IGN gave the game a 7.9, praising its clever mechanics and atmosphere but docking it for the lack of voice chat and release-day content. Given that these two complaints were already points of contention among the fanbase, you can imagine the reaction that this caused. However, they did revise the review once more content was available and the score was bumped up to an 8.6.
Overall, the game garnered somewhat tough critical scores because of its release strategy wherein content would gradually be unlocked by the developers over a few months following its release. The issue here is that several months after the game's release date, a large amount of new content had been addednote doubling the number of maps, adding two game modes, and upwards of a dozen weapons, plus adding options for private battles and playing online multiplayer with friends, but very few review scores (the aforementioned IGN one being a notable exception) were amended or updated to reflect this content, meaning that most of the game's scores seem unfairly low as a result.
Abandon Shipping: Despite their name, many people shipped the Squid Sisters, arguing that they were likely not actual sisters, their band name being just a title. And they were eventually proven right: they're not sisters, they're cousins, which isn't much better and killed the ship for many people.
A Japan Splatfest Event in late July 2015 pitted Milk Tea against Lemon Tea, with the colours of white and pale yellow respectively. Some fans immediately realized that the colours resembled certain... ah... bodily fluids, and promptly started cracking jokes about it. The same jokes resurfaced when the Mayo vs. Ketchup and Chicken vs. Egg Splatfests turned up in Splatoon 2.
Callie and Marie telling players to "Stay fresh!" can take a whole new meaning if you're familiar with personal care products of a feminine nature that often speak of "not feeling fresh" and "heavy flow", complete with the imagery of blue liquid being poured onto white surfaces. Some players have cracked jokes about this.
The Squid Sisters are spoiled brats who abandoned their somewhat senile grandfather in the sewers to fight off the Octarians while they pursued a career in pop music. This is kind of supported by their own statements towards their grandfather both in the news casts and during the DJ Octavio refights, including comments where Cuttlefish is lonely, they should probably take away his crabby cakes, and "maybe" they should visit him more.
Is Cap'n Cuttlefish a humble savior who is protecting Inkopolis from the Octarians despite his hermitlike appearance, or a senile old man whose leftover racism from a hundred years ago makes him draw innocent teens, including his own granddaughters, into destroying an already collapsing society (which was partially his own fault)? This can be supported if you subscribe to the idea the the Inklings are the real villains of the series.
And You Thought It Would Fail: The Wii U was a commercial failure in all territories, so the launch of a completely new IP on the system was thought to be a very risky move: many felt it would fare about as well as The Wonderful 101 or Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., which were complete flops. However, the title would end up selling 1.62 million copies worldwide in its first month, and would go on to sell almost 5 million copies in lifetime. 1.36 million of that would be in Japan alone, where people were buying Wii U's just for Splatoon. The surprise success and acclaim quickly cemented Splatoon as a premiere Nintendo IP, along with Super Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon.
The complete lack of voice chat. This decision faced much backlash due to most online shooters, such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, allowing voice chat; people argue that having no voice chat prevents effective coordination during games and that shooters which include the function have "mute" functions to filter out problematic players. However, there are many who supported the decision, as many of these games tend to have online players who do nothing but talk down to and insult others (this was in fact the producer's stated reason for its exclusion), and argue that most non-pickup teams use third-party software anyway. Others also noted since the game does global rather than regional matchmaking, it's highly likely that your teammates will often be from different countries, rendering the option for voice chat moot since you'll all be speaking different languages. This especially became the case if you're a Westerner still playing the game after the release of the sequel, as this game's community would quickly come to consist mostly of Japanese players.
The game having amiibo support. On one hand, it was expected that Nintendo would add amiibo support for this game and most fans were thrilled about the Splatoon characters getting their own figures. On the other hand, due to the Demand Overload problems with new amiibo at the time, many were turned off from the fact that the high demand would mean that certain gear and other things the amiibo unlock might become incredibly difficult to attain. Taken to its logical extreme when a shipment of Splatoon amiibo and special editions of the game got stolen in the UK just before launch day.
The game's online features and maps being limited at launch with free expansions coming afterwards. Some people didn't mind the initial lack of features and maps knowing the lineup would be expanded, while others saw this as paying full price for a large "demo" of online multiplayer until the expansions are released, or Nintendo just really wanting to get the game out for the beginning of summer when they really should've held it back to release it "complete". When it turned out that much of the later-released content was complete and already in the game at launch, it sparked an additional debate about "on-disc DLC", and rather it was right for Nintendo to prevent players from accessing the full game right away.
The music in the North American advertisements for the game were quite polarizing, especially the "Squid Kid" ad. Those in favor of them found the songs to be quite catchy and liked that they harkened back to the aesthetics of 1990s children's television, which was part of the appeal to some of the older audience for the game. Those who hated them thought that the European and Japanese commercials, which use the in-game music, are more than serviceable, with some taking particular offense to the repeated "YOU'RE A KID, YOU'RE A SQUID" lyric, believing that it embraced a "kiddy" image that some older gamers would rather avoid.
The required use of the Gamepad. Some people thought it enhanced the experience and, as a much-touted feature of the Wii U, it was about time Nintendo started using the thing more. Others were disappointed that local multiplayer isn't really possible, since the Wii U only supports one Gamepad.
The usage of motion controls falls into this. There are some who prefer the motion controls over dual analog, saying that it's much more accurate than simply using the right stick to aim. Then there are others who are completely adverse to the sensitivity of said motion controls, and claim that it's too much to handle alongside the more traditional dual analog approach. However, the motion controls can be turned off, so this becomes somewhat of a moot point.
