Cast your mind back to launch day Splatoon. Single player campaign? Check. Slightly mediocre local multiplayer mode? Check. Online modes? Well, some of them.
Back when we were publishing our Splatoon review, its writer and our video man Alex was gushing in his praise, yet some debate was had within our team about the content included. With the single player story being enjoyable but not quite enticing enough to form the core of the experience - part of our description said it was effectively "an extended tutorial" - and with the local multiplayer being rather basic, the bulk of playtime was spent online. Nintendo was promoting it primarily as an online multiplayer game, let's not forget - E3 and expo booths were all LAN versions of Turf Wars, and the Splatoon Testfire demo was designed to give potential fans a taste and to stress-test the servers. Yes, the campaign is cool and has some great moments, but Splatoon is really about the online play.
Yet when it comes to online content, there wasn't much of it, at least not in the areas that mattered. At launch there were just five maps and two modes - Turf War in Regular Battle and Splat Zones in Ranked Battle, with the latter being unlocked a few days after launch. What we had was a lot of fun, but there wasn't much of it.
What happened next, of course, was the gradual roll-out of content over the course of around eight months, ending in January 2016. Some additions were quick and others were slow, with weapons being the most common weekly arrivals. What really made the game, though, were new stages and then new modes. Maps and modes are the core of any online shooter, even super-colourful third-person titles from Nintendo.
Let's break down, as best we can, the arrivals - following the late May release of the game - of major features, new maps and modes per month (allowing for time zone differences in the dates):
- Squad Battles (5th / 6th August)
- Private Battles (5th / 6th August)
- Level caps increased - Ranked and Regular (5th / 6th August)
- Patch 2.2.0 with a lengthy changelist across stages, weapons and balancing (20th / 21st October)
- Patch 2.4.0 provided another hefty list of tweaks to balancing across the game (17th / 18th December)
Ranked Battle Modes
- Tower Control (1st / 2nd July)
- Rainmaker (14th / 15th August)
- Port Mackerel (2nd/3rd June)
- Kelp Dome (10th/11th June)
- Bluefin Depot (19th / 20th June)
- Moray Towers (10th / 11th July)
- Camp Triggerfish (24th / 25th July)
- Flounder Heights (20th / 21st August)
- Hammerhead Bridge (17th / 18th September)
- Museum D'Alfonsino (12th / 13th November)
- Mahi Mahi Resort (3rd / 4th December)
- Piranha Pit (28th / 29th December)
- Ancho-V Games (21st / 22nd January)
That's not every update, and we've not gone to the lengths of listing all of the weapons and outfits that were added, but this gives an idea of the general passage of the key updates - all of which were free, remember.
So how much of this content was ready from the off but held back, and how much was part of continual post-launch development? Data mining shortly after release pointed to 10 maps on the disc (the game launched with five available on rotation, remember) with Rainmaker information also found. It would seem, based on that digging from last Summer, that the basic outline for a fair amount of content was ready, or near-ready, by that late May launch. As we can see from the roll-out of maps, in particular, releases became a little slower and inconsistent after an initial glut, with the gap between Hammerhead Bridge and Museum D'Alfonsino being the most notable. August was a particularly big month (around two and half months after release) with Rainmaker, Squad Battles, Private Battles, increased level caps and a lot of outfits arriving.
Right from the start those behind the game spoke about this roll-out as a deliberate strategy - producer Hisashi Nogami told us this back in early June last year:
First, we put a lot of effort into every inch of the online stages, so by playing them over and over again users can get a better feel for the terrain, giving the gameplay more breadth and depth. The characteristics of the weapons and the strategies for using them vary with each weapon, and of course these will vary depending on the stage you use them in and even what combination of equipment your teammates and opponents are using. We want users to enjoy each and every single piece of content we've prepared, so rather than provide a lot at once, we're going to be adding them a little at a time.
Second, is that while we've paid a lot of attention to the balancing the game, the flip-side of this is that we feel the game needs weapons with a lot of variety as well as stages with complex layouts to really expand the gameplay.
The problem there is that these can sometimes disrupt the overall balance of the game.
The real fun of Splatoon comes when players are comfortable with the game, and are able to play to their full potential with other players they meet in the online matches.
We'll be adding more stages and weapons as we see how the community matures. We'll also do something similar with further game modes too.
