My original ode to Splatoon is extending into a saga. The more I play the more I love it. I’ll have written the Inkyssey by the time I’m done and I’ll enjoy every second of it. Especially in the (dank) light of ridiculous complaints about the original piece. Like those who insist that every point is erased by pretending there’s a functional difference between modern first- and fixed camera over the shoulder third- person shooters.
If they want to get technical they should talk about how precision console shooters are a contradiction in terms. Easily a cursor is what we invented mice for. Sharpshooting with a thumbstick is like performing heart surgery on a unicycle: you can learn to get precise enough, sure, but it’s awkward and clumsy and people are doing to die more by accident than intent. Splatoon is the first truly console shooter, the first to invent a weapon mechanic which works with that level of control.
Other reasons I love it:
- Enemy players who “hide” and let me paint half the map to get close so that they can “surprise” me.
- Including a ranked mode for those Stockholm Syndromed players who still need the risk of wasting entire games on zero result so that their little numbers and letters feel more important.
- The steering skill and reflexes of Roller Chicken. Feint straight down the line then that little sideways shimmy like you’re judo-throwing them into an ink vat explosion.
- XP and gold for the losing team so that even a team of idiots is just a new game mode where you extract as much value as you can. (Nothing like a spawn with four paths and three teammates all taking the same one.)
- Enemy players with the most splats and the least points.
- Ink-sharking: roller, squid backwards around a corner from a range enemy, and when they follow RISE UP LIKE A BRIGHT PINK JAWS! (And speaking of ridiculous Jaws…)
- The next round of Dark Souls feels dark and oppressive again instead of “Gritty game rendered in a gravel quarry flooded by a sewage leak #3,432,843.“
Now, if only someone would render de_dust2 so that we could finally colour that place in…