When it’s time to select a new brush from the pot
There is a potency to the Bloodborne Hunter, this crumpled yet noble warrior, contemplating conflicts past and the fevered tussles that lie in wait. His is an almighty image, destined for immortalisation on the cover of Edge. Sometimes, though, there really is nothing for it but to stick an enormous pair of googly eyes right there on the page one. And get on the phone to the ink supplier, because we want the background to be orange. Orange, yep. As orange as can possibly be achieved.
Splatoon has this kind of effect. The Nintendo universe is hardly famous for restraint when it comes to splashing a bit of colour around, but this new Wii U shooter raises the bar. From the shocking neon-pink trainers on its characters’ feet to the zinging ink that sloshes around the centre of its entire premise, it’s a riposte to the sludgification of modern colour palettes in games that somehow out- Sunset Overdrives Sunset Overdrive.
Naturally, the story runs much deeper than the garish surface, and in our cover story we talk to the designers who won over an initially sceptical Shigeru Miyamoto to get the chance to create that most unusual Nintendo proposition: an entirely new intellectual property. There are no plumbing brothers in Splatoon, no space-faring foxes nor sucking pink blobs. This is an online-focused shooter starring a bunch of kids. Sure, they just happen to be capable of transforming into squid at will, but their distinctly human configurations feel unlike traditional Nintendo offerings, showing that the company’s willingness to try a change of tack isn’t mere lip service.
The realities of this new Nintendo were revealed more plainly in March when the company announced that it’s bringing its legendary properties to mobile. The immediate community response was largely negative, and, in the absence of fine details, speculative. How the move ultimately affects the prospects of the company’s traditional console titles is unknown, but at least no one could argue against the chances of Nintendo doing anything other than delivering the goods wherever it leaves its mark.