[Review] Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

During the Nintendo Direct in March 2018, it was announced that Splatoon 2 would be getting a DLC expansion that focused on the Octolings, the villains in the Splatoon universe. After a couple months of silence, Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion was released on June 13, 2018. Thus, the journey of Agent 8 begins.

Octo Expansion starts off with Agent 8, an Octoling, getting woken up by a familiar face players would recognize, who appeared in Splatoon previously. Cap’n Cuttlefish tells you that the two of you have fallen down to an unknown location after fighting in Octo Valley. After exploring for a while, you come across a train platform and a talking phone tells you that if you want to get to the “Promised Land”, you must collect 4 “thangs” to grant you access. A train, then, pulls up, meeting the train conductor, C.Q. Cumber. He explains that you are in the Deepsea Metro under Octo Valley and Inkopolis, and must complete several different tests to find each “thang” in order to get to the “Promised Land”. Along the way, you will meet and learn about different characters such as Marina and Pearl, the duo in Off the Hook, who play very important roles in this DLC.

The story in this game was such a joy. It was such a fun yet somewhat crazy story to play through. I personally think this is one of the best stories the writers for Splatoon have come up with, and it’s going to be hard to follow up after this one. My only issue with the story is how it ended so quickly. It was a huge adventure but suddenly ended, leaving me wanting more. The characters in the DLC were a joy. The simple things such as the character interactions in the field to the small dialogues they would say during the stages made them just as enjoyable as the DLC.

Instead of the original Splatoon 2 story mode’s level-based gameplay, Octo Expansion changes it up a bit by using more of the shrine-based objectives like in the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Some tests will be short and some will take a little while to complete, but nearly all of them are fun. A big change from the original story mode is that the Octo Expansion is vastly more difficult. Stages will require more aim or skill depending on what the objective is. What I like the most is the amount of how many different and unique tests there are. It’s also interesting that the team who created the tests was actually the same team who made the shrines in Breath of the Wild!

Within all of these different levels, you can collect things called Mem cakes. You are tasked to fine these little collectibles by fully completing a level. If you are struggling on a level, Marina can help you by hacking her way into the system to act as if you have completed the test. However, if Marina hacked into the system, you can not collect the Mem cake for that test and must repeat it without any help. It’s important to collect as many Mem cakes in order to obtain Octo gear to use in the base game and gain access to the secret boss in the Octo Expansion. This is a fun way to make the players want to collect more and play more levels.

With every Splatoon game, I always have to talk about the phenomenal music score. The expansion does very well in itself. Although the normal songs for the stages are impressive, the best music lies within the final section of the DLC.  Many of the songs are sung by Off the Hook. Their songs bring a lot of emotion into the light, especially during the final boss, giving me goosebumps. If you have the chance, I recommend listening to these songs as they are amazing.

Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion is a phenomenal DLC expansion jam-packed with unique stages and levels, a crazy but memorable story, and an amazing score full of great music that won’t leave you disappointed! This is also the only chance to be able to play as the Octoling. The DLC may be short and leave you wanting more, but it’s a great journey that every Splatoon fan will want to experience.

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