Based on the evidence from data mining, and the relatively consistent roll-out of content, from major additions to weapons, it's clear that a decent chunk of this additional content was in a fairly advanced state of development by the time the game landed by late May. What we don't know, and what is only known by those that worked on the game, is how much of the update content could have been included as finalised work on launch day. Perhaps not much, as we should remember that even with regular additions in mind the launch line-up in the online part of the game was particularly thin. We had more maps, yes, but they were stuck on the rotation - we had to wait until July and then August for more lobby options and match types.
What Nintendo did do, though, is work fast. We used the term 'early access' in our headline as Splatoon reminds us of the practice when done very well, albeit turbo-charged in terms of turnaround compared to typical PC releases, for example. The point is that early-access games that earn praise on platforms like Steam typically launch with the key gameplay and mechanics nailed down. The game is already great to play, it's just light on the volume of content we'd typically expect with a purchase.
We accept it's a stretch of the term, but let's think about it. Nintendo's updates weren't just adding new maps, modes, weapons and clothes, they were also making fairly key changes to fix issues that only a sizeable userbase would expose. A number of the maps have had tweaks or noticeable changes due to exploits and shortcuts that were found, for example, while update changenotes have included plenty of re-balanced weapons. Nintendo often likes to release a near-final game and only roll-out a handful of updates, whereas Splatoon has combined multiple updates with near-weekly content unlocks. In terms of pure content the Splatoon we have now is a much bigger beast that the launch title.
It's distinct from the DLC approach seen in the likes of this generation's Smash Bros., as one example, simply because we're talking about free updates; though the brawler has also had its share of free content additions, too. For early adopters a Splatoon build relatively light on content gradually evolved and became more feature rich - we still have some changes on our wishlist, such as actual map selection instead of the four hour rotations, but we can't have everything we want.
It does raise the question, though, of whether Nintendo will adopt similar approaches in future releases. It's perhaps only applicable - in the big N's case - with games that have a heavy online focus; titles that are largely single-player experiences still need to be finished at launch to truly satisfy their audience. Yet with Splatoon its enjoyable gameplay kept fans going, and regular updates and additions gave the title an 'event' feel, as we looked ahead to what was still to come. Checking out new weapons or maps on a near weekly basis became an excuse to keep playing, to keep logging in.
The success of Splatoon will likely have prompted some important discussions within Nintendo's hierarchy. First, it's a new IP that's likely to become a regular part of the landscape, as its success - in sales and in its impact with the media, social media and more - surely makes an eventual sequel inevitable. It'll also have the company thinking about online-centric games in a new light, considering experiences that have a single player component but, nevertheless, become regarded as online games. The shooter is an obvious genre for this, but we have little doubt that Nintendo will be looking at other ideas that can replicate the Splatoon release model.
The gradual roll-out of content in Splatoon gave Nintendo time to wrap up extra content and focus on improving the core game; over two million buyers have been providing real-time testing that's enabled the development team to tweak and improve almost all aspects of the title.
We suspect the Shigeru Miyamoto mantra of "a delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever" will stand at the company. Perhaps, though, Splatoon will see the philosophy change for some games, where delayed content need not slow down a great game's release.
This wasn't early access. It was a way to secure a stable user base for the game. The easiest maps were released at launch, while the ones that required good technical skills by the player came later.
Imagine trying to master all 16 maps at launch. . . . you would end up getting good at one whilst meeting other players just dipping their toes into that map - the teams would randomly switch and you would be left without a fair and balanced game. . Well done Nintendo for your release practices. .
Agreeing with @jariw here. Splatoon wasn't early access. Free updates to an already finished game isn't early access, sorry. If that's the case then a LOT of games in my Steam library are apparently early access. Goodness, if that's true then titles such as The Witcher 3 are bloody early access, where they clearly are not.
Early access is when you release a game that isn't finished yet, and more often than not is missing vital functions.
Moreover, calling Splatoon early access is just lumping it together in a very negative stigma surrounding the words "Early Access" which Steam has proven 9/10 times are terrible games that never get finished. There are exceptions of course, but they are few and far between. Most sadly do end up in development hell.
Splatoon doesn't deserve that. It's great.
"we still have some changes on our wishlist, such as actual map selection instead of the four hour rotations, but we can't have everything we want."
