New Splatoon Tournament Starts This Wednesday

Nintendo’s hit ink shooter is still going strong with regularly updated new content and a strong install base, and now Nintendo is bringing everyone another major event to keep the good times rolling.

Splatoon Tournament

Nintendo of America has announced on twitter that a new Nintendo Treehouse Splatoon tournament (or “Splatournament”) is kicking off this Wednesday at 11am PDT. The tournament is a 6-team double elimination that goes through multiple stages before a team is eventually crowned a winner.

You’ll be able to watch the tournament through YouTube, Twitch or Nintendo’s official website.

Next Splatoon Splatfest Pits Autobots Against Decepticons

Splatoon is gearing up for another Splatfest, and this time the stakes are going to be higher than ever. What I mean is that instead of picking between Cats and Dogs, you will instead have to get involved with the war for Cybertron by siding with the Autobots or Decepticons from Transformers.

This Transformers-themes Splatfest will run from August 28th-29th for 24 hours, beginning at 9PM PT. Currently, this Splatfest is only confirmed for the United States.

Splatoon has been the surprise hit of the year so far for Nintendo, as while it released to fairly solid reviews when it launched it continues to be a game that everyone talks about. I recently got around to playing and reviewing it (review here), and I honestly adore this game. Nintendo has tapped into something special with this one and hopefully they will be able to keep the good times rolling for a long time.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Splatoon (Wii U)

Nintendo gets a lot of flack for relying pretty much completely on Mario and Zelda games to sell their systems, but the fact of the matter is that’s what the people want. Nintendo has been steadily pushing out new IPs that are well received like Pushmo or Sakura Samurai, but they’ve been on a smaller scale of success due to the fanbase’s preferences. However, Splatoon is set to be Nintendo’s first big push for a major new IP to join their pantheon of games in a long time. The game is a shooter minus the bullets, as you are instead tasked with covering as much of a particular area with ink as you can. Does it have the potential to stand alongside the Nintendo greats? In my opinion, that answer is a definite yes.

You’re plopped into Splatoon‘s world of Inkopolis as a level one squid, with a sweet little hub world that gives you an idea of what the game is all about very quickly. On the left side of the map you have your shops where you can purchase new shoes, hats, shirts and weapons that all come with useful stat bonuses, though you need to be a certain level before the shop owners will consider you “fresh” enough to do business with you. Other real-life players’ characters are sprinkled throughout this hub area, though you aren’t seeing them actually playing the game as much as the game just has them stand around for you to read a personal message from them and see their equipment. Other little oddities like a hub to scan in Amiibo for new weapons to use, a spot to play the addicting arcade game Squid Jump and more give this little area of Inkopolis a lot of heart and really makes it come alive.

As you wander through Inkopolis plaza you notice a mysterious old man popping out through a manhole, and in following him you are lead to the game’s story mode in Octo Valley. The old man is Cap’n Cuttlefish and he tells you that Inkopolis’ source of power, the great Zapfish, has been kidnapped by the evil Octarians. Of course, you’re just the inkling up for the task and you must journey through multiple levels that are set up very much in the fashion of a Mario game. Each world has multiple levels that you must complete that leads to a final boss, which then unlocks the next world. These levels almost feel like a mixture of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, as the levels have multiple areas that you are constantly launching around as you spray your ink (instead of cleaning up ink like in Sunshine).

Splatoon is a third-person shooter, though instead of shooting bullets you are shooting ink. In the game’s story mode you will have enemies that you will have to splat to move forward, but much of the strategy comes in trying to cover as much area as you can with your ink. In doing so you have more areas to hide in the ink to both avoid enemies and refill your ink, while also giving enemies less areas to maneuver around in. There’s also plenty of platforming that must be done, as you use your ink to cover walls so you can swim up and around them, which leads to some really unique scenarios. The levels are very well designed and keep the action pumping from start to finish while also containing a fair bit of challenge in the later stages.

The boss fights are also very well done, as they feature some truly original designs and require a little bit of thinking to finally bring them down. They aren’t incredibly difficult and typically end up with you having to shoot at a weak point three times, but their actual character models and how they maneuver around the level still makes it a lot of fun. The true crown jewel of the game is the final boss fight, and I won’t spoil anything but it’s one of the best final boss fights I’ve ever played in a game. It’s huge, has multiple stages and has you making your way through an entire level all while taking him on and an onslaught of other enemies that is all simply incredible. The story mode will last you anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on whether or not you go for each level’s collectibles, which I highly recommend as it fleshes out the games backstory a ton and features some fantastic writing.

The story mode is great, but it’s the online mode that is what will be taking up the most of people’s time. In this mode you have access to both regular and ranked battles, in which you play against other players in quick matches. The main mode is called Turf Wars, where you and your team must cover as much of the area with your team’s ink as you can before the time runs out. Whichever team has the most area covered wins, which is a simple concept but it’s actually a breath of fresh air for this genre. While you can focus on just trying to splat as many enemies as you can, the main focus is to follow the objective of working with your team to ink everything and that’s how you’ll win.

