Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

It was pretty late for me last night when the Splatoon 2 Octoexpansion released. It was a good chunk of content that took a while to download and install, so I didn’t get a lot of time to play with it before I had to head to bed.

So far, the expansion is much like what I expected it to be… just a bit more lighthearted. The trailers made it out to be dark and gritty, but of course, par for the course of Nintendo, they managed to lighten up a story that has some pretty dark undertones.

There’s still a lot of questions that dive into lore such as… What’s really going on with the Octolings that make them the enemy of Inklings? Obviously, experimentation and mind control of some sort is hinted at. But then, there’s also this underground network in place for the ones who “wake up” and head for the Promised Land.

2018061323011100-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Playing a young and mind-muddled Octoling girl or boy, a promised land sounds like the best option you’ve got. So when the train pulls up, it only makes sense to hop on. No one told you there would be tests and 4 thangs (not misspelled) to gather before your dreams could come true.

Tests, of course, are short challenge stages with a specific set of weapons and a goal to achieve.

2018061407580500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I was short on time, so I only cleared the first stage. It wasn’t terribly difficult, which is good considering I’m super rusty at the game at this point.

You get three lives per stage and each stage costs a certain amount of an in-game currency to challenge. Winning nets you more currency to use on future stages. I’m not sure what happens if you run out of currency, though.

Anyhow, these can’t be too neck-breaking difficult, because someone is already an Octoling down in the city as of this morning. Probably someone who had all day/night to play. :p

2018061407571700-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
Playable Octolings are the reward for finishing all solo content

The overall response in game to the expansion seems positive. There’s certainly a feeling of support for the Octolings who are waking up and coming to the other side.

2018061407561700-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

2018061407565900-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

2018061407573200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I’m looking forward to putting some more time into these missions. If nothing else, they can hopefully help me dust off what little skills I had and maybe get me back into the game where I left off. I really like the idea of playing an Octoling girl, especially that pony tail hairstyle! 🙂

2018061407575600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatfest Frustrations

I’m a little behind on blogging since I have a lot of things I want to write about, but I spent most of my blogging time last week transferring my project blogs to WordPress.com. That’s a story for another time.

So, while Splatfest actually took place on Saturday, I’m only getting around to talking about the experience today. I want to start by saying that overall, it was still a fun time, but it was marred by uneven matchmaking.

So, the theme was to pick between two superpowers: Flight or Invisibility.

2017090211082600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
Um… you’re a little behind.

I had a hard time choosing, but eventually went with Invisibility… because it’s the introvert’s dream to be completely unseen and left alone! Apparently, other people had more devious thoughts about how to use it, but those didn’t cross my mind at all when I picked it. (No, really!)

Major Losing Streak

Now, I am NOT a great Splatoon player. I prefer to play paint roller, which isn’t the most offensive of weapons. Sometimes, I’m a bit too reckless and don’t retreat when I should. I recognize this.

However, if I have a stable team with decent firepower to back me up, I can do some awesome inking. For the most part, awesome inking didn’t happen on Saturday.

I have no idea if it was a glitch in matchmaking, but that’s what people are saying. While I only got one mirror match (which means the teams were much more evenly populated), I often saw that my team’s power rating would be in the 1500’s and it would put us up against teams in the 1800-1900’s. This happened consistently, and we almost always got wiped.

I never got beyond the 1600’s in power rating, while in the first Splatfest, I’m sure I was much higher than that. Just didn’t win enough to move up.

2017090211045500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
The hub city was still really cool, though!

Then there were times when I just didn’t know what the heck my team was doing. I felt like I was out there playing a pretty solid match, inking and splatting. Then, I’d look at our map and it was a mess of ink from the other team up to our spawn!

“Where are you guys!?” I’d cry forlornly at my screen.

No answer came. 😦

I was spawn-camped so many times this weekend. My team just didn’t have a chance, and it seemed like the other side did it so effortlessly.

