Books and cinema are two key universes where we can analyze story structures and character, but videogames play a good part in that area. They are sometimes discredited compared to the former two. Nowadays, videogames are more complex and have characters that are just as good; that’s why I want to keep a dedicated spot on this blog as well, as they’ve inspired me too and are one of my guilty pleasures.
From lone wolf gamer to online
Even though I played mostly on my computer, my brother and I have had pretty much every Nintendo System since the Game Boy era, so we had to buy a Nintendo Switch. We bought a bundle with a Splatoon 2 download code, even though we didn’t really want that game. Since it was on sale and was cheaper than buying just the Switch, we went with it.
Two years later, even though we have a nice collection, the only game I didn’t buy ended up being my favorite and the one I’ve played the most (800 hours!). I don’t think I’d ever get to play Splatoon 2 if it wasn’t part of the bundle. Shooters weren’t really my thing, let alone a game that forced me to play online, as I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer. I have always leaned towards old DOS games, the Sims, Fallout. You know, lone wolf (cat?) games. Like I don’t need interaction with other humans while I’m reading a book (or so I thought since I’ve recently joined a book club and it has been very enlightening), I thought I didn’t need them while playing. However, it grew on me, and I quickly became a fan of Splatoon 2.
The hosts, Marina and Pearl, are very charismatic and witty characters who announce the ongoing stages, spr-inkling (ha!) us with their best-friend-roasting dynamics, adding up that familiar feeling to the game. You can’t skip their announcements; despite that, I feel like I wouldn’t realize how funny they are (and crucial to the universe) if I had skipped them. Also, maps/stages change every two hours, so you know which ones you are getting.
Apart from the hosts, your character is fully customizable.
Splatoon 2 has several modes, but all of them have one thing in common: inking. It mainly focuses on battles between Inklings (half-human, half-squid kids)/Octolings (same, but half-octopus, If you buy the expansion pack), who splat each other with the trendiest weapons and outfits. These creatures walk while humans and turn into squids to swim on ink (not water!).
It’s a cool platform-like mode in which your mission is to go through a series of levels, defeat evil creatures and bosses, and rescue one of the hosts from the previous game. It’s cool when you can’t play online, but not as awesome as the online modes.
You’re sorted into 4×4 ink battles, and your goal is to ink the stage with your team’s color (and splat the enemy team!) to win. Each match takes 3 minutes, and anything can happen! One moment one team is about to win, and the next second the enemy team turns the game around.
You start with a single weapon (plus sub-weapons) and gear and, as you play, you level up and earn money to invest in new weapons and gear that you can obtain in the shops. Nope, not real money
When you get to level 13 in Turf wars, Ranked mode is unlocked. In this mode, which changes along with the maps, you can find 4 sub-modes, all of them 4×4: RainMaker (a charging weapon you have to take to your enemy base), Tower Control (make sure you lead the tower into your enemy base), Splatzones (make sure certain areas of the stage remain inked until the time is up) and finally Clam Blitz (you pick up clams you must throw into your enemy’s basket). Ranked pairs you with people with the same rank as yours, while in League, you team up with your friends. These matches last 5 minutes.
In this PvE online mode, a team of 4 players, hired by mysterious Mr.Grizz, have to fill in baskets with golden eggs, while salmon and salmonid bosses make their lives hell for three waves, particularly if you’re in higher ranks. This mode isn’t always available, but you can check what times it opens. Each time, there is a selection of weapons that are randomly sorted in each shift. It’s one of the best ways to make money in-game. You also get SR exclusive monthly gear.
Nintendo released an expansion pack a year later. It’s not essential, but it’s appreciated, as it allows you to play with another species, the Octoling. It’s another single-player mode with shorter but more annoying levels. They’re more like trials and are seriously immersive (and, did I mention, they’re annoying?).
This was more than just a game for me. I played an online game for the first time and made friends, even though the communication in-game is limited, as there are a lot of children playing this game too.
It’s much easier to meet other players when you’re part of a forum or community with proper communication means. In this game, there are only two signaling options: booyah! or this way! (or ouch if you get splatted). After two years, it’s lovely to see the community we all made, mostly thanks to my brother Andslg, who started streaming Splatoon on Twitch almost two years ago. Xeno (US) was the first regular, and not long after that, K1ll3r (US) and other streamers and players joined us.
I like taunting players that kill me too many times. I think this happened when I played with two cool inklings who kept killing me, the founders of the “Happy Clan.” We played together for a few months until one day, Blah added me to a private battle and painted her Twitter name on the floor (in-game, of course!). I couldn’t really understand that; after all, she was writing with a sniper. So I changed my tag to my old Twitter account name, and, eventually, she found me. That’s when I officially met Blah (Germany) and Daiz(UK). Splatoon 2 turned out to be the start point of an amazing community.
Splatfest is a monthly event in which dichotomous existential questions turn into ink battles. You pick one side and battle along with it in Turf Wars, with your friends or solo. Whichever side wins at least two of the three parameters (Popularity, Normal, or Pro) wins.
It’s worth remarking the importance of these debates, such as Mayonnaise vs. Ketchup, Which came first: the chicken or the egg?, and Toilet paper: back roll or front roll?.
This week takes place the Final Fest: Chaos vs. Order. Xeno, K1ll3r, and I will be joining my brother Andslg for the last time this Thursday (well, in a splat fest, we’ll be playing more, ofc), supporting team Order (and our beloved aliens, who are responsible for our multiple disconnects and unexplainable lose streaks).
If you like Splatoon or if you’re curious about it, tune in on Twitch. There’s a high chance I’ll be streaming it 🙂
Gamer, INFJ, Cat Lover
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