Splatoon 2 Global Testfire

The Splatoon 2 global testfire (multiplayer demo) for Nintendo Switch is taking place this weekend, at six designated times. The first one was held this afternoon, and I made sure not to miss it. It starts off with a quick tutorial on how to use the controls. Unfortunately, you can’t customize the controls until after you’ve completed the tutorial. And then you can’t test your changes until you’re in a battle against other people.

So I inverted the X-axis camera controls, adjusted the sensitivity slightly to match my Splatoon settings, and joined my first match.

Trying the Weapons

I started out with the splat roller, and I quickly noticed that it seemed much slower than the Krak-on roller I’m used to in Splatoon. It also seems to run out of ink quickly, so I’m thinking they severely nerfed the roller.

The splat roller, out of ink, in Splatoon 2.Of course, this is just a demo and the final attributes likely haven’t been determined yet. But I hope the standard rollers aren’t like this, or I won’t be using them very often.

Anyway, the special weapon on the splat roller is the splashdown. You jump up and slam back down to the ground with the power of a mini-airstrike. It would be best used for dropping in on enemies from above, but it’s not that great if you’re just using it for ink coverage (since it’s just inking turf right where you’re already at).

I also tried out the brand new splat dualies. It’s actually two guns that you hold, one in each hand.

Using the splat dualies in Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch.When using them, you have the unique ability to roll while shooting (up to twice in succession). That’s a very cool feature. The special weapon on the dualies is the ink jet printer. You fly up into the air and hover there, and you can shoot blobs of ink at your opponents or onto the ground. I think this is my favorite of the new special weapons so far.

The ink jet special weapon in Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch.I also played a couple of matches with the splattershot, which is a basic gun. Its special weapon is tenta missiles. They can lock onto an enemy and then fire. But one time I tried using it, and it couldn’t lock on to anyone. So I was kinda stuck just standing there for a couple seconds and I couldn’t fire it or cancel it. It’s probably just a matter of learning the right way to do it.

Controls

I had some issues with the controls in the game, but they’re really just things I’ll need to get used to. After spending hundreds of hours playing the first Splatoon, it may take some time to un-learn some things and switch to the new ways.

The biggest change was that the jump button has been moved from X to B. The X button now brings up the map, which blocks your view of the action. So quite a few times, I would accidentally bring up the map when I meant to jump. And then I would scramble to figure out how to cancel out of the map again. πŸ˜› I really wish they would have kept X as the jump button, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually.

The superjump/map screen in Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch.Superjumping seemed a bit tricky too…except for the times that I did it by accident. πŸ˜›

Maps

Two maps are available in the demo, Musselforge Fitness and The Reef. They’re both pretty basic, medium sized stages with lots of ramps. The Reef reminds me a bit of Urchin Underpass (at least the central part), but with a bridge connecting the two sides.

Since I’ve only played each map a handful of times, it’s too early for me to really finalize my opinions of them. But so far, they seem fine, although not spectacular. I’m sure Nintendo is saving some more interesting stages for the full game.

Global Testfire Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed the global testfire. It was fun and it re-confirmed that I really want to buy the game when it comes out this summer. Also, I did not have any connection troubles today either, so that was a good sign.

I’ll be playing more of the global testfire over the weekend, and I’ll post a video or two as well. If I have any additional thoughts about the game, I’ll add them to this entry.


Updates

Update #1: One thing that I really like is that when you’re submerged in ink, your ink indicator shows a line that lets you know how much ink you need to use your sub weapon. Very helpful.

Update #2: Here’s a gameplay video showing two matches from Musselforge Fitness. In one, I used the new splat dualies, and in the other, I used the splat roller.