This baffling omission has singlehandedly ended my Splatoon playing days anymore, unless an IRL friend is explicitly wanting to link up and play. Stupid design choice on behalf of Nintendo here.
Oh, and the inability to skip the god awful intro with the two squid chicks. At the very least, if you won't let me skip that, determine if I've already logged on at some point before the 4 hour rotation has changed and save me the A button mashing past the exact same information you've already detailed to me.
I guess it ended up being a fine game, but the game launched with way too little for $60. And I'd rather pay and praise for what a game DOES have day one instead of what it might have in the future. but luckily I didn't pay $60, thanks amazon, and it ended up being some decent content. But next time, they should definitely launch with more in the base game. Free or not, having 4 maps at launch for a game focused on multiplayer isn't that great
Nice game. Horrible release.
It was a weird process done right. I was sceptic at first, but everything Nintendo did with Splatoon has gone well.
Perhaps it is just because I am spoiled for choice with other consoles and their online presence, but the lack of voice chat, I think, stymied some of the development of the player base and sales. I still enjoy the game but it honestly pales as a collaborative and communicative experience vs. other online games that have voice chat. I cannot help but wonder how much deeper and strategic the experience could be if if voice chat was enabled for Splatoon.
This decision is still highly controversial with a lot of people still hating on Splatoon and Nintendo because of it.
Though there is nothing wrong with this approach as long as the release version has enough content.
It literally took me 7+ hours to complete the single player campaign.
I beg to differ.
Those who need/want voice chat in their online games, passed on Splatoon due to all the bright colors and lack of blood and gore.
Most of them probably refuse to buy Nintendo consoles due to all the colorful and E-rated games.
because most of it was developed over the past six months.
Some of it was held back to makes things fair amongst the user base.
I love what they did. Master the controls, and some base weapons, play some campaign and earn key items, and learn the maps. Then let it rain updates.
Look, $60 is a lot to pay for a game, but Nintendo made good on the content. So many more maps, modes, weapons, gear added, making Splatoon, in the end, a great deal.
I haven't played Splatoon in a while. Only load it up for the Splatfests which are tortuous. The online modes are basic and so bad when compared to the likes of COD. Lack of voice chat is annoying. I enjoyed it at the start but the initial enjoyment quickly faded. And it needn't be like this, Nintendo need to join the 21st century and stop treating us like kids.
If I'm going to pay $60, I expect content worth the asking price. Titanfall did a similar system that Splatoon did in terms of dropping new content for free. However, both games lauched with very little content, with an asking price of $60. So if this system is going to work its either they don't charge us $60 and wait till the game is worth that price, or give us content worth $60.
The lack of voice chat did not bother me . In my experience with the PS4 and the 360 previously, many chatty online gamers are annoying and immature. I don't miss that playing Splatoon.
However, the initial lack of content didn't sit well with me. This was nowhere near a $60 game at release and even question the lack of content today. I understand the method for creating a fair and balanced install base, but the game is a competitive online experience. I felt handheld throughout this entire process, bogged down by drip-fed content. Please have the inevitable Splatoon 2 launch with more maps and more modes. We can handle it.
@BarryDunne Read the quote. You don't have to agree but you can say that you don't agree with the reasoning instead of asking questions that have already been answered.
Perfect experience for me. Can only roll my eyes at voice chat still being mentioned - it would be nice for private battles, but otherwise it would inhibit the experience for those without.
I do think the sequel will want to avoid the usual echo of the same complaints, so hopefully they will have a lot more than 4. I really do want the next console to launch with this game. The 1 player campaign also has heaps of potential - it's easy, but at the same time I loved the change of pace and working out what was ahead of me each time.
No complaints, just a brilliant console-defining game.
If I was ever a game director I couldn't be interviewed. I'd be honest and make my company look bad. For example.
Why is there no voice chat?
Because people talking online annoy me.
Then why don't you just mute them and give us the option for it?
Uh, "Why don't you just mute them?" That's exactly what I'm doing.
Maybe it's because I rarely have time as it is, but I actually applaud Nintendo for this rollout. It allowed me to play Splatoon almost at my own pace and not be too overwhelmed by people who play constantly. I haven't played in about a month and I feel like I could still jump in and be competitive. Though to people that have have more disposable time on their hands, I could see where the lack of content could be off-putting. I do agree with there should be a way to skip the squid girls in the beginning and also being able to select your map should be a no-brainer.
