Staying Fresh With Splatoon

Splatoon continues to keep me coming back with its slow trickle of new weapons, maps and even entire game modes. Nintendo’s bold risk in intentionally releasing a stripped down game, with loads of secret content on the disk set to unlock for free over the weeks and months following launch, seemed like marketing suicide at first, but has really paid off in keeping the community alive both in game and through it’s lively online presence.

The first European Splatfest event took place last weekend, pitting fans of Rock against fans of Pop in a special tournament to win some incredibly rare upgrade Snails. Not only are regular tournaments like this a great way to keep people playing, but Nintendo really did an exceptional job in creating a sense of ‘event’, with the levels switched to night time mode and glow in the dark ink, and the lobby plaza transformed into a party with Callie and Marie putting on duelling concerts from their battle buses for their respective teams and event specific Miiverse posts lighting up the sky as fireworks.

Some annoying matchmaking and connection issues put a bit of a damper on the event, especially with teams of 4 Rockers occasionally being teamed up against a lone Popster, but all in all it was decent for a first attempt at such an event.

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Last week also introduced the new Tower Control game type to competitive mode. While ok, Splatzones never really felt like a mode that worked within the mechanics of Splatoon. With such creative tools of mass ink coverage, fighting over small areas seemed a bit mismatched. Tower Control is, thankfully, the antithesis to this, and it’s huge fun. There’s an immense excitement to riding atop a precarious weaponised, musical tower with your teammates into the heart of the enemy base.

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