A few days ago, we posted a feature about Splatoon’s competitive community, a relatively large scene somewhat overlooked by the mainstream gaming media. I chatted with Dakota Lasky, the co-founder of Squidboards, who mentioned several ways that Nintendo could improve Splatoon’s competitive gaming community. Although there are no more updates planned for the Wii U version of Splatoon, these features could be implemented in the rumored NX version of Splatoon, or in a future sequel.
“There are a million things I could name,” said Lasky when asked about potential improvements in a future title. “Even before Splatoon launched, people were already asking for certain features.”
First off, Lasky mentioned the need for LAN play. In its current form, Splatoon’s competitive scene is mostly online, with limited potential for in-person meetings and competition. As a result, competitions are often plagued by connection woes and internet speed shortfalls. The addition of LAN play, he says, would greatly aid in making Splatoon’s competitive play reliable.
Lasky then mentioned that he wanted true spectator mode, which would allow fans to view matches from the perspectives of multiple players and from a top-down perspective. A spectator mode would also allow for easy streaming and commentary.
“Right now the game is practically unwatchable. It’s not accessible and people can’t watch it properly,” Lasky told us. “This is really easy stuff, other games have had this for a long time.”
Lasky went on.
“Voice chat. Obviously voice chat is important and we need that. We also need options and the ability to create more customizable games.”
When Splatoon launched in May 2015, one of the biggest complaints from reviewers, including our own, was a lack of voice chat.
Although these are the basic features he hopes are implemented, Lasky hoped that Nintendo would do even more.
“Personally, I really think Nintendo should go above and beyond,” said Lasky. “It would be cool if we could watch competitive Splatoon matches directly from the client, without having to go elsewhere. Replays would also be crucial… The ability to use a controller other than the gamepad would also be good. Being able to play with either the Wii U Pro controller or GameCube controller would be great!”
The competitive gamer also noted that although Splatoon currently features a split-screen mode of sorts, he hopes that the next Splatoon release will feature a fully-fledged local multiplayer mode for competitive play.
“Once again, a lot of this sounds like a no-brainer,” Lasky said with a somewhat irritated voice. “I think that’s what has always been the problem with Splatoon, at least in competitive play. I think the core design of Splatoon is near perfect, I’m a huge fan of the gameplay. Just talking about it right now brings me emotions of when I first played it, because it’s such a unique and really awesome game. I love games that have awesome movement options and Splatoon is a game that gives you a lot of control. The game itself can be really, really awesome.”
Unfortunately, he said, it is the simple stuff that holds Splatoon back.
“The package the game is delivered in is crappy and is lacking a lot of features,” lamented the gamer. “The game is not optimal and not planned well at all. If Splatoon had all of these simple features, I think the game would have performed a lot better and would still be a relevant game – not only in competitive gaming, but gaming in general. The game would not have fallen out of the public’s eye.”
Lasky is not optimistic about these features being included, however.
“These features will hopefully be included in Splatoon 2 or in the NX version,” said Lasky. “Whether it will be included or not, I don’t know. It’s well wishing, but Nintendo has released four Smash games and still hasn’t figured it out.”