After the introduction of the Tower Defense Ranked Battle mode came the realization that Ranked Battle modes, like Turf War maps, rotate every four hours, with players in Ranked Battles being stuck with the mode chosen until the next rotation. Some players called foul, saying that this is an unacceptable cut to the choices available to players, while others defended the move by pointing out that it helps reduce the possibility of players gravitating to one particular mode at the expense of the others.
The developers stating shortly after release that customization will stay limited to clothing, skin color, and eye color, as they wanted to keep the base inkling designs consistent during the period in which the game is still brand new. Some really wished the devs would just add stuff like new hairstyles or body types regardless, while others agreed with the developers' statements by saying the base inkling designs are already so likable there's no need for any radical changes just yet. Different hairstyles, pants, and a wider array of skin and eye colors would ultimately be saved for the sequel.
During the period in which Urchin Underpass was briefly taken off the rotation for a redesign in August 2015, discussions erupted. Arguments ranged from "But I loved this map! It was perfect!", to how the middle area is way too easy to defend and requires too much team coordination to break into for a game without voice chat, particularly in Splat Zones; to how that shouldn't have been an issue since there are three points of entry into the area; to how that still doesn't help because the map is too charger-friendly, even more than Moray Towers, another map that is a fan favorite in spite of that. There was also the very important issue of whether it is OK for the trees near the spawn points to be moved to the middle of the map.
New weapon types being announced ended up with one of two opinions: either the game needed to have its balance shaken up since specific weapons appeared to be much more common than others, or it's going to ruin the same specific weapons because they're not the "best" any more.
The fourth North American Splatfest was TransformersProduct Placement. Some people didn't mind it and found it fun, while others feared that it'll open the gate for more rampant product placement within the game, mirroring the Japanese version which had already had two such Splatfests. The predominant reaction was simply one of disbelief, however. The later SpongeBob SquarePants Splatfest garnered an even more polarizing reaction.
The 2.2.0 update was not very popular with Roller users since their weapons received a huge nerf to their abilities.note Their ranged attacks were adjusted to only One-Hit Kill if people were caught in the center of it, meaning Rollers now required much more accuracy to be effective. Other players were glad that they were nerfed, as they felt they were too easy to use prior to the update.
Playable Octolings. Early on, playable Octolings were easily the most requested addition to the game, it being rare to go on any site related to Splatoon without seeing one discussion of the species being playable. What made this a Broken Base topic was the backlash that those who wanted playable Octolings received, as that part of the community would only get louder and louder throughout the game's various updates, annoying others who used to be indifferent on the subject into actively being against the idea out of spite. Despite game files suggesting that the developers were seriously considering it for this first game, Octolings wouldn't be made playable until Splatoon 2's "Octo Expansion".
Bring up the possibility of a weapon tier system at your own risk. While Character Tiers in general tend to create pretty big Broken Bases in communities, it's easily doubly so with Splatoon. A large portion of the player base argues that all the weapons in the game are well balanced, and as such there's no way to create a reliable tier system for the game, especially with each ranked mode prioritizing different strengths and weaknesses of different weapons. Others argue that, while more balanced than most other games, there are still certain weapons that shine better than the rest, and are really strong contenders for any of the modes, and as such, a tier system is viable. Others, who while agreeing that there are weapons that are stronger than others, don't want a tier list in place because of it causing a Complacent Gaming Syndrome with people picking the tier one weapons only in hopes of easy wins. Meanwhile, there are others who think a tier system would help new players and further develop the competitive community for the game... In short, everyone falls into every possible camp when it comes to the possibility of a tier system in this game.
Which Squid Sister is better? Callie or Marie? This question has sparked many debates, with the game's final Splatfest actually being based around the conflict.
Whenever a new weapon released, especially a brand new one instead of an existing weapon with different sub and special weapons, you could expect to see a lot of people use it for a couple of days until people figured out how to use it and counter it.
For a while after the game was released, chances were high that anyone using a roller would be using the Krak-On Splat Roller, which allowed users to turn into an invincible Kraken that paints the ground automatically as it moves and can gore anyone with its drilling attack while having the Beacon subweapon which can help a team move around the map. However, between more people finding the Dynamo Rollers to be Difficult, but Awesome thanks to their high-range One-Hit KO attack and effective Sub and Special Weapons, the introduction of the Carbon Roller, which sports a much faster wind-up making it better at ambushing, and the Nerf to the Kraken special making it a bit less unstoppable (albeit still effective), this was no longer the case, and there had come to be a fair bit more diversity among Roller users. Even the regular Splat Roller began seeing more use despite generally being considered worse than the Krak-on due to its Suction Bombs and Killer Wail Special being very useful in the Tower Control mode.
During the first weeks of the game, it was rare to see a Turf War match that didn't have multiple Aerospray players. The Aerosprays are very efficient at thoroughly covering ground, meaning that they can cover tons of ground and charge their special weapons quickly. One of said special weapons? Inkstrike, which can cover a chunk of stage from anywhere in the level. However, much like with the Roller during the Global Testfire, people learned to counter this weapon over timenote The Aerospray has short range and an even wilder spray than the Splattershot Jr. An opponent with a more accurate or longer range weapon can stop them without too much trouble in a straight-up fight, even if they're caught in the cone of fire. And the Aerospray set with the Inkstrike has no reliable ranged combat options, eventually making it become less of a common sight.
When it comes to Ranked modes, expect to see a lot of people using the Gal Decos. Both of those weapons are primarily designed for confrontation with enemies instead of inking the map, being two shot splats that have decent fire rate, so in Turf War it's rare to see them, but in super confrontational modes like Rainmaker, Splat Zones, and even Tower Control, they really shine. The .52 Gal tends to see more use because of its more steady aim, but .96 Gal Deco makes up for its lackluster steadiness by having higher range and the same amount of power. They're so commonly used on higher levels of Ranked, that seeing entire teams of nothing but Gal users was a shockingly common sight before Nintendo actively started checking what weapons players were using in Ranked before placing them on a team to prevent this from happening.
