While the Splatoon Global Testfire exists primarily as a way for Nintendo to get data and feedback on balance, server strength, etc., I had my own agenda. Outside of simply wanting to see the new stages and how the game ran on Switch, I was also excited to get a feel for the different play modes that the Switch offered.
In the video below, I played one match with the Pro Controller, motion controls on, using the ink roller. In the second match, I played with the Joy-Cons detached, Wii Remote and Nunchuck style, using the new Splat Dualies.
Playing with the Joy-Cons detached was a pretty unique experience, as the right Joy-Con handled all of the motion aiming. This control method, combined with the new playstyle of the Splat Dualies, made Splatoon 2 feel quite a bit different from its predecessor. While neither the control scheme or new weapon clicked immediately for me (I had a heckuva time recentering), it’s something I could see myself getting into with time and practice.
After this, I un-docked the Switch and moved to portable mode, turning off motion controls in the process.
I primarily played the Wii U original with motion controls off using the roller, so this setup felt much more familiar and comfortable for me.
I had a few solid games this way, and then decided to shake it up one more time, using a Splattershot in tabletop mode, with the Joy-Cons detached. Due to the nature and visual design of the game, this mode worked surprisingly well and felt weirdly cool.
Despite worries that Splatoon 2 may end up being “more of the same,” the versatility of the Switch hardware keeps the experience feeling “fresh.” I can’t wait to dig into the Testfire more this weekend, and to play the final game in all sorts of weird ways when it releases this summer.