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Splatoon 2 Preview

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Splatoon amiibo Compatible With Splatoon 2
Updated 4/21/17

The original sets of Splatoon amiibo didn’t do a whole lot in the first game on Wii U, so it’s nice to hear they will be supported in the sequel. This time around they are used to unlock special Gear. Each amiibo will give you three pieces of Gear: Shoes, Clothes, and Headwear. No word on how great these will be or if they’re more of a fashion statement than anything with huge benefits.


New Splatoon 2 Screens
Updated 4/12/17

In today’s Nintendo Direct we got to see the brand new 4-player co-op mode called Salmon Run. We also learned that three new amiibo will be shipping alongside Splatoon 2 on July 21, 2017. These can be used to acquire new gear in the game! Nintendo has updated with some new screens to show off these new features. Check out the gallery below!


New Details & Modes
Updated 4/12/17

In today’s Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 2 closed out the show with brand new footage and details on a brand new co-op mode. In Salmon Run, you can team up with friends to battle the new Salmonoid species. You’ll have to help out your fellow teammates to rid the infestation before it’s too late!



Splatoon 2 is coming out for Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. Three amiibo will release alongside the game that will grant special limited gear in the game. You can save you favorite gear and load outs directly to the amiibo and take it with you to a friend’s house to keep playing with your favorite settings ready to go.


Humpback Pump Track Video
Updated 4/4/17


Splatoon 2: Two New Stages & Meet Murch
Updated 4/3/17

The official Splatoon 2 Tumblr account has been busy updating with new information. Over the weekend the site introduced gamers to a new character named Murch. He’s one of the vendors in Splatoon 2 that will let you purchase new gear. New this time around is the ability to scrub gear, wiping the additional abilities on any piece to return it back to its original state. These abilities that are removed will be returned to the player as ability chunks, which can then b used to fill an empty gear slot with a new ability. This should allow for a higher level of customization than ever before.

Two new arenas were shown off as well. Humpback Pump Track in an indoor BMX track that the Inklings use for Turf War.

It features many curvy ups and downs, and the bike track surrounds a small hill in the middle. You’d think the openness makes for great visibility, but the hump abundance creates a surprising amount of blind spots. Inklings can employ multiple strategies, including frontal breakthroughs or attacking from the side.

Oh… and we just realized that jellyfish can ride bikes? What!?

Starfish Mainstage is an outdoor music venue that hosts concerts.

The now legendary “Squid Squad” played here once, and its considered a bit of a holy site for devotees of rock music. It’s a wonder that all the ink  spray doesn’t cause the equipment to short circuit, but I guess they’ve got it figured out.


Introducing Wet Floor – The Band From Splatoon 2
Updated 3/29/17

If you had a chance to take part in last weekend’s Splatoon 2 Global Testfire, you may have noticed the music was all-new and had a distinct sound to it. That’s because the Squid Sisters, Callie & Marie are not headlining the soundtrack for the sequel. Instead, a brand new rock band is taking the honors: Wet Floor. Their songs are an enticing blend of different genres.

We’re not entirely sure if the band members’ names are going to be revealed, or if they’re just shown off by what they bring to the band, but for now we’ve got Synth, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, and Drums. According to Nintendo’s UK site:

This guy plays synthesizer and is the group’s founder. He’s out to restore some indie dignity to Inkopolis’s music scene that’s lately been taken over by giant pop stars. When it comes to songwriting, he lets others take the initiative. He prefers tinkering with sounds to performing, and the studio is a much more comfortable place for him than the stage.

Wet Floor also has two members that play guitar and provide vocals. The guy on the left is a fan of vintage rock sounds. You can hear it in the sharp, jangly rhythms of his riffs. The girl on the right is a faithful follower of the church of punk rock, and she carves out riffs with a more hunky, bass-heavy sound. These two don’t always see eye-to-eye, but when they’re in the groove, their two distinct sounds meld into a medley of magical music.

These two bring a fast-paced technical beat to the group’s sound that’s every bit as crucial as the members who play up front. The guy on bass has a trademark string-slapping style, while the drummer uses her multiple limbs to keep a driving, super-stable backbeat. The friendly rivalry these two share makes the band sizzle with thrilling rhythm.


Global Testfire Hands-On Impressions
Updated 3/24/17

We went into the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire event expecting the worst. Many things could have gone wrong, with this being the first online test of the Nintendo Switch and a multiplayer competitive game to boot. These Testfires are limited to one hour at a time, thus increasing the number of people participating in them. We had issues with the original Splatoon’s Testfire demos, giving us server errors and kicking us out of games.

Imagine our surprise, then, when not only were we immediately able to connect, but also play for the entire hour without a single hiccup. That’s right! No server errors, no disconnections, no lag, everything worked as if Splatoon 2 was a final product.

