Tag Archives: Nintendo Switch

My Thoughts on E3 2017

Critics and online personalities have been saying 2017 is shaping up to be the best year for video games in decades.  E3, the biggest event in gaming, had a lot riding on it.  I went in with few expectations.  E3 is often hit-or-miss, and commentators will usually talk about it in terms of who “wins.”

I’ve fallen victim to this mindset in the past couple years, but I don’t really think it’s healthy.  I wrote posts for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo separately.  But I’ve realized that E3 is an expo, not a competition.  Sure, one company or one game might generate more hype than others.  But the real winners are us, the video game community.  We’re the ones who get to play the great games.  So instead of breaking this E3 down by company, I’m just gonna talk about everything I’m excited for!  And there is a lot of exciting stuff happening.

METROID

Let me kick off with the return of Metroid.  I went convinced that Nintendo could rock the E3 boat in two ways: porting Super Smash Bros. to Nintendo Switch, or bringing back Metroid.  Smash is going to wait, but Metroid is back in full force.  And although I’m not a huge series fan, I’m now a believer.  Metroid Prime is now in development for Nintendo Switch, and Metroid: Samus Returns is coming to 3DS on SEPTEMBER 15th.  Now that this series is back, I’m gonna do all I can to support it.

MARIO ODYSSEY and MARIO x RABBIDS: KINGDOM BATTLE

Although Mario games are consistently good, I usually don’t get excited about the franchise.  I was burnt out when Odyssey was announced, and Mario x Rabbids sounded too weird to be real.  Come E3 though, both games really impressed me.  Mario x Rabbids is a fun spin on the XCOM style, and it has the great Grant Kirkhope coming through as composer.

Meanwhile, Mario Odyssey looks expansive, innovative, and fun.  It’s the ultimate Mario playground, and a return to the best 3D Mario formula.   I’m definitely going to give it a play at launch.  All in all, a great showing for the franchise.

YOSHI AND KIRBY IN 2018

Like with Mario, I tend to sleep on the Yoshi and Kirby games, but their planned releases in 2018 are promising.  Kirby on Switch promises to bring back cool franchise mechanics and Yoshi looks clever as ever.  Now I just hope for a revival of Kirby’s Air Ride.

POKEMON

We didn’t see much from the Pokemon Company at E3, but what was announced is the development of a main-series Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch.  This is a huge development.  We got no further details, but Pokemon for Switch is a win in itself.

I also rally enjoyed watching the Pokken Tournament DX Invitational.  I know virtually everyone hates Pokken, but I have something of an affection for it.  I’ll probably be picking it up on Switch.

SPIDER-MAN by INSOMNIAC

I’ve always been a massive fan of Spider-Man games.  I played both PS1 games, all three Sam Raimi movie games, and spinoffs like Friend or Foe and Ultimate Spider-Man.  With the recent movie reboot, we got a couple of incredibly lazy games along with them.  Thankfully, at E3 2017, Insomniac Games showed off their new palate-cleansing Spider-Man game.

This game looks incredible.  Despite my distaste for quick-time events, it includes them gracefully and cinematically.  Combat looks complex and engaging.  The world of Manhattan looks vast and varied.  Most of all, navigating the world by swinging looks like an homage to Spider-Man 2 on PS2, the best of the bunch.  I can’t wait for this game to come out.

STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II

The first Star Wars Battlefront by DICE and published by EA was one of my worst disappointments.  Battlefront was one of my favorite games as a kid, and I always wanted a revival.  Sadly, although the revival was aesthetically beautiful, it turned out to be a bore.  And a money scam.

BUT, if the new sequel turns out like it looks so far, it will be a huge turnaround.  It has a story mode, an improved class system, more heroes, and generally more content.  Furthermore, DLC will be free so as not to divide the player base.  This game has my attention, so hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.

MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF WAR

This sequel to Shadow of Mordor has actually been around for a few months, but I’ve been on the hype train since the beginning.  I wrote a post about this hype train a few weeks ago.  For E3, we’re getting new story content, new characters, and a look at some of the new mechanics.

Combat looks more intense and brutal.  Cinematic scenarios and conquest missions are coming through in full force.  And the plotline of Talion is coming to a head as he confronts the Dark Lord Sauron.  I honestly can’t remember wanting a game this much.

