Splatoon is a true rarity: a brand new Nintendo IP that seems to have become a genuine crossover hit – not just among Nintendorks like myself, but also among the general gaming populace. On days when I wear my kickass Splatoon t-shirt, at least three or four people usually come up to me, all like “SPLATOON!!!” This is due in no small part to an unprecedentedly huge marketing push, the likes of which I haven’t seen from Nintendo in years (including two of the raddest video game commercials since the goddamn 90’s). Hopefully Nintendo recognizes the very simple cause-and-effect at play here, and keeps this shit up!
When the game was first announced back at E3 2014, I was initially put off by its aesthetic – it reminded me of one of those 90’s platformers that tried so desperately hard to be hip. Punky Skunk or some shit. But once I actually played it, the weird urban hip hop/punk style fell into place for me, and I ended up falling in love with this world and the goofy characters who inhabit it. Especially this guy, who reminds me of my years as a teenage punk hanging out on St. Mark’s Place:
The crux of the game, as you probably know, is an online multiplayer shooter. And it’s great! But I’m not going to talk about that, because The Nintendo Resolution focuses on beating games, and obviously you can’t really beat an online multiplayer game. But what often gets overlooked is Splatoon‘s single-player campaign. It’s a series of clever platforming levels which bring to mind Mario’s 3D adventures, but which have their own feel and style due to the unique ink-based mechanics.
As is the case with all the best Nintendo games, the levels are designed to maximize and challenge your character’s abilities (spraying and swimming through ink, in this case), with new concepts constantly being added to the rotation. It’s really quite remarkable, and what’s really crazy is that there are some pretty revolutionary platforming ideas at play here – ideas that most developers would build entire franchises around – and Nintendo uses them in the single-player mode of a multiplayer game, almost as an afterthought.
The bosses are especially awesome, and the final boss sequence is one of the coolest I have ever seen. And one of the most challenging! It took me several tries, but I finally beat the fucker! Spoiler alert:
I cannot recommend Splatoon enough, and honestly this single-player mode is almost worth the price of admission alone. Hopefully more levels get released as DLC – or hell, even as a standalone game! In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for decking out in my Inkling gear in Smash Bros.