Early Access is a horrible term to use especially for those who have Steam and Xbox One where you are essentially playing unfinished buggy games. Splatoon on release had it's core game absolutely mastered and all the free additions were a great bonus.
While our American cousins appeared to have to pay full price for the game I bought Splatoon in the UK digital for £35 and I considered that more than fair for the initial content forget everything added since! For me Splatoon has been an example of value for money, in my opinion early access games on Steam etc are wrong as people are paying in advance for incomplete games and who is to say the game maker actually completes making the game?
@gatorboi352 That killed "Splatoon" for me, as well. Not being able to choose my game type and (at least vote on) the map was a total deal-breaker. My biggest beef in shooters is playing the same maps repetitively - "Splatoon" taken that monotony to a whole new level.
Anyone who has come up against a Quad Squad of S+ Japanese players who are obviously communicating will understand why voice-chat wasn't included.
When games like CS:GO require good communication to be competent at the game, Splatoon doesn't offer much of an option for this. It's a different take on the shooter genre but its lack of voice chat sets back its tactical and strategic potential back. The whole 2 maps a day thing is very weird. In CS:GO, if I want to play Inferno, I just do. If I want Mirage, I just play it. Not sure if it still is like that but it's a bit dumb in comparison.
Appreciate the attempt at making a new IP and encourage them to continue, but there are things that need to be fixed.
I can understand the desire for voice chat in private battles, but in open turf war, how much would your experience be improved by being able to yell at けんじ and イナズマックス?
I really liked Splatoon's rollout. During the initial few days, the online content was very light, but that coincided with an untouched story mode, and a whole new game/control scheme to get to grips with, so I didn't feel short on things to do. Then a couple of days later came Ranked, and then new maps, and modes, and weapons, and clothes, and Splatfests, and even new music. I do think the option to play with friends should have been available from day 1, or a lot sooner than it was released.
I felt I'd got my money's worth pretty early on, but the game kept getting bigger and better. I liked the feeling of growing with the game, which by nature, meant the game didn't feel 'finished'. I didn't WANT the game to feel finished. The whole experience was too exciting to be 'over' any time soon.
I even didn't mind the course selection system (although I think I'd prefer 3 rather than 2 courses), as it kept everyone on the same page, and inevitably reduced the time to get into a game, as everyone was essentially thrown into the same lobby, rather than divided between all the maps. Splatoon doesn't have a CoD like player base to rely on, so I think the system was somewhat necessary.
Anyway, I think it's a splendid game and the most exciting thing I've played in years. It's the reason I got a Wii U and I don't regret it. Perhaps most importantly, it proved to me that Nintendo hadn't completely become a dusty museum, or slave to its own history. The company could, when it felt like it, "Stay Fresh".
They took a huge chance here. I was honestly disappointed in the approach they took. They could of had more than one mode....atleast. Dont call it "free" updates when the game isn't finish period and you basically owe use these modes etc for a 60 dollar game. That wasn't smart and im sure alot of peeps sold this game and sent it back day one/week one, just too repetitive out the gate. Exciting but definitely repetitive, and no one wants to wait to play on teams with their friends, no one wants to wait for more maps when you start out with 2...
All right, Nintendo Life, get someone to do an article on this Nintendo Minute episode on TP HD before GameXplain hogs all the glory with their hour long comparison, analysis, and discussion videos.
I'd just like to take a moment to gush about how tickled I am to have a new Nintendo IP take all of my gaming time away from Smash and Mario Kart. Seriously love this game.
People on here actually stating that voice chat would have taken AWAY from the experience.... Ummm have you ever heard of muting?
in future updates and patches, i would really want to see some esports friendly features and an esports push. also, congrats to nintendo for going with a truly new idea and not using old ones like putting in power-up mushrooms.
what smash did for fighting games, splatoon did for online shooters, and it's very likely that deep in the bowels of nintendo hq, there is already a team thinking up of how to make a game that will do the same for the moba. it's surprising that the pokemon online trading card game isn't on a nintendo platform as it is.
@Jamotello I can only hope Nintendo provides us with their take on the objective based, minion MOBA games. The problem is Nintendo has never supported a game for an extended period of time. If they followed the trends of MOBA's they would need a team working and tweaking it for many years. Smash went a year and Sakurai moaned about it every chance he got.
@gatorboi352 Yes, muted. Of course.
