IMPRESSIONS: Splatoon 3

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

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By


Splatoon 3 | My Character

I’m somewhat of a newcomer, or casual player if you will, of Splatoon. I got into it about a year after Splatoon 2 came out. I was hesitant to buy it originally, simply because shooters are not my forte. I did play a ton of Perfect Dark with my older brothers growing up, but that’s about the only enjoyment I’ve really gotten from shooters and I have no skill for them. Nonetheless, I’ve always liked the look of Splatoon, it has such an appealing aesthetic. Back in 2018, I finally decided to splurge on a digital copy of Splatoon 2. I figured at the very least I could enjoy the Turf Wars mode, where the ultimate goal is to ink the most territory, not getting the most kills/splats. Despite not being a very skilled player, I had a ton of fun with all of the Splatfests and put around just a bit over 100 hours into the game. Jump ahead to last weekend and there was a Splatoon 3 World Premiere Splatfest event. Being a lover of Splatfests, I obviously took part in this timed Splatfest demo. I also have already pre-ordered a physical copy of Splatoon 3. Keep reading to find out whether I now regret this pre-order, or if I’ll be keeping it and enjoying the full game.

Splatoon 3 | Deep Cut Performing During the Splatfest

The Splatoon 3 World Premiere was a pretty limited demo, but it was enough to get a small taste of the newest entry and see what’s different and how it feels to play. First you get to create your character. I really like the gradient additions to the eye color selection. Then you get to meet the new group of characters who update you on all the happenings in Splatsville. Deep Cut, this latest entry’s group, consists of Shiver, Frye and Big Man. Shiver is my favorite so far, but Big Man is great too. One thing I didn’t like was that Deep Cut doesn’t seem to have much of a catchphrase. Their saying when they’re done with the news is, “Catch ya later.” It’s not really anything unique or special, it’s honestly a boring catchphrase. Also, once the Splatfest started it wasn’t as easy to see them perform as Off the Hook was in Splatoon 2. In the first half of the Splatfest they’re riding around town on these floats and are really high up. You can barely zoom in and see the heads of Shiver and Frye. In the second half of the Splatfest, all three are performing on a stage together. You can see them a little better here, but they’re still really high up there, you have to go up some stairs and then zoom in to get a good look at the actual characters rather than the electronic screens they’re displayed on as well.

Splatoon 3 | Tricolor Match

Splatfests this time around contain three teams to pick from and are divided into two parts. In the first half of the Splatfest, it’s the traditional one team vs another, where you’ll be randomly matched against opponents from one of the other two teams and try to ink the most territory. The second half of the Splatfest has all three teams in one mode, where four people from the team in the lead try to defend their territory from the other two teams who get two people each. The goal is still to ink the most territory but if the team opposite you, who isn’t in the lead, takes the win, you also technically win the match. I was under the impression that once the Tricolor Turf War half of the Splatfest begins, you can’t play the standard Splatfest mode anymore, but fortunately, that wasn’t the case. I was actually able to still pick the normal mode with only two teams battling it out, or I could go with Tricolor. At least that was how it was supposed to work. However, there was one point where I went somewhere between five to seven matches picking Tricolor, only to get consistently forced into the old standard Turf War. I’ve also heard that Team Scissors had the opposite problem as the lead team, where they would be forced into Tricolor. I mean, that’s just unacceptable. You should be able to pick your mode and the mode you pick should be a 100% chance of being the mode you play. That’s like if someone was trying to join ranked and play something like Tower Zone for example, but keeps getting thrown into Turf War. By the way, I sided with Team Rock and it turns out we won the Splatfest. It was hard to decide between Rock, Paper and Scissors, but my favorite primary color is blue and Shiver seems cool, so that’s what I went with.

Splatoon 3 | Equipment Menu

Mechanically, Splatoon 3 plays a lot like Splatoon 2, but there are quite a few changes. One huge change is the fact that you get a whole lobby to test your weapon in, while you wait to be matched with other players. This is a much welcome change. The room making feature to join friends, though, seems a bit harder to find, but it is there. I just hope the full game allows players to create a room, outside of Splatfests, for only one or two friends to join before opening it to the public for randoms to join. I’m not sure whether or not that’s been discussed somewhere already by Nintendo, I feel like it was maybe vaguely mentioned in the Direct earlier this summer. In Splatoon 2 you could only create a room for less than three friends prior to opening it for random players, during Splatfests and in Salmon Run. Regular every day Turf War matches, required you to stalk your friend to whichever room they were in and when the online was lively, you’d usually have to then wait for them to finish their match before you were let into the room. And even after all this, you weren’t guaranteed to play on the same team as your friend. Well unless you had three friends total, free to play with you at the same time. Weapons are another important mechanics change. Some of them have changed slightly and there’s the introduction of new weapon types and specials. I noticed the Dualies don’t feel as smooth as before. I don’t think the dodge roll is quite as mobile as it used to be. Keep in mind, I am an amateur Splatoon player and this is just how certain things seemed or felt to me during my own World Premiere playtime, I might not be completely accurate on every little change I think I noticed. On another slightly related note, I don’t feel like moving through ink is quite as fast as before either. That could be an intentional balancing feature due to the addition of new gameplay techniques, such as the squid roll. The same could be said for my Dualies observation, they might not be as smooth so that they’re more balanced against the other weapons, or it could be that each weapon even among the same type, is a little bit different from each other.

As I’ve said before, I’m a casual enjoyer of Splatoon, not an expert, these are just some of the mechanics changes I noticed. I’m going to try to keep this short and won’t be going over absolutely everything. The last big thing I want to discuss, is the overall atmosphere and style of Splatoon 3. I’m not sure yet if I like the music more than Splatoon 2’s soundtrack. I don’t think it stands out as much so far, but I did enjoy what I heard for the most part. One last thing I noticed, is that the ink style doesn’t seem as aesthetically pleasing as I found it in Splatoon 2. It still looks really stylish in the promotional footage Nintendo has put out, but when I was actually playing the Splatfest for myself, the ink seemed to layer more thinly on the ground and just overall, didn’t look as gloppy and shiny as the previous title. Part of why I wanted to get into Splatoon years ago was because of the aesthetics, thus this is a slight negative for me.

Splatoon 3 | Deep Cut Signing Off

At the end of the day, I had a ton of fun checking out this Splatoon 3 World Premiere. Considering this is an impressions article mainly about what I experienced during the game’s demo, that’s what I focused on. But I would like to say real quick, I am quite looking forward to all the other little added things in the full game, like new clothing items, the locker you get to customize and Tableturf Battles. Overall, I see no reason to cancel my pre-order. I get a little burnt out after so many matches in a row, usually when I’m losing often, but it’s a quality multiplayer series and I had fun with the small snippet I got to experience in the demo. Plus, I don’t want to miss out on any future Splatfests. Not to mention, I imagine with feedback such as this, Nintendo will make some fixes to improve the game and eliminate major flaws, like they’ve always tried to do with Splatoon in the past.

About Jenae R

Jenae is an RPG enthusiast who also enjoys cats, humidity-free warm weather, Dean Koontz books and a select handful of non RPG series and games. Two of her all-time favorite games are the original Shadow Hearts and Final Fantasy IX. She loves to ramble on about her numerous gaming opinions and is fortunate enough to be able to do it here at oprainfall.