Howdy all! Brandon Myers here, back with another Ramblings. Now, back in my 2017 Year In Review, I said I’d do a review of Splatoon 2. Well, instead of giving it a solo review, I’ll be talking about it alongside a few other Nintendo Switch games I own or have rented. And in the end, I’m going to be discussing Overwatch, yet again. Hey, as long as Blizzard keeps updating the game, I’ll keep playing, and I’ll keep writing about it.
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Let’s start with Splatoon 2. If you’ve played the first game, this second one is pretty much more of the same. Only it’s on a much more popular console than its predecessor. You customize your Inkling, including gender, skin tone, hair, and shorts. You can buy Gear, which is divided into Head, Clothes (shirts), and Shoes, to further customize your Inkling. Each piece of Gear has ability slots that affect how your Inkling performs in battle. Pretty much the same as the last game. There are new pieces of gear, of course, and I think some new ability modifiers. There are also new stages on which your Inklings battle and new weapons and weapon classes to use. Of course there’s going to be more stuff, because it’s a sequel. That’s to be expected.
Gameplay remains the same, as well. Cover as much of the stage in your team’s ink as possible using your weapon of choice. Each weapon comes with a sub-weapon and a special ability. This is all sorted in the tutorial, so don’t worry if this may sound confusing. All you gotta know is you have to cover the stage in ink. It doesn’t hurt to “splat” your opponents in the process, either. “Splat” is Nintendo’s family-friendly way of saying “kill.” It really does fit the vibe they have going, and the term doesn’t get old.
There is a new music duo that host the game. Pearl and Marina take the place of Callie and Marie. I love the writing of Pearl and Marina, honestly. Very well written. Then again, Callie and Marie were well written, too. Callie and Marie do appear in this entry, but they’re relegated to the single-player mode. I haven’t played that mode yet. I didn’t get too far in the single-player in the first game, and I don’t have a whole lot of interest in the single-player campaign in this one.
All in all, Nintendo has made another very solid, family-friendly, online shooter. Well done. It’s a little too much like the original, but it’s still pretty darn good. Then again, if they were to change things too much, would it really still be as good? Probably not.
Next up is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Not much to say about this one. It’s Mario Kart 8, plus all the DLC, and a couple new characters thrown in as a bonus. If you played Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, this will be more of the same. One small difference is the addition of Steer Assist and Auto-Accelerate modes. Steer Assist is turned on by default, which sucks. It’s more for the young ones, as it keeps you from crashing into the wall or falling into holes. Well, mostly, at least. It’s not perfect, but it does its best. This also means if you’re slightly off-target for a shortcut that’s over a pit, the game will make a hard turn back onto the main track. Good idea for young children just learning the game, but to turn it on by default is annoying.
So yeah, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. More Mario Kart 8, which is definitely not a bad thing. I love me some Mario Kart.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is another game I own for the Switch. I’ve played just passed the tutorial part. I got to Peach’s castle, and that’s where I left off. As expected, the game is a mix of XCOM-style turn-based strategy. Mario and crew are given guns and other weapons, and set onto a large grid full of cover elements. There are large blocks which grant full cover and half-sized blocks which grant half-cover. The enemies will take cover, and you’re suggested to do the same. There are more movement options than in XCOM, though, such as using one character to give another a boost in order to go further than you normally could.
The whole idea is to flank your opponents. Get them in the line of fire so their cover won’t protect them, and blast them until they vanish. Again, it’s a family-friendly game, so they just sort of disappear as if being beamed up to a ship from Star Trek or something. After the tutorial, it’s revealed that all the enemies you defeat are more or less “cured” of their aggressive nature and have joined your side to build weapons and other stuff.
Again, I have only gotten through the tutorial. I would have gotten further if it hadn’t been for Mario Odyssey taking up most of my time, and then came Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Which brings me to the next game, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I don’t own this one yet. I have it rented from Gamefly. The game looks beautiful, and it plays quite well, too. The main downside is that weapons and shields degrade over time, and will break. Meaning you’re forever scavenging for weapons and shields. They seem plentiful, for the most part, so it hasn’t been too much of a pain.
There is some voice acting in the game, which is well done. Voice acting in video games sure has come a long way in the last thirty years. The voice acting is limited to certain cut-scenes, however, so the full game isn’t voiced like I initially thought it would be given the pre-release trailers. The game has been out since March 3rd, 2017, but I didn’t read any reviews to find out the extent of the voice overs.
So far I’ve restored one Divine Beast. Which I guess means I’m one quarter of the way through the game? I think so, at least. I’ll be honest, I’ve consulted a few walkthroughs on GameFAQs for this game. I have no shame for doing so, either. There’s no way I’ll be able to unlock all the memories in the game without a map, for example.
But yeah, so far the game is pretty darn good. I’ve enjoyed it up to this point.
And now there’s Overwatch. Overwatch is in the middle of its Lunar New Year event, this year aptly titled Year of the Dog. They made major changes to the rules of Capture the Flag, including a Sudden Death mode that moves the flags closer to the center of the map, as well as a new CTF-specific map. I played a match of CTF on this new map, and it took 19 minutes and 13 seconds of actual game time. 8 minutes is the regulation time for CTF, which means we spent over 11 minutes in Sudden Death mode. It was so much fun.
Since then, though, I’ve gone back to playing Mystery Heroes mode. Mystery Heroes is a mode in Overwatch where every time you spawn, including at the beginning of the match, you’re given a randomly selected hero. I like the mode because it forces you to play as heroes you might not normally choose, and more often than not it forces you to try and win using unusual team compositions. Sometimes it can be frustrating, as your opponents could get a random composition that can steamroll over most anyone, and it’s up to pure luck if you manage to get the right combination of heroes to stop the opposing team. But for the most part, it’s fun as all heck.
Going back to the CTF match I mentioned, I saved a video of it and uploaded it to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Please excuse my Zenyatta play. I know I’m not the greatest at shooters, but I have fun, and that’s what counts. Oh, and a quick shout out to PSN user DiedPooping for having an awesome name and also killing me several times during the match.