Not a primary weapon, but in regard to special weapons, the Inkstrike, especially in Splat Zone mode. It can single-handedly knock an undefended splat zone out of enemy control from anywhere on the mapnote A defending enemy can paint territory over the Inkstrike while it's falling, as long as they stay out of its reach, as opposed to every other special that requires you to be near the splat zone (and therefore in much greater danger of being splatted) in order to use them effectively. As a result, almost every Splat Zone match will have at least one player per team packing it. The 2.0.0 August update saw a particular increase in this special weapon's use for a while since the two representatives of the new weapon types added, the Heavy Splatling and the Slosher, had a set with Inkstrike equipped.
In ranked modes, the Tentatek Splattershot/Octoshot Replica tend to see a lot of use. They have a decent range and fire rate as well has having a very good sub and special loadout having the suction bomb and Inkzooka. The Suction Bomb is good at forcing people out of an area with its one-hit-kill potential while the Inkzooka gives the weapon a lot more range and can force chargers out of their sniping spots giving it incredible versatility for all modes.
When it comes to abilities, especially in ranked battle and higher leveled players, expect to see a lot of people using stealth jump plus a few quick super jump abilities on their equipment to bypass the main weakness of super jump. note Normal super jump leaves an indicator of where someone is going to jump to, even for the enemies. As a result, it's pretty common for players to stop and rapidly shoot at the area where the opponent will jump to in order to instant splat them on arrival. Stealth jump gets rid of the indicator for the trade off of a slower super jump, which becomes a non-issue with a few quick super jumps on your equipment.
Expect to see a lot of higher end players with three of the same ability on their equipment somewhere, with attack up and defense being the most common.note Even though ability increases give less of a boost to stats with each additional repeated ability, three is generally agreed upon by many players to be the best for giving the maximum boost for a specific stat before the tradeoff of sacrificing an equipment slot isn't worth it anymore.
When it comes to Splatfests, starting when the multipliers were added to win rate, it's pretty common for players to forego personal preference to pick the obvious underdog/least popular team, since win rate factors in far more than popularity in a Splatfest. With any random player of varying skill levels picking the more popular team, it becomes an easy way for skilled players to reap the rewards of a Splatfest. This has become even more apparent with every Splatfest since Autbots vs. Deceptions, where Planes, Ninjas, and Pizza killed in popularitynote Ninja's in particular having over 70% of the vote but the win rates from Cars, Pirates, and Burgers managed to make up the distance quite handedly.
There is also the issue that if a squad of the opposing team cannot be found, you end up fighting your own team, which only gives you personal points, not anything towards the team score. If there is a significant difference in popularity, the more popular team will spend more time fighting their own people while the less popular team will not have that problem. Thus, picking the less popular team is a way to ensure that all of your contributions go towards the team score instead of only some of them.
It has become an unspoken rule that any weapon with the Kraken for its special will see more use than the original weapon,note the Octobrush is the only original weapon with the Kraken for its special, all other weapons with the Kraken are variants with weapons like the Krak-On Splat Roller and the Slosher Deco being variants on already frequently used weapons.
Cry for the Devil: The Sunken Scrolls reveal the Octarians merely want to live in prosperity like the Inklings, and were forced underground due to land disputes. Furthering their trouble, they're running low on power, and the underground domes are rapidly deteriorating.
Demonic Spiders: Octolings are much deadlier than most of the Hero Mode enemies. They're small, surprisingly smart, faster than most Hero Mode enemies, their shots can splat you in just a few hits (though the same goes for them), can swim through ink just like you, and can flush you out of hiding with Splat Bombs. Fortunately, if you can find armor and upgrade the Hero Shot, they become less of a hassle. However, there are plenty of levels where the only enemies are Octolings.
The Squid Sisters◊, who host the Splatfest polls, have also picked up some fans for being older, cuter versions of the already-popular Inklings. It helps that they're Idol Singers and that their childhood photos are simply precious. And it helps even more that they're the granddaughters of a bona fide war hero and implied to be very good fighters in their own right.
TheOctarians as a whole are well-liked by anyone who actually reads the scrolls in single-player mode, but the Octolings in particular have tons of people clamoring to play as one.
The female anemone-like member of the Chirpy Chirps (ABXY) band, Paruko, has only appeared on an album cover, but judging by the amount of fanart of her compared to the others, she's become the popular 'face' of the band.
Let's face it, the entire game can be considered this when considering that Splatoon is a new IP on a divisive system. Yet, despite all odds, sold extremely well, has a dedicated fanbase in and out of the game, and has been noted as the best shooter of 2015. If that wasn't enough? There's been an explosion of Splatoon promotion/merchandise in Japan!
From the Switch Footage reveal, the Inkling girl with short 'bob-cut' tentacle hair has become extremely popular in fanart.
The Great Turf War between the Inklings and Octarians, along with relations between the two species, is ripe for fanfiction.
The relations between the other characters. Especially Judd for being from a distant time period in the past.
First Installment Wins: Several aspects about this game were more well received compared to the sequel. The music is generally considered to be more fitting and energetic, with Splattack being the most iconic theme used to represent the franchise whenever the franchise is represented in another game, even showing up in the Splatoon 2 Tetris 99 theme, despite the theme never showing up in the sequel outside of a boss fight in the DLC campaign. The specials are considered to be the most iconic and most fun to use. And the Squid Sisters are the most well known idols in the franchise.