I’ve seen us lose with 10% or less of the map inked on our side.

Then there was the match where my team played hard and well… and we lost by a 0.1%! Oooohhh… that was just gut wrenching.

I even gave up the paint roller and tried the zapper for the first time thinking maybe I needed to be more offensive in play style. That didn’t help in the long run, so I ended up limping along and quitting partway through Invisibility Champion. I just couldn’t make it to Queen this time.

2017090213341500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Later, I saw threads on Reddit where other people on Invisibility described the same frustrations. So I wasn’t the only one who saw this. I didn’t experience this kind of one-sided play in the first Splatfest — wins and losses felt pretty even, with wins being a bit more common.

splatfest

The one nice thing was I got to see the newest map — once. It rotated in just as I was going to quit for the day, so I stayed on to play some matches until I actually got to try it.

2017090214214800-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Results

I woke up the next day and immediately turned on my Switch for results. I wanted to hear it from the game and not from the Internet. Sadly, I found that results were delayed because they decided to pool Europe and NA results together.

This had many people waiting anxiously.

2017090312361200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A2017090312363000-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A2017090312364600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A2017090312365300-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A2017090312382600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

When results finally did come, closer to lunch time, they were disappointing but not at all unexpected. I was surprised to see that Invisibility was actually the most popular team, though only by a small margin.

2017090312342200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I was sad to see we got trounced, just as I was afraid we’d get. I don’t know if it was just my bad luck, or really an issue with matchmaking, but it was a rough time.

2017090312344600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
Oh, hush, Pearl!
Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon: Splatted by Murf!

So, tonight I was just earning some gold in Splatoon for my new 18K shades in Turf Wars when I saw this pop up on my roster:

2017081319511500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I saw the name Murf, and even though he’s on my Switch friends list, I was like, “No way. that can’t be Murf-Murf!”

But, sure enough, right after the match was over, I get a tweet.

paintyou
@ctmurfy “I roll you!”

So, thus the friendly rivalry begins… in which Murf splats me a whole heck of a lot. I’m just a noob with an oversized paint roller who plays far too recklessly for my own good. So I’m sure he was probably shaking his head by the time the matches were over.

Sadly, we only got put on the same team twice, but both times, our team were winners.

2017081320293500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Good game, Murf! 

I had to go and find you in town to part peacefully. I hope we’re still friends? 😉

2017081320344900-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: First Splatfest Experience

Last week, I picked up Splatoon 2 with some hesitation. I’m not a shooter player, and I started out being really, really bad at playing this game. I’ve kept at it, though, and have gotten better (still need a lot of practice though). I find it a fun game to pick up when I’m looking for something quick and energetic to play.

Last weekend was the first time I experienced a Splatfest. For those not familiar with Splatoon, this is a week where players choose one of two sides, usually something silly, then battle it out on a weekend day. For example, the theme of this Splatfest was Ketchup vs. Mayo.

Players had the week to choose a side and hype the event. Then, on Saturday, from midnight to midnight, teams battled for their chosen side. The winner was (supposedly) a combination of the most popular side and how many wins each side had.

I logged in on Saturday, ready to go but not sure what to expect. The whole Square was transformed into a big block party! There was a laser light show, fireworks, and live music provided by Off the Hook.

2017080522353400-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

There were inklings of both teams happily partying down to the lights and the music, and billboards of user-drawn content on the walls, on flags and on signs inklings were holding.

2017080522355800-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Gotta say, it was riveting to experience that alone, and I spent a good bit of time just sitting in that environment, exploring. I was stoked to find a few different pieces of art from one of my favorite gaming webcomics, SaveState.

2017080513340400-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

2017080522333900-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Too bad I couldn’t send a friend invite — he would have probably just been like “who’s this?” if I did. Just voted him up Fresh cuz that’s all I could do. 😀

Also saw a lot of other funny art, of course.

