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Very Quick Tips: Splatoon

May 28 // Chris Carter
General tips: Try out every weapon in the game. Too intimidated to play online with it? Go to the shop to give it a trial run in the training course. Play whatever you want, but know that early on, there will be a lot of rollers out there to deal with. Talk to the cat in town every day for the occasional bit of free gold. Try to recharge your ammo by going into ink constantly. If you can get somewhere by way of your squid form, do it. There are lots of advanced tactics in this game, but one is done by inking the ground quickly below you, squid morphing, and jumping away from your opponent. Repeat as many times as necessary. In the campaign, you can press any level to instantly super jump to it -- it's really useful for getting around quickly, and I didn't even realize it until the very end.   Turf War: This sounds self-explanatory, but when you're playing Turf War, look for a special (grenade or super attack) that can earn you more turf. For instance, the Splash Wall is a great defensive tool, but other powers will help you actually cover more ground. You always want to be taking turf, even while taking out enemies. Later on in a match, look around for areas that haven't been covered yet. It's safe bet that the enemy team hasn't even realized that this place exists, and likely won't return to it as the match ends. Always watch the GamePad map after a death. Is your ally deep into a base with lots of uncovered ground? Tap them to super jump to them. Mash the screen (gently) in case they die -- you'll jump over there anyway if you tap in time. You'll learn to see certain weapons on the map by the pattern they lay down. For instance, it's easy to spot a roller going in a straight line, switching the territory color. Learn to spot them and stay away if necessary, and get to higher ground. Ambushing people on walls is a great tactic to stay alive if you're outgunned. While running around a corner, quickly ink the wall and stick to it. Most players won't suspect an aerial attack from behind. Don't have enough time at the end of a round after a respawn? Paint objects quickly in your base. You won't have time to super jump or get to any useful location. Splat Zones: Always get to the zone immediately, but create at least one path back. If you have nothing to do and your zone is more than covered, consider ruining the other team's path towards their spawn. It'll significantly slow them down when returning. There are a lot of items here that particularly shine in Splat Zones, like Splash Walls. Use these to block off choke points and prevent enemies from rushing into your zone.
Splatoon tips photo
Jelonzo is the coolest
Just because Splatoon is a light-hearted online experience, that doesn't mean that it lacks depth. Here are some tips to help you along the path to ranked dominance.

Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Large shipment of UK copies of Splatoon stolen, GAME heavily affected


Check your email UK readers
May 27
// Chris Carter
Our Splatoon review just went up this morning, and a lot of people have been discussing the game in anticipation of Friday's launch. Unfortunately, a number of community members have brought a disturbing series of events...

