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Splatoon  




Hands on with Splatoon, a very Nintendo competitive multiplayer shooter photo
Hands on with Splatoon, a very Nintendo competitive multiplayer shooter

12:15 PM on 06.11.2014

Spray some ink, turn into a squid, the usual


Two days ago, if you had told me that Nintendo was working on a competitive multiplayer third-person shooter, I would have thought you were crazy. Imagining Nintendo venturing into the territory of blood-spattered 360 no-scope headshots just does not quite feel right.

Of course, Nintendo can take a gameplay mechanic that is normally reserved for more "mature" games, open it up to everybody, and inject its own ideas to create something that is wholly its own thing. That thing is Splatoon, and we got some hands-on time with it here at E3.

Splatoon pits two teams of four players against one another, but rather than a competition for the most kills, the goal is to use a paint gun (think F.L.U.D.D. from Super Mario Sunshine) to cover the arena with as much of a particular color as possible. Naturally, the other team is trying to get its color on the floor and walls as well.

From that simple setup, a few additions make things interesting. At will, combatants can morph from kid to squid, which removes the ability to apply color, but allows for paint regeneration and different movement options. When traversing through an area with one's own team's color, movement is faster, while moving through an enemy color slows a player down a considerable amount. If a player shoots an enemy team member enough, the target will explode, dropping a splat of the attacker's color over a good area.

What results is a game that has no explicit class system, but allows players to more organically take on different roles. In order for respawning team members to get back into the fight more quickly, an unbroken chain of the team's color helps, so one player may choose to stay back and defend previously claimed territory. Conversely, those on offense may find it useful to sneak by and cut off the enemy team's reinforcements.

The GamePad is used both for aiming control and as a minimap of the battlefield. Tapping on team member here will allow players to tactically jump to one another. It takes a bit of time to execute, so it probably cannot be used to escape a sticky situation, but it beats trudging through opposing color when the action is further ahead.

I did have some trouble getting the hang of the controls. Rather than a straight dual-stick setup, aiming is done via the tilt sensor in the GamePad. The right stick does have camera control, but I found myself fighting with it to try to look where I wanted. Additionally, my years of console shooter conditioning hindered me every time I expected to jump with the bottom face button, only to have to take a few seconds to remember it is on top. I asked if the controls would be customizable, and the Nintendo representative showing Splatoon said that the E3 build was set, but that it is still in development and custom controls will probably make it in the final version.

As a result of the tricky controls (and this is my excuse), our team lost pretty badly. One of the other tactical features touted in the promotional material is the use of upgraded weapons and items depending on paint coverage, but we did poorly enough that I did not get to see any of those. Still, Splatoon was a lot of fun, and surprisingly deep despite its simple premise. This is definitely one to watch for any who long for a good competitive shooter on the Wii U.





Nintendo tries something new for Splatoon amiibo photo


Splatoon to have splitscreen mode, ranked battle photo


New Splatoon screenshots reveal clothing, weapons, stages, and characters photo


I see a lot of classic Mario platforming design in Splatoon's campaign photo


Nintendo: 'Splatoon is aiming to do for action shooters what Mario Kart did to racing' photo


Splatoon's multiplayer feels promising for casual and hardcore shooter fans, but will people buy it? photo


Miyamoto originally pitched Mario for Splatoon  photo


The joy of painting: Splatoon's Splat Roller looks fun photo


Daily cat fix: Splatoon's Judd takes a cat nap photo


Splatoon's adorable squids originally looked like tofu photo


Splatoon Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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Splatoon



5:22 PM on 04.01.2015
Nintendo tries something new for Splatoon amiibo

Well, this is a change of pace for Nintendo's amiibo release. We've known for a while now that Splatoon would get its own figures. However, Nintendo revealed at today's Direct that it's bundling the game's three amiibo togeth...more



5:20 PM on 04.01.2015
Splatoon to have splitscreen mode, ranked battle

As reiterated during today's Nintendo Direct, Splatoon is going to have four-versus-four online ranked battles with specific rules that differ from the normal mode. Splat Zones is a ranked mode where players battle over speci...more



11:00 PM on 03.26.2015
New Splatoon screenshots reveal clothing, weapons, stages, and characters

Nintendo released over 100 screenshots for Splatoon today, my favorite of which are in the gallery below, that reveal new characters, enemies, modes, weapons, maps, and clothing for customizing characters. Looks like there ar...more



4:00 PM on 03.23.2015
I see a lot of classic Mario platforming design in Splatoon's campaign

While Splatoon's multiplayer was on display for all to see at E3 2014, the single-player campaign was fairly under wraps. We now know that it will be a completely separate affair from online play, complete with a full na...more



10:01 AM on 03.23.2015
Nintendo: 'Splatoon is aiming to do for action shooters what Mario Kart did to racing'

At a recent event at Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, I was able to play Splatoon for the first time since E3 2014. It's come a long way since then, and Nintendo is particularly proud of what it...more



10:00 AM on 03.23.2015
Splatoon's multiplayer feels promising for casual and hardcore shooter fans, but will people buy it?

Nintendo isn't exactly known for its online experiences. With the exception of a few recent titles like Mario Kart 8, the public is typically clamoring for some form of online support. Games like Mario Party 10 would pro...more



3:45 PM on 03.18.2015
Miyamoto originally pitched Mario for Splatoon

Splatoon's squishy squids that characterize the game came long after the graffiti-tagging gameplay concept. "We had found that the ink-battle play mechanic was fun, and the team was working very hard to brush up on that aspe...more



7:30 PM on 03.10.2015
The joy of painting: Splatoon's Splat Roller looks fun

Not to just gush about Splatoon every darn time we bring up the game and its delightful nonsense, but I'm feeling this short, no-frills showcase of the Splat Roller weapon. Got 20 seconds to spare? The oversized paint roller...more



10:30 PM on 03.04.2015
Daily cat fix: Splatoon's Judd takes a cat nap

Most developers put out lots of trailers, gameplay footage, and screenshots galore to get us excited about their upcoming games. Nintendo uploads this 30 second video of Judd, the feline judge from Splatoon, taking a nap. Ye...more



1:30 PM on 02.19.2015
Splatoon's adorable squids originally looked like tofu

Can you imagine Splatoon's "Inklings" looking more like tofu than squids? Speaking with Famitsu, the shooter's designers (Hisashi Nogami, Yusuke Amano, and Tsubasa Sakaguchi) revealed the creatures actually started out that w...more




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6:05 PM on 04.01.2015
Mario Kart adds 200cc class, DLC Pack 2, and more costumes on April 23

Oh, right, we still have more Mario Kart 8 DLC coming up. It's been so long since I locked in my pre-order that I had totally forgotten! DLC Pack 2 marks the debut of Animal Crossing's Isabelle and Villager as racers, and al...more



6:05 PM on 04.01.2015
Nintendo confirms Marth amiibo re-release for May

Amiibo collectors know the pain of missing out on the "unicorn" characters -- the figures that are so rare, you stand virtually no chance of finding them on a store shelf. Last November, the first wave brought us three of the...more



5:55 PM on 04.01.2015
Your player character is the main hero in the new Fire Emblem, coming 2016

[Update: Watch the trailer!] The new Fire Emblem trailer is just as amazing as the announcement trailer. There's also deep talk of fate and choosing a path (some stark black and white dichotomy) between siding with the peace...more



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