Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion Review: I’ll be honest: for the first few hours, I was worried that Octo Expansion, Splatoon 2’s new single-player DLC, would resemble Splatoon 2: The Lost Levels. Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, for example.
The Lost Levels are fantastic – at least on paper. In actuality, they’re a pain to deal with. When I initially played them, I adored them, but only because they were so difficult to come by for a while.
Imagine a pseudo-sequel to Super Mario Bros. with a few extra features like poison mushrooms and wind that must be incorporated into platforming.
Even catching sight of the deadly mushroom in an old Mean Machines would have sent me into blissful ecstasy. Games used to be like this: hearsay and blurry photos were the norms.
Allow Me to Offer My Ultimate Position
On The Lost Levels with the benefit of time.
- They’re exciting to consider, but they work and are a bore to play.
- Poison mushrooms represent the possibility of something horrible happening in a game that had previously vibrated with the possibility of something nice happening.
- And what about the wind? The wind picks up out of nowhere and breaks up your leaps, which you had meticulously planned and executed.
- Because this is Super Mario Bros., and its world has always made sense and been trustworthy.
The Lost Levels add a layer of unpredictability to the game. It isn’t that they are difficult. They’re being jerks about it.
In Any Case; the Octo Expansion Is Difficult
According to someone who has counted these things, there are 80 challenge levels of difficulty.
- In which you play Splatoon 2 in a way you’ve probably never seen anybody else do.
- You play the role of an Octoling who has been buried deep beneath Inkopolis.
- I’m lost in some type of terrible subway system where each station has a test room that needs to be finished.
- After completing enough test chambers, you should be able to find the four doohickeys that lead back to the surface.
The Prizes Are Lavish: New Splatoon Gear to Be Unlocked
As well as the opportunity to play Splatoon 2 as an Octoling rather than an Inkling if you win.
- But there’s also the possibility that the Octo Expansion’s deliciously bizarre plot will begin to make sense.
- With chirpy talking cellphones and a real sense of dread and claustrophobia, The Matrix will converge.
- Isn’t it true that dread and claustrophobia aren’t Splatoon staples? Whatever the case may be, the textural stuff here is both amazing and strange.
- You travel between stations in a subterranean train that gradually fills with strange creatures, and the whole structure is a triumph.
- Slowly exploring a tube map and seeing one station work as a node connecting several lines is a joy. It’s such a great idea to disperse four items over a region whose layout you discover by exploring it.
All of this is fantastic, but I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the majority of it because the Octo Expansion’s day-to-day reality was so harsh.
Of Course, the Most Common Adage About Difficulty Is That Your Mileage May Vary
At the very least, I discovered that I was never a really strong Splatoon player in the first place.
- A backup person by nature, content to paint the floor with a giant roller while my more competent squadmates used the fancier, more precise portions of the arsenal.
- You must use everything in Octo Expansion, and you must use it properly. Almost every gadget, it seems, gets its test chamber, from the slasher.
- A bucket of paint in old money – that must be wielded with great and unlikely accuracy at one point to take out enemies without destroying the ground beneath them, to the baller.
- Which is no longer simply a rolling smart bomb and must instead be teased through lengthy and complicated gauntlets, endless drops on either side.
- The Octo Expansion is all about never-ending drops. It wants you to run out of space, be pushed off ledges, and fail to nail the landings in a variety of ways.
This is one of the reasons I became concerned that I was playing a new version of The Lost Levels. Shouldn’t Splatoon 2 have gotten to this stage by being a jerk as well if it was suddenly this difficult?
In Actuality; as I Calmed Down and Took a Step Back From the Joystick
I spoke the name of God, as Pynchon put it.
- I came back to find a game that is difficult mainly because it asks so much of the player.
- If you’re ready to put in the effort, the Octo Expansion will show you that you can do things you never thought possible.
- Each test chamber is roughly the same as a shrine in The Legend of Zelda: each one will accept a gadget from the game.
- Or even the gadget of not having a gadget – and putting it to the test as a single thought is given, twisted, flipped inside-out, and joyously damaged.
- Only in the sense that the same basic objects reappear from time to time does repetition intrude.
- A few chambers will need you to use a gun to propel a massive 8 ball from a starting point to a finish line, for example, but the activities you will engage in along the way may vary greatly.
There are some fantastic ideas in here. I used a baller to weave my way up a tilting platform while ducking waves of enemy torpedos in one stage.
I Rode Rails That Circled From One Robotron-style Battle Arena to the Next in Another
My favorite level was those roll-up bracelets that start as a small plank of plastic before being wrapped around a child’s wrist and transformed into jewelry.
- Those are the things! They were suddenly massive and strewn throughout the area.
- I’d fire them to unfold them, then paint and ride the paint off of them before they snapped back into their original shape.
- Such moments are ferocious – what do you mean? ferociously dynamic, imaginative, and tactile.
- They stretch the exact limits of the mechanics, as do the best Nintendo games, and this is especially promising in Splatoon because this is a game that weaves weapons, navigation, and territory into one huge braid.
But simultaneously rummaging around the nursery, the schoolyard, and the toy store for items you already adore, that you instantly recognize and that you’d never considered on this scale or in this alignment.
Okay; the Octo Expansion Can Be a Jerk at Times
I couldn’t get to a level where I had to pull precise forms out of a pile of hazardous containers, one splash of ink at a time since I had a little hand tremor.