Review: Splatoon

May 27 // Chris Carter
Splatoon (Wii U)Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No .2Publisher: NintendoReleased: May 29, 2015MSRP: $59.99 Players will start the journey as a measly level one squid in Inkopolis. You should learn the layout in roughly 20 minutes. It's not huge, but it has a lot of character, mostly due to the fact that other players are littered about the townside. No, this isn't quite like a Phantasy Star Online lobby with live players running around, they're more like static NPCs that draw upon the character's avatar, style choices, and Miiverse postings. If you're not keen on walking everywhere to play a specific mode, an easy-to-access map is located on the GamePad -- perfect. There is one annoying thing about the hub world -- the news station. Every so often at certain intervals, a fake "news" show will play, interrupting whatever you're doing. It displays the next set of levels that are up for multiplayer, and any other relevant events that are happening. A lot of you will probably think it's cute, and it is a neat idea, but sometimes they're literally repeating the same phrases on the same stages I've seen multiple times over -- it's not a dealbreaker, I just wish I could just skip through it. Shops, however, are anything but annoying, as I'm a full-on fashion addict. Whether it's the shoe, shirt, or hat boutique, I'm usually inside of a [digital] brick and mortar location ready to spend all of my cash on clothes I will never wear. These items are mostly cosmetic however, and even though they do have some stats attached to them, they're negligible at best. So if you aren't down with the idea of amassing clothes, you probably aren't going to be spending a lot of time in Inkopolis. [embed]291959:58680:0[/embed] It also must be said that the story mode isn't really linked to the hub world, which is mostly for multiplayer. Any acquisitions from the hub are strictly used in online play, though you can unlock some weapon blueprints in the campaign and you'll get a few bonuses to bring back after you complete the story. In other words, think of the single-player narrative as a staging grounds for playing online. The levels themselves are very well designed, and in line with a 3D Mario game -- which is definitely a compliment. There's a lot of variety found in every single stage, with mechanics like geysers, invisible paths, moving blocks, and a whole lot more. Gimmicks never outstay their welcome, and just as you've started to master a concept, Splatoon moves on to the next one. The pacing is superb. Boss fights aren't exactly innovative, as they all boil down to "kill the giant weak point three times," but they are fun to play. They remind me of less inspired Mario Galaxy or 3D World fights, even down to the enemy models. All in all you'll go solo for roughly 30 levels, which should last you 10 hours -- a little less if you rush, a little more if you go for all of the collectibles (which do a great job of worldbuilding, by the way). So how is the game actually played? By inking everything in sight, of course! Well, sort of. In the campaign you'll have access to just the Splattershot, which is like a rapid-fire rifle. You'll use your colored ink to defeat enemies and create paths, which can be crafted on most surfaces on the ground and most walls. By holding the L trigger you'll instantly morph into a squid-form, which isn't capable of attacking (outside of a special super ability), but can traverse quickly in ink. You'll have to master the art of offense as a kid and defense as a squid to really grasp what Splatoon has to offer. Other weapons essentially mirror other shooters (Splat Charger is a sniper rifle of sorts, there's also a grenade launcher and a light machine gun) outside of the Splat Roller, which is utterly unique. In my mind it's easily the most fun weapon to play with in the game, as you'll roll your way to victory, painting the town as you run and destroy enemies along the way. It seems broken at first glance, but it's actually pretty balanced, as skilled snipers and nearly anyone with a gun can counter it from high-ground, all the while earning points online (which I'll get to in a minute). Outside of the story mode there's also "Dojo," which is strictly a one-on-one offline affair, with one player using the GamePad, and another the Wii U Pro Controller. Your goal is to pop 30 balloons, and you'll have the ability to choose from every basic weaponset as well as five arenas. It's fun, but extremely limited, and felt like a momentary distraction from anything else. It was really disappointing once we realized that we can't play together online on the same console. As for the amiibo-centric mode, the only figure I had access to was the Splatoon Boy for the purposes of this review. It keeps the high going from the campaign, mostly because it is the campaign. Each figure features the same levels, but with a new weapon -- in the Boy's case, a Splat Roller. The rewards are mostly gold, with some cosmetic items and the rare weapon variant. So is it worth $35 to pick up the lot? Based on the Boy, I'd say "no," but it's a nice extra. Try the