First of all, the internet connection was incredibly smooth and reliable (even when it took a few tries to connect in the first place). Considering how much stock the game put into online multiplayer, this is a great testament of how seriously they took the game's development. Now then, the weapons:
- First off are the Splattershot and Splattershot Jr. While the Jr. doesn't pack as much punch into each shot as the Sr., it makes up by being faster in firing off rounds. I feel that this weapon is indeed a good choice for new players, though that's not to say the Sr. or the other weapons are lacking. That said,...
- There's also the Splat Charger, which is incredibly slow and can be a liability in the heat of battle. Yet it still has a really fantastic range and (with the right amount of precision) can be used to snipe Inklings. Still, it's not something I'd personally use compared to...
- ...the Splat Roller! Incredibly fast, with good ink coverage and quite a mean streak in mashing the unfortunate opponent in the way. The only drawback I can see is that its range is only about as good as a typical melee weapon--modest at best.
- Now then, the sub-weapons. The contact bombs are the best because they're pretty simple. You just aim and fire, and they douse anything with ink immediately upon contact. Timed bombs, meanwhile, are also nice but have a delay that can allow someone who saw them coming to escape before they go off. As for suction bombs, while they have a respectable radius they demand so much ink! In my experience, I had to make sure my ink tank was topped off before sending one out. Still, they're good for keeping the enemy at bay.
- Finally, the special weapons! The Bomb Rushes are incredibly useful since they can cover lots of ground. The infinite ink that you get during that time also helps make it easy to take back turf in a hurry. The Bubbler isn't too bad either, since it acts as a shield not only for you but also anyone on your side who comes near you. That more than makes up for its offensive uselessness. Finally, the Killer Wail is extremely devastating to Inklings...but not devastating at all to the turf they control. Considering what a turf war is supposed to be, the only benefit it has is to stop your foes from barging in and stealing your land--and that's if you aim it well!
The motion controls were decent, but considering that I want to be able to shoot in a straight line while running I ended up opting for manual camera control. Still, it's nice they have that as an option. Of course, it would also be nice if they allowed you to play the game on the Gamepad alone, but I suppose that will have to wait for the right logistics.
And now, to talk about the combat! It's pretty fierce, to say the least, though there is the benefit of battles that are just as likely to be close calls as they'd be one-sided campaigns. It helps that the devs did try to alleviate some of the problems of multiplayer TPS matches such as spawncamping. Also, I have to say that two Rollers from opposing teams colliding with and splattering each other can never get old.
Finally, the minigame you can play while waiting for the next match is simple to control yet also quite fun, even when it can get difficult later on. It definitely beats having little else to do while waiting for eight players to come in.
Overall, I feel that the game is solid fun and incredibly brilliant. The weapons, stages, atmosphere...everything about Splatoon is a cohesive and painterly whole, and I am excited to have participated in the Testfire! I am so glad Nintendo is making this game happen, and I look eagerly forward to getting my ink on in 20 days!