Not really a surprise, but the Super Smash Bros. community is rather friendly towards their new Nintendo cousins. During the official character ballot for Smash 4, the Inklings were often one of the most requested characters on Reddit and other SSB message boards. They were eventually announced as the very first newcomers for Ultimate.
The Super Mario Bros. fans are also unsurprisingly fans of Splatoon and vice-versa. For most, the comparison between this game and Super Mario Sunshine is a no-brainer and they hope for an eventual F.L.U.D.D. and Delfino Plaza DLC.
With Team Fortress 2, one of the other very colorful shooters out there. Although tensions were rocky at first, the fandoms of both games started to overlap, thanks in great part to both games being multiplayer shooters focused on objectives and teamwork, with silliness and colorful aesthetics that stand out in a genre that tends to stick to the more realistic side of things. It certainly doesn't hurt for the Team Fortress crew that Splatoon also has a focus on squid fashion and hats.
With Jet Set Radio, since both games involve groups of teenagers who live in the Shibuya district and spread paint everywhere. Splatoon's aesthetics are also noted to be similar to that of Sega Dreamcast games in general.
Many have noted that the game's aesthetics are similar to that of '90s Nickelodeon, and fans of that era have come to love Splatoon for that reason. It helps that an official Splatfest based around their most iconic Nicktoon SpongeBob SquarePants was held in 2016.
SpongeBob fans love the game due to both of them having aquatic themes and the main characters being cephalopods, much like fan-favorite character Squidward.
The Splatoon fanbase has also gotten on well with Squid Girl, mainly because they both prominently feature squid people. The writer of the manga even draws Splatoon fanart, and "The SQUID GIRL" brand gear comes straight from the manga.
With JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the Roller weapon inspiring jokes with Dio's famous Road Roller attack and puns like Star Splatinum.
Thanks to the American Splatfest based off the series, the Splatoon and Transformers communities get along great. During said Splatfest one couldn't pass by a single player without seeing parody or crossover artwork.
The Kraken special before being Nerfed in the 1.3.0 patch. While it can only attack in melee, that weakness was diminished greatly by a combination of passively inking the ground it travels over, its attack being a One-Hit KO, and being completely unfazed by any and all attacks, meaning that when anyone used it, there was very little the opposition could do in response except hope that there's enough room to stay out of its way until the user changes back. For this reason, the nerf given in 1.3.0 made it so attacks can force it back at an increased rate, much like the Bubbler. The 2.2.0 update nerfed it even further, increasing its point requirement from 180 to 200, giving it end lag that leaves the user more vulnerable when the special ends, and making it easier for enemies to hit it.
In tower control, "chain jumping" is a tactic that's infamous in the competitive community. Chain jumping is a combination of a lot of quick respawn, stealth jump, and quick super jump. The idea being that with this combination allows one to die for next to no cost and quickly super jump back onto the tower without the enemy team knowing. It sounds simple, but it's deviously effective: it'll usually take the entire fire-power of a team to break a skilled chain jump squad and, usually by that point, the opponent's team will have gotten a large point lead. It's telling that hard nerfs were applied in the sequel to both Quick Respawn (only applies if you splat nobody between respawns) and Stealth Jump (your landing ring can be seen if players are close to it) as a means of killing this strategy.
The quick respawn ability in general was considered to be this, as the effects reduced the amount of time you stayed dead from 8.5 seconds to up to 4.5 seconds, nearly halving the respawn time. Essentially, this caused death to become nearly meaningless, which ended up breaking the game and caused this to be considered the only ability worth running, alongside stealth jump, due to how strong they were. Several weapons were not able to deal with the added pressure that entered matches as a result, causing the likes of even the E-liter 3K Scope to fall out of favor. As the game never got any more updates by the time this ability's potential was discovered, Quick Respawn avoided getting nerfed. However, it did not avoid that fate in the sequel, where it proceeded to get nerfed hard, only activating if you failed to get any kills before you die.
One of the Sunken Scrolls contains a piece of sheet music. What do you hear when you hum or play it? Part of the song that the Squid Sisters sing during the final boss, Calamari Inkantation.
The final boss's theme has a constant beat on the background. Word of God confirmed this beat was built to perfectly match the rhythm of the making of wasabi. Appropriate, considering how DJ Octavio uses wasabi to scratch his turntable, and was going to be a wasabi chef at one point.
The time spent in the air when Super Jumping is approximately three seconds, which is the same amount of time that the Japanese flying squid spends in the air when breaching the water.
Good Bad Bugs: Roller Limbo, a strange character posture bug that comes about from unusual interactions with the conveyor belts in Pirahna Pit, has amused a number of players.
The Octolings were introduced in a post with the hashtag "insert Octodad joke here". Some time later, Octodad was announced for the Nintendo eShop.
Jokes about white ink, coupled with an unstated understanding of why it isn't in the ink rotation, were already a thing in the fandom before a Japanese Splatfest actually went and made it one of the two team colors.
Some fandom jokes comparing Splatoon to Team Fortress 2 became more of a reality with the release of weapons like the Splatling gunnote Very similar to Heavy's Sasha and the Slosher ink bucketnote Soldier and a bucket had some rather memetic scenes in the "Expiration Date" short movie. "Dear god...", both added in the same update. Official Art also references the Towering Pillar of Hats.
Several people often made Transformers jokes about the Inklings, one fan even making art and an instruction sheet for a female Inkling transformer. In August, one of the Splatfests was a cross promotion where the teams were red for Autobots and purple for Decepticons.
Since the release of the game, many people post jokes about Professor Oak's "Are you a boy or a girl?" quote. In February 2016, there is a Pokémon-themed Splatfest to promote the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon Red and Blue.