story first, and if you are really itching to play it multiple times, grab them.The main attraction of course is online play. The entire draw of Splatoon is simplicity in this regard. Matches are short, and they don't feature voice chat. In other words, even if you get spawn camped or dominated, matches are only a few minutes, and you don't have another team taunting you along the way. The core mode you'll be playing right off the bat is Turf War, which is a lot like Tony Hawk's Graffiti gametype -- kills don't matter, and the more you paint the battlefield your color, the higher your score at the end. Your personal score is how you level-up online, earn gold for clothes, and unlock the right to use new weapons. I enjoy lots of shooters, and in my mind, Splatoon has easily carved its own little niche around them. It's a more relaxing affair, both in terms of the zen-like qualities of the paint, and the online experience in general. It's refreshing to be able to try out new loadouts without fearing that they might not be viable, and the maps are fairly easy to learn as they are symmetrical. Don't worry though, there's plenty of room for advanced tactics, which the playerbase is already experimenting with just based on the Global Testfire events. My favorite trick that I discovered while playing online is to paint a wall while running from someone, quickly hide as a squid, and leap out from above as they turn the corner. Ranked play by way of the Splat Zones mode, unlocked at level 10, can be a respite from constant Turf War matches. Based on the current XP gain, it should take roughly a day's worth of playing to unlock, and although Nintendo automatically enabled it for my build of the game, a "certain amount of players" will need to reach 10 to play it. It's basically King of the Hill, with more of an emphasis on zone control and kills than Turf War. Your objective is to score as many points as possible while owning a point on the map, keeping everyone else out of the area. It's pretty great, but sadly, these are the only two current online modes. Nintendo has revealed that more are in the pipeline (Rainmaker and Tower are already confirmed), but for now, you'll have to deal with just two. Online play was smooth for me during the past two weeks of testing on pre-launch servers. I've played well over 100 games, and there were only a few sessions that were dropped during matchmaking. Once the game arrives we'll provide a launch-day report of the server situation, but for now, it's been wonderful. There are a few hangups with the way this component was designed though. When you're in the queue for a round, you can't quit -- not even with the home button. It's a bit odd, especially if you realize that you need to handle something in real life, as your only option is to turn the Wii U off. Additionally, you can't switch up your weapons while you're waiting for a game to start, as you can only do that in the previous menu. Also, after a match is completed, if you hit "yes" to quickly start a new match, you cannot change your loadout there either. It's odd, as nearly every other shooter allows you to do so, and it breaks up the pacing to constantly drop games (that you can't quit) to go try a new style. No voice chat actually isn't a big deal to me in unranked Turf War as it's going for a more casual type of gameplay, but it really should be an option in Ranked play. After all, Nintendo set up a grading system that sees your rank drop if you lose. I'd appreciate the ability to at least communicate with my team. Lastly, there's nothing implemented currently for AFKers (I guess Nintendo is relying on short matches to eventually weed them out), and there are limitations in the current build in regards to playing with friends. After matching up and playing a few games, the game will switch you around on opposite sides every so often. An update is coming later this year will allow friends to play together consistently -- odd. None of this really bothers me all that much, but I can see some of these problems being major issues for a lot of you out there. The thing that mostly bothers me about online play is that there's only a handful of maps and two modes at the moment. In some ways, Splatoon's online component is disappointing, and the lack of so many features will likely push other shooter fans away. But most of those shortcomings can be forgiven in my mind because of how damn fun it is. As a shooter it's refreshing, and as a 3D platformer it's up there with some of Nintendo's greatest creations. You'll quickly forget about the fact that you're playing Turf War over and over as you squid down an alley, leap across a gap, and shoot enemies in the air as you fall. All Nintendo needs to do is keep supporting Splatoon, because the foundation is fantastic. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. Nintendo also provided the Squid Boy amiibo.]
Splatoon review photo
A splash hit for Nintendo
If you think Nintendo hasn't been taking risks, you haven't been paying attention. Yes, most fans await the next Mario and Zelda announcement with bated breath during every E3 presentation, but the publish...

