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Hands On With Splatoon – EB Expo 2014


Nintendo, by far, had the best booth at this years EB Expo. It featured games like ‘Super Smash Bros For 3DS’, ‘Super Smash Bros. For Wii U’, ‘Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric’, ‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ and so much more that, in my opinion, really outshined the rest. The biggest game there was supposed to be the brand-new ‘Super Smash Bros.’ but, thanks to a clashing release date, people didn’t necessarily have a need to line up to play for five minutes when they could just as easily have bought their very own copy before arriving, much like what we at SnapThirty did.

This did not end as negetively as you would think, people still enjoyed playing the game with each other but something that was more exciting to me is that people were paying more attention to the other games at the booth. One in particular and the one in the title of this article is ‘Splatoon’; an upcoming video game that had not been on my radar at all…until now.


Luke and I decided that it was a good idea to check out the game even though we really had no interest in it whatsoever. Thank the lords that we ended up going because, had we not, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to play what I’m already considering to be the best game on the Wii U to date…and it hasn’t even been released yet! Playing alongside seven others, we were first taken through a quick and succinct tutorial that instructed us on how to properly utilize the Wii U’s game pad to move, shoot, slide and ink.

Using the motion controls of the tablet-sized Wii U remote alongside both the thumbsticks proved to be a little difficult at first but by the end I felt as though I had a pretty good grasp on it. After the tutorial that explained the ink tank system and the squid transformation ability which is exactly how it sounds, we were thrown into a four on four battle with each of the teams being right there next to one another. As you can probably assume, the booth exploded with screams of excitement and joy as we all went at it the way only half human half squid can!


‘Splatoon’ plays in third person and, to explain basically, is a shooter where the goal is to spread as much of your coloured ink around the battlefield as possible while also defending yourself from the other team which usually means shooting at them before they start shooting at you. It sounds quite basic but it goes above and beyond my explanation skills into something only someone who’s played it can truly understand. Visually ‘Splatoon’ blew me away! I loved how vivid all the colours were and the graphics capabilities of the Wii U rose higher than my expectations.

I feel as though I was the perfect person to play this game seeing as, before it, I had no interest in getting a Wii U but now, after playing it, I’m beginning to save up my sweet cash in the hopes to one day get myself a console. From what I could tell, there was not one person there who wasn’t enjoying themselves while playing ‘Splatoon’. The engaging combat system and the beautiful colours alongside the quirky looks of the ‘Inkling’. Those are the little girls with transformative squid powers.

Luke and I left the session wishing we could take the console and the game with us. For the rest of the expo the thing on our minds was ‘Splatoon’ and how it really was the highlight of this years convention. There was something so wonderful, so magical, so childish but also so rewarding about playing ‘Splatoon’. What’s terrible is…I can’t exactly put my finger on it. I just know that this game is on a whole other level. One that I hope to experience in full sometime soon. Real soon.

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  1. I’ve been saying this since I played the game in July. Your article is very good. You did a very good work.
    I’ll just had one or two things to what you said.
    The controls are very well thought. At the beginning, it feels a bit weird, but after some minutes, moving around, shooting enemies was pretty easy and natural. I’m astonished that no other games had thought of of a control scheme like this before for consoles.
    Another thing, the competitive factor of this game is huge. I’ve noticed that most of the persons that were doing the line to play, were men between 11-30 years old. After talking to some of them, I noticed that they were either fan of the CoD or BF series. Most of them spent actually most of there time of the event (5 days event) in line to play Splatoon (This game was one of the stars of the event, alongside LoL). In the last day, there were already teams of four totally organized that tried to beat each other in very tough turf joust. At that time the Demo only had 1 level and two weapons, the gun and the bazooka. That’s how addictive and competitive this game is.
    Probably one of the things that came from Nintendo labs in a long time and as you say, a system seller for the WiiU. The game is coming out in January or February of 2015.

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