An idiot walks into a bar. “Blaarghrabba” he says, desperately trying and failing to form words. The barman encourages him as he turns bashful, ashamed of his own stupidity. The barman assures him no matter what he says, no matter how idiotic, he should be proud to get the words out. “Splatoon was released before it was ready.”
The barman banishes the moron from the pub. As the moron sheepishly leaves, the barman gives a subtle nod to a couple of large bald men he knows. They follow the moron outside and give him a kicking.
Splatoon, as it was on release day, is brilliant. The singleplayer was a fun, innovative romp. The aesthetics and characters are fabulous. Minute by minute gameplay is the most fun I’ve had this year. Getting friends involved isn’t ideal, but when I’ve wanted to I’ve always managed it.
Our friend the cretin complains that Nintendo released a game without proper matchmaking, and private games, and teams, with limited modes and maps. But the game worked, and worked a treat. Halo might launch with “every map ever” and a million options but it doesn’t bloody work. Nintendo knew their limits, and they played to their strengths.
All that said, all #bantz aside, even the most ardent Splatoonatic has been counting down the days until the big August update, pre-emptively assembling four-man teams and discussing tactics. Now we have a date, August 6th, when everything changes. Splatoon 1.0 is in its final days.
What a game it’s been. The majority of on-disk content has now been unleashed, from slight weapon variations and amusing hats to mad high-altitude maps and a whole new game mode. Zipping back and forth on the tower makes the game feel more like a traditional shooter than ever, albeit one that plays like no other.
The biggest new feature has been the Splatfests. Fighting over sleeping or eating, rock music or pop, with the lobby stylishly revamped and the combat given renewed focus, re-energised a flagging playerbase.
Next week, or for me the week after because I’ve got to go sit in the stupid sun in stupid Mallorca with my stupid loved ones instead of playing Splatoon, we’ll all be playing the game morons think should have been released months ago. But we’ve had time to learn the game, Nintendo have had time to solidify their mechanics, and I wouldn’t trade my time in Splatoon for the world.