I've been playing Splatoon 2 since it released in July 2017, just six months after the Switch's launch, but I've held off on blogging about it because I wanted to finish the single-player mode. I was more motivated to sit down and give it a go with the then-eminent release of its successor, Splatoon 3 (which just came out yesterday), and so here are my thoughts on the game some five years late, haha.

I had loved the first Splatoon game on Wii U for its bold, fresh aesthetic and its pretty much perfect gameplay, and in its essentials the core gameplay of Splatoon 2 isn't a drastic departure. You're still spraying ink, switching from kid to squid forms, and engaging in a multiplayer battle modes across a variety of stages. Splatoon 2 ups the number of weapons, specials, and maps, and adds in a new "Clam Blitz" mode, but by a huge margin the most worthwhile addition for me was the PvE Salmon Run mode that the game introduced. In this mode you battle waves of enemies including sub-bosses in an attempt to survive and collect as many Salmonid eggs as you can, and the mode also forces you to use weapons that you might otherwise have ignored. I spent a huge number of hours having fun with friends in this mode during the early days of Switch, and even years later it's still as much fun as ever. All of your Splatoon skills from the other modes carry over to this one, and the mode is a solid challenge but still manageable, and things can get hilariously chaotic, and somehow it never gets old.

The versus multiplayer modes are for the most part the same as they were in the first game and so just as good, but I had the same feelings about the single player campaign as I'd had about that mode in the first game, namely that I found it to be a bore and a chore. Even though I tried to force myself to finish a couple of stages at a time, it just got so boring that I had to give up even when I had the finish line in sight. I've dipped my toe into the Octo Expansion DLC, and that does seem a bit better, but I just wish the single player mode was more fun.

I was really close to pre-ordering Splatoon 3, but after watching all of the pre-promotional videos for it and taking part in the demo event, it wasn't hard to resist the fear of missing out. The game doesn't seem to have any essential new modes for me, and if I ever get the urge to play any PvP I can always hop back into Splatoon 2. I'm sure I'll get Splatoon 3 at some point, but it seems really odd to me that they've put out two entries in the series on Switch rather than wait to bring something more substantially new on its successor. I'm sure millions of people will be enjoying the new iteration, but for my part I just have too many other games to play.