NS Review – Splatoon 2 Global Testfire (Switch)


This past weekend played host to the first (of possibly many) Splatoon 2 Global Testfire. We almost all got in at least a few matches on it, but what did we all think of this sequel to the phenomenally popular Wii U title?

WES:
I feel like I pretty much exhausted the original Splatoon, not having played it since the regular Splatfests finished last summer. So I was more than happy for the excuse to play it again during the Global Test Fire this weekend. I didn’t get to sample Splatoon 2 at the Switch hands-on event in London I went to either, so was particularly keen to try it out.

I managed to play 3 of the 6 test fires and I must say what immense fun it was. I was really impressed with the Splat Dualies, as the hand held guns were always my favourite weapon type, and I particularly enjoyed the new special weapons, including the Ink Jet. The Tenta Missiles were a bit of a let down, often just resulting me getting splatted whilst I moved slowly around looking for targets.

I also took the opportunity to try out the Splat Roller, something I didn’t regularly use during my previous time with Splatoon. I found it extremely satisfying to cover the ground this time around (maybe cause it just looked so shiny), and coupled with the excellent and fun to use Splashdown special weapon I’m sure it’s something I’ll be revisiting come launch. I’m hoping for more options time time, perhaps with the ability to mix and match more weapons and specials.

To me the game felt really smooth to play, beautiful to look at, particularly on the Switch screen in hand held mode, and I felt the presentation of the whole thing had been improved over the original. The two maps available felt a little similar, but the mix of ramps, bridges and open areas meant each one was interesting to traverse around in.

I did press X to jump a few times, but overall I think the cross over from the Wii U has been a successful one – not once did I think about using the absent touch screen and jumping to my team mates using the new method felt totally fine. I was pleased to see you could bring up the map whilst waiting to re-generate, helping to plan for my next move. The pro controller certainly feels like the preferred way to play, but I must say i enjoyed the hand-held motion control method too – multi-player local matches are going to be a highlight on release of the game when its released later this year.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the full range of maps, weapons and customisation options that are featured in the full game.

REUBEN:
As someone who sadly didn’t get too much time with the first Splatoon, which was more of a reflection on the time I had than the game than whether I thought it was good or not, I was totally up for the idea of a portable version of it. Luckily for me, Nintendo know when they’re on to a winner, and we had a Switch sequel announced as coming this year. I got some time with the game at the Switch launch event in London, but as that was only one match, I was pleased when Nintendo announced the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire.

So what’s changed? A considerable amount of smaller things, as in enough to alter the gameplay by quite a bit; but the whole experience feels delightfully familiar. I started off with the Splattershot, just to ease myself back in after a long break from this sort of game, and found it becoming my preferred weapon (which I won’t lie, is exactly like last time). I gave the other weapon sets a try (including the incredibly fun Splat Dualies) but ended up resting once again on the old faithful. I also loved the changes to the specials, with the Tenta Missiles initially being jarring but being tremendous fun after a couple of matches.

In terms of gameplay, I didn’t notice a great number of differences. I don’t jump anyway in the game really, so the movement to a different input didn’t affect me. One thing I found makes a great difference for me is the mode you’re playing the Switch in. I loved TV mode (once again, it felt familiar), my favourite was handheld mode, but I found tabletop mode so jarring I had to switch (hehe) back to handheld to finish the match. One thing for sure, the portability is really going to change things up in Splatoon in a great way.

Now all we need is more maps and weapon sets to play around with (oh, and a way to lock in your squid’s hairstyle that would likely make it my GotY) and this is probably going to be one of my favourite games on the Switch.

Did you play the Global Testfire? What did you think of the event and what do you think of Splatoon 2? Let us know in the comments or tweet me @reuthegamer.

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