The only issue we had with the Switch had nothing at all to do with Splatoon 2. If you’ve had your Nintendo Switch in Sleep Mode, Nintendo did some tinkering on their servers this week, which has caused some Switches to give an error when trying to access the online services, like the eShop and Splatoon 2. As we reported earlier, the easy fix to this is simply holding the Power Button on the Switch for a few seconds until a screen pops up. Select Power Off and let it shut down. Then simply power back on and everything should be good to go.

But, enough with that, how does the game play? Well, Splatoon 2 is a lot like the original game! The Testfire demo allows you to choose from four different weapon load-outs: Splattershot, Splat Roller, Splat Charger, and Splat Dualies. Each weapon choice has advantages and disadvantages, and each gives you a different sub-weapon, like Splat Bombs or Curling Bombs. In addition, each has its own Special attack associated with it too, like Ink Jet, which allows you to fly up in the air with two jets of paint shooting out of the bottom of your tank, ala Super Mario Sunshine.

For this demo we used the Pro Controller and left the default controls in place. So, that meant that to aim the reticule up or down we had to tilt the controller. This could also be done to aim left or right, but it was quicker to simply use the right analog stick for that in many cases. The biggest departure from the Wii U game is that there is no longer a second screen that shows the map at all times. This is unfortunate as it used to be so easy to immediately tell how much of the map was covered in paint and where your allies were. This map can be accessed by pressing the X button, but that covers your entire screen, basically taking you completely out of the competition for those few precious seconds. It works, but it’s nowhere near as elegant as it was in the Wii U game.

Our biggest hurdle with the controls was that B was jump and X was map. After playing over 100 hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we kept hitting X to jump. This subsided as the matches continued, but it was a surprising issue that cropped up in our short time with the game.

For the demo only Turf War is available to play. This is the mode where your team attempts to paint as much of the territory as possible. Whichever side has the most covered in three minutes wins the match. While you can of course kill your opponents, doing so does not have a direct impact on your percentage of territory claimed. However, taking out the competition can prevent them from painting for a short period of time while they respawn.

The graphics have seen a slight bump up in quality over the Wii U. There are more reflections and the paint itself looks even shinier and better than the last game. The frame rate seemed solid the entire time and we never encountered any type of graphical hiccups at all during the entire hour. The awesomely strange music that permeated the original game is back for the sequel. All of it is very quirky, but instantly addicting and fits the game’s zaniness perfectly.

The sequel features all new Specials, and so far our favorites are the Tenta Missiles, which can really take out your competition, and the Ink Jet, which catapults you into the air. Although the Ink Jet is very risky due to your enemies being able to shoot you out of the sky, it’s a fun way to paint a lot of ground and works like a charm if you’re closing in on a competitor and pop it, you fly above them and take them out before they know what hit them.

Also new to the game are the Splat Dualies, where you hold a gun in each hand. These are very fun to use and can really pump out the paint. When shooting you can press the B button and a direction to roll up to two times. This can really get you out of a jam, but the penalty is that you can’t move very well for a second or so after coming out of the roll.

When all was said and done, the Splat Roller is still probably the easiest weapon to play and have fun with. It’s a bit overpowered sometimes and it’s just fun to really paint the ground with it. There’s also a lot less fuss with it because you don’t really have to manage up and down on the Y axis like you do with the guns.

Overall the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire was a lot of fun. It featured two brand new stages and there was enough new stuff included to keep our interest. There’s no denying the fact that it plays almost identical to its predecessor, but this is just a small taste of what is on the way in the final game. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, remember there are more hour-long Testfires coming up. Here’s the schedule:


Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Specials, Sub-Weapons & Weapons
Updated 3/23/17


Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Commercial
Updated 3/16/17

You know you live in Japan when a video game DEMO gets its own TV commercial. The original game on the Wii U was such a big hit in that country that it sold over 1.5 million copies, meaning almost 50% of Wii U owners bought Splatoon. Nintendo is hoping to repeat the success with the Switch and has been heavily advertising Splatoon 2 in the Japanese market via Switch ads throughout the country.

Next weekend is the Splatoon Global Testfire – essentially a limited time demo with two levels to try. It will stress test Nintendo’s online servers in preparation for the game’s full retail launch later this summer.


Splatoon 2 Testfire Demo Can Be Downloaded
Updated 3/14/17

Early this morning the Nintendo Switch eShop was updated with the Splatoon 2 Testfire demo. That’s right, you can download it right now! But, don’t get too excited. It won’t do anything until the servers go live on March 24. Nintendo will let you play several times throughout next weekend, but only in one hour increments. Still, it’s a free way to try out an upcoming game, and should be worth your time!



