Nintendo is no stranger to quirky titles. Their entire business is predicated on being different, but sometimes, something comes along that pushes the envelope so much you have to sit back and think about it for a moment. So was the case with Splatoon, an odd little game that saw you play as a kid (or squid) that shot ink at an opposing team. The point was not to kill the other team though, but rather to cover more of the battlefield in your team’s ink color than the other team could. It was a shooter so uniquely Nintendo, and we had never seen anything quite like it before.
Despite releasing on the ill-fated Wii U, it became a fan favorite before puttering out as content updates stopped coming. Then, in July 2017, Nintendo announced the sequel: Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch. With more weapons, a better single-player mode and new characters, it became a quick hit on the booming new console. As it gained popularity, so did the games “Splatfest’s”, giant community-centered events that saw players choose a side and battle to gain points for their team. The teams were often focused on silly questions such as: Cake or Ice Cream? Chicken or Egg, or Fork vs Spoon?
They were cute, fun ways to inject rivalry and competition into the game while building up a community and giving them a reason to keep coming back to the game. All of that ends, though, as Nintendo begins the final Splatfest for Splatoon 2. The final question? Chaos or Order?
While Splatoon 2 is not dying as a game, the servers will remain on far past the final Splatfest, it does feel like an era is ending for the plucky little shooter. Not only is this the final Splatfest, but it is also the end of new content for the title. It’s also a little bit frightening because, faced with all the different shooters in the world, there was one thing Splatoon had that the others didn’t: personality. It’s world is colorful, the characters unique, funny and different and the gameplay is something we had never seen before.
It maintains all the fun of a shooter without the gratuitous violence that often makes those titles a hard-buy for younger kids. Though the game never played perfect or quite as smooth as some of the bigger shooting games in the world, it did what it had to and what it was designed to do. It’s a perfect title for Nintendo to have put out, but without Splatfest does it have that same personality as it used to? Will losing it’s community-centered heart be the final nail that puts the game to rest? With how popular the Switch is, it’s hard to say, but we’re about to find out.
Caleb Edwards is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When he isn’t working or writing you can find him tending his fish, taking care of his cats and dogs or trying to find free time that he can waste (there never is any). You can follow him on Twitter @CEdwardsSam or find him at his website CalebMEdwards.com.