2017080513554900-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

When it came to the actual battles, you went to the Lobby as usual, and Turf Wars had turned into the new Splatfest option. These were two rotating maps, but done up at night (you usually only see these during daytime). Plus one extra map made just for the Splatfest.

The majority of the time, my fights looked like this:

2017080512390400-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

This was because Ketchup was so overwhelmingly popular that most of the fights I had were Ketchup vs Ketchup. The sad thing was, none of these fights actually mattered in terms of the overall score, because a win and a loss against the same team canceled itself out.

But the battles still went towards upping your rank and title. As you fought, your rank increased (faster if you win the battles and have a higher power rank). The title you earned at the end of the day dictated your reward after Splatfest was done.

Somehow, I pushed through long enough to get the max rank, Ketchup Queen.

The next day, I logged in to see the outcome of the Splatfest.

2017080610391200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Wow. Amazing that Ketchup was so popular – I knew it would be, but maybe not 73%. I chose Ketchup mostly because I can’t stand Mayo, so I voted with what I’d eat, and for no other reason.

Weirdly, though, Mayo still won the day, even though the winning stats were really, really close. Some people are starting to question these outcomes, but you know, there wasn’t that big of a difference between winning and losing. Winning got you something like 3 more snails.

2017080610403300-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I was happy to get the Snails I did. I used one to open up a third slot on my shoes, since I like them so much. I’ll save the rest for whatever.

2017080610404800-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Aww… don’t worry, Dave. Marina is still pretty fresh.

2017080612164300-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: Getting Ready for Splatfest

I haven’t played Splatoon 2 in a few days, mostly because the beginning of this week was riddled with bad headaches for some reason. But I think I’ve shaken them just in time to participate in this weekend’s Splatfest (Ketchup FTW)!

Before I took my break, I leveled up to level 11, and unlocked ranked battles when I hit level 10. Needless to say, I’m so noob that there’s no way I’m trying anything beyond Turf Wars right now, though.

2017073121155000-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I did start to experiment with a few other weapons other than the Roller. I love the Roller in theory, but I’m not very good at playing it (yet). My stats show that I lose far more matches than I win with Roller.

So, I picked up the Aerospray MG, which I do know is overused. But it has been working pretty well for me, so I’m rolling with it for now.

2017073120201500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I also took the plunge and unlocked Salmon Run. After a short tutorial, where the game teaches you about the mode’s objectives and the bosses, it opens up the mode, as long as the mode is currently available.

I haven’t played it a ton — I find it slightly annoying that you’re forced to use random weapons. Some of them I seriously suck with. But I guess it’s good to find that out now, and be able to experiment with different weapon types. Overall, despite the weapon thing, it’s good fun to play cooperatively.

I didn’t get enough games in to get the shirt from last month’s run, but I did earn the mining hat from this month!

2017073119584500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I also really prefer Spawning Grounds to the other map I tried.

Anyhow, I still have a LOT to learn. Still a lot to practice. I look forward to getting out there and representing my team this weekend. Good luck to you at the Splatfest (unless you’re Mayo)! 😉

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Trying Splatoon 2 for the First Time

Let me start by explaining my situation.

I am not a competitive (online) player. I’m not a shooter player.

I owned the original Splatoon because it came bundled with my Wii U, but I have never launched it once. Though there is a single player portion to the game, I knew it was primarily online team multiplayer. I was too afraid to try it, despite the color and quirky appearance, and hearing everyone speaking so highly of it.

2017072818114100-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
New Squid In Town

When everyone else was going nuts for the new Splatoon 2 on Switch, I’d tuned most of it out, the same as I did with ARMS. Then, last Friday, I surprised myself when I suddenly decided to pick up the game as I headed home from work.

I don’t remember what got me to consider it. I don’t remember why I changed my mind. Maybe I was feeling a little over-confident from the PvP I’ve been running on Frontlines. I just know that I came home with Splatoon 2 and wondered if I had made a mistake. I bought a physical copy just in case I needed to return it.