[Updated 2/12/17 – Global Testfire Announcement]:


[Updated 2/11/17 – Spectator Mode & LAN Options]:

Nintendo has announced that Splatoon 2 will allow for up to 10 players to connect Switches together to play a match. 8 of those players will actually be battling it out while the other 2 will be spectators. They will be able to view the entire map in realtime as well as check any player’s load outs and freely see the action from any player’s viewpoint in Private Battle.


Eureka! We’ve just discovered a breakthrough in squid-observation technology! In Splatoon 2, a new feature called Private Battle Spectator View will allow up to two non-players to spectate a Private Battle. These two people act as camera operators in order capture all the action. This is, of course, in addition to the 8 players who fight in the Private Battle. Outstanding!



Nintendo also announced that Splatoon 2 will feature LAN Play, which allows you to create local Private Battle tournaments without needing an Internet connection. Of course this was always possible with the Switch being outside the dock as the system can connect wireless to seven other Switches. But now it appears that this can also happen while docked.


Previously, we’ve reported that Splatoon 2 will allow up to eight Nintendo Switch systems to connect via local wireless to play Private Battles. In addition to this, a new feature called LAN Play will enable players to connect eight docked systems using a wired LAN setup. This feature allows players to create local Private Battle tournaments without the need for an Internet connection.

If you’re willing to put in the work to set up LAN Play, you can also use the Private Battle Spectator View feature by hooking up two additional Nintendo Switch systems. Local wireless play is perfect for your regular gaming get-togethers, but LAN Play is where it’s at when you want to organize a serious tournament event with your fellow players.


[Updated 2/7/17 – Japanese Commercial]:


[Updated 2/1/17 – Information About Voice Chat]:

One thing’s for certain: we certainly don’t know much about Nintendo’s upcoming online initiative. Chaos broke out across the internet when Nintendo mentioned it would utilize a smartphone app to facilitate voice chat for its online multiplayer service coming to the Nintendo Switch. This left most people puzzled and confused as to why Nintendo would force players to use a separate device to chat when the Switch has a built-in headphone/mic jack that could be used instead. Well, the answer is still clear as mud, but we do have a bit more information to share on how the app will interact with Splatoon 2.

We’ve received a report that Splatoon 2 will be compatible with an upcoming app for smart devices that enhances online play. This app will link with the game and allow you to set a play appointment with your friends and teammates invited through your social media accounts. It also lets you match up with them directly in the game and voice chat with them too.

For example, during a Private Battle, you can voice chat with all of the connected friends when you divide into teams, but once teams are set, voice chat is switched to communication only between teammates in the same team. Also, you cannot communicate with random Inklings you don’t know.

A couple of interesting tidbits stand out to us. First is the mention that players will be able to set play appointments and invite friends through social media accounts. That means the app must be directly linked to sites like Facebook and Twitter. When playing Splatoon 2, all of your friends will be in your chat session, but when the match begins only those on your team will be able to be communicated with. For this game it appears that you won’t be able to chat with random people, which isn’t too surprising given Nintendo’s family friendly policies.


[Updated 1/16/17 – Footage From Japan Show (Japanese)]:


[Updated 1/15/17 – Direct Feed Footage]:


[Updated 1/14/17 – Treehouse Live Gameplay Footage]:


[Original Preview]:

One of the runaway success stories on the Wii U was Splatoon, Nintendo’s fresh take on a third person shooter. It sold well in every territory, but it did exceptionally well in Japan where it helped propel Wii U sales to new heights – a remarkable feat so late in its short lifecycle. We had our first glimpse at a new Splatoon game in October when Nintendo showed off the Switch in a short video. Rumors swirled that the game would be an enhanced port of the original, but a vocal minority insisted that it could be an all new game, especially since everything shown was completely new.



Flash forward to today and we now know that Splatoon 2 will be splashing onto the Nintendo Switch this summer! Similar to the first game, Splatoon 2 will continuously add new stages and modes post-launch. New this time is the ability to dual-wield certain weapons and the ability to dodge roll out of harm’s way.



Of course the game can be played anywhere you like, whether at home or on the go. Up to 8 people can battle it out locally in Turf Wars, and the game supports TV mode, handheld mode, and tabletop mode. If you prefer, the Switch Pro Controller can be utilized as well. Of course you can also connect online to battle it out across the world.



No word on if a brand new single player adventure mode is going to be present. I hope so, since the original’s was a great deal of fun. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to come out on Nintendo Switch this summer. So, we don’t have too long to wait!

Traditional 4-on-4 turf battles return in this full sequel to the original breakout hit game, along with new stages, new fashions and new weapons such as the two-handed Splat Dualies. Players can compete on the TV or on the go. Whether they use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (sold separately) or Joy-Con, players can aim their ink using gyro controls. Splatoon 2 supports both local and online multiplayer matches. The game will also support voice chat using the new Nintendo Switch smart device app (a free, limited version of the app will be available this summer), and will add new stages, fashions and weapons after launch, as the original game did. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch this summer.





Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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