatch or For Honor or Counter Strike or whatever you kids are playing these days. The point is Splatoon 2 needs these maps from the start to keep up the positive reviews for the console in general, and so I do not get bored playing Arowana Mall for the millionth time.
I must say I have gone back and forth on this. On one hand, I would love to be able talk to my two buddies who will have a Nintendo Switch by the time Splatoon 2 releases. On the other hand, I really do not feel like hearing about my relatives giving oral sex to a twelve year old boy, so if Nintendo does implement the online communication they need to adopt the option of only remaining in a group chat with the people on your team. Plus, if you have played Splatoon for Wii U you know that almost half of the other players will be Japanese, so a language barrier could become an issue. How do I say “GG” in Japanese?
While this feature could upset an old grump like me, the game does need this feature to help the online community of Nintendo become something bigger than what it currently is. We need to be able to tell our teammates what we are doing and where we need to be, to discuss strategy and weapon selection, and a bonus would be that I would be able tell my one buddy to go shoot that one guy with a roller who’s covering half of our side of the map while the rest of us push onward to the bad guys’ side.
There are two issues with the way the teams work on Splatoon. The first is when you want to play online with your friends, but when you get on together you won’t necessarily get to play on the same team. The great squid gods and their magical fucking randomization squid tools choose who shall be on the same team. So, when my friend and I, who coordinate our weapons to provide balance over the phone since we can’t talk online, get put on separate teams half of the time. Which isn’t too bad until you get put on a team with three snipers who just sit back while you have to paint every square inch of the map yourself, and your one friend you tried to play with keeps getting his new friends to come and only kill you. Fucking Michael! (More on this weapon issue later)
Another issue is that you cannot play with your friends in ranked battles. The ranked matches are a great way to earn more money and clearly, rank up. However, in these matches we are forced to play only with strangers who we cannot communicate with in any way. That is of course, unless you’re psychic. Right Anthony? That’s going to work on like ½ of the people reading this article.
Let me change my weapon
I must admit I have not played many online shooters besides Splatoon in my lifetime. I did not play Counter Strike on my laptop in high school like all the cool kids. I played Mario Kart and Pokemon Blue like an old curmudgeon talking about how cheap McDonald’s double cheeseburgers were back in my day. They were a dollar! McDoubles didn’t exist people! We got two slices of cheese! How did we let this happen? Anyway, Halo was played mainly as an in house multiplayer, where we just tried to snipe at each other from across the map at Blood Gulch or fly a Banshee into the other person yelling “Kamikaze!”
I did get to play Overwatch recently, and this is how I realized all the things that were missing from Splatoon. I first played the game using some healer and literally just followed a guy named Reinhardt around while holding a button so my light would touch him and heal him. My initial thought, was that this was the dumbest fucking game ever I’ve ever played, and I’ve played Superman 64. When I died though I quickly realized I didn’t have to stay as that character. I got to switch my character and basically become a different type of player and use a different weapon. Also, I got to inform my teammates that I was doing this so they could change accordingly to keep the team balanced. Our team wasn’t full of only Reinhardts, the equivalent to squids with rollers!
This is a change Splatoon 2 is in drastic need of. Currently, we have to leave the lobby entirely to change weapons and clothes. We need an option in which we can change our weapons in between matches or even during the match utilizing the few seconds we have until we are reborn. This way I can tell my three snipers that at least one of them, needs to change weapons. I’ll probably start teaching myself Japanese soon.
When buying clothes on Splatoon, each item comes with a gear ability and three slots for sub-abilities that vary from item to item. The major ability cannot be changed, but the three slots can be re-rolled to try to acquire abilities that may fit the character, typing, or play preference that you prefer. I personally attempt to acquire items that provide me with a quicker reload time, less usage of the ink ammo, and a longer special time. This works well for my mini-gun with a shield special, but while acquiring the major gear ability may be easy, getting my sub-abilities to fit this mold is a long and tiring process which i have not succeeded in.
So what is my suggestion to make this better? Nintendo, I want to be able to tell that homeless, British, unkempt fuck exactly what I want my sub-abilities to be! But Josh, then you would just get the items and abilities you wanted and stop using your super sea snails. First off, I like to have different typings and I like to diversify my damn outfit based on my feelings that day. Maybe I want to dress like George Michael or a lumberjack hipster or a samurai or a George Michael samurai hipster. The point is that if I can upgrade these items my way then I will keep doing it.
Still didn’t convince you Nintendo? Then just make being able to choose the sub-ability way more costly than having it randomized.
Utilize the Switch’s Portability
I’m not expecting to be able to play online outside of house. I just want to be able to play on the portable device while in my home. On the Wii U players were only allowed to play on the television screen while the map display was set up on the Wii U pad. Adding a feature where you can quickly take a glance at the map, while playing on the portable device would allow me to walk around my house in a panicked sweat as I feverishly paint the vast architecture of this squid world. Also, I can play while my pregnant wife continues her endless marathons of Grey’s Anatomy and Charmed. None of the doctors at Grey Sloan specialize in proctology, they really do need a proctologist. While thinking of proctology, I’ll just say what everyone who had a Wii U at one point thought. I want to be able to play my games while taking a dump.