As you play more matches you will gradually level up your character, which will give you access to more weapons to buy at the shop and more coins to buy them with. There’s actually a really solid amount of weapon variety in this game, and Nintendo has been gradually adding more for free. There are standard guns that work like machine guns with varying degrees of range and power, but there’s also ink brushes, ink buckets and ink rollers that all have their own distinct pros and cons depending on the map you’re playing on. Using the ink roller might work out great for you on one map, but on other you might find that it gets you nowhere at all. I love that aspect of the game, because it means that all of the weapons have their place to be used and won’t result in a majority of weapons being completely ignored down the line.

Except the Splat charger, which is essentially this game’s sniper rifle. I suck with that thing and refuse to ever use it again.

The online mode also works spectacularly well, as I have been finding matches very quickly and have experienced absolutely no lag. Some people were bumming out about there being no voice chat, but I personally find that to be a blessing in disguise in this situation. This game is marketed right at the jugular of little kids, so does anybody really want to hop into a match and listen to 10-year-olds crying whenever they lose? Nope, not this guy! I also love the short amount of time each match is, as it allows for you to get in several bouts in a relatively short amount of time. While the amount of modes/maps may have been a little sparse at launch, Nintendo has been regularly adding new ones for free to keep things from getting stale. Splat Zones and Rainmaker are two of the different modes on offer, which are essentially king of the kill and capture the flag types that fit right in with everything else the game has to offer.

There are some quirks to how the online menus work that I would like to see smoothed out at some point, however. In between searching for matches you don’t have the ability to change your loadout, meaning you have to back out of matchmaking every time you want to use a new weapon. Also, as you begin searching for a match you can’t back out of it even with the gamepad’s home button, which is really weird for any online game. Maybe they did this to try and stop people from leaving games, but when you hit that button by mistake your only option to back out is to shut off the system. Still, these are more or less nitpicks that really don’t bring my opinion of the game down much.

Splatoon is one of the most fun games that I have played all year, which I’m so glad to be able to say considering that it’s a brand new IP. Nintendo has manages to carve their own niche into the world of multiplayer shooters, taking a relatively simple concept and running with it. The story mode is great and features fantastic level designs and boss battles, while the online mode has tons of things to unlock and a steady stream of new weapons, maps and modes to check out for free. The package might have seemed a little slight at launch, but as more time has passed more and more content has been added that continues to hammer the point home that Splatoon will happily be in everyone’s Wii U’s for a long time to come.

CONDONE

Splatoon Is Getting New Level Cap, Weapons And Modes Next Week

Nintendo’s ink shooter Splatoon is set to receive some new free content next week, which offers new modes, new weapons, 40 new pieces of gear and a new level cap. The download will be available on August 6th.

The two new matchmaking modes that will be added as a result of this update will be Squad Battle and Private Battle. I’ve posted a couple description snippets from Nintendo directly below that detail these new modes.

Squad Battle:

“[P]layers can participate in Ranked Battle rule sets with friends, rather than being teamed up with other players through a random selection,” detailed Nintendo. “After a player creates a squad, friends can be recruited to form a team of two to four Inklings. Friends will always play together on the same team and battle against other squads at random.”

Private Battle:

“[F]riends can splat it up in private, customisable matches. Two to eight friends can battle together by selecting their favourite map, mode and weapons. The number of participants ranges from 1v1 to 4v4, but teams don’t have to be even: if the host chooses, he or she can select a 1v4, 1v2, or any other combination of players.”

As for the new level cap, Ranked and Regular Battles will have their level caps raised to 50 and Rank S/S+, respectively. The new weapons are called the Splatling gatling gun and the Slosher bucket, though the 40 pieces of new gear have not been completely detailed outside of the sushi chef outfit.

Two New Weapons Will Unlock In Splatoon Tonight

Splatoon’s weapon count is growing, as tonight will unlock two new weapons to be used in the game. They are expected to unlock at 10 PM Eastern time / 7 PM Pacific.

The two new weapons in question are the Carbon Roller and the Custom Dual Squelcher. The weapons are completely free and more than likely will not even require you to update your game in order to use them. Scroll down to check out images of both of the new weapons.

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The Inkbrush Unlocks In Splatoon Tonight

PSA to all you Splatoon players out there: tonight at 7:00 PM pacific time a new weapon called the Inkbrush will unlock. It will apparently function similarly to the rollers, only its smaller and more nimble.

It’s pretty great when a developer will release free stuff for gamers to try out pretty regularly, so good on Nintendo for doing that. I know some people were complaining about a lack of content in the game, but if this keeps up then that won’t be a problem soon.

Splatoon Global Testfire Coming Back For One More Round Next Week

You’ll get one more crack at Nintendo’s newest IP next week.

Gamers got a change to try out Nintendo’s upcoming ink shooter Splatoon thanks to what they called a global testfire beta, and now the company has revealed that people will be able to try it once more.

This final global testfire will not happen at 3 different times like the first one did, but will take place just once on Saturday, May 23rd at 6 PM.

As was the case last time, a free download from the Nintendo eShop will allow you to access the testfire as soon as it becomes 6PM and will run for exactly one hour. As soon as your final match ends that runs over 7 PM you will be booted off.