April 13, 2024

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Splatoon 3: Sidequest Review (Switch eShop)

Splatoon 3: Sidequest Review (Switch eShop)

The Splatoon 3 sidequest has been dangling out of reach since it was revealed in 2023, but Wave 2 of DLC has finally arrived for Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass owners. Nearly five years after the release of Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion, Agent Eight's story continues in the dull, colorless world of the Memverse, but is it worth the train fare to get to this particular station?

Let's be honest, Side Order is a roguelite, which means there's a series of semi-random levels that you have to beat in sequence in order to achieve victory. the hunt? If you run out of lives, you'll be sent right back to the beginning. Note the “t” in the species name, as opposed to rogueLikesYou can unlock bonuses and blessings to make each subsequent round in the tower a little easier.

It's a tried-and-true formula, and in typical Splatoon fashion, it nails it Beautiful With basic game mechanics. Once you've chosen your loadout (known as in-game “plates”, each of which contains a portion of an in-universe character's soul), you'll tackle each floor of a large tower. Things start out almost painfully, but you'll notice that you'll unlock a small boost to your stats with each floor in the form of Colorful chips and sweet beans, you'll need them.

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Side order is difficult. There are ways you can ease the difficulty through permanent Marina upgrades, or by selecting easier difficulty decks when presented with the option, but even experienced squid/kids will have a hard time. It's not impossible, far from it, but expect some sweaty and cursing sessions when you reach the upper floors and the random color slides it displays won't really help. Just give me Run Speed ​​Up, you stupid game.

It's worth it, though. The satisfaction of grinding through failed launches until finally reaching the top (and possibly dying for the final boss) is hugely addictive, and once you've managed it once, you'll be desperate to jump back in with another board and you'll get hit in the dirt again because you're used to it. On using the powerful Splatling and not the barebones Splatling charger.

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But roguelite lives or dies by its variety and ability to surprise and test you, and with Side Order, things get a little less rosy.

Don't get us wrong, there is a lot of variety in it Some areas; For example, the color chips you choose can make one playback look completely different from another, even if you're using exactly the same color palette. You can create a Slosher that can basically snipe enemies to deal massive damage from an impressively safe distance, or have your ink cover the ground with the (much larger) bucket, poisoning and killing any enemies that have to wade through it, or ignore the main almost entirely and just keep charging And carry out your tasks with little or no lag.

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Or have the Pearl Drone do it all, force enemies to drop bombs when they die causing a chain reaction, or roll at the speed of sound so enemies can never get close to you. Suffice it to say, there are an incredible number of options out there how I completed every floor, which is fun.

Unfortunately, the floors themselves seem to dry out in variety disappointingly early. As we just said, the way you complete these objectives can change each time, but there are only five possible objectives total, so you'll be repeating things a lot over the course of several rounds. There are more maps than these, but it seems like some maps can accept any target, while others are limited to one.

It's the same with boss levels as well, which happen every 10 floors (with the final boss being on the 30th floor). They're great battles, and fun to play in all the different ways possible, but the total number within the group is small three. We'll enjoy the strange, loud sounds of Asynchronous Rondo every time we fight it, but since the genre's design requires repeated playthroughs, we'd really like to see more. They also give palettes and color slides as much flexibility and variety as they do.

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There is one area where the objectives and maps change things, and that's on the odd occasion where you get the Danger Floor. They are flagged as such, and although you can just ignore them, doing so means they reappear later, and can become unavoidable. The possibility of losing your career because the map has suddenly become bathed in darkness, completely covered in enemy ink from the start, or your Pearl Drone is out to lunch is undeniably exciting, and even if the objectives and map are the same as the ones you set before, this The added danger forces you to wear big shoes. Sometimes these danger floors can have more than one active effect at a time. Zoenix.

Given that the DLC is all about turning everything into a monochromatic mix, and the extremely limited color palette that requires, it's impressive how unboring Side Order appears. The stark contrast between the simple off-white background, the void-like black ink of the Jelletons' enemies, and the over-the-top lines of color it imposes on the landscape is really something.

Performance is also great, although that was probably to be expected. The game feels solid from its 60fps target, though we noticed a few distant enemies running at lower frame rates in order to maintain that target. The amount of chaos happening on screen means we literally only notice it Once Though, fair play, Nintendo.

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and music, Ah the music! Splatoon as a series is no stranger to bands of all flavours, but Side Order may have some of our best yet, with one track in particular reminiscent of the Guardian battle music from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Yes, we broke out in a cold sweat.

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Conclusion

Splatoon 3: Side Order is an excellent addition to Splatoon 3, and helps give it a stronger identity than its predecessors. While we'd like to see more variety in stages and objectives, the sheer number of options available on your weapons and how you upgrade them ensures that nothing goes wrong. also Iterative. We found ourselves coming back again and again to try Only one run Which turned into five, so that should speak for itself. Splatoon fans rejoice, it's another gift.