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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😛 I really wish they would have kept X as the jump button, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually.
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.
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. 😉
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.