- Anything that needed extremely precise jumps, such as a bound into the abyss, exploding from the ink, and then landing on my feet, was a prescription for disaster.
- However, in each of these circumstances, I am willing to admit that these are issues with which I struggle.
- I was never blinded to the creativity that lay at the heart of the issue in each case.
That’s all there is to it: even when Splatoon 2 is being a jerk, it’s still Splatoon 2, which means there’s always a glimmer of joy in there someplace.
Perhaps It’s Odd to Have a Nintendo Game
Begin with such challenging hurdles and then get harder from there.
- The Octo Expansion, on the other hand, makes up for it all with a substantial unlock mechanism.
- As bad as I was, I never ran out of in-game tokens to the point where I couldn’t afford to pay to skip a stage I’d already failed twice – and by skipping the stage, you gain a lot more tokens.
- Aside from that, it’s generous in more traditional Nintendo ways. The last set of levels.
- It includes a very great take on the classic Hole in the Wall TV game show, a platforming spell as amazing as anything in Mario, and a crescendo that pretty much redefines fan service.
- There are many tokens to gather along the route, all of which can be exchanged for great unlocks that can be used in the main game.
- And once you’ve completed it, you’ll find that the main game is still waiting for you. I returned to Inkopolis Square six or seven hours later, armed with a slew of new skills.
A slew of new clothes, Octoling possibilities, and the delightful surprise of learning about the next Splatfest just in time. So, is it better to drink orange juice with or without pulp? So, what will it be?
The Player Assumes the Role of Agent 8
An amnesiac Octoling wakes up in a mysterious subway station connected to a series of deep-underground research facilities.
- As the game begins, the Octoling notices Cap’n Cuttlefish preparing to assault them before halting because they lack a weapon.
- Cuttlefish then tells the Octoling that they fought in Octo Valley with Agent 3 before “someone” assaulted them, causing the Octoling to lose all of their memories.
- He then asks if they recall anything, prompting the player’s Octoling to be customized.
- Agent 8 and Cap’n Cuttlefish stumble across an unoccupied platform with a phone ringing after making their way through the subway’s beginning.
- When the Octoling answers the phone, it recognizes them as Applicant No. 10008; because the name is too long, Cap’n Cuttlefish shortens it to “Agent 8.”
The Telephone informs Agent 8 that they wish to travel to the “Promised Land” to be free, but that they must first gather four “thangs.”
As the Call Finishes; a Train Approaches Agent 8
And Cap’n Cuttlefish comes to a complete stop.
- They next meet C.Q. Cumber, the train’s conductor, who explains the CQ-80s and CQ Points system’s functions.
- Pearl and Marina make touch with the two of them shortly after and offer their assistance in escaping.
- The phone cryptically asks if Agent 8 is “ready to go to a higher dimension of existence” and “prepared to become someone bigger than yourself” after collecting all four “thangs.”
- Before utilizing the thangs to ostensibly open a Metro exit door. It quickly becomes clear that it is a set-up.
- Pearl and Marina, on the other hand, know the thangs are pieces for a massive mixer that the Telephone intends to use to turn them into raw material.
- Marina activates a distress signal from Agent 8’s CQ-80, forcing Agent 3 to burst through the ceiling and destroy the blender before it can switch on.
- Agent 3 is knocked out, but Agent 8 can activate an elevator to the surface using their employee-model CQ-80.
Agent 8 is forced to defeat a partially cleansed Agent 3, who was assaulted when they were escaping, after a long escape.
Pearl and Marina prepare to fly Cap’n Cuttlefish
And Agent 8 to safety once on the surface, but the facility’s above-ground section continues to rise from the earth, revealing itself to be a human statue.
- Commander Tartar, an AI formed 12,000 years ago to pass on human knowledge to any species worthy enough, announces itself as the Telephone.
- It discloses that both Inklings and Octarians have been found unworthy of acquiring its wisdom, and it begins to activate a weapon that would destroy and renew life on Earth.
- It is fueled by the raw material of successful test subjects to achieve a “perfect” life. The statue was quickly brought to a halt by Marina, Pearl, and Agent 8.
Using Marina’s prototype hyper bombs and Princess Cannon, which is propelled by Pearl’s shrill scream. The world has been saved, and Tartar has been defeated.
Agent 3 Wakes Up as Pearl and Marina Hug
And Cap’n Cuttlefish celebrates. Agent 8 looks at them and smiles, relieved to be free.
- Cap’n Cuttlefish presses the CQ-80, and the staff credits begin to play as the crew looks out to Inkopolis.
- After the credits have finished, Agent 8 returns the smile and looks back at the player.
- Off the Hook returns to Inkopolis Square after saving the world, leaving off Agent 8 there as well.
- C.Q. Cumber informs Agent 8 that they can now transfer credits into products and find mem medals in various Stations that can be used to trade items in the Vending Machine when they return to the Deepsea Metro.
- Agent 8 is informed by Cap’n Cuttlefish that Agent 3 has gone on patrol and that he would want to check on the deep dwellers for a little longer.
- After Agent 8 passes all of the exams, a locker in the Central Station will open, and Agent 8 will fight their “Inner Agent 3” with the classic ink colors of blue and orange.
The player will receive the Golden Toothpick if they defeat them.
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