‘Splatoon 3’ Tops Sales Charts Right Off the Bat

Video Game Review

Splatoon 3 Tops Sales Charts Right Off the Bat

Jacey Captis, Staff Writer

Listen up, it’s going down! Everyone’s favorite squid kids are back in “Splatoon 3,” and the trilogy only gets better with its newest release. With a brand new storyline, game modes, and weapons to try, this game manages to make up for all the features the last games were missing. Since its release on September 9, “Splatoon 3” has been topping sales charts worldwide, and for good reason too.

Right off the bat, veterans from the previous game get a few special bonuses. If you load in your “Splatoon 2” save data, you receive three Gold Sheldon Licenses to purchase some higher-leveled weapons to use online. As someone who wanted to try out the new weapons as soon as I could, I was glad I didn’t have to wait so long to try them out (even if I inevitably ditched them for my beloved Inkbrush). Plus, you’ll be able to get into competitive matches right when you start instead of waiting until level 10, a great feature for players that want to get back to climbing the ranks. 

If you’re less of a team player, look no further than the new story mode, “Return of the Mammalians,” which features tons of new tricky levels to ink your way through. Players coming from “Splatoon 2” might recognize the formatting of the story mode levels as something similar to the previous game’s paid DLC (downloadable content), the “Octo Expansion.” These levels let you select a weapon and clear the level as fast as you can, collecting Power Eggs all the way. I had a lot of fun with the “Octo Expansion” in the last game, so this was a familiar yet refreshing twist to the mode.

I love the lore in “Splatoon,” and the story this time was just as exciting. “Splatoon” is known for having deep and bizarre storylines and lore, and the ending to the story mode fits in great with the lore, even with its unexpected twists and turns. This ending paired with all of the fast-paced shooting and platforming along the way cranked the last level’s tension up to a 10.

On a lighter note, the Squid Sisters are back! Callie and Marie are still staying fresh, and they’ll assist you throughout your adventures in the strange new land of Alterna. As a self-proclaimed Squid Sisters superfan, I was pleasantly surprised to see their return. Some might be disappointed with how little Off the Hook, the idols of “Splatoon 2” (similar to the Squid Sisters), show up in the story mode; however, Nintendo announced the release of a large-scale paid DLC in the future, and fans are hoping this will be their next big break.

There’s no way I could write this article without bringing up the game’s poster children: Shiver, Frye, and Big Man. These three members make up Deep Cut, the group that gives you news on which stages show up throughout the day. I absolutely adore these new characters- their designs are unique and interesting, and their personalities mesh well together. I was also intrigued by how they each represent different cultures and how this representation plays into their theme songs. 

This new trio of announcers has truly broken the mold: they’re the first group of three to deliver the in-game news rather than a pair, the first group without a humanoid member, and the first group with a male idol to boot. Their song Anarchy Rainbow, took the internet by storm, reaching 2 million views on YouTube within the first month of its release, which they later performed at a Nintendo Live show held on October 10. On top of that, they’ve turned the iconic Splatfest events on their heads with some new features.

The “Splatoon” franchise is known for its game-wide events known as Splatfests. In these, players get to pick between two answers to a question and battle with the people who chose the other option. The two announcers will each pick one team, and at the end of each Splatfest, the winning team will get to reap a bountiful reward for items used to upgrade their gear.

But wait, how can three announcers split two sides evenly? The short answer: They don’t! This game introduces three teams to choose from, which also rolled out a fun new game mode called Tricolor Battles. 

Well, this mode WOULD be fun . . . if anyone was even able to get into a match. Unfortunately, I can’t give my thoughts on this mode because I never got to play one. When you got queued in, there was a shockingly low chance of getting into a Tricolor Battle, and players would have to let the online connection counter run out before having to play a normal battle. This was a huge bummer — the mode sounded interesting, and I would have loved to try one after missing out on the game’s initial demo.

The reason for this was revealed at the end of the first Splatfest. One team had a crushing 58% of players on its side, while the other two teams had the other 42% of players, which made finding balanced teams nearly impossible. Even in normal battles, it wasn’t uncommon for players to end up in “mirror matches,” in which all eight players on the same Splatfest team had to play a match against each other. Say, fellow Team Gear members, our win was great, but how about we spread out a bit next time…?

Speaking of online play, connection errors are still going strong, much to the dismay of players. A common complaint is how bad the internet connection is during match queues — there’s nothing worse than playing with a good team, getting a solid win streak, and then seeing “A communication error has occurred” pop up on your screen. There doesn’t seem to be much you can do about it- even Nintendo doesn’t have any long-lasting fixes despite how many people have these issues.

Overall, “Splatoon 3” is a great game for beginners and experts alike. There are plenty of new and returning features everyone can enjoy, and if you can look over the unsteady online play, it’s a great game for every play style. And that’s it… for now. From Splatsville, that’s a wrap- catch ya later!