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PAX East 2015: Splatoon

by on March 7, 2015
 

Squids meet paintball in this new third person shooter by Nintendo!

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited for something coming from Nintendo, sure they have Zelda and Mario, but Splatoon is something new.

Splatoon is a multiplayer game in which two teams of four battle by covering the map in paint of their team’s color. The beauty of the game is that scores aren’t really shown until the end of each round. So walking around the level could be deceiving because near your base, assuming your team is playing the game right, it should all be in your color. The battle area should always be in the middle meaning that the final result will be a close match.

Strategies involve sneaking into the enemy base and painting as much as you can while the battle sticks around in the middle. It’s a risky move since anyone who spawns will likely see you and paint over it, but it could still work in your team’s favor.

All of the paint you splat onto the ground is also a gameplay mechanic. Morphing your squid into the paint allows you to move exponentially faster than walking on ground. Although watch out for enemy paint, it will slow you down. It’s a great addition to the game as it helps you navigate through the map quickly.

Before continuing this portion on controls I’d like to point out this was my first time using and playing anything on Wii U.

Controls used in the demo featured the gyroscope, meaning I had to tilt the remote aim which has a learning curve behind it. Although after the demo I asked if there was an option to remove that, and the rep said ‘yes’, nice! Other than that it’s your standard shooter since your goal is to shoot the enemy as well. An added feature which I thought was cool was the use of the second screen. After you respawn, if you see a teammate in trouble, you can touch your ally on the mini-map and launch over to assist them.

I wasn’t expecting to play this game, but ever since E3 I’ve had it in mind. Having heard that it was going to make an appearance at PAX East, I rushed over to get some hands-on time, and left Nintendo’s booth quite satisfied with their latest IP.