We are nearing the end of an era as the Switch draws near with Splatoon 2 in hand. All the squids are growing up. Yet still here I am, playing Splatoon on Wii U and enjoying it like it’s the first day of release. This game changed my life in such a positive way. I absolutely love the gameplay and the community. It’s fiercely competitive in the highest tiers of Ranked, but also very friendly and welcoming in the plaza and Turf Wars. This little writeup is for a special part of the community I haven’t talked about in my previous Splatfest writeups, the Japanese gamers.
Look at that. Japan is the only reason I am still playing this game daily. Wii U is a dying system but you can still find a group of players in any mode, any rank in Splatoon because of how big and active the Japanese community is. While the rest of the world has mostly given up, they are hosting national tournaments, sharing pics and drawings daily, and Splatoon is still selling copies in the charts and keeping the Wii U alive single-handedly.
We don’t speak the same language, but I’ve had so much fun with my Japanese friends that I’ve added a bunch of them to my personal friends list.
We all join each others games and understand each others play-styles. My friend teton will always run and jump at the start of the game if she is on my team. My friend mrk loves a healthy dose of squid bagging at the start of each match to get hyped. Sometimes in the middle of a match. As an Australian I’m extra lucky that we share the same timezone, so I’m not lonely when my European and American friends are asleep.
We all play really well on the same team and have a great time spamming “Nice!”. I’ve never said a word to them but we all know each other by our inputs in a videogame. We all speak the language of Splatoon.
Thank you Japan for,
- Always being there.
- Making me work really hard to get my S+ rank (multiple times).
- Giving me a reason to turn on the Wii U every night.
- Drawing amazing art on the Miiverse.
- Accepting me and being my friend.
Here’s a thank you message I made on the Miiverse, I hope my Japanese is OK. I was worried I wouldn’t get the characters right so it’s just a simple “Thank you”. I’d also like to share a video one of my friends in Japan took of our gameplay.
Just look how excited they are when I get killed. True friends.
What an amazing game and amazing community to have lasted this long on the Wii U. I hope Nintendo keeps the online running, because I know not everyone can get a Switch right away. Some of us might not make the journey, and there’s a few uncertainties about how the online will work. One thing I know for sure though, is when I search for a game, Japan will be there. This time, maybe even the rest of the world will show up too.
Until Splatoon 2, stay fresh!
2 thoughts on “Thank You Japan – Keeping Splatoon Fresh!”
At one point, I stopped playing the game. I think it was because my wife started to play it more than I did, and we had cruddy Wi-Fi so only one of us could play at a time if we didn’t want a disconnect.
Months and months and months later, we moved into our own apartment and set up our Wii U’s so they’d be connected via LAN to the Internet…
It wasn’t until these past few weeks that something clicked in our heads: Wait… We can finally play TOGETHER!!
And so we have. Almost every other night, we find ourselves playing Splatoon together… And noticing that there’s so few American players now (So much Japanese players at all times of the day, though). It doesn’t matter to us though, since we always tended to get more competitive (in a friendly manner) against people who don’t speak our language (maybe it’s because there’s a curiosity over what they’re thinking in comparison to us).
And so our Wii U’s are living their last twilight days (before the Switch might fully replace them – for space on the router) with Splatoon.
But it’s not as if we hadn’t been using them… Our Wii U’s have been the perfect YouTube (via browser, of course) and Crunchyroll machine. It beats us crowding around a laptop, that’s for sure.
I’m gonna miss the Wii U. Not that I’m selling it… But the community of it. The experience of it. The culture of it. It played a central role in our living room that I don’t think any other machine did or ever could.
Plugging in the Switch won’t change that, but it will mean the end of an era. No matter how much an older system is still played, once its games productions come to a halt – there’s no denying that it’s passing on its torch to the next generation. And you can feel that. It’s not something you can ignore even if you don’t get the next system.
I’ll miss the Wii U… And Splatoon 1 (I’m sure I’ll still kick in every now and again between Switch sessions before Splatoon 2 arrives). They were certainly a very unique experience… And, most importantly, they didn’t rely on being “the most popular”. They didn’t have to be relevant. *We*, the players of them, didn’t have to be relevant as we played them.
The fact that we can play a game, a console, and know in the back of our minds that there’s no standard to meet – no expected titles to play next – no argument to make over what we liked or didn’t like – all because no one in the industry CARED about these things on our front anymore?
… Frankly, it was a beautiful relief to have. It was like owning a DSi all over again (no one cared about it, so the fun it gave was felt without any guilt or pride).
The Switch, for better and for worse, is going to be relevant. We’re gonna be dragged back into a culture where we end up agreeing with someone and disagreeing with someone else AND IT “MATTERS”. Culturally, mainstream-wise, it matters somewhere.
And it feels like it’s going to be the Wii all over again… For good and for ill.
But until then… I’m going to keep playing Splatoon with my wife.
I’m still an A-. And still level 35. But… You know what? It doesn’t even matter to anyone. And that’s awesome.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, I love my Wii U a lot too. Definitely keeping mine around for reasons you mentioned, and the fact that the games are so different. It also has the best internet browser I have ever used and is my preferred way to watch streams and youtube.
That LAN connection sounds like a pretty sweet setup. It’s great how Splatoon became such a huge success against the odds too. It had so many things going against it, and people never previously gave new Nintendo IPs the time of day. It’s also the most success a shooter has ever seen in Japan. It was just so good, different, and stylish that it broke a lot of barriers.
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