Researching

I actually did a bit of research. I read through the tips and suggestions for noobs. I read to use the motion controls, even if there was a learning curve for it. I read to try out the single player mode first to learn the ropes.

So, that’s what I did.

After exploring the hub area a bit…

2017072818165200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
Whaaaat?

…I jumped feet-first into the single player scenario.

Tutorial and Single Player Scenario

For someone completely new to everything about this series and shooters in general, the single player scenario does a great job as a tutorial. Despite all the help it tried to provide, I was absolutely terrible at it. I tried with and without motion controls, and determined that motion controls didn’t make it all that much harder, so I stuck with them.

I hated the feel of the starting weapon (mostly lack of range), and got frustrated really fast at the objectives like “Throw a bomb to distract the enemy, then shoot them in the back.” The enemy never sayed turned around long enough!

I had to start and restart the scenario several times, and almost didn’t clear it at all. Finally, I went to watch a video of someone clearing it to see how they did it — he didn’t fool around with the bombs, he just went in with guns blazing.

2017072818233200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

So, I worked up my courage and followed his example. Somehow, it worked!

I beat the first scenario with a time of 33 mins. (Ugh)

I put the game down a while, then came back to it again later that night. I replayed the first stage, and I was able to clear it, this time in 12 mins. That’s not fantastic, but hey, it’s a clear in less than half the time of my first.

I could see I wasn’t earning experience or unlocking anything by doing the single player stuff, so I decided to work up the courage to just jump into the multiplayer turf wars.

2017072900272700-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
She looks about as confident as I felt.

Turf Wars

So the objective of Turf Wars is to cover as much of the ground with your color ink as you can. Splatting other players is a means to an end, but only going for PKs won’t win you the round.

I was really happy to see that each round only lasts 3 mins. This means that if you’re losing something terrible, you don’t get too beat down because it’ll be over quickly. Also, it keeps the action fast pace, and encourages quick play.

There’s no typing or forced group chat, so you can play without fear of being yelled at by people who are so much better than you are. I’ve probably been really frustrating to carry through things, though I try my hardest to learn and adjust.

It was encouraging that on my very first game, my team won in Turf Wars. I’m at the bottom of the list for my team, but not too bad for a first try on a weapon I didn’t really care for.

2017072900315400-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

How I Roll

After several matches, I gained enough levels and gold to be able to experiment with other weapons. That’s when I picked up the roller. And I really liked it! Now, I have a LOT of learning and practice to do with this weapon. But, I’m trying — reading tips and watching tutorial videos.

I’m getting the feel for the motion controls a bit better after several hours of play. Now, I need to learn to incorporate the flick attacks on the roller, and just get a better sense of spacial awareness.

Even with just noob rolling techniques, I was sometimes pulling top coverage for my teams.

2017072917464200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

But when I’m up against more skilled players, I don’t have a chance. I keep trying, and working to learn the different arenas, though.

I have unlocked the Carbon Roller now, but still prefer the first roller due to the Splashdown special. I’m also learning about what abilities I should pick up in order to be more effective with the weapon.

Cosmetics & Apps

Yesterday, I bought a jacket that I really liked based on looks… only to learn that it would never have the abilities I needed to be more effective. Apparently, rollers should hook up with Ninja Squid to help them move unseen… I did order a 3 Star shirt with Ninja Squid on it last night, but it’s going to cost me 30K gold. Seeing that I only have 8K right now, I have a lot of gaming to do tonight before my order expires!

I like that you can browse and purchase cosmetics through the Nintendo App, as well as check your stats and progress. I don’t use the app for anything like voice chat (I’d use Discord for that), but what I do use it for, it works well.

2017-07-31 10.02.53

Also, it looks like my first Splatfest is coming up this weekend. I don’t know how that works, but Team Ketchup FTW!

2017072900203000-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A