Splatoon Nintendo Direct Recap
Thursday midnight through to Friday morning saw the latest news on Splatoon via a Nintendo Direct, or the Squid Research Lab Report, as it was called by the host, Professor Seth L. O’Pod. Old and new information came out of this Direct/Report, so here’s a recap right here on Sticky Trigger Entertainment.
A general recap was giving regarding the playable characters, the Inklings, and their ability to turn into humanoids. New information regarding the characters is that eye colour and skin tone is customisable at will. As a world-building tidbit, Inklings develop from birth and have the ability to change into their humanoid form when they reach maturity at 14.
A rundown of the game mechanics was given; aim with the GamePad and shoot ink in humanoid form, while being able to swim through ink in squid form, as well as being able to super jump to any team mates by tapping on them on the game map. There was also a refresher on the first game mode, Turf War, which has four against four fighting to cover as much of the playable floor with ink in three minutes. Completing matches earns points, which are converted into cash.
The overworld hub, Inkopolis was re-presented. Other Inklings can be found here, which come from Miiverse and other people you’ve played with and against. Cash earned in battles can be used on gear and weapon in the shopping hub, Booyah Base, located nearby. in Gear and weapon stores include the clothes store Jelly Fresh with Jelonzo, the shoe store Shrimp Kicks with Crusty Sean, the headgear store Cooler Heads with Annie and Moe. Fashion is an important element in Splatoon, with each gear having a different brand. Players who have gear you like can be ordered at will. Each gear can have up to four abilities, such as the ink rationing Ink Saver, Damage, Defence or Speed Up, Ninja Squid and Stealth Jump. The rarer a gear is, the more abilities it’ll have. Each gear will have at least one predetermined ability, the others will be randomly selected, with locked abilities being unlocked the more you use that gear. More ability slots can be unlocked by finding Super Sea Snails and giving them to Spyke.
Weapons can be bought from Sheldon, who runs the Ammo Knights store. Weapons are placed into groups of three, which include a main weapon, sub weapon, and a special weapon. Main weapons are separated into three categories – shooter, charger and roller. Shooter weapons are rapid fire, which include the Splattershot, Aerospray MG, Jet Squelcher, and the Blaster, Charger weapons are long distance and need to be charged before firing, which include the Splat Charger, E-Litre 3K, and the Splatterscope, and Roller are close combat weapons, which include the Splat Roller, and the Dynamo Roller.
Sub weapons use a bit of ink each time they’re used, and should be used sparingly, which include Splat Bombs, Sprinklers, Seekers, Splash Walls, sticky Suction Bombs, Burst Bombs, the enemy locating Point Sensor, invisible Ink Mines, Squid Beakons that enable allies to super jump to them, and the ability hindering Disruptor.
Special weapons get charged up the more you cover surfaces, indicated by a meter. When the meter’s full, a special weapon can be activated. Such weapons include the Inkzooka, the Killer Wail, the Inkstrike that calls in a tactical strike of ink which colours a large area from the sky aimed via a tap on the GamePad, the Echolocator which located all enemy positions and relays this to your allies, the Bubbler which creates a damage-free bubble that can be shared by nearby allies, and the Kraken which turns you into an invincible Squid with a spin attack.
The Single Player mode can be accessed by following Cap’n Cuttlefish down a manhole in Inkopolis. The story is that the Octopi, or Octarians have stolen Zapfish, and it’s up to you to get them back with your ink and your Hero Suit. Various kettles serve as entrances to Octopi outposts, where waves of Octarians, obstacles and even bosses will stand in your way to reclaiming back the Zapfish. Collectable Power Eggs can be used to improve your Single Player arsenal, and one hidden Sunken Scrolls can be found in each level, and are said to reveal the mysteries of the world.
Offline one versus one is playable in the form of the Battle Dojo, where players compete to earn the most amount of points in five minutes. One balloon popped is worth a point, balloons popped with a minute left is worth double points, and getting hit by the other player loses points.
Online multiplayer contains various modes. Regular battles contains Turf Wars, and shuffles every player at the end of each match, including joined friends. Two maps are available to be chosen from every four hours. Ranked Battle contains different game modes, like Splat Zones; a zone is highlighted, and the team who covers that area with ink starts counting down a timer. Reach zero, and you win. Ranking in these Battles is on a scale from C- to A+, with players found with comparable skill levels. To access Ranked Battle, players have to be at least level 10. To try and even the playing field, Ranked Battle won’t be available from launch, but shortly after when enough players reach level 10.
Updates are also planned for Splatoon. The number of maps will expand, with new maps available every few weeks. New weapons are also planned, such as the Roller main weapon the Inkbrush, a large paintbrush. New gear will also be made available. In terms of game modes, Ranked Battle, as mentioned earlier, will be available after launch. Within Ranked Battle, Tower Control will see Inklings try to ride a moveable tower through the level to the goal, and another game mode, Rainmaker, is said to be in the works. A major update is planned for August, which will upgrade online features, such as having a group of four friends playing in a team against a different group of four friends, and a customisable eight player mode with friends, with future updates planned.
Minigames are included in the world of Splatoon through an arcade machine or when waiting to be matched with other players online, with initially Squid Jump made available, an infinite jumper. amiibo functionality can expand this; the Inkling Boy, Inkling Girl, and Inkling Squid amiibo unlock amiibo challenges. The Inkling Girl has Charger weapon based missions, Inkling Boy has Roller weapon based missions, and Inkling Squid has missions based on the Kraken special weapon and limited ink. Completing these missions rewards special gear, and if all challenges for an amiibo are completed, new minigames are earned, with Squidball, a volleyball game, Squid Racer, a racing game, and Squid Beatz, a rhythm game.
Splatfests are limited time events, hosted by in-game pop stars Callie and Marie. A Splatfest consist of having in-game news presented to players, and then having the player make a choice. Much like the Everybody Votes Channel from the Wii, a question is asked, with the first being “Which music do you prefer? Rock or Pop?” and occurring from June 28th to 29th. Choosing one side joins you to everybody else who chose that option, and you compete in a separate game list against those who chose the other option competing for your answer to win. Splatfests have their own ranking system, separate to Ranked Battle. At the end of a Splatfest, Super Sea Snails can be earned, which upgrade your gear with Spyke, as mentioned earlier.
The last information revealed was the Splatoon Global Testfire demo. After downloading the demo, the multiplayer will be available to everyone for three specific one hour intervals – today from 1pm to 2pm, 9pm to 10pm, and tomorrow from 5am to 6am. Players who download the demo can also get 10% off the digital game from the Nintendo eShop; from $79.95 to $71.95 until June 4th.
Lastly, Mii Fighter costumes based on the Inkling Boy, Inkling Girl, and Inkling Squid will be available this winter for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and a coverplate for the new Nintendo 3DS will be made available in July.