The Octo Expansion of Splatoon 2 is a brilliant addition to a franchise that asks for more

Old Captain Jibión, veteran leader of Comando Branquias, has now given him rap. Music is still a fundamental part of Splatoon , a fabulous reflection of its theme and tone, which with the Octo-Expansion takes a turn towards the fucked -by aesthetics and difficulty.

We control this time an octopus (or an octopus, better, put to choose) amnesiac and we must, because that is what the phone in the middle of the platform asks us to do, find four “gossip” to reach the “dream paradise”. We have more context than history, more symbols than script; I think I can see some comments about labor exploitation and the promises of success, although the congrios and suitcase are not the only travel companions in this dreadful metro. There are anemones and especially strange fish here, perhaps those bugs of the abyssal fauna, that sleep the mona and that have the look of wanting to sell you something more than slippers or rollers.

It is a twisted and powerful imaginary that has little continuity when you start the action: the sky is full of giant Game Cubes and Game Boys when you slide down rails while you try to shoot all the boxes before time runs out.

Because this DLC is, above all, the Challenge Mode of Splatoon 2 . Eighty tests, eighty subway stops, eighty brief and intense screens. There are very specific missions – dodging, without being able to submerge, enemy projectiles for half a minute – there are compressed versions of levels more similar to what was seen in the campaign -some with girito: you must save ink, because it is not recharged- and there are stations that go to your ball-play pool with a cargatintas instead of a cue. As usual, the grace is that for Nintendo it is not worth repeating: surprise, once again, the speed at which ideas come and go, the plasticity of mechanics and the variety of weapons. The high on the difficulty is a perfect excuse to sharpen that, to make almost everything look new and that each puffer fish explode in a slightly different way than the rest.

The Octo-Expansion of Splatoon 2 is a brilliant addition to a franchise that asks for more

At the structural level, the connections between presentation and design are evident and very successful. Each phase passed opens the access to the adjacent ones, but there are several routes to reach the four “gossip”: you can stop by transferring, unblock other metro lines to look for alternative routes in case you resist any test. They are well-placed layers to dose the challenge, but there are still rewards for completistas. The prize for the most skilled comes in the form of clothing and accessories, but it is not necessary to travel the entire suburban network to reach the epilogue and the insane final boss – a confrontation that is posed in a somewhat bland and ends up highlighting its packaging, see, he insists with the winks to Platinum Games.

Less justified is the points system controlled by Revisor Pepín, a sea cucumber. They are achieved by completing levels, of course, and they are spent on tolls when starting or retrying any challenge. I ended up not giving them any importance because I did not have to repeat anything-in the eight hours that the Octo-Expansion lasted I did not touch, I guess, not much or little-but the ghost of the grinding feels unnecessary at all times. 

At the end of the credits, then, I had a familiar feeling: that of having attended another master class design thanks to a special franchise, go that yes, whose potential is still limited to not detract from the role of multiplayer. Splatoon it aspires to more, because it supports what is thrown at it, and every time there is less reason to hide that post-apocalyptic world behind a handful of clues and insinuations in collectibles.

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