As pointed out on the main page, the Japanese Boke vs. Tsukkomi Splatfest was jokingly referred to as the Callie vs. Marie Splatfest. 10 months later, we have an actual Callie vs. Marie Splatfest as the Grand Finale.
The Squid Beatz minigame has been noted to look a lot like Taiko no Tatsujin. Then in 2018, a Splatoon 2 medley was added to the arcade version of Taiko.
The Penguins of Madagascar movie ended with Dave the Octopus trapped in a snow globe, just like this game's final boss.
A tweet showed the Squid Sisters vacationing in Paris, coinciding with their real-world Live performance in France. Years later, Splatoon 3 apparently takes place in what is apparently a Fallout-style post-apocalyptic Paris with the Eiffel Tower imbedded in the ground upside down. Geez girls, what did you do over there?
The fact that the inklings live on a postapocalyptic Earth is barely a spoiler anymore.
It's only a minor spoiler; however, the reveal that Callie and Marie are cousins is surprising at first considering their duo name. It has stopped being a spoiler and fans casually refer to them as cousins.
Mis-blamed: With news that the initial launch of the game would have little content with more coming in free updates, many people accused the game of being an unfinished game that was rushed out the door for the Wii U to have a game for the summer. As it turns out, most of the content that was added during updates was already on the discnote the only content that wasn't on the disc was the content introduced after the August 2.0.0 update. The game's director explains that the content was held back in order to not overwhelm players with every map and weapon at once, allowing players to be able to try everything in the game, keeping the game fresh.
Moe: Let's be honest: both the Inklings and the Octolings are adorable.
The splattering sound of ink being fired and covering turf is very satisfying indeed. It was lovingly recorded by the development staff. This also extends to the sounds of the various weapons: the whirr of the Heavy Splatling winding up for a burst, the splashing effects of the Brush and Roller weapons being swung, the sharp report of a Charger firing; all of them have a very distinct and enjoyable feel.
The Inklings' chatter if they pick up a special weapon or destroy a lot of enemies.
The ice cream truck jingle that plays when you are riding in control of the tower in Tower Control.
The cracking sound that plays when you hit someone with a fully-charged shot from a Charger, or a direct hit with a Blaster or Sloshing Machine, since it usually results in a One-Hit KO.
The one-two whammy of your Inkling chattering in triumph, followed by the solid impact of the Rainmaker making touchdown on the pedestal. Bonus points if you're the one doing the touchdown.
The sound of a Killer Wail charging and firing is undeniably cool. Just listen.
No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The general consensus on the North American TV ads is that they're, to make a long story short, incredibly stupid. That said, their cheesiness makes people talk about them a lot (and the point of a good ad is to get into the public consciousness).
Paranoia Fuel: There's a number of things in the game that can make one paranoid.
Anytime you see enemy ink, even a tiny puddle, there could be someone there waiting for an unsuspecting player to splat. This gets even worse if they have the Ninja Squid ability, because now they can easily move through their ink with no sign at all.note One can swim undetected without Ninja Squid by moving slowly enough, but that can be tricky to do without practice.
The Stealth Jump ability allows players to Super Jump to an ally without having a marker reveal their position to the enemy. Think you're safe after you splatted someone? They could have a teammate on the way, ready to wreak havoc while your back is turned.
Getting tracked by a Point Sensor or the Echolocator means the enemy knows exactly where you are, allowing them to pursue you or ambush you with impunity, while you don't know where they are.
Out-of-Game Example: On September 27th, 2015, at least one hacker taking the form of an Octoling (unreleased) with a Hydra Splatling (unreleased at the time) appeared. Apparently, anyone who tried to leave the battle had their save data corrupted because of the game trying and failing to load the Octoling model in the Inkopolis plaza. Naturally, this made players very paranoid to play online battles in fear of losing all their progress.
There, possibly, exists an In-Universe version. DJ Octavio seems to jam hard to the Squid Sisters' version of the Final Boss music (despite the Squid Sisters being the granddaughters of his Arch-Nemesis).
In general, the game appeals quite heavily to older Nintendo fans in spite of it appearing to be aimed at kids, mostly due to its gameplay being considered a breath of fresh air compared to the more popular shooters out there.
The Splatfest Tee is considered by many to be a source of unnecessary grinding. You are given the shirt up to 1 week beforehand, but it is a three-star shirt with three empty slots so it takes the most experience to max out and you are expected to level it up from scratch. Granted, the extra abilities are weaker and affected by Diminishing Returns, but if you wanna be in top form in Splatfest, or even in Ranked Battle, which is the fastest way to level up the shirt (...if you win), then you might want the extra skills. Also, you are forced to use it in Splatfest, and you might not appreciate the Special Saver ability over the other abilities on your other clothes. And finally, the shirt is taken away at the end of Splatfest, making all the effort seem wasted.
During a Splatfest, all lobby modes besides Splatfest battle and private battle are removed, and cross-region play is disabled (since each region has its own Splatfest), preventing you from playing with friends from other regions in the meanwhile unless you create a private battle.
Getting disconnected counts as a loss. Meaning you could be winning and suddenly, because of an unstable connection, lose the match and lose the rank you just acquired. It's supposed to discourage people from Rage Quitting, but the game can't tell if someone intentionally disconnected, or just suffered a bad connection.
Disconnection in general is annoying, since one team being down a player will almost always decide the outcome of the match on its own.
Matchmaking in Squad Battles is set up in such a way that if you have even a single S-rank player on your squad, you'll regularly be put up against squads that are all S-ranks, even if your own team has only one S-rank player and the rest are B or C rank.
Non-competitive players don't like that all of the online multiplayer modes besides Turf War are locked behind Ranked Battles. You could just ignore rank, but losing in Ranked Battles by knockout gets you zero rewards, unlike in Regular Battles.