MISCELLANEOUS COOL STUFF

There was a lot of other stuff at E3 that looked neat to me, so I want to mention it.  Fire Emblem Warriors is an idea I had years ago, and to see it in action is thrilling.  I like that it has character switch and strategic mechanics.  Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a big point of love for me, and what I saw at E3 looks like a beautiful successor to the first game.

Days Gone looks like it’ll be the most interesting zombie game since The Last of Us.  Uncharted: Lost Legacy will be an interesting game, especially thanks to its two female main characters.  God of War is finally on deck, and it looks much less over-the-top than its predecessors, which I enjoy.  Bethesda’s VR shenanigans, like Fallout 4 in full VR, looks like an exciting step forward.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus seems like a ridiculous, Nazi-killing extravaganza and I can’t wait.  Anthem looks like a fun, huge multiplayer experience that will hopefully deliver. The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti, Super Lucky’s Tale, and Cuphead are bringing back fun, quirky platforming adventures.  Assassin’s Creed: Origins actually has me really pumped because I’m a fan of the franchise and I like the new mechanics.  Although I’ve sadly never played the first game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks like a great sequel and it’s stunning in 4K.  Sonic Forces didn’t get a lot of new info, but we saw a team-up of four legendary villains, which should be cool.  Lastly, Crackdown 3, The Darwin Experiment, Dragon Ball Fighter Z are games I know nothing about, but they look sick.

So that’s where I stand on E3 2017.  Reactions are all over the map, but I’m honestly coming away from it feeling excited.  A major plus is the fact that most of these games are coming out this year, so 2017 should be a great year for games after all.

What I’d Like to See in Smash Bros. for Switch

Boy, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to talk about Smash Bros.  It’s just like coming home again.

The last patch to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS was released about two years ago now.  Since then, there’s been no new developments to the series.  But with E3 2017 approaching rapidly, the rumor mill has been grinding out speculation about a port of Smash 4 to the Nintendo Switch.

I’d actually say this rumor is pretty likely.  Ignoring the supposed “leaks,” I think it would be a shrewd decision by Nintendo to port Smash Bros. to Switch.  Mario Kart 8 DX was a huge success, after all.  It might even be a way for them to address complaints that fans had about the original game before development ceased.

Now here we have a prime environment for people to sound off on what they think a possible port will or should have as an expansion.  I’m enjoying seeing people’s ideas so I’m going to put in my two cents.  Not all of these ideas are realistic, but I want to talk about them as a Smash fan.

FIRST, I’ll start with little things.  These are small, easy changes that I would like to see.  For example, I’d like to be able to toggle hazards on and off.  This would make stages like Lylat Cruise competitively viable and would provide more options for people who want a fair fight.  Hazards can be fun, but having them turned off would be nice and would add a lot of variety.

I also think some balancing tweaks are necessary.  I’m sure this is a tired message by now, but Bayonetta needs to be toned down in strength.  We’ve seen Bayonetta banned from certain tournaments because of her overwhelming array of tools.  Fixing this issue would help appease players.

Adding in more music would also be ideal, and this isn’t particularly hard to do.  In modding, I’ve added in tons of tracks by injecting .nus3bank files.  If I had to make an unrealistic music request, though, I’d like a revamped music system.  I’d like to see a pool of music tracks that you can add to any stage.  I wanna be able to play the Delfino Plaza theme on Smashville, for example.  I’m big on custom music in games, so this is a personal want.

MOVING ON, I want to talk about more complicated but still realistic changes.  If there were a port, I would expect 3DS stages remastered in HD.  We might even see a couple new stages as well.  I certainly think we might see Smash Run from 3DS brought into HD alongside Smash Tour.

New characters are a possibility.  If we get any, it will be very few.  One or two maybe.  Creating new characters with full movesets is a big task, but it would also pay big dividends for Nintendo.  Only time will tell.  But since I’m here, I’ll pick a pool of ideal characters.  I’d like to see Spring Man/Ribbon Girl from Arms, Inklings from Splatoon, or Simon Belmont from Castlevania.  Also, you might remember an article I wrote in my awkward phase about why Shovel Knight might get into Smash.  So he’s at the top of my list by default.

What I think would be more doable is additional character skin packs as DLC.  For example, Nintendo could take the Injustice route and add new character skins to characters with established movesets, but with different voice packs.  For example, Shadow over Sonic or Young Link over Toon Link.  This might be a fun way to represent more characters.