Update #3: I’ve now played in four of the testfires: Two on Friday and two on Saturday. Now that I’ve had more time with the game, here are some updated thoughts:

  • The splashdown special has really grown on me; I like it quite a bit now. You just need to think of it as an attack weapon, and not a way to ink a bunch of turf. It’ll be great for any map with some height to it. I would love to use it in a map like Flounder Heights.
  • The ZL and ZR buttons on the JoyCons don’t seem to stay pressed in as easily as they do on the Wii U gamepad. There were times I stopped shooting or stopped ducking in ink, even though I didn’t mean to. I’m sure the Switch ProController will be better, though.
  • I’m already a bit tired of those two maps in the testfire, particularly Musselforge Fitness (which seemed to show up a lot for me). We don’t know how many maps the game will launch with, but I’m looking forward to seeing what other stages they add.
  • After no disconnections on Friday, I had quite a few of them on Saturday. Hopefully things will be better once the full game comes out.
  • The splat dualies is my favorite weapon of the four options (although I didn’t try the charger, since I’m not interested in sniping). But I always seem to forget to use the roll move! So I’d probably be a better player with it, if I could remember to use its highlight feature. πŸ˜‰

I’m really looking forward to the game’s launch, and I’m wondering if there will be more testfires before then. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’ll be posting another video (or two) on my Youtube channel in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

Related: 7 Things I’d Like to See in Splatoon 2

Fairy Cotera & A New Camera

As I resumed my game in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I left Zora’s Domain to do some other things. I returned to complete a couple of previous shrines that I encountered earlier, and then I ran into this traveler, who was not very friendly.

Traveler: I will take your life!He was an enemy in disguise! I was not expecting that. But I soon encountered something else just as creepy: A giant woman popping out of a giant flower bud for 100 rupees.

The Great Fairy Cotera pops out of a plant.
“Plant a kiss on me, baby!”

She is the Great Fairy Cotera, and she was able to help me out by enhancing my clothing with stronger defensive ratings. Now they should protect me a bit better.

The Great Fairy Cotera blows Link a kiss in Zelda: BOTW.
Incoming message from the big giant head.

I then went into Kakariko Village and prayed to a statue to exchange four spirit orbs for another heart container. I should have done all this stuff before tackling that trail to Zora’s Domain last time. Well, at least I don’t feel quite as vulnerable now, after these upgrades.

I reunited with my horse, Amazing, and headed into Fort Hateno and looked around a bit. I saw Hateno Tower was nearby, so I made sure to activate it. From there, I then paraglided down into Hateno Village, where I spotted the Myahm Agana Shrine.

It consisted of a motion-controlled puzzle, where you have to tilt the controller to roll a ball out of a maze. The last part was a bit tricky, so it took me a couple of attempts, but I got through it.

A motion-controlled maze in a shrine.
If you’re not good with motion controls, this shrine may make you lose your marbles.

Right next to the shrine, there were some model homes available. Did the Bluth Company build these?

Sign: Explore our model homes today!I then explored the village, talking to people and visiting shops. The clothing shop was a bit odd, because it seemed that no one was running the store. But as I was about to leave, I saw the shopkeeper Sophie standing in the corner, out of sight. Did she attend the Milford Academy?

I don’t know if she was playing a joke on me or if she’s just really weird, but I decided to return the favor. I whipped out a bomb to give her a scare. πŸ˜›

Holding up a bomb in the clothing shop, scaring the shopkeeper Sophie.Then I started acting really crazy. I took my clothes off and started jumping around the store. When I returned to her, she clearly noticed that I wasn’t wearing much. And she took a nice, long look.

Sophie: People who lack clothes just love it here at Ventest Clothing.
Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

Back outside, a kid in town told me to follow him. He led me to an evil statue. When I prayed to it, it stole one of my heart containers!

My heart is stolen from my body.
Oh evil statue, you take my breath away.

Fortunately, it gave it back when I spoke to it again. It was basically letting me know that I can speak to it if I want to exchange heart containers for stamina vessels, or vice versa. For a fee, of course. But I was not interested in dealing with this thing any more.

I soon made my way up the hill to the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab. The director asked me to run an errand: I had to carry the Olympic flame across Hyrule.

Link carries a blue flame on a torch as he runs through town.
My arm is getting Rio tired.

