[Editor’s note: Miles is a contributor whose humor I cherish dearly . That being said, he submitted a review of a game rated E 10+ by the ESRB with more profanity in its first draft of any writing I ever edited on this site to the degree that he deserves a medal of some kind. I censored much more than what you see here, but his tonal integrity remains.
Sorry, buddy. Love ya. – TYF Evan, Gaming Editor]
Splatoon 2 is a fun, wacky video game for children, and some other people. Splatoon 2: The Octo Expansion is Nintendo’s treatise on nihilism, games of death staring children, social experimentation, the reincarnation of 90’s west coast rappers as Japanese pop idols, and the revival of “Nintendo difficulty”.
So, from the top then.
The premise of the Octo Expansion is that you are an Octarian, the big bad guys from the Splatoon and Splatoon 2 single player campaign. You wake up with amnesia in a train station, and have to fight your way out through 80 challenge missions of varying difficulty. Most of these are fun, quick bursts through a level, grinding on rails or using the jetpack to dodge pool balls, while others are more puzzle oriented, like having to get a giant 8-ball through multiple goal posts with a limited amount of ink. I will admit, I was surprised at how refreshingly difficult some of the tests were, and thinking about the game’s CHILD AUDIENCE trying to make it through some of the tougher challenges gave me pause.
Then the really surreal stuff started to hit me. In the game proper, you have an ink backpack, with a gauge that shows how much ink you have remaining, but in the Octo Expansion, it’s redesigned, and they added a BOMB. When you fail a mission, like when your 8-ball falls off the map or you run out of time, the game doesn’t simply say “womp womp, try again”. You get a message saying that you failed, and then an AIRBAG FILLED WITH BAD INK slowly inflates on your back, exploding and killing you instantly. Now, if that wasn’t dark enough, your character is called Agent 8 (obviously a pun on octopus, also other protagonists are called agents, it’s a whole thing) BUT, the reason you are called that is that you are the 10,008th participant in this game of death, and the funny grandpa character IGNORES THE LEGIONS OF DEAD OCTOPUS CHILDREN and just calls you agent 8 for short. Another weird side note, in the trailer, you clearly see Marie and Pearl dressed bizarrely similar to Tupac and Biggie and riding on the train with you.
In game, however, they don’t ever show up on the train, they just radio in through a walkie talkie, but there is a running rap gag between them and the funny grandpa character, which leads me to believe that the design choice is intentional. Someone at Nintendo of Japan’s EAD has a lot of love for dead west coast rappers, and that alone is amazing. Special mention is deserved to the soundtrack to the expansion, with a lot of low key beats, and one bop that I can only describe as the squid version of Death Grips’ “Guillotine”. So, all in all, Splatoon 2 is a good video game, and if you haven’t played it yet, go buy it. This DLC is just more weird icing on the cake that was given the opportunity for a lot of weird design choices. I don’t give a damn if you play it, just give Nintendo your money. I give it a Fun out of 10.
Now, ORDINARILY, that’s where this review ends, but I have some spoiler filled beef with this game, and I intend to air it. So, if you don’t want the SUPER SECRET FINAL BOSS spoiled for you, get off my web page now, because I hate this stupid thing with every last fiber of my being.
So, after you complete all 80 missions, you unlock a secret final boss. You have a flashback to two years prior, during the final fight of Splatoon 1, and you have a one on one duel with Agent 3, the player character from that original game. Now, I am all for one on one duels with player sized opponents.
Dante VS Vergil, Snake VS the Boss, Link VS Ganon. All the absolute best.
You get dropped into a small arena with two pieces of cover, a rectangular block and a cylinder, and that’s it. Everything else is open arena. So, right off the bat, Agent 3 is cheating. He can roll dodge with equipment that wouldn’t allow that, his firing range is just a hair longer than yours, so if you two start shooting off at each other, he will always win. And so help me God, I think his hitbox is pixel perfect, because I had shots just flat out miss him that would have worked in the main multiplayer component. This cheating jackass has 5 stages, from jetpack, to area defying bubbles, to chucking homing bombs, to some UFO bs, to finally he just starts AOE splash dowing every 10 seconds. I’m not exaggerating when I say I took around 100 attempts to beat this guy. You have the most basic weapon set, no specials and worst of all, no GD checkpoints. You die, you start from scratch. This fight alone is why it took me two extra days to get this review out. I cannot express enough how bulls*** this fight is, and the reward for beating the thing is a wearable hairpin for the multiplayer, aaaaaand cue regret.
Hours of regret.
So if you’re playing Splatoon 2, and you see a octo kid with a gold hairpin, just know they they shaved YEARS off of their life for it, so be nice.