575 – Splatoon
I hope enough of you are familiar enough with EarthBound and Splatoon to get this strip! (all the more-accessible Mario Sunshine jokes were taken) Who knew the Blue Inkling was a Happy-Happyist?
Yes, Splatoon, the new Nintendo IP revealed at E3. Where do I start with this one? You guys should already know how big of a Smash Bros fan I am–64, Melee, Brawl, I love the bunch. And SSB Wii U + 3DS absolutely did not disappoint; indeed, it was my favorite game of E3. But a surprisingly close 2nd was this little gem, Splatoon.
The concept is brilliant in its simplicity: tag the most area with paint to win. Pushing that mechanic to its fullest (and mixing in lots of fast-paced squid gameplay), Splatoon feels immediately accessible and deeply strategic all in one. Unlike pretty much every other shooter out there, your core goal is not to blast your opponents, although it doesn’t hurt to do so now and then. The team-based gameplay makes it to where anyone playing can feel like they’re contributing, simply by splattering ink on as much of the ground as possible. Advanced players can take full advantage of the super move, the ink grenades, the stealthy squid mechanics and teleportation that all give the game plenty of rewarding depth. I went back multiple times to play this one, despite its perpetual line.
Make no mistake, folks, Splatoon is the real deal. For those of you that’ve asked for new IPs from Nintendo, you have no excuse to pass this up! Perhaps the highest praise I can give this game, in fact, is that I’m not even a fan of shooters. But like Mario Kart and Smash Bros before it, Splatoon transcends its genre with creativity, innovation and accessibility that welcomes all players. As long as it’s fully-featured upon release next year, I see no reason to not pick it up ASAP. Splatoon is remarkably fun.