@abbyhitter : Use the contact link to the right below the comments, and quit spamming please. =/
@Jamotello HOLY CRAP YES! A Nintendo MOBA! Although for it to work effectively, it's best on PC. Been playing DOTA 2 like mad right now. You know, maybe just have the Nintendo chars as heroes and the items based of off Nintendo's history. The ingredients are there dammit!
@DekuOnion Good point. Keeping MOBAs alive requires a lot of dedication and it took one year before Sakurai decided to stop pumping out content for Smash 4. Migth as well make an entire team dedicated to a MOBA game.
@DekuOnion i thought that the next pokemon spinoff game would be a moba. there are so many pokemon that even the minions would be unique. a long term dev team might be something new for them, but not unattainable if so motivated. with pokken tournament coming, maybe pokemon won't be the key to the nintendo moba after all.
kimishima used to run the pokemon company. he has biz experience in platforms other than nintendo and he sees what people play on those platforms. he knows the relevance of the moba. it's almost a certainty that someone's looking into the nintendo moba, if not outright developing it already.
People talking about "free" additions to this game? They were elements that were promised because the game was so basic on release. If they weren't promised, I never would have bought the game. It only now feels like a complete game, actually it's not. The single player is extremely short, missing online modes, missing voice chat, missing so many options. People say they did us a favour, stagnating the updates. The truth is this game wasn't fully ready but they needn't a game released pronto. It was completely bare boned. They've been chopping and changing levels as they got users input. It was a good stab at a new franchise but it has buckets of room for improvement, a lot of which is down to Nintendo's attitude to certain aspects more than development.
@gatorboi352 Yes you can mute it,but those who are using it are going to have a clear advantage over those who are not,making the game a lot less fun for those who don't want to use it.I regularly play in quad squads with NL members,we've built up a pretty good understanding of how each other plays without ever using voice chat but now and again we'll come up against a team that obviously is communicating through other means and the match is over in less than a minute.That's not my idea of fun!So yes,it would take away from the experience.
I just don't get the controversy, The game played well without voice chat. To those people wanting the option, you have no idea of how unfair that would be. The regular updates, ready or not at launch, kept the game fresh. It's not like we had to pay for them. Are we paying a sub to play online? Nope. I think our wallets did ok with the amount of longetivity this game had.
I hated the way this game was released. The original content was far too little and it's always frustrating when developers say "We have content that we could put in the game, but we'll make it inaccessible until a later time instead of letting individual players decide".
It was also stupid when they restricted Splat Zones until an arbitrary number of people reached level 10. They should have let the players decide for themselves when they were ready for Splat Zones, or at least restricted it until the player reached level 10.
The original game was completely bare bones and didn't have much to do in it, and didn't justify the price tag for a full game. I have no problem with them continuing on working on DLC after the game is released, but it's always annoying when content is held back.
This is the additional content I would have preferred to be in the game at launch:
My favourite stage is still Arowana Mall. In no particular order, its followed by Walleye Warehouse, Mahi Mahi Resort, Ancho-V Games, Bluefin Depot, Saltspray Rig, Blackbelly Skatepark, Flounder Heights, Camp Triggerfish and Urchin Underpass. I do also like Port Mackeral, Piranha Pit, and Kelp Dome. I'm not too keen on Moray Towers, Hammerhead Bridge and Museum D'Alfonsino, but I don't hate them either. What are your favourite stages?
I liked being surprised with new stuff all the time
While the new stuff was great, I really appreciated it, the game was sorely lacking features upon release. That kind of development isn't a good example for future projects, in my opinion.
Glad there's no voice chat though, it's much better without it.
Although it does have similarities, it wasn't really early access, but rather a wise decision to let the players get used to the maps slowly. Now that all the 16 maps are released, it's easy to spot the pattern behind it.
The first maps were rather easy and straightforward. But with every release, the maps got more challenging, especially the last four:
Port Mackerel: The lanes limit your movement, something that still makes me and others hate this map occasionally. Also, if I remember correctly, this was the first map to have two Splat Zones.
Kelp Dome: The rather divided nature of the map + several ways on the grids up high. When this map came out, it took me a loooong time until I didn't get lost on it.