Lastly, for my competitive Smash fans, I hope the game comes along with some kind of controller adapter so that people can use GameCube controllers or whatever controller they prefer.

The Wii U and 3DS versions of Smash Bros. sitting next to a GameCube Controller.
(Photo: FaruSantos via Flickr)

FINALLY, we get to the fun part.  Time for my completely unrealistic asks.  If any of these were to happen, they would likely be the only additions to the port.  First, any kind of narrative-driven Adventure Mode comparable to Subspace Emissary from Brawl.  That would be incredible.  Considering the caliber of character trailers we’ve seen and all the awesome newcomers, this would be a system seller for sure.  The problem is, Subspace Emissary was such a huge task that it was like developing a game within a game.  Anything of that magnitude might kill Sakurai.  Still, I’d love it as a fan.

Something else that will never happen is, if Nintendo wants to please everyone at once, they could incorporate some kind of mod support. So that fans can make whatever changes they want to Smash.  As I said, Nintendo likes to keep this kind of thing in their own hands so this is just a dream.

At this point I should reiterate that this rumor is still just that: a rumor.  A port of Smash Bros. might not happen soon, or at all.  But my favorite part about the Smash community is speculation.  It’s been a year or two since I’ve had that, and with so many possibilities on the horizon for Nintendo, that fun community aspect is coming back.  So we’ll see what happens.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get to switch into HD Smash in the near future.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Thoughts

I’m way late to the party for “early impressions” on Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  This bugs me for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I’ve been excited to talk about this game for a long time.  Of course, it had to come out when my college midterms were in full force.  And then I came down with a fever.

Nevertheless, life…uh…finds a way.  I’ve played this game for quite a few hours now.  Breath of the Wild is like a game from the 1980s but still chock-full of modern design aspects.  So far the story has very little bearing on the experience, but that’s not to say it’s a bad story.  The voice acting is top-notch, and I like the fact that it’s an extension of another story.  You start knowing that you were once a great hero.   Starting from the literal bottom of the food chain feels more interesting that way.

That’s something I love and hate about this game — when I say you start at the bottom of the food chain, I really mean it.  You start with no clothes and a tree branch as your only weapon.  Granted, this changes pretty fast as you start completing shrines to gain Sheikah slate abilities and gathering materials to use and sell.  It doesn’t change the fact that you’re constantly working with very limited resources.  BotW is as much a survival game as an adventure game.  Every fight is more than a challenge, it’s an investment of resources.  You almost always come away breaking some weapons and losing some health, which means you have to eat some food to recover.  Everything from the Hylian Shield to the Master Sword can break in a fight (although they either regenerate or can be re-bought)

Enemy encounters are extremely stressful, until you obtain mostly indestructible items (which I personally haven’t yet).  Exploration, on the other hand, is an absolute joy.  You can climb anything given you find the right ledges and use jumps properly.  Then using the paraglider, you can convert huge vertical distance into huge horizontal distance.  Granted, you don’t want to go venturing into the furthest territories of Hyrule too early in the game.  Otherwise you’ll get destroyed, same as in the very first Legend of Zelda.

The cooking system is fantastically detailed and useful, although I should mention that the only way to combine ingredients to cook meals and elixirs is using a cooking pot, which can only be found in towns and certain encampments.  As I said, these are the only way to restore health.  You have to take advantage of the time when you’re able to use a pot.

This is just another of many extreme changes to the Zelda formula that Breath of the Wild creates.  Overall, do I like these changes?  I’m not sure.  Some are incredible — the amount of mobility you have in this gorgeous world is masterful.  But the fact that there’s so little you can rely on is a blessing and a curse.  A lot of times you’ll curse the game for being unfair.  The next minute, you’ll value the fact that you worked hard for your success.  Zelda has now shown that it doesn’t have to be the kind of game that delivers you an experience, and that’s important after Skyward Sword.  Then I go back and play a focused game like Twilight Princess.  And I kind of find myself missing that style.

My feelings on this game will probably change as I get further into it.  I will acknowledge that Breath of the Wild is masterful, just as the  reviewers are saying.  But it’s going to have to do even better to be my favorite Zelda.

Reactions to 01/13 Nintendo Switch Presentation!

Well, first of all, the Nintendo Switch presentation was amazing.  I was nervous going into it, because it had to lay the foundation for an important console.  The Switch is Nintendo’s future in an uncertain time.  This presentation needed to win over some fans.

