Splatoon 3 Review
With Splatoon 3 having the largest release in Japan for any other Nintendo Switch game, it was an easy choice to review this game and discuss my overall feelings towards this new installment. When Splatoon 3 was first announced back in February of 2021, most fans felt that this was too soon to release of Splatoon 2 especially when it seemed that this new game did not show too much in the trailers.
Does Splatoon 3 surpass the success of the previous installments? Should it be considered Nintendo’s best Multiplayer game? Is it worth buying? In my review, I give the good, the bad, and answer these questions in my final verdict.
Overall, the gameplay of Splatoon 3 is very smooth. I feel that Nintendo has found the perfect combination of gameplay mechanics and movements that make this game seem very fluid and easy to pick up and play. What Splatoon 3 does very well which is hard to come by for any FPS title is the great combination of social and ranked style of matches.
Most FPS fans can understand that when playing games like Halo Infinite, Call of Duty, Apex, and Fortnite there is a level of sweatiness that comes in these styles of games. Basically, meaning that if you aren’t on your A-Game you will not be successful. Splatoon 3, however, makes it so that anyone can pick up and play but also rewards those players that strategize and learn the pro tactics.
The basic premise of the game is that each weapon you equip has its own core styles of combat while providing an ink grenade and special ability seems that easy enough to understand and get used to playing. This game prioritizes the social function of old Splatoon titles and you can see how far Nintendo has come to expand what fans loved from the previous games and brought to this new one.
Building on the last segment, I really loved the weapons. Splatoon has always been known for introducing some whacky and interesting ways to combat your opponents. Whether it is handheld paint guns, hydro paint turrets or Katana brushes, Splatoon 3 has found a way to make a very unique game feel more interesting with the many ways to play.
Each weapon has its advantages and drawbacks which really opens up the strategy that goes with this game. Each weapon carries a specialty grenade as well as a special ability. The grenades each vary in purpose and effectiveness, but the best part has to be the outrageous special moves. Some abilities are straightforward in creating a bubble shield or wielding a paint bazooka. While others are over the top where you can wield a mini tank or shoot long-range missiles. The Booyah Bomb literally has you go to Super Saiyan and drop a spirit bomb in the middle of the map. That’s just a good time.
The customization of this game was also another positive for me. I really liked the fact that you can add multiple types of clothing and accessories to your character with the added benefit of increasing your stats and attributes. For social players, you can make your character look as outrageous as you want and for the competitive player you get to plan out your wardrobe to increase certain abilities.
This opens up the replayability of the game to be accessible to more than one particular group which is the ultimate goal of a multiplayer game. I’m looking forward to seeing more attire added to the game in future expansions just because I know that Nintendo will be looking to expand its designs to include other IPs.
Lastly, let’s talk about the story. Generally, I thought the story was pretty solid, you are continuing the adventure from the previous titles when you are recruited to join the New Squidbreak Splatoon by the former captain Cuttlefish. According to the developer, the story features over 70 stages spread across different islands, each with a growing threat of a mysterious fuzzy ooze.
Each level has you complete different challenges, and it acts as a very good tutorial to learn the different types of weapons and movements you could use in the multiplayer. The different islands each have their own layout and theme with it. This experience gives players some context to the world of Splatoon 3 that is currently taking place.
I really enjoyed the boss battles in this game. Relatively easy but the different attack styles and the very Nintendo-esce methods of fighting. The different art styles of the missions and characters were very vibrant and goofy which always fits in these types of games.
Connection and Lobbies
One of the major negatives I have seen so far is the issues with connectivity and matching with friends. It seems that in the early days since its release, Splatoon 3 has had an issue with its servers handling the mass number of players that have joined the game’s population. Nintendo has not yet mastered making servers that can handle this many people joining a lobby.
There were times when I would load into a lobby and my connection would time out a few times before connecting into a game. The method for joining with friends also needs to get revamped as well. It should not be this difficult to invite friends to play a multiplayer game in 2022. The way that Splatoon 3 formats inviting friends to games is basically tedious. I have to start a lobby and open a room for friends to join. Then after a game ends you need to pick the option “keep going” between you and your friends. If one of your friends doesn’t pick the option fast enough then they will be kicked out of the lobby.
It’s unfortunate because I feel that Nintendo has really done a good job in establishing a multiplayer game that promotes playing with others, but it feels like they have been unable to effectively get players to actually join each other on a daily basis.
One of the last issues I have is that there is a lack of maps at the launch of Splatoon 3. In the Nintendo Direct, they had mentioned that they would drop 12 maps for the release which included 5 new maps, and 7 from previous games. The biggest issue I have is that we don’t have more maps in rotation throughout our playthroughs.
Currently, maps are grouped in pairs, and every two hours we will see a rotation. I think for a game that uses mainly older maps it would be better at least to have more original maps in rotation to keep the game feeling fresh. The maps are solid but at times it can feel like you are playing the same map several times in a row which can hurt the experience. Add content in both maps and modes and I will be happier.
Overall, I think Splatoon 3 has both positives and negatives. The gameplay feels smooth and is easy to pick up for any gamer. The various weapons and playstyles make the game feel fresh with multiple ways to tackle a situation giving a boost to the replayability. With added, customization increasing stats gives an added strategy to the game and the story is fun with a lot of levels to fully enjoy the experience.
However, at times the lack of maps and modes with the occasional mishaps in connecting to lobbies did dampen the experience in some ways. Hopefully, Nintendo can update Splatoon 3 with more content and fix these issues soon because they have a fun game here.
Overall, I’m giving this game an 8.7 out of 10. Nintendo has made a great multiplayer game that is a lot of fun to play and worth the purchase. Nintendo has found ways to improve on its already successful formula and expand on the series making it feel larger than before.
Should this be considered Nintendo’s best multiplayer game? That’s a tough question. If they were to add more content, give more weapons to the player, and fix matchmaking issues, I’d say it’s a current possibility. If I had invited my family over for a game night, I feel like id still pick smash bros ultimate, but Splatoon 3 is definitely a must-play.
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