The local same-console multiplayer mode is, at best, a Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode. Aside from a relatively simple "pop more ballons than the opponent" mode that doesn't offer much besides casual fun and doesn't really utilize the game's core element of inking turf, if player 2 wishes to use motion controls, since no twin-stick controller that is officially compatble with the Wii U besides the Game Pad supports motion controls, they have to use a separate Wii Remote Plus for that and, if they want to use motion controls comfortably, tie the Wii Remote to their controller of choice. It's rather telling that Splatoon 2 ditches this mode and doesn't even make another attempt at any sort of same-console multiplayer, despite the Switch Pro Controller supporting motion controls.
The game's way of breaking ties in Turf War is to add 1 point to a randomly and secretly-assigned "Alpha Team". You'll never know if that 1-point loss was because of a genuine advantage on the enemy's part or if you tied with them.
Scrappy Weapon: While most of the weapons are fun to use and are really intuitive, there's a number of them that are almost useless in certain modes. For instance, the Blaster (which fires out a firecracker of ink that explodes, much like a grenade launcher), Splat Charger (sniper rifle with huge range but fires in a straight line), and a few others have less pronounced use in Turf Wars due to the emphasis on covering ground with shots rather than splating enemies, and none of these guns being as useful as something like the Aerosprays in that regard. However, in Splat Zones, these weapons are absolutely killer due to the emphasis on combat and on taking and defending objectives (the Blaster clears areas easily due to the excellent close range damage and spread of the explosion making it far more viable in Ranked and the Splat Charger allows a team to travel in large lines quickly and are invaluable for defending and taking said objectives). It's not "some weapons suck", it's "some weapons are better suited for one game mode over the others". Avoiding this is also one of the reasons the game rotates sets of two maps per mode per four-hour period, rather than allowing all maps to be played anytime it means players can pick weapons that work better with the available maps, rather than necessarily picking one that works best over all maps.
Self-Fanservice: Every major character or avatar in this game gets this treatment, despite the inklings being underage. Theyre drawn to be older and more curvaceous than they are in the actual game.
The Inkstrike can hit anywhere on the map at any time, and even if it doesn't splat you or your teammates, it does a good job covering a huge chunk of ground in ink with little risk to its user, provided they throw it from a safe position. In Splat Zones, this makes it a deadly tool for keeping the zones in check. And in Turf Wars, it can be the deciding factor in close matches by stealing a fair chunk of territory after the timer buzzes. Meanwhile, Tower Control makes it a good defensive tool if you aim it where the tower is going to be, since it forces the other team to get off it or get splatted.
The Inkzooka allows its user to shoot tall cyclones of ink for several seconds, all of which rapidly travel a lengthy distance and can One-Hit KO people. It's incredibly easy to get splatted by one before you're even aware it has been pulled out, and environmental objects only slightly inconvenience it, so if its user knows where you are, you're likely sushi. The 2.0.0 update upped the base point requirement to 220, stemming how often this weapon is pulled out, and the 2.2.0 update nerfed it again by making it louder and reducing its firing rate.
The Echolocator reveals the locations of every living opponent on the HUD for 9 seconds. Considering that the combat system favors hiding, flanking, and ambushing, a decently-skilled team can use this information to completely shut their enemies down. Thankfully, the Cold-Blooded ability exists to severely cripple such enemy-tracking effects down half that time, but it can still leave the rest of your team vulnerable. The 2.0.0 update upped the base point requirement to 200, while later updates reduced the effective time of the Echolocator while increasing the capabilities of its counter, Cold-Blooded, reducing Echolocator spam.
When used in Tower Control and Rainmaker, the Killer Wail can definitely count as this. While normally it can be dodged fairly easily by moving out of the way, due to the way Tower Control works, it's pretty easy to use to back the tower easily by either forcing the other team off the tower or splatting multiple members of the other team if they can't get out of the way; while in Rainmaker, it easily breaks the Rainmaker's shield and forces the opposing team to evacuate, allowing another team member to pick up the Rainmaker.
While the nerf has lessened this, the Kraken can still be this to anyone using a weapon with a low fire rate like Blasters and Chargers, since they can't push back the Kraken at all and can only dodge them. Even then, a determined player can try to strafe around to get through and splat the offender, forcing them to swim away like Cthulhu was chasing them. It's especially aggravating in Rainmaker Mode, where its invincibility and mobility effectively bypass the Rainmaker's weapon capabilitiesnote The Rainmaker has very little knockback, and unlike the Bubbler, the Kraken can travel over enemy ink for a one-hit kill. From there, its attack can break the shield around the dropped weapon very quickly. It's not at all uncommon to see a single Kraken splat the player with the Rainmaker, break the shield, and pick it up themselves or just go ahead of Rainmaker player in order to make a path for them.
Advanced E-Liter 3K snipers are wholly capable of giving many players grief. With the sheer power and range of this particular Charger, skilled snipers can use this weapon to hold choke points and pick off rival snipers easily. The 2.2.0 update nerfed it by only allowing it to One-Hit KO people with a fully charged shot (although this can be sped up with the Damage Up ability), and version 2.7.0 indirectly nerfed its effectiveness by rebalancing the Burst Bomb, one of its possible sub weapons.note Formerly, it was a common strategy for E-Liter users to throw these low-cost and quick fire bombs to the floor to attack people trying to ambush them from up close; an effective strategy that heavily compensated for the weapon's poor close range capabilities. The Burst Bomb's rebalance increased its ink cost from 25% to 40% of the ink supply while increasing its coverage, making it so E-Liter users only have access to up to two bombs in a row, and also can't rely on quick rounds of throwing and reloading to keep on spamming the bombs once ambushed, thus making it much safer and more effective to get the jump on them.
