Splatoon is undeniably one of Nintendo’s biggest success stories within the past couple years. Despite being on their worst-selling home console of all time (sorry Wii U), the ink-shooter has passed over four and a half million sales, just over a third of the Wii U’s total sales. So I don’t think it was all that surprising when we found out that Ninty’s fresh IP is getting a sequel for their new console: the Nintendo Switch. By the time the title releases, it will be two years since the original’s launch back on May 29th 2015, and for as fun as it was splatting other squid kids, there are some things that would be much appreciated in its sequel. So that’s how this article has come about. Splatoon is one of my ten games of all time, but here are some features I would like to see added to this follow-up that can result in a bigger splash.
5. More modes
This may seem a tad bit too obvious a choice, but it should be said. Even though the original’s modes were a blast to play, there was only four of them, with three being exclusive to Ranked Battles. And even then, you can only play on one Ranked Battle mode every four hours! For its sequel, I believe having more modes, for both casual and competitive play, would be amazing. How about traditional shooter-modes like Team Deathmatch for casual play? I think this could be taken a step further by allowing squid kids to choose what game mode they want to compete in rather than being forced to play one until the next is available, as that was one of the biggest restrictions in the Wii U title.
4. A more fleshed out single-player
It has already been confirmed that Splatoon 2 will have a single-player campaign like its predecessor. But I feel more can be done here, apart from making it lengthier of course. The Sunken Scrolls from the original provided a reason to come back to levels, in addition to providing lore in Splatoon‘s world. Adding to this via its plot rather than collectables could help with showing that Nintendo’s fresh IP is more than just shooting your ink (not a euphemism). It’d be tough to top the climactic final boss that was DJ Octavio, but with any luck we could be in for a bigger story beyond “these buggers are trying to invade our world, stop them!”
3. Better amiibo support
Nintendo really needs to do more with amiibo. Splatoon saw its own line of figures, with the first three enabling you to tackle certain single-player missions in new ways to unlock new gear, and the Squid Sisters (released about a year after) transformed Inkopolis Plaza into its Splatfest setting, seeing as those events stopped with their release. But when you’re putting forward a good ten quid towards each amiibo, you deserve more than just being able to listen to music in the main hub. If they were to make use of the Callie and Marie amiibo again, why not allow for their music to appear whilst battling, along with their outfits? Plus, it would be fantastic to use other amiibo that have been collecting dust to gain new gear for your Inkling too, in similar veins to Yoshi’s Woolly World.
2. More content at launch
This was a big problem that plagued the first game’s reception upon release. Whilst the campaign was there, the online wasn’t as packed. Only 5 maps and the single turf war mode were available from the get-go, and this lack of initial content lead to its reception not being as good as it could have been. The game continued to grow better and better as weeks went by, with a new area and weapon(s) coming every week for a decent amount of time after Splatoon‘s launch, and by its last map update with Ancho V Games you had a decent amount of content to sink into. Thankfully the Switch presentation last month confirmed free updates and content will be coming in the weeks after Splatoon 2‘s release, however to justify its price point at launch (aside from its superbly fun gameplay of course) the team behind this great shooter need to have more stuff out of the gate.
1. A better online experience
Now, this is by all means a very vague choice, yet this is the most essential to make Splatoon 2 a better experience than the first. The franchise is first and foremost an online shooter, so a great online infrastructure is by all means necessary. As already announced, Nintendo will be opting for a paid online subscription for the Switch that isn’t all that expensive, ranging from about $17-$26 per month starting from autumn of this year. With this, the big N’s online service is bound to be more reliable than what it has been in the past, so hopefully this will translate to Splatoon 2 too. Helping to cope with lag and the like will not be enough in my opinion though.
It is more to do with what you can actually do within the original’s online mode that bugged me. For example, as mentioned in my number five choice, the fact that you are restricted to one of three Ranked Modes every four hours took a toll on my overall enjoyment. Furthermore, only four maps were available altogether within this time frame, and you were unable to change your load-out in between matches in the lobby. In order to make Splatoon 2 truly great, these quirks need to go. Remove the two-map per mode every four hours confinement, or at the very least reduce this time. To allow Inklings to best prepare for the match ahead, set a short timer beforehand whilst showing the location they’ll be duking it out on. And if they want to keep up their rank by playing their most favourite mode, allow them to choose the mode rather than waiting eight hours to play again! It’s a given this game is going to be a great one, but things like this could transcend it to an far better game.
So there we are: five things I think should be in Splatoon 2. As I’ve already mentioned, the original is one of my favourite games of all time, and given its past success the sequel is already headed for bigger things. A global testfire has also been announced soon after the Switch’s launch, allowing you to see what all the hype is about for yourself. Make sure to leave what you want to see from Splatoon 2 in the comments below, as well as any suggestions for what game I should tackle next.