Game review- Splatoon 3

Game review- Splatoon 3

Crystina Gonzales, Staff Writer

Splat, pop, boom! Nintendo released a new game this past November to the world, selling 3.45 million copies its first three days in Japan alone. Players  dip ‘n dive through ink as a humanoid squid-kid in the many modes the game has to offer. Out of the series’ three published games and dlc pack, Splatoon is a third-person-shooter that’s proven successful to the corporation with its unique gameplay, composition of music, customization options and lore.

At the beginning of the game, the player can customize the character in any way they’d like as  usual- with different hairstyles, as a different species, choose vibrant eye colors and select a skin tone. It certainly provides a larger array of options compared to its first and second game. The player then goes through a beginners course to teach them basic controls until transported to the city that is the Splatlands. It’s a towering plaza full of the freshest “inklings” and “octolings”, the two playable species the game offers. 

From there, the squid or octo-kid can head over to the lobby terminal and participate in a turf war battle, a gamemode with the goal of two teams trying to shoot ink and cover up the most ground either four-person-team can with its own color in under three minutes. Once the character reaches level five, shops in the city are unlocked and available for them to buy new types/reskins of weapons or gear. One specific shop, however, offers stickers and objects, things which could be used to customize the character’s own dedicated locker that’s located in the lobby terminal. Upon reaching each level 10, the game unlocks competitive play, providing a rotation of four different game modes. 

If the character is low on cash after spending their coins in town, they could head over to the building labeled Grizzco., a “sketchy” business that deploys them and three other players in a gamemode called Salmon Run. Here, the character and their team are tasked with killing the enemy salmonids and collecting golden eggs under a time frame of three to four waves. The more shifts the character clears, the higher the difficulty gets, the higher the meter toward a promotion goes, and the more money earned. However, If simply looking to pass time, the plaza offers tableturf, a strategy card game against NPCs of the city that unravels more complex rounds the more the player plays.

For those looking to better their gamesense or tired of multiplayer modes, the game advertises its single player campaign, branching off of the lore from its previous games. It takes the simple “run through this level” from previous campaigns along with “complete the task/goal in this level” from the franchise’s DLC from its second game to create its own levels for its third . It gives players unique obstacles that help lead up to skills needed for the game’s final boss. The storyline, however, is wishy-wash in certain areas, as many of its plot-points connect but feels as though its hanging by a loose thread. Many parts of the gameplay prove graphically pleasing until cutscenes before the last level and throughout it. Its character-rigging feels stiff and the effects feel rushed, as though the developers scrapped it together in the following weeks up to its release date.

On the other hand, diving into the game’s soundtrack, it is genuinely one of Nintendo’s beloved. The game has multiple sets of in-world bands, singers, DJs, and composers whose music plays in any of the game modes. Ones from previous games also seem to make cameos, giving a sweet sense of nostalgia to veteran players. Diving into its music theory, its rhythms and notes stand complex compared to world themes from other games including its sister games; in time signature and keys. It offers a library of different music genres for all players to enjoy. 

Although it can be frustrating to many who experience poor connection to the game’s servers or have trouble paying for Nintendo’s online membership, It’s without a doubt been executed well for being the first shooter game. So much so that Splatoon 3 won ‘The Game Award for Best Multiplayer Game’ of 2022 at the prestigious ‘The Game Awards’ ceremony. It’s bewildering to see how the first-stage concept of gray blocks of shooting tofu became the colorful and competitive squid-kid game it is today.