Bluefin Depot: Grids and more swimming up walls
Moray Towers: Big map, a lot of height and swimming up walls, also rather limited movement in the lane-like structures
Camp Triggerfish: A lot of water, a lot of tight spaces were you can fall off the stage. Also the time-controlled change in the map (the floodgates). It took me ages to learn how to play this map.
Flounder Heights: A lot of height and swimming up the walls, in a way, this map felt more like a conventional shooter map.
Hammerhead Bridge: Unusual structure wherein the middle of stage is rather wide, although the stage itself is a tubular one. Also a lot of running on grids, especially in Rainmaker.
Museum D'Alfonsino: Rotation platforms, which require a good understanding of the controls, plus a lot of height
Mahi Mahi Resort: A lot of water to fall into, even more than on Camp Triggerfish. You can't play on this map if your swimming and jumping isn't good. In other words: You got to have a great understanding of the controls.
Piranha Pit: the moving floors added a method of reaching otherwise unreachable areas that belong to the enemy's turf, also this stage was wide in the middle like Hammerhead Bridge.
Ancho-V Games: The moving platforms that you can activate by shooting at the ventilators that you knew from the singleplayer campaign.
All in all, it was almost ingenious and the right approach. If you look at how the challenge of the maps increased in that list, it's obvious that this was planned from the beginning. The last five additions required a good amount of experience, but one could also say the last eight additions were a bit more advanced than the maps before them.
Can't wait for Splatoon 2. So long, I will continue playing Splatoon. 350 hours and counting, still not done with this beautiful game.
I legitimately think your a moron, the updates were frequent but incredibly small, only someone with an attention span of a pup could see that Splatoon actually provided a feasable amount of content with each update. I understand that you're a journalist and have plenty of other games to play while another game is in the works, but back in May only having a Wii U, this was all we got. And unless you didn't get bored of Smash or Mario Kart like I had, you would just play Splatoon. Naturally playing games like Splatoon for an extended amount of time would get boring. The meniscule amount of content they squeezed out didn't help the boredom at all, if you played other things and occasionally came back to it, then I could see how you thought it would bring some fresh air into it, but as it stands on it's own, Splatoon's update system is worse than anything EA could come up with.
I don't think I could have ever gotten as generally good at the game as I am if all of the maps, weapons, and modes had been dumped on me at launch. Still not a huge fan of the rotating maps, but I do understand why that is necessary.
My god. What's with all this nonsense about "its good they only gave us 4 maps in order zo learn them". You must be really bad at video games if you can't handle more than 4 small, symmetrical straight forward maps that are in a 4 hour rotation. I hope Mario Kart 9 launches with only 2 cups. We don't want the average player to feel overwhelmed by all those courses, do we? The lack of maps was simply because the game wasn't finished yet and not because more maps would be too much for players to handle.
On a brighter note: I think Splatoon is in a pretty good spot now. The only thing I'd change about the game is the map rotation and I'd also remove the Squid sister/cousins intro
I loved how the release format kept enticing me to come back and play it. I never felt like there was too little content at any one point in time.
@MajinSoul The first unlocked maps where in the disc version of the game. There weren't unfinished.
I also hate the whole, "I glad voice chat isn't in the game because I've encountered mean people." If people seriously think that every voice chat open game has people who just curse and say other rude comments, are somewhat ignorant.
The only negative to me on Splatoon was locking the challenge modes behind amiibos and giving no other means to get to them. I have all the amiibos, and thought those challenges were rock solid. I hope Spla2oon (didn't someone here claim that...) has a more expanded single player experience, as the one we got was great, if not a bit short.
The map rollout and weapon rollout I thought was fine. It gave people a reason to try a new weapon when it came out, and if they didn't like it, go back to what they prefer.
And also, thanks for no voice chat. Yup, you can always mute, but then the choice is do I mute, or do I listen in the hopes of having a slight advantage. I've played way too many maps where there was someone that was obviously new or young, and the idea that some guy feels he has to have the option to scream at them makes me realize no voice chat is one of the blessings that have kept me playing for much longer than I normally would have.
The only changes I'd give to the game now are allowing you to boycott a map (and not one of the choices, a map period, so the devs can get an idea of what needs tweaking) and I'd love to see a vote map option to have the newly voted map be part of the next rotation.
Welcome to the bare minimum amount of content updates and policies that regularly updated competitive titles in the PC market have been honing and offering for free to owners of their games for over 10 years now, Nintendo...