Pokémon Shuffle photo
Pokémon Shuffle

New Pokemon Shuffle update makes the game slightly less sleazy


But it's not enough
May 27
// Chris Carter
One of the biggest problems with Pokemon Shuffle, beyond its exploitative item system, was the energy mechanic. In short, you could only play a scant five rounds at a time before you had to wait 30 minutes per round to rechar...
Nintendo Bundle photo
Nintendo Bundle

Nintendo didn't want to region lock its Humble Bundle


Spent months trying to launch worldwide
May 27
// Laura Kate Dale
Yesterday, Nintendo announced the release of a cool looking console and handheld Humble Bundle that would be region-locked to North and South America, leaving players in Europe, Australia, and other regions unable to get...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

This Space Jam/Splatoon audio mashup almost makes me not hate Space Jam


Space Jam is the devil
May 26
// Jonathan Holmes
You know how a lot of Star Wars fans dislike Jar Jar Binks? As a life long Loony Tunes fan, that's exactly how I felt about Space Jam when I first saw it, back when it was originally released in theaters. I was pretty s...
Humble Nindie Bundle photo
Humble Nindie Bundle

Nintendo and Humble team up for first console/handheld Humble Bundle


The Humble Nindie Bundle
May 26
// Brett Makedonski
Humble's spent years packaging collections of video games together and letting players name their price. However, this week's bundle has a twist that we aren't used to seeing. It's the first offering that includes console and...
Yoshi photo
Yoshi

You too can create this unholy monstrosity with amiibo in Yoshi's Woolly World


Uh...nightmare fuel much, Nintendo?
May 26
// Chris Carter
My God, Nintendo, what have you done. According to Nintendo of Europe, "over 40 amiibo" can be used in Yoshi's Woolly World. You'll be able to create gross voodoo dolls dedicated to smiting your eternal enemies with a slow and painful death cute woolly patterns for characters in the game. Yeah, this is amiibo support I can get behind. Nintendo of Europe [Twitter]
Awakening photo
Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening global sales near 2 million


The lil waifu simulator that could
May 26
// Steven Hansen
Let's take a minute from Fire Emblem If minutia (here and here and here) to appreciate how we got here. Fire Emblem: Awakening, once expected to be the last game in a now rejuvenated series, has sold at least 1.79 million cop...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Go rock this unofficial Splatoon outfit in Animal Crossing


You're a kid now
May 25
// Chris Carter
Do you still boot up Animal Crossing: New Leaf every once in a while? I'm a terrible neighbor -- I've probably caused a lot of woodland creatures to skip town because I never leave my house. For those of you who are stil...
Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle reaches 4m downloads, celebrate with Shaymin


Love that Shaymin
May 25
// Chris Carter
I've moved on from Pokemon Shuffle (Pokemon Rumble World is my jam now on 3DS), but it still continues to be supported by Nintendo in the form of the occasional special event. To celebrate four million downloads, they've...
Splatoon photo
Splamiibo
Day one DLC is a tricky thing. If it's too good, people will howl that it should have been in the stand alone game at launch. If it sucks, then you can bet your sweet bippy that dogs will hunt. All of that goes triple for an...

Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Remember, the last Splatoon Global Testfire session is tomorrow


Ink out your schedule
May 22
// Chris Carter
Splatoon is almost out, but before then, you can enjoy one last Global Testfire session on Wii U. It'll take place tomorrow at 3PM PST, 11PM UK -- once again it will attempt to cater to players all across the world. As a...
Easy Joke photo
Easy Joke

Employee kidnappings up 500% after Doug Bowser begins work at Nintendo


Bob Ganondorf in billing also suspected
May 22
// Fake News (So You Cannot Sue)
The warm welcome for Doug Bowser, the new Vice President of Sales at Nintendo of America, is over after it was reported female employee kidnappings have increased 500% since he started earlier this week. More than 10 beauti...
Splatoon amiibo photo
Splatoon amiibo

Here are some closeup shots of the Inkling Boy Splatoon amiibo


Love that detail
May 21
// Chris Carter
A few months ago I shared some closeup shots of the Mario Party amiibo line, and you guys seemed to really enjoy it, so here we are today with the Inkling Boy figure. I've been playing Splatoon for over a week now (revie...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo is dumping the basic Wii U set in Japan


Moving forward
May 21
// Chris Carter
We may have seen the last of the 8GB Wii U. Nintendo has revealed, by way of their website, that they are eliminating the basic edition of the console in Japan. It's been fairly elusive all across the world as it is, and Nint...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man May is nearly over with Mega Man Zero 2


Also, Swords and Soldiers II
May 21
// Chris Carter
This is a pretty massive week for the eShop, which I don't get to say that often. Seriously, I'm psyched!The Wii U is getting Swords and Soldiers II today, which is a pretty fantastic (local-only) little strategy game. M...
Pokemon Mystery photo
Pokemon Mystery

Nintendo announces Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, launching this year


