• story mode
i played the campaign in its entirety before i even touched multiplayer. i loved the fakeout at the beggining! it's too easy, but it's good to help those new to the game with getting used to the controls without being thrown in front of enemies right out of the bat.
i was SO excited when i got to alterna. the title screen was so cool... i love that we had callie and marie helping us out this time. i'm a bit sad that captain 3 didn't do much, but i understand they represent the player character and stuff...
i'm really satisfied with how the hub worlds played out!! exploring them was a lot of fun, and kept the experience fresh for me. i think i figured out that little buddy could find buried treasure for you when i was at the 2nd or 3rd island... and then understood that the green areas on the map meant there were still things to find when i was at the 4th one. i love how distinct the islands are from eachother.
our smallfry companion is the best thing ever... i love him with my entire heart. look at him throwing himself off a cliff again. ahhh. my beloved.
the levels themselves were not much of a challenge in comparison to the ones from octo expansion, but they were a lot more fun than other campaigns. the zipcaster ones were particularly a blast! i expected them to use the enemy octolings more, though. we ran into them like what, 3 or 4 times?
the biggest challenge for me was the after alterna level, of course; but still nothing compared to inner agent 3. maybe a bit harder than girl power station? i'm not sure. i particularly struggled on the second section, missing the shots of that final jump a few times.
the cutscenes were so well made, i'm so happy with how expressive the characters look! that one where neo 3 superjumps into space after riding master mega is the coolest splatoon moment ever. but...
it doesn't make sense. SO many things in this story don't make sense. the plot seems to have no clear focus. you keep playing because you know something will happen eventually. then orca appears and you think they're suspicious and have a role in all this. then you fight the members of deep cut to gather some weird pieces of something. then OH WELL mr grizz is involved after all. then the captain uses these pieces to cut the hair from the island in the center. and deep cut is now on your side... then the captain stays behind bc they're injured but after all your journey through the rocket they suddenly catch up to you... and mr grizz is doing something to craig bc hes screaming in agony... then he kinda died... and a tear from the captain revived him. and of fucking course mr grizz is a bear. then the rocket launches through the dome and we just... superjump into space. and there's gravity on this flying rocket. and look, dj octavio is back to help us! who knows where he's been all this time. little buddy has a magical girl transformation (which fucks. so cool) and helps us fight the giant bear in space. then you go back to splatsville to play salmon run. what the fuck
but I LOVE THE ALTERNA LOGS!! i'd play levels just hoping to read what more would be unlocked in it after. i wish the human alterna stuff had a bigger role in the plot. why are there ink-based tests inside alterna?? makes no sense for humans to have set them up.
i can't organize my thoughts properly, but i agree with everything said on this tumblr post that explains it pretty well.
overall, i think it's the best campaign gameplay-wise, but it's a mess on the plot department. i'm hoping the dlc they announced will maybe explain some stuff better (and show us what agents 4 and 8 have been up to... pretty please?)
the multiplayer experience is great, save for the way too frequent connection errors. i don't know how they managed to make it worse than it was in splatoon 2.
i'm still getting used to the new movement options and trying to implement them in my gameplay. i'm way too accustomed with sub-strafing and forget to use the squid roll...
i also can't say much about the ranked changes because i haven't played much of it yet. but like i said in my splatoon 3 direct post, i love the anarchy battle open feature! i always felt stressed out in splat2 ranked, and having the option to play ranked battles with low stakes is great.
the ability to play in the lobby while waiting for matches really is a huge improvement. a few days ago i played a couple splatoon 2 matches and couldn't believe that i spent 4 years playing the game like that; always that same screen with people's names and the same song playing every time! now i can practice my aim and look at the outside of people's lockers and goof around with other players. (on the few times we don't get instantly disconnected, that is)
the respawn dynamic is also really nice. it doesn't solve the spawncamping problem like people thought it would, but it adds to the game anyway. it keeps things moving and matches the pace of the game. it's really noticeable if you go play a match in splat2 after getting used to splat3, it seems a lot slower.
and that's the thing, there are so many small improvements to this game that make it feel so different than the previous one.
i love the locker feature, and i turn on the game everyday even if it's just to check what hotlantis has to sell! (pls i need that gay manga so badly...)
i'm conflicted on the catalog feature, though. it's nice because it gives you more reasons to keep playing a bit every day, and it's a way for them to continue adding more gear and such to the game, but it creates FOMO, since it changes every 3 months and, as of now, we don't know if there's going to be any way of getting these rewards afterwards (like we could with the salmon run gear in splatoon 2, for instance).
the customization in this game is incredible and we're still at the beggining of its lifespan... imagine all the new win poses, gear, weapon variations, banners, etc etc we'll still get!!
salmon run... oh salmon run. the wonders that the ability to throw eggs made to this mode!! the cohozuna waves are so terrifyingly fun. the different colored uniforms are so nice. it's a lot harder than in splatoon 2, though. i'm constantly demoting myself to stay in profreshional part timer or profreshional +1, because higher ranks are Very Difficult if you only play with randoms. i'm so glad the mode is available 24/7 now!
splatfests are a blast, for me especially because of how the plaza looks during the event. at the 2nd day i love to just watch deep cut perform over and over again; anarchy rainbow is one of the greatest splatoon songs ever and their little dances are so fun to watch!! i do miss the shifty stations though; it's a bit boring to just play in the same stages as always.
fuck judd and his eternal notifications in the lobby though. will he ever shut up
the soundtrack is literally one of my favorite aspects of the franchise and it did not disappoint in this one!! i was already obsessing over the ripped tracks from the splatfest world premiere, and now that we have everything i've just been listening to it all over and over again for over a month.
the songs rotating in the lobby?? fantastic. there's like 10 different songs (all incredible. some of them are so weird and i love them all) in rotation, BESIDES the times when they just play splatoon 1 and 2 songs. oughhhh
all the multiplayer tracks are bangers. off the hook's new band is especially so so cool!! although c-side is probably my favorite one. the new splattack remix they made is simply... chefs kiss.
the story mode songs are all awesome. the overworld tracks are so nice and interesting, the level songs go really hard and the new calamari inkantation is the best version of the song there is... OK calamari inkantation ranking by yours truly:
4. spicy calamari inkantation
3. original calamari inkantation (this one)
2. regular calamari inkantation
1. calamari inkantation 3mix
i was going to rank the splattack versions too but i think i'll make a separate post about it later hehe
ANYWAY. the best story mode song award goes to the bang bang bing one. you know. this one. the delay lama one comes at a close second.
• tableturf battles
i didn't expect to have so much fun with this mode!! it's such a neat addition, i love having a splatoon game mode that i can just play in my bed and chill out. it's also a lot more complicated than i thought! there are so many strategies to learn...
• final thoughts
splatoon 3 is the ultimate splatoon game. if people think splatoon 3 should be splatoon 2.5 they're wrong; in that case, splatoon 2 should be 1.5 and splatoon 3 should be 2. that's confusing LOL but i can't mistreat splatoon 2 like that because it is Very Important to me.
if you like splatoon please read the developer interviews that were released before 3's launch. i love this franchise a ton and these made me a bit emotional...
i can see myself playing this game for longer than i played splatoon 2, and i'm looking forward to the yet to be added new features, such as big run, multiplayer tableturf battles, and the paid dlc!!