Minus the voice chat, of course. That alone will prevent Splatoon from lasting beyond the Wii U's generation. No voice chat, no professional level of coordination and teamwork. (Unless everyone on the team is psychic...)
They could have at least done the same thing as Animal Crossing: City Folk and Monster Hunter Tri for Wii, and allowed people who have each others' friend codes to have access to voice chat... But alas, Nintendo is once again too prudish to allow even that modicum of access to speech.
IMO this game was handled perfectly. I remember getting a bit worried at the beginning, but I decided to trust Nintendo and it really paid off. I usually hate when I play the same map over and over again in any MP shooter, but due to the singularity of this game, it helped a lot. The maps are amazingly designed and they have a lot of depth in it, and let's not forget this is a greatly fun game (the single action of moving is just so much fun!) Overall, Splatoon has become one of my favorite games of all time, and I don't think I'll put it down anytime soon.
About voice chat... Well, not everyone speaks english y'know. Although it'd be nice to have it in private battles and/or squads.
Has anybody balanced complaints with the obvious problem of low numbers of players making map choice impossible or increasing wait times by an order of magnitude? They already had to make it worldwide play without regions to have enough players to make it as smooth playing as it was. It's not just arbitrary decisions that the developers made, here. Wii U is a tough platform to make a game like this work well. Even for Nintendo published games.
Some of the complaints on here read like this to me, "Why didn't Nintendo just triple the Wii U user base before Splatoon launched?"
Great game and I'm amazed at how smooth the online experience is. Of course, I'd like more choice in what I played. Doesn't mean it was remotely possible. The announcements at the start, though? That should have been fixed. The web stats and current stage info should have come earlier, but fortunately that's the type of thing that I think will be standard on these types of games going forward with Nintendo's new online plans.
Oh, I'm also hoping that the LAN support of Pokken tournament out of the box is something we'll see more of. Splatoon 2 feature set is getting clearer.
I'd like more variety in the squid sisters' gig playlist...
This is pretty cool
@aaronsullivan Well, Splatoon has a user base of 4 million people now(at least according to vgchartz), so I think that there is no reason to keep the map rotation anymore.
It helps, but then the actual amount of active players will taper off eventually if it hasn't dramatically done so already. Not trying to be negative about it, it's just a reality that it will need to work for a long time now with smaller numbers.
I feel like there could be something done. A faster rotation of maps seems reasonable but there are downsides. Seems like trying an extra map in rotation and monitoring how much connect times are decreased wouldn't be too big a deal, but probably Nintendo is anxious to dwindle maintenance down to a skeleton crew. Eventually no one is paying for online services anymore.
@ZAZX Splatoon was early access and it deserves the stigma that comes with that label. They didn't ship a finished product, they shipped a product with barely any content at all and you had to sit around and wait for Nintendo to finish it and put the content out there. It was a terrible way to launch a game. It wasn't worth the $60 asking price at launch, and by the time it came out of early access and was worth the money, even people who had Wii Us were too inundated with new games that were actually finished to care about Splatoon.
Oh but Witcher 3 is early access because it got free updates too, you say? Nothing could be further from the truth. Witcher 3 got free updates to a game that was already quite finished, had quite a lot of things for players to do. Splatoon got updates to a skeleton of a game that had almost nothing for players to do. Witcher 3 updates were adding those little decorative candy pieces to an already baked and frosted cake. Splatoon updates were adding baking soda and other ingredients to a mixing bowl that had only flour in it.
I sincerely hope Nintendo never does this again. Triple A gaming should not be doing early access, they should be releasing finished products. Early access is meant for little guys who don't have the resources to continue making the game otherwise, not for massive companies like Nintendo who have plenty of money in the bank to finish before launch.
Other things Nintendo should avoid in a sequel: have voice chat, have Wiimote controls if it's still on a system that accepts the Wiimote pointer as an input, don't lock substantial and interesting game modes behind amiibo, and fix the map rotation idea. I was against it until a friend pointed out it stops people voting for the same map over and over and over, but the time between map rotations is too long. It ends up creating the same feeling as people voting for the same map over and over and over. First and foremost though is to FINISH THE GAME BEFORE YOU SHIP IT.
Loved the release method. The game could've launched with all maps and modes, sure, but it would've been delayed a few months. I got to play the game in May, and the new maps started rolling out just when I was ready for a change.
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