Okay, so that’s not exactly what happened. But completing the task gained me a new ability for my Sheikah Slate: I got a camera! Now I can take Hy-rulesolution photos! It connects to something called the Hyrule Compendium, which registers pictures of monsters, bugs, materials, and more.

I can also upgrade some of my runes here. One of the upgrades allows me to use my sensor to track specific items I’ve taken pictures of, instead of just shrines. This could be very useful. I went back outside and began using my camera, just for the shear fun of it.

Taking a picture of a highland sheep in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.But not everyone was eager to see an elf snapping photos at night. I think I gave this farmer such a scare that he nearly soiled himself. He threatened me with his pitchfork!

A farmer threateningly points his pitchfork at me.
Calm down, man. I said I’m going to crop my pic, not pick your crops.

I seem to be enjoying this game more and more. Once I start playing, it’s hard to stop. That is the sign of a great game. I’ll see you all next time!

Zora’s Domain

I know Impa told me to go to Hateno Village. I didn’t forget. But…I got distracted and went off in another direction. πŸ˜› I was climbing the hills above Kakariko Village when I noticed a shrine off in the distance. So I jumped off and used my paraglider to soar down there. It took me into a new part of the world, where I met my first Zora.

Tula: I knew it! You are a Hylian, aren't you?! Yes, you must be a Hylian! Otherwise you're one unfortunate-looking Zora!
Who are YOU calling unfortunate-looking, Tula Tuna?

She told me I should go meet Prince Sidon over at Inogo Bridge. But I kept exploring. And as I was fighting a Lizalfos during a storm, I got struck by lightning!

Link gets struck by lightning in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
This killed me, and I was shocked.

As the game loaded back up, I got this helpful tip.

Lightning Strikes: It may sound like a superstition, but lightning seems to strike metal objects frequently. If you hear thunder, unequip anything metallic.
NOW you tell me.

Eventually, I made my way over to Lanayru Tower. Activating it gave me the regional map for this area. Another Zora, named Gruve, was up on the tower. I sailed down to a shrine I spotted, where I found yet another Zora. She also encouraged me to meet Prince Zidon over on the bridge. So I did. The prince asked me to come back to Zora’s Domain with him, and I agreed to help out.

Sideon: Won't you please come to Zora's Domain with me?
There’s something fishy about this guy.

There were quite a few enemies along the way, and it didn’t take long for me to start going through a lot of weapons and food. Not only that, but I soon discovered that the path there was much longer than I anticipated.

At one particularly hard part, a bunch of enemies were shooting shock arrows at me. And even though I had temporary shock resistance, thanks to an electro elixir that Sidon gave me, it wasn’t enough to keep me from dying…including one time where some bees were also hot on my tail.

A shock arrow hits me as bees are hot on my tail.
I tried to charge through and make a beeline for safety. But this was a no-win situation.

After a long journey that felt like forever, Sidon popped out of the river to tell me…that I was almost halfway there.

Sidon: You're always halfway to Zora's Domain!
THAT’S IT? I WILL HURT YOU.

I continued on. After dying a couple more times, I realized I had to be more stealthy. So I started crouching anytime enemies were around, and I attacked primarily by sneakily shooting arrows at the confused enemies who didn’t see me. Fortunately, I had plenty of arrows, so this strategy worked…even if it meant my progress was quite slow.

Towards the end of the path, I was able to climb up a bit and use my paraglider to take some shortcuts. And at long last, I reached Zora’s Domain. There were many Zoras here that I talked with, and there were also shops, an inn, and a shrine in here.

Link arrives in Zora's Domain (in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch).After completing the shrine, I went up to chat with King Dorephan. He told me that I need to defeat the divine beast of this land, and he then gave me the Zora armor. When wearing it, I’ll be able to swim up waterfalls! This will come in quite handy for exploring the world!

After another sequence, I recovered part of my memory! I decided to stop playing at this point; I’m supposed to head up to Ploymus Mountain next. But I think I’m going to resume my previous objective instead. I want to get my horse back and head over to Hateno Village. But who knows…maybe I’ll get distracted again next time too. πŸ˜‰