The Dynamo Roller's ink-fling attack throws enormous amounts of ink, which can result in you being instantly splatted if even a tiny amount of the ink hit you, at ranges comparable to most shooting weapons. The attack is incredibly slow, but if you can't splat the Dynamo Roller-wielder in time, you will be splatted.
That One Boss: Thought DJ Octavio was hard with a shooter? Good luck beating him with the Charger or Roller in the amiibo challenges.note The Charger can repel the hands or rocket in one fully-charged shot, but all the stuff coming down is going to be problematic; the Roller can flick away the lesser obstacles and steamroll Octarians, but needs very good timing to knock away the weapons you need to win the fight.
Any level focusing on Octolings, because there are no enemies besides Octolings. These levels are also designed with lots of choke points, obstacles, and tight corridors that often give the enemy the advantage. Hope you find some armor, because you will need it.
Any level with an Octostriker, who launches the Octarians' version of an Inkstrike at you throughout the whole level.
Blackbelly Skatepark on Splat Zones due to how nasty the lag can get in the worst cases, coupled with the fact there are two zones to defend instead of just one. While there are other maps that also use two splat zones (such as Port Mackerel), it's not nearly as bad there as it is here due to the amount of slopes that you're required to cross to actually reach the zones. A poorly coordinated team is going to have a lot of trouble winning here.
Port Mackerel. Most of the level is designed around going through a maze-like structure of shipping crates filled with choke points, all of which are covered with ink-proof tarp, making it the map with the least amount of ink-able turf in Turf War. Because of this, extremely good teams can trap the other team in their base for a good portion of the match. If somebody pulls out an Inkzooka, you are screwed, as these narrow passageways almost guarantee you'll be hit by its blasts. The Ranked Battle versions of this map remove the forklifts that provide ways to get on top of the boxes, forcing players into the choke points.
Port Mackerel on Splat Zones, both of the zones are close to the spawn points but separated by long stretches of crates, allowing freshly-respawned defenders to zoom over there with incredible pace and retake a stolen zone, and the lack of alternate paths to reach the zones means that it's impossible to sneak behind the zone defenders without going dangerously deep into enemy territory.
Saltspray Rig in Splat Zones. It only has one zone, but said zone is utterly massive and broken up by several barriers. Because of this, it is difficult to see where enemies are, and it takes a lot of effort to claim the zone. There are also several areas where players can climb up high and snipe or throw bombs at enemies while being hard to reach and/or separated by water. Because of there being only one Splat Zone, the fighting is concentrated to just one little place, leaving half the map unoccupied and the rest a chaotic mess.
Saltspray Rig in Rainmaker is beginning to be considered this as well. The starting place of the Rainmaker and the changes to the map not only make it very easy for a skilled team to get the Rainmaker to the other team's base if they can splat most of the other team early, but also make it hard for the losing team to make a comeback since you're required to swim up a wall which leaves you very open. In addition to this, it's also very easy to stall after gaining the lead by heading towards the top area of the map and getting the Rainmaker onto the crane that moves above that area.
Moray Towers. The map's vertical nature means that a lot of time will be spent falling down to reach the areas instead of accomplishing tasks, and getting back up is even more of a hassle. It has also earned the derisive nickname "E-Liter Towers" for a good reason: The map's wide-open nature gives a massive advantage to Chargers, and a skilled one can completely shut down the central area.
Kelp Dome, particularly in Turf War. All of the routes to the stage center are long and the shorter routes involve bridges made of grates, which are inkproof thus giving a great advantage to Inkbrushes, who can use their continuous stroke to speed over them, while everyone else has to run comparatively slowly over them. The grates also spell doom for players at ground level, who will likely get splatted by enemies that they can barely see and, depending on the weapon, can't even hit, leaving them to be defenselessly splatted. It's less of a hassle in Ranked Battles, which add inkable walls to get over the glass walls in front of the spawn points.
Walleye Warehouse is a narrow and very cramped map, and both endzones only one alternate path each. If your team gets splatted early on and you can't return the favor in due time, it's possible to be cornered for the majority of the match and end up staring at a turf percentage of <15% when the match ends. This map was made even worse in Splatoon 2 with the Tenta Missiles special; a player can Super Jump to spawn and easily get all four enemies in their targeting reticule, crushing their plans at the least and potentially getting an easy Total Party Splat.
All of the "Limited Ink" Amiibo challenges. Whereas literally every other level in the game gives you infinite ink and encourages you to coat everything, these challenges force you to really ration the stuff, meaning that you can only rarely use your squid form, and have to sneak past most enemies rather than fight them. It makes these challenges an order of a magnitude more difficult than anything else in the single-player mode.
Among these, the worst yet is the "Limited Ink" challenge involving a level with invisible platforms that are normally revealed by coating them with ink. Sure, with a guide and perfect positioning, anyone can just theoretically walk their way along the invisible platforms with no ink used... but for the average player, it devolves into Trial-and-Error Gameplay involving multiple restarts and memorizing the layout of the invisible platforms. Oh, and if that's not enough, after the invisible platforms, you have to have enough ink left to fight or sneak past a firing line of Elite Octotroopers, and to free the Zapfish in the end.
The Un-Twist: When one of the agents almost gives out the name of the other, it becomes blatantly obvious that the two agents are the Squid Sisters. The fact that the old man is their grandfather, though, is noticeably less obvious.
