Splatoon 2 is finally here and the question on everyone’s mind is: is this just more of the same or something fresh? The answer lies in the middle so are the new elements important enough? That is the better question and I’ll try to answer that with what I could find.
So, to start with the controls, those have stayed the same for the most part. They did remove all the parts where you used the touch-pad (even in handheld mode). So for a super jump, you press X (to go to the map), then on the D-pad to determine what team-mate you want to jump to and lastly press A to confirm. This is a lot more cumbersome than it was on the gamepad and simply too many steps. It annoys me tirelessly but I understand they why they changed it, the problem just is that this was not the answer I liked to see. The same kind of applies to the new specials because some used the touch-pad, so they gave all the secondary and specials a complete overhaul. This part I don’t mind much but I’m sad that I can’t be a Kraken anymore. But now it just requires more skill to deal with a special, so no one is invincible with a special.
In the original, you had a win-streak meter but now it works way different. First of all, you get EXP now instead of money, which I like. The streak is now tied to your weapon and changing weapons won’t make it lose its win streak. Once you achieve new freshness on your win streak you get bonus EXP but only once for each freshness level.
The story is (intentionally) the same as the original, the big zap fish disappears and you need to save it again from the same enemy. Luckily the platforming levels are a bit newer but still feel the same. Now you do have to do them with a specific weapon to teach you how to use all the different weapons and just like the original the whole story mode functions as a tutorial. This was kind of a letdown but in all fairness, there were a lot of people that only played the multiplayer in the original so why should it be any different now? This is me just wanting more lore so I’ll just have to do with the hidden pieces of lore hidden in each level.
The multiplayer also works the same for the most part. Unfortunately, this includes all the broken parts. Because I still see lag kills happening where you die by the first hit. What I also hated in the original was that you always are in a PUG(Pick Up Group) in multiplayer unless you play squad ranked match where you need 3 more friends to fill the squad. The pug’s in this game are killing me just like the original because of no teamwork and the inability to change weapons in lobbies. Making things worse, now you can’t even leave lobbies. This problem is also present in ranked battles which also changed its ranking system because now it rates each ranked mode separately. So I rather play squad ranked but to add more insult to injury you need to unlock that mode with a ranking score of B- on top of needing 3 friends to play.
The thing that is very new is the 2 new places called Shoal and Grizczo where you can play the new game mode Salmon Run. Salmon Run is a good addition to the original because sometimes you don’t want PVP(Player Versus Player) but PVE (Player Versus Environment). This means you face a hoard of AI enemies wave after wave. The goal is to catch your quota of golden salmon eggs which you get from defeating bosses while hoards of salmon attack you and your teammates. You also lose if your team is knocked out and you do this all for a pay-day of money and special items. The only parts I hate are that you can play on scheduled dates only but you can see some of the Scheduled dates in advance in the menu. The other part I hated are the random weapons, I really just want my weapon of choice.
The Shoal is where you play a Local Wi-Fi game of any of the game modes by creating a Local Wi-Fi network that any Switch can join on. This is also a way to get around the things I hated about Salmon Run. Now the sad part is that the Wi-Fi on the Switch is very weak so it’s recommended that you place them next to each other. This is due to the limited power of the Switch but for such a small thing it was to be expected.
So to answer the question if its worth it. If you have the original, probably not. But if you haven’t played the original yet Splatoon 2 is the better one. Splatoon 2 mostly offers more of the same (including the flaws) with a few new modes. Obviously, you can play on the Switch which can be a reason in itself. Just saying it’s not that big of a deal if you want to stick with original because I do. This is mostly due to the fact they didn’t fix old problems that were very well known. But the original was very good even with its flaws so that still makes this a good game just not what I wanted.