Off The Hook
A few weeks ago it was Splatfest on the UK Splatoon 2 servers. For those unfamiliar with Splatoon (do you even like video games), Splatfest is a 24hr Turf War between two teams in the Splatoon 2 community. Recently fans duked it out over which Ninja Turtle was the best one. It ended correctly with Donnie being the overall winner across three weekends. The latest Splatfest was not quite as exciting however. Players chose between liking their orange juice with or without pulp. The latter was the correct answer and safest bet, surely.
So the Splatfest finally arrived at 3pm on the Saturday, and you’re teamed up with three other like minded inklings and octolings, ready to fight in a turf war against those gross pulp fans. For the uninitiated (seriously, why have you not played this yet?), Turf War is a 4v4 battle to cover as much ground in your teams coloured ink before the time runs out. With a plethora of weapons and abilities, as well as a seemingly endless rotation of maps to play on, it’s easy to get caught up and sink hours into the game. Or 125+ in my case. As exciting and fun as Splatfest can be, the latest was disappointing. Not the gameplay itself but the technical issues that plagued it. Or at least when I tried to play. It took several attempts to get a game due to the amount of times it had a server communication issue, and when I did get a game, 90% of the time it was against the same side. And even then the team numbers were imbalanced due to people getting disconnected. This only ever seems to be a problem come Splatfest, and though it does happen in the standard game modes, it’s few and far between in comparison (one can only hope that when Nintendo start charging for their online service, it heralds in much need server improvements).
But we’ll not to let that detract from the overall gameplay, Splatfest is often a way of going up against some really good players. Those you wouldn’t often play against in Turf War as they tend to stick to the ranked modes. And some of the games can be extremely tight. Especially when you get less seasoned players on your side. Out of all available modes in Splatoon 2, Turf War is my favourite. It’s simple but addictive, and once you get a good streak going you never want to put it down. The only drawback is other players. As the main objective is to cover the map in your ink, you’d think it’d be straightforward. Well not everyone likes to play the objective, and some go for splats (kills). This adds no extra points to your tally, and really points is what you need in this mode. The more you get, the better your chances that you’re going to win. I aim for 1000+ in each game, and depending on what the rest of the team is up to, it usually does the trick. However, normally when noone is playing the objective (snipers and splat rollers, I’m looking at you) they tend to finish with half of that score and I tend to get rather sore shoulders from holding the team up (the amount of times I’ve finished top of the team in Splatfest with almost twice as many points as the rest is very disheartening).
But despite the shortcomings of others, Splatoon 2 is an absolute 10/10 game, and although the absence of the Squid Sisters from the first game as hosts is all too noticeable, and the music not being quite as good, it’s slowly surpassed the original as my favourite. And now that I’ve been given the Octo Expansion, I’ve got even more to do.
The Octo Expansion, adds a better single player element to the game (the standard single player is tolerable at best), seeing you take control of an amnesiac Octoling, who has to make their way through many different challenges in order to get out of the weird underground system they are in. The challenges, none of which are easy, have you using a wide variety of weapons, if any at all, and have some very unique level design. Everything from the characters to the backgrounds are inkredible, as you’re in some sort of sewer like junk yard, along with relics from the past floating around you (keep an eye out for huge Game Boy’s, Gamecube’s and the inkling version of Polly Pockets!). If the online ranked mode tests your mettle as a team player, Octo Expansion certainly puts you through the wringer when you’re going solo. The games hosts also make appearances again, cheering you on from the sidelines with plenty of 90’s teen ‘tude. Let’s hope it improves my skills somewhat, as I would like to try and compete in this year’s Splatoon 2 tournament. There’s a series of events from now until the end of autumn, culminating in the Nintendo Versus Splatoon 2 UK final. I’m not holding me breath but I’d love to give it a try.
If you’ve got a Switch and haven’t got Splatoon 2, do yourself a favour and get it. It’s easy to get into it, and is a great starting point for online multiplayer, with it undoubtedly being one of the greatest arena shooters ever made.
I rewatched Atomic Blonde for the first time since seeing at the pictures. I wasn’t particularly impressed with it on first viewing, but something seems to have clicked with seeing it on the small screen, and I had a great time watching it. An action thriller about spies in cold War Berlin, set to the backdrop of the Berlin Wall about come down. On the initial viewing it seemed like it was all style over substance, but watching it again, it was an enjoyable espionage thriller with a cracking soundtrack and belting action scenes. Charlize Theron kicks ass, and is in some great action films. I’d love to see more like this.
Other than this, my time has been pretty much dominated by the World Cup. It’s the four-yearly festival of football that takes over the TV schedules and our lives. I don’t know what to do now it’s gone!
NEXT TIME: Another day in Arcadia Bay