Hands-On: Splatoon

SplatoonWhile the rest of the world seems obsessed with the shooter genre, Nintendo has constantly stuck by its family-friendly image – something of a relief to many of us. But with children being exposed to violent games at such a young age, it falls to Nintendo to offer them something comparable on the Wii U. The answer? An ink-based shooter starring squid people. Welcome to Splatoon.

The biggest surprise from Nintendo’s E3 ensemble, and one of the biggest hits on the show floor, Splatoon is Nintendo’s answer to the shooter genre. An 8-player online, team-based shooter that doesn’t promote gritty realistic violence. And it is absolutely brilliant.

Controlled with the GamePad, Splatoon is instantly accessible, and instantly entirely new. While the standard analogue controls remain, with triggers being used for shooting and grenades, the fine tuning of your aim is taken away from the right trigger, and replaced by motion controls. While many shooter fans may cry foul, the option to turn off these motion controls is available, but one I would not recommend. Splatoon is very much a rapid, reaction based shooter, and the ability to aim using your controller adds a huge amount of precision.

The aim of the game is to douse the map in as much of your team’s ink as possible, while stopping the opposition from doing likewise. This causes a huge change in how you approach the game. While points are scored for kills, it is far more beneficial to get ouSplatoont of danger and start inking the opposition’s colour away, rather than getting into a drawn out battle. And this is where Splatoon’s master stroke comes in – squidding.

Each of the Inklings (the squid characters you play as) have the ability to transform into a squid, and with it, hide in your team’s ink. It is this mechanic that transforms Splatoon from a simple inky shooter, into a tactical game of skill. With the ability to hide in your ink, battles can changed, with once invisible enemies popping out of the opposition’s ink at a moment’s notice. It makes for a hugely challenging mechanic, and one, as the demo progressed, that I began to see the ingenuity of. Continue reading “Hands-On: Splatoon”

Hands-On: Yoshi’s Woolly World

There’s one word that can summarise Yoshi’s Woolly World – adorable. Created from a mixture of wool, fabric, and all sorts of arts and crafts materials, Yoshi’s latest adventure feels like a game you could create physically given you had enough time. Strip away the brightly coloured worlds and fluffy exterior though, and Woolly World reveals itself to be largely the same as previous Yoshi … Continue reading Hands-On: Yoshi’s Woolly World

Hands-On: Hyrule Warriors

Like many of you, I’m a huge Zelda fan, but having never played a Dynasty Warriors game, the idea of a crossover had me worried. We’ve seen first hand the problems with overexposing a brand with the recent influx of Mario titles, and with The Legend of Zelda attaining almost mystical status due to its infrequent release schedule, the idea of a spin-off based on … Continue reading Hands-On: Hyrule Warriors

Thank You and Goodbye

Notes from the Mushroom Kingdom

In October 2010 I started writing for Nintendo Okie, and now, almost two years later, my time here is at an end. It has been an amazing couple of years for me to work with everyone here and to have been part of such a wonderful community, but as of today my articles are returning to this side of the Atlantic as I will be joining Nintendo Life.

And I could not have achieved this without Nintendo Okie. When I first got in contact with Tony in the Summer of 2010, I had recently shut down my own personal Nintendo site after three failed re-launches and was looking for a way to hone my writing and reach out to a wider audience. Tony’s ad for writers across the world caught my eye, and we eventually settled on the idea of two articles a week – these would ultimately become the weekly Euro News Round-Up and my editorial piece, Notes from the Mushroom Kingdom. Continue reading “Thank You and Goodbye”

Rayman (3DS VC) Impressions

After years sidelined by the insane antics of the Rabbids, Rayman finally returned to our screens last year with the superb Rayman Origins, a title that not only managed to challenge Nintendo’s crown as the platforming king, but also look fantastic while doing it. The game has since appeared on multiple platforms, with the 3DS release arriving a few weeks ago, albeit to a mediocre response thanks to a poor port being produced. Nonetheless, Rayman’s popularity is at an all-time high, and Ubisoft are naturally keen to capitalise on this.

And what better way to excite the fanbase than to give them a rare opportunity to play through one of Rayman’s first adventures again on 3DS? Thanks to the 3DS Virtual Console, this opportunity has been made possible, allowing Rayman’s self-titled Game Boy Color adventure from 2000 to make a re-appearance and remind fans just what made Rayman such a classic a decade ago. But does this 12 year old platformer still offer the excitement that Rayman Origins can now provide? Continue reading “Rayman (3DS VC) Impressions”

Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 23/06

After a lacklustre E3, we’ve been waiting for a big news reveal, and here it is! This week’s Nintendo Direct had individual presentations across all 3 of Nintendo’s major territories, and Europe got its fair share of big news, with some exclusives thrown in! It’s a big Round-Up at last! Nintendo Direct Europe Round-Up Taking place at the rather unfortunate time of 5AM BST, this … Continue reading Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 23/06

Marketing Wii U

Notes from the Mushroom Kingdom

We’re now a matter of months away from the launch of Nintendo’s next home console and while E3 2012 was the first staging ground for Wii U’s launch, there is still a lot of work to be done by Nintendo to ensure the system is flying off stores shelves in a little over four months time. E3 gave us the briefest of glimpses into the new console’s feature set, but with limited stage time and even more limited show-floor space, Nintendo have admitted that we are still yet to fully observe the Wii U experience. And that has to change over the next four months.

As it stands, we only know a handful of things about Wii U. We know what the controller configuration is in terms of the GamePad, although we are yet to see it fully utilised and we know it has NFC (Near Field Communication) technology built-in. We also have a basic understanding of the concept of Miiverse, and we know of a handful of games that will appear at or around launch. And that’s it. No really, that is it. So with just four months to go, let’s take a look at what Nintendo need to do to make sure we’re all ready to go in Q4 2012. Continue reading “Marketing Wii U”

Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 16/06

We’re still recovering from E3, so as expected very little is happening right now. So in the meantime, why not amuse yourselves with a couple of download titles or check out a top ten game, both of which are provided below (minus the buying part, you have to do that). This Week’s Downloads Sonic Blast – 3DS VC (Game Gear) – £4.50 Art of Ink – … Continue reading Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 16/06

Is The Wii Dead?

Notes from the Mushroom Kingdom

Wii U is big news. It’s such big news that Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference this year was set aside entirely to discuss Nintendo’s next step in the home console market; with even the resurgent 3DS cast aside to a smaller conference to make room for the new console juggernaut. Post-conference, the Wii U emphasis remained, and while everyone was getting excited about Nintendo’s new venture, one console went almost entirely unnoticed – the Wii.

While it was unsurprising Nintendo decided to focus fully on Wii U this year, what is more surprising is that literally nothing was on show at E3 for the current Nintendo platform, a platform that at the very least has another four months of life in it. So what has happened to Wii? Does this mean it now joins the list of dead home consoles? Continue reading “Is The Wii Dead?”

Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 09/06

Someone forgot to give Nintendo of Europe the memo that E3 was this week, so we have absolutely no Euro specific news. Which is probably for the best, as there was a lot of news to cover this past week. Nonetheless, they did remember to update the eShop, so be sure to check out the new Heroes of Ruin demo! This Week’s Downloads Heroes of … Continue reading Euro News Round-Up: Week Ending 09/06