Let me start off with some partial cons here.  Not everything about the presentation was perfect.  Nintendo is switching to a paid online multiplayer model.  I don’t think this is a bad thing, mind you, since now that money is flowing into the infrastructure, it’ll likely improve the service.  Although I’m going to miss being able to play games online at no cost.  If it keeps Nintendo competitive, though, I have no objection.

Another issue is that the Switch is going to be $299.00 US.  Again, this is a reasonable price point at launch, and Nintendo isn’t making the Switch at a loss.  But it also means that it’ll have to compete with PS4 and Xbox One price-wise, so it’ll have some work to do to justify 300 bucks.

The Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch! (Photo: BagoGames via Flickr)

The Switch has a seriously low portable battery life, only 2 -6.5 hours depending.  I was hoping for a solid 4-8.  The Switch’s gimmick of home-to-portable console seems like it’s in danger now.  Lastly, it also seems like apart from Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Switch will have a fairly weak launch lineup.  All this worries me.

Now onto the good stuff.  The Switch is packing some great technology, including HD rumble that delivers extremely detailed vibration.  The new game Arms is planning to capitalize on this technology with a sort of multiplayer Punch-Out!! style.  The Switch has a virtual console, as we saw, with a promising lineup.  Above all, it promises a LOT of great games in just this coming year.

Breath of the Wild gameplay
Gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld! (Photo: BagoGames via Flickr)

Breath of the Wild is looking more action-packed, compelling, and beautiful than ever.  Personally speaking, this is new-favorite-game material.  Super Mario Odyssey, the new open-world 3D Mario platformer, is exactly what I wanted Nintendo to do with the series.

Skyrim is confirmed as coming to the system, and Nintendo is set to release Splatoon 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.  These are now two of my most highly-anticipated sequels.  Splatoon 2 is offering a wealth of new content and portable play, and the new Xenoblade is stunningly beautiful and looks like it’ll tell a great story.

Koei Tecmo is also making a new Fire Emblem Warriors title as a follow-up to Hyrule Warriors.  I’m extremely excited for this, because I predicted the announcement of Fire Emblem Warriors and I think the two series are a great fit.  More is coming on the 18th in a Fire Emblem Direct, so keep an eye out for that!

Overall,  I have a lot of faith in the Nintendo Switch after Thursday.  Nintendo trades on good games, and the Switch looks like a return to roots.  From here onwards, it’s important that Nintendo keep giving out information on its games, and announcing new, interesting games.   I personally can’t wait to see how the Switch does, and I’ll keep reporting the news as I see it.

Nintendo Switch: Our Thoughts and What We Know

Yesterday morning, the video game market underwent a legendary change as gaming giant Nintendo revealed details about its newest console, the Nintendo Switch.  Formerly codenamed the NX, rumors circulated about the platform for over a year, teasing everything from cartridge-based game publishing to a hybrid design combining handheld and home console elements.

WHAT WE KNOW

As it turns out, just about every rumor turned out to be true.  What we saw in the reveal trailer for the Switch is an incredibly ambitious piece of hardware.  The Switch is teasing multiple controller setups, including dual miniature Joy-Con controllers for on-the-go play, custom pro controllers, and a lightweight 6-inch tablet controller that allows you to take a game on the go seamlessly, like a handheld console.  Two NS owners can also sync up their tablets, which are the core components of the console, for team-based multiplayer.

Switch games will be on cartridges, much like they are on the Nintendo 3DS.  At first glance, this may seem like an old-fashioned choice, but according to BidnessEtc, it may be a great decision in the long run.  Cartridges hold up better than discs, make no noise while being read, allow for faster load times, and even have more storage per card.  To demonstrate, a massive Wii U game like Xenoblade Chronicles X only takes up about 3.6 GB, and most 3DS game cards already have 8 GB of space.

Since the Switch is a hybrid console, its use of cartridges will allow for much-needed storage of large AAA games that will have to be portable as part of the console’s design.

Not much is currently known about the console’s specs, although its GPU is a custom build from Nvidia.  Nvidia has released a blog post expressing their happiness with their Switch build.  Apart from this, we’re yet to find out about the resolution on the tablet screen, the consistency of the Switch’s frame-rate, or most importantly, about its maximum battery life.

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo has also confirmed that the Switch will have amiibo support just like its predecessor.

The Nintendo Switch logo!
The Nintendo Switch logo!