With the discovery of an unreleased Xbox 360 game called Color Wars, some Nintendo fans have been trying to accuse them of ripping that game off, even though it's very unlikely that they even knew that it existed at all.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: The Tentatek Splattershot and its reskin Octoshot Replica. The idea behind it was a Jack-of-All-Stats shooter weapon with decent flexibility that doesn't excel in any particular field. However, in practice, it's a weapon with very little drawbacks to it, having good range, fire rate, and power across the board, and its sub and special weapons, the Suction Bomb and the Inkzooka, are also some of the better ones in the game. As a result, it's by far one of the most commonly used weapons online for most of the modes, and also one of the most despised for "Stop Having Fun" Guys and Scrubs alike.
The Inklings themselves in a sense. While their humanoid forms look mostly normal, their Cute Little Fangs include an extra one in the front bottom tooth. While meant to emulate squid beaks, it also makes them appear in dire need of braces.
Prepubscent Inklings. Newly hatched inklings are cute, normal looking squids but everything from toddlerhood to preadolescence are varying degrees of Ugly Cute. They aren't fully capable of becoming humanoid until their teens, so before that they're anthropomorphic but gangly and obviously made of ink.
While most Octarians look outright Gonk-ish, basic one-tentacled troops can sometimes be seen inking the ground in front of them with a goofy smile on their faces. It manages to look kind of adorable.
Viewer Gender Confusion: Mostly prerelease, however, many people didn't know male inklings were actually playable. They thought they were also girls, most likely due to the ponytail.
Waggle: Surprisingly Inverted for the optional motion-controls-to-aim feature. Mostly due to their opt-in nature, many players really like the higher precision offered by them, to the point where gyroscopic aiming was also added in to the switch ports of DOOM (2016) and Fortnite.
This is Nintendo's first new title made by an EAD team to feature a new cast of characters since Pikmin in 2001. While Nintendo does experiment with gameplay, they often mash up new ideas with either Mario or Kirby to decrease the risk of failure. The fact that the company had enough faith in this idea to make it an original property impressed a lot of people.
Nintendo has also given it a notable marketing push in stark contrast to their other title, The Wonderful 101, which received next to no promotion.
It was also considered to be one of the best shooters in all of E3 2014. Keep in mind that this is a game that is competing with severalestablishedbig-namefranchises, is Lighter and Softer than the competition, and is an exclusive for a console that has been struggling to find a market.
The Nintendo Treehouse videos demoing the game emphasized its unique, yet intense competitive aspects, focusing heavily on claiming and defending portions of the map as opposed to scoring kill streaks. Nintendo's most competitive game prior to this is Super Smash Bros., surprising viewers and attendees that they succeeded in making a viable shooter where other Japanese developers fell short.
A press event on 23 March 2015 showed off more multiplayer maps and weapons and part of the single-player mode for the first time, which had critics even more excited for the game in their hands-on features.
A "Global Testfire" special demo for the general public was hosted in three one-hour periods between May 8 and 9. Nearly all those who played it felt their hype was justified.
By 10 May 2015 (nearly three weeks before release) Splatoon has taken the #1 spot in all of the games on Amazon Spain. It's also the #11 on Amazon UK, while the amiibo bundle is in the top 10. On Amazon Japan, Splatoon is sitting in the 1, 2 and 3 spots in gaming overall. Amazon France has the game at #3 and Amazon Germany has it in the top 20. In America it's #16, though that's mainly due to the fact that it's lumped in with peripherals and gift cards; limited to actual games it's #6.
Splatoon won the Video Game Awards 2015 for Best Shooter. It was up against Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardians, and Destiny: The Taken King, all of which were very hyped games with bigger budgets and ad campaigns than Splatoon, as well as those four games all being a part of already well-established franchises made by companies far more experienced in making shooters than Nintendo, making Splatoon quite the dark horse winner.
When they were first revealed, the Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie, received a lukewarm reception, many people finding their design jarring with the rest of the game and overall rather creepy. But once the game was released and that their personalities became more apparent, people progressively warmed up to them, to the point that they are now the biggest Ensemble Darkhorses of the game, eventually having amiibos in their likeness and doing real life holographic concerts to fans eager to see their "squid waifus".
The localization team did a superb job at bringing the game to western audiences, which shows in stuff like all the translated puns that had to be brought over, some of them being turned into clever English word play, like Booya Base, which references bouillabaisse, Shibuya, andTotally Radical slang.
The American team turned the dialogue of the final boss, DJ Octavio, from fairly standard villain banter into memorable pun-filled Large Ham banter. Plus his tendency to No Indoor Voice while fighting.
"You can't handle my spicy wasabi beats!" "I'MA DUBSTOMP YOU INTO OBLIVION!" "Slimy little hipster!" "Gwahaha! I'ma remix your face!" "It's time to... D-D-D-DROP THE SEA BASS!!"
Another American example: the Squid Sisters dialogue, specifically Marie's attitude. Fans have noted Marie's reactions to her Splatfest losses and how often she makes fun of her cousin. The announcement of the 9th Splatfest, Naughty vs. Nice, even has Callie calling her out on it. This ultimately reaches its zenith in the results of the 15th Splatfest (Early Bird vs. Night Owl), where Callie once again brings up Marie's insults, leading to a heated argument that sets up the in-universe justification for the final Splatfest (Callie vs. Marie).
Broken Base: The manga's insistence on using the Inkling/Octoling male over using the female Inkling/Octoling for its main characters. Either you hate it because it goes against promotional material favoring the female or you like it because the male Inklings/Octolings tend to get the shaft in comparison, though the later has seemed to change as of late.note While the female inklings are still promoted as the main character, the male inklings still appear just as frequently in promotional materials in the later years.
Fanon: Most fans like to believe that Emperor and Prince are related to Pearl as her younger sibling due to both having come from rich parents as well as similar appearances.