First things first... I just got Splatoon for my Wii U. Some observations about the experience:
* The game is set to use the gyroscope of the Wii U gamepad by default, which means a lot of sweeping the controller to look around and target enemies. Thankfully, this can be turned off, but you DON'T have the option to use other controllers for most of the game's modes.
* The graphics are impressive, full of glistening, gooey ink. There's a colorful plasticky sheen throughout that's a refreshing change of pace from the grit and grime of other shooters. When your character is launched to other platforms, you'll see a bird's eye view of the surrounding area that's breathtaking in its scope.
|Leader of the pack.|
(image courtesy of Niche Gamer)
* Although there's a story mode, you pretty much have to play online to get the most out of this game. The shopkeepers that sell stat-boosting accessories won't even give you the time of day until you've leveled up a few times in online battles.
* The puns. Oh lord, the PUNS! They're a whole new level of bad, from television announcers Callie and Marie's appetite for octo-pie to locations like the Booyah Base. Some of the puns are even layered, like Crusty Sean, a shrimp salesman who wears a crispy tempura jacket. I don't think even Spongebob Squarepants has this much marine wordplay.
* Speaking of that, I'm stunned that there hasn't been an official crossover with Nickelodeon. It's got all the goop of Double Dare, along with a diverse cast of sea life and an overall vibe that it was made especially for twelve year olds... or just the twelve at heart. Don't take that as a slam, by the way... after the endless despair of Gears of War and Killzone we could use a lot more games like this.
|"Hi, I'm the douchebag who|
ruined your favorite game
company! Guess where
this thumb has been?"
Word has it that Konami is family-owned, so there's no way to replace Kagemasa Kozuki or repair the damage he's done to the company. So unless you really, really like smartphone games or have a membership to one of Konami's gyms, the company is effectively dead. Well, it was fun while it lasted...
There was one other thing! Oh yes, I just got Xevious 3D Classics for the 3DS. I was concerned that it would be a straight port of the unsatisfying NES version of the game, but nope, it's based on the arcade game, with some modifications to take advantage of the hardware. First, it's widescreen, so you have a little more room to move, even if the borders of the playfield are bracketed by clouds. Second, it's in 3D, which is great news if you have one of the new models of the 3DS. As an owner of the 3DS XL, it doesn't really help me much, since that system has to be held absolutely still for the effect to work. The last thing is that the control is more comfortable with the circle pad and buttons that can be set to rapid fire. I've been able to beat Andor Genesis in this version of the game, because my hands don't give out before it does!
Okay, that's it. Thanks for reading!