Winter 2015
May 21
// Chris Carter
Nintendo has revealed a new entry in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon franchise -- Super Mystery Dungeon. Not a whole lot is known at this time outside of the fact that it will feature more randomly generated layouts, an...
Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

Smash Bros. player is being bounty hunted


Kick his ass for cash
May 21
// Laura Kate Dale
If you're a competitive Super Smash Bros. player, chances in in the last year you may have started hearing a lot about Gonzalo "Zero" Barrios. Appearing somewhat out of nowhere, he has come first in every single one-on-one Sm...
Splatoon Rabbits photo
Splatoon Rabbits

The kids in Splatoon could have been rabbits!


I'm a rabbit now, I'm a squid now
May 20
// Jed Whitaker
In the latest of Nintendo's Iwata Asks series, the producer of Splatoon revealed that at one point in development you'd play as a rabbit instead of kids! Perhaps they changed it because "You're a rabbit now, you're a kid...
lol photo
lol

Bowser leaves EA, joins Nintendo as Vice President of Sales


Wrote it for the headline
May 20
// Steven Hansen
Business! Yes, some exec hopping from one game company (Electronic Arts since 2007, most recently as Vice President of Global Business Planning) to another (Nintendo, as Vice President of Sales) is bland stuff, but when the c...
eShop photo
eShop

Anonymous European developer speaks out on the woes of the eShop


Low sales occur more than you'd think
May 20
// Chris Carter
The Wii U and 3DS eShops (the latter in particular) are a great source of original games. While disc-based titles are often thrown by the wayside by third-parties on the Wii U, there's a ton of exclusive content on there that...
No weapon durability photo
No weapon durability

Fire Emblem If changes up series-staple weapon triangle


Magic, bows, concealed weapons
May 19
// Steven Hansen
The lack of weapon degradation isn't the only difference to the upcoming Fire Emblem If's combat. The swords-beat-axes-beat-lances-beat-swords triangle is changing, too, Famitsu reports (picked up by Hachima Kikou and transla...
Club Nintendo photo
Club Nintendo

Remember to redeem your Club Nintendo Coins by June 30


Don't let them go to waste!
May 19
// Chris Carter
Club Nintendo as we know it is dead. It will return in some form but not the incarnation we know and love today, and your Coins will be dead too come June 30. Consider this a reminder to redeem your Coin balance before the en...
Club Nintendo Europe photo
Club Nintendo Europe

Club Nintendo Europe just got three new 3DS themes


500 Stars
May 19
// Chris Carter
Still clinging on to your Club Nintendo account? I have a few hundred Coins left -- I'll probably wait until the last minute to spend them. All you Europeans out there now have a new set of 3DS themes to take a gander at thou...
E3 photo
E3

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will not attend E3 again this year


For the second year in a row
May 19
// Chris Carter
For health reasons, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata did not make the trip to LA last year to attend E3. This year, his physician has advised him not to travel, and according to IGN, he will also not be attending. Acco...
Splatoon water gun photo
Splatoon water gun

Target's throwing in a squirt gun with Splatoon


#synergy
May 18
// Jordan Devore
So far, I've missed every single opportunity to try Splatoon. Folks who made an effort to participate in the time-restricted Global Test Fire demo have had encouraging things to say about the game, which has me simu...
Pokémon Center photo
Pokémon Center

Cute ass Pokemon: This isn't news, but it should be


New Pokémon Center cute, I want to go
May 18
// Steven Hansen
BREAKING -- The Pokémon Company International (PKMn) is opening a new Pokémon Center facility in Hiroshima, Japan and its promotional art is just the cutest. Also, I miss my red Gyarados.
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Miiverse art shows up as graffiti in Splatoon


Prepare for dickbutts everywhere
May 18
// Laura Kate Dale
Since it was brought to Wii U, Miiverse has been a home for a pretty even split of amazing art, terrible stick figure comics and rough sketches of genitalia. Now, prepare for Splatoon to be invaded with a similar mix of commu...






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