WHAT THE SWITCH WILL NEED

Battery life of the Switch’s various portable parts is the most important question in my opinion, because this is what will make or break the console’s extraordinary portable gimmick.  If the Switch is going to be practical, its users will have to feel free to use its many control options without having to constantly buy new batteries or bring the controller back to its charging dock.

I think that it would be in Nintendo’s best interests to make the Switch the ultimate mobile machine.  In a time when mobile gaming is continuing to grow and push gaming further into the mainstream, the Switch should become a must-have for people who want to carry games wherever they go but don’t necessarily want to use their phone.  That’s why I think it should feature some kind of platform for open-source software development.  Basically, an app store where developers can come to present their games and apps to the public through the Switch.  If Nintendo can partner with some of the best developers in the mobile market and encourage people to buy the Switch for the best mobile gaming experience, we could see sales that could give the Wii a run for its money.

Most of all, the Switch needs great games.  It looks like it will be re-releasing Wii U games, but it will need to shoot for the trifecta of a good game library: strong launch titles, great first party IP showings, and third-party support.  From what little we know right now, the NS is looking strong on all three, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being shown off and a new Mario title being teased.  TechCrunch has released a long list of third party developers who have also been shown to be partnered with Nintendo Switch, including EA, FromSoftware, and even Bethesda Softworks.  This list is a good sign, but the Switch will have to sport some big new releases, and end the trend of major companies developing games only for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.  Nintendo has always had incredible exclusive IPs, so if it can branch out into third party releases, it might re-take the spotlight.

It may be that the Switch can even compete with the likes of the iPad, depending again on battery life but also on the variety of software and apps it makes available.  If it can combine the console experience and the tablet experience, it could have an even more massive influence on technology than expected.

MAJOR QUESTIONS

The big question that remains in my mind has to do with Nintendo’s plans for game development in the future.  This is really the first true hybrid console to ever exist, combining the handheld market and the home console market.  Until now, these two markets have remained separate, and have built up their own separate IPs.

Now, it may be disappointing to some major Wii U fans, but I can tell that the Switch is about to make the Wii U history.  The big question is, what will be the future of the 3DS line of handhelds?  Now that we have the Switch, which is technically portable, is the 3DS going to become defunct as well?  Nintendo has said that there are many more 3DS games in the pipeline, and this is to be expected, but what about the future beyond the 3DS?  Will we see a merging of the two markets, with games like Dragon Quest and Pokemon becoming part of the home console market?

This could have a huge implication for the way the company makes money in this next console generation.  Will NS games be more expensive because they double as home and console games, or is the transition so seamless that games will cost the same, or even less?  If that’s the case, does that mean that the NS will be crazy expensive for all the tech it’s packing?  This could easily be, since President of Nintendo Tatsumi Kimishima has stated that the console won’t be sold at a loss.

As I said earlier, the trailer showed several Wii U games being played with NS technology, but they aren’t original Wii U releases.  Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch isn’t physically compatible with Wii U or 3DS games.  For example, Mario Kart 8 showed extra characters like King Boo, and Splatoon has different hairstyles and idle animations on its characters.  Since no Wii U disc being used, this could mean that Nintendo will be continuing its tradition of re-releasing its most popular titles on its next generation of consoles.

This would actually be a shrewd decision from Nintendo.  It would help people to remember the best aspects of the unpopular Wii U generation and carry them into the next generation along with everything new that the Switch will bring.  Then again, that brings up the question of which games will be carried over, how much will they cost, and what will be new in the re-releases?  Will Super Smash Bros. 4 be ported to NS with new characters, perhaps?  Only time will tell.

We’ll need to know more about the Nintendo Switch before determining how competitive it will be in the tech and gaming market.  Regardless, it looks like an incredible machine, and I was personally giddy watching the trailer for it.  Nintendo has always been innovative in its development of new consoles, and this machine could set the new standard.  Nintendo has stated that more details on specs and pricing will come sometime next year, and we can’t wait to hear more!

Splatoon is the Cool Older Sibling of Shooters

I saw this post one time that told a weird truth about game demographics.  We think of adults playing Call of Duty while little kids play Pokemon, but it’s usually the other way around.  We think we have it all figured out, but the kinds of people who play certain games are usually different than we think.  These days the silliest, most self-aware games have the most thought put into them.  Let’s talk about Splatoon.

