The Beta for the latest Nintendo game, Splatoon, splattered all over the Wii U over the weekend, which means those lucky few with a Wii U got to try it out for the very first time before launch. And that means we can preview the potential saviour to the Wii U's online multiplayer issue.
The main basis of the game is territorial. You have to cover the map in more of your team's colour of paint than the rival team to win. There are a number of ways to do this with a paint roller and even a sniper rifle. Then whoever has covered the most of the map, which can be tracked using the Gamepad, wins.
It's a simple premise, but sometimes a little too simple. Before, Splatoon was described as a tactical and strategic game. But just covering a map in paint can only be these two things to a certain level, and it doesn't take long to realise that you only really need the paint roller to win. Because it's a paint roller and not a sniper of paint. What doesn't aid this tactical and strategic edge Splatoon apparently has, is the lack of a voice chat option. Whether this is just because it is a beta and not the full game is yet to be seen, but without it, theres very little communication you can do with your team of four apart from a couple of words preprogrammed into the D-pad.
Another issue is the controls. The reliance on motion controls for aiming from the offset are very awkward considering the size of that gamepad. If the controller was smaller this would make a lot more sense as a game mechanism. In game, there's a major problem with scopes, being that there aren't any. You'd expect it on the sniper rifle, but the most you get is a line to make sure you're hitting something.
The unique art of Splatoon fits perfectly with the overall style of the game, especially with its cartoony concept. They've added just a little personality to the characters and each map. And one of the gaming mechanics, being able to transform into a squid ink thing to refill on ink and travel faster across the map, gives it just a touch more character to add to the abundance of personality. The soundtrack is a right jam as well.
What can be said for sure, is that Splatoon is a lot of fun, if not slightly repetitive fun. Hopefully, if Nintendo decide to gauge these user feedbacks that are going to be pouring in, then they can iron out these gameplay problems for some much smoother gameplay.
Splatoon's full release date is scheduled for May 29th alongside the Splatoon Amiibo.