I Love Splatoon! However I have Some Issues
Before I get into this I should say, I for one LOVE Splatoon. I love it to death and its probably the most fun I have had playing a videogame in ages. However Splatoon is not perfect, it is actually far from it, and there are a lot of issues that I have gotten with this game after putting in nearly 50 hours into this game since buying it.
Lets start out with the obvious and big problems. And that would be Splatoon’s online functionality. One thing I can not fault Splatoon with is its servers, it is very rare that I experience bad lag that ruins the overall enjoyment of the game. I will get the occasional once or twice disconnect from a match but it happens so rarely I usually use it as a good sign to take a break. So good on you Nintendo for getting those servers stable, specially after that Global Misfire. However a fault that I have with it is how the game deals with rage quitters and people who disconnect right before a match. I feel like there should be a penalty system put in place for people who purposefully leave a match in the middle of a game. There have been times where I have been left all on my own to fight against a team of four players all coming out at me, and there is nothing more frustrating than that. I feel like if a match isn’t going your way, stick it out, you can make a major comeback in the last 30 seconds of a round so there is no real need to quit, but if you do I feel like Nintendo should give like a bad sport tag to these people, where they only gain a fraction of the experience they would normally get if they continued this behavior. This not only discourages people from rage quitting numerous times, but also penalizes those who do.
The next issue I have with the online infrastructure with Splatoon is that you cannot back out of a lobby once you join, and you cannot change your loadout in the lobby either, but instead you have to leave, go switch your loadout and then come back into another lobby. You give 200 seconds in the lobby Nintendo, let players use that to have the ability to back out of a match if they need to, or so they can re-arrange their load out. One time I had to back out to change classes to fit the map rotation a bit better, and then I had to wait almost 15 minutes to rejoin my friends game because there were never any empty spots in the lobby before then. So I feel like having an option to leave in a lobby, and also change your loadout in a lobby, would come in handy quite a bit. Also being able to leave in the middle of a lobby may help prevent people disconnecting mid match.
Next I want to take the time to address matchmaking. I feel like the current matchmaking in Splatoon is a bit flawed. I am almost lvl 17, and I have been put into rooms constantly with people with the levels between 1-5, I feel like this is a bit unfair to them, I have items and loadouts that give me a major advantage over them, yes its and easy 1200 experience and I can go on like a 20 kill streak but its not really that much fun…its actually boring. I love close matches. I love making last 30 second turnabouts with other people. However with how the current matchmaking is I feel like I can’t really always enjoy that when I am put in a lobby filled with low levels. I have to imagine how they feel when they see all of these lvl 1-4 players join and out of nowhere a person lvl 17-20 joins. I just feel like it ruins the fun on both parties.
Now lets use this to segway into the most “controversial” thing. And that is voice chat. Splatoon needs to have voice chat, or some form of communication in it, the “Come on!” and “Booya!” Commands don’t really lend itself to extensive communications. Yes I know not everyone wants voice chat, and thats fine, and I have come up with a simple solution to this. In August when Nintendo brings the update for friends to team up and go into lobbys with randoms or other friends, have it so where these lobbys can have voice chat, so people will only be chatting with their friends and not random strangers. And if there is someone bugging you in the chat still, just have an ear icon appear next to the character’s profile on the gamepad and just mute them. Simple as that. While I will agree voice chat can be done without in Turf Wars, I strongly believe that it will be needed in ranked battles with the King of the Hill and Payload style game modes. When I play 6v6 in TF2 I am constantly communicating with my friends in a call about what the other team is doing, what enemies that I recently killed, letting them know when it may or may not be safe to do something and things along those lines. Heck even in pub matches in TF2, all it takes is one person on mic to lead a charge to completely turnaround an entire match. And I get it voice chat isn’t for everyone, but like I said let it be an option for friend lobbies because you know we are playing with friends. Also yes I am aware some friends of friends who join the lobby you may not like to hear them, but thats why I suggested a mute option.
A final minor gripe that I have with ranked battles is how the Splatzone works, there are times where I am on the point trying to recapture it before time expires, and we still lose, even though the enemy team is off of the point and we almost have the whole thing cleared. I believe that Nintendo should adapt a method similar to that of TF2, where if a enemy is still on the control point the game goes into overtime until either they claim the zone, or they are killed off of the zone, that encourages people to try and make those last few second pushes. Like on Salt Sprayrig, if there is 10 seconds left, and we don’t have the point, that is not enough time to rush in as a team and recapture it, however that is enough time to rush in and get on the point and at least contest it. I feel like thats a better method of going about this so everyone has an equal chance of making a comeback. Also one more thing is that, even though you may be on the losing team, at least grant us SOME experience and money, I have been in some real close matches and lost and still performed better than everyone else in the round, but I still receive nothing for playing, in my opinion that should be looked into and a system made where players have a chance to come away from ranked battles with something.
Thats pretty much everything I can point out wrong with Splatoon’s online. The offline however, I feel like Nintendo should sell the Amiibo missions on the eShop for like $3.99 each. Those figures are rare and not everyone is able to get them, its also a bit pricey that we have to pay $34.99 to get access to all of the single player content, and some cool gear for multiplayer.
Overall I do love Splatoon a lot, it is probably a contender for my GOTY this year, and this is a game that I will easily put 1000 hours into in the games life time. I just hope Nintendo learns from the mistakes of this game and uses it to perfect Splatoon 2, such as having more content one day one (not having the ranked battles and 4 of the bonus maps already locked on the disc) and try and improve the online infrastructure. This isn’t really a review, but if I were to review Splatoon I would give it a 8.5/10, if Nintendo did fix a lot of these issues with Splatoon I could easily give this game a perfect 10/10 score. With that being said I am going to go hop back into Splatoon. Got to feed this addiction some how!