My love for shooters mostly stopped with the Star Wars Battlefront games (not the new EA trash, the old ones).  I think my problem was that the industry fell into a pattern of what shooters “should” be.  Shooters are straightforward, and once you have a formula, they’re relatively easy to crank out.  Why do you suppose there are so many Battlefields and Call of Duty games?  Throw in team or free-for-all deathmatch mode and you have a guaranteed base of happy customers.

Only a few shooters have changed up the formula, and a lot of them are on PC.  Games like Overwatch and its spiritual predecessor Team Fortress 2 were daring.  They shift the entire focus of the gameplay to teamwork and achieving a set objective.  It’s no surprise that these games get the highest praise across the board.  Now, you might wonder why I bring these up when I’m supposed to be talking about Splatoon.  But in order to get what I say about Splatoon you need to understand why these other shooters are popular.

So what is it about Overwatch or TF2 that makes them interesting?  Well on the surface you can say they have lots of personality.  They have great dev teams, and unique casts of characters that all play differently.  But on a deeper level, they also have learning curves and objective-based play.  This has two important implications:

1) Players who want to focus on getting kills and mastering their character have plenty of room to improve.  This is important for appealing to that hardcore, thrill-seeking player base.

2) Players who just want to have a good time can still contribute.  Having robust objective-based play means that you don’t have to have amazing twitch-timing to contribute to your team.

Thanks to these two things, these team shooters offer something for everybody.  I’d say this is why they have so much appeal.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear me say that I love Splatoon and Splatoon 2 because they tick both of these boxes.  You can find your niche and become a monster with any weapon, given enough strategy and practice.  But if you’re new or you just wanna goof around, you can be MVP on your team just by covering enemy ink.  That’s not easy to do by itself.  But Splatoon takes it to a whole new level.

Splatoon 2 has over a dozen stages, and get this: they’re all symmetrical.  I never realized this until I saw LambHoot’s video about it, but in every match of Splatoon, the two teams are placed on a completely even playing field.  Each map has so much uneven terrain, different vantage points, and options for cover that I never even noticed.  If you lose, you can’t use the excuse that you got the worse side of the map.

Surely there must be OP weapons, though, right?  Yeah, some of them are a bit user-friendly, but any team is beatable on paper. There are no “tiers” of weapons, only different types and different loadouts.  For example, two rollers might be the same, but have different sub weapons and special weapons.  This is just meant to encourage experimentation (compare this to EA’s method of randomly giving players equipment they don’t want).  Victory all comes down to adaptation, player skill, and a little bit of luck.

What sets Splatoon apart more than anything else is how the front of battle is created completely by the players.  Moving over ground is really only useful for strafing in combat.  You want to always be swimming through your own color of ink, but so much as touching the other color will hold you up.  Getting splatted can happen so quickly, and Splatoon is such a game of seconds that one player losing a firefight can completely turn the tide of a match.

And so each player always has to make the decision to either hold down their own line, or try to sneak behind enemy lines to create a distraction.  But behind enemy lines, you have to deal with enemy players and being stranded in enemy ink.  If you pull it off, though, you can completely change the battleground.  It’s this push-and-pull of every fight that makes Splatoon so much fun to me.  One player can make the difference in a match, but without teamwork, the odds get steep.  That’s the essence of an awesome team shooter.

And man, let me tell you, this game makes me so angry and so happy.

When I lose in Splatoon, it’s the most angry I ever get at a video game.  But winning feels so ding-dang rewarding.  It’s funny how I can get pummeled by a skilled player in one match, then they end up on my team and suddenly we’re steamrolling the other team together.  That’s the kind of thing that’s rare in other shooters, and it’s something that small teams and skill-based play allow for.

So much effort goes into piling content into shooters nowadays.  Microtransactions, pre-order bonuses, and generally useless nonsense really do look like kid stuff compared to games like Splatoon.  You wanna talk about Call of Duty: WW2 and its advanced weapon tokens as pre-order bonuses?  Splatoon don’t give a damn.  You don’t get to buy gear with money.  You want weapons, you gotta get your hands dirty, level up, and earn your money from matches.  If you suck, you gotta put the work in.

Splatoon oozes quirky personality, hip-hop vibes, and love for its home country of Japan.  I spend half my time playing and the other half buying coordinated clothes and meming with in-game posts.  These are what I always tell people about, but I keep coming back to Splatoon because it’s a fundamentally solid game.  It looks and acts silly as hell, but it won’t treat you that way.  That’s why it’s my favorite shooter.