Nintendo’s Wii U may not have set the world alight when it launched in 2012, but the console did give us a few cracking games. However, while Super Mario 3D World won rave reviews by taking the gaming giant’s flagship character into vibrant, dynamic new worlds, arguably the biggest breakthrough hit for the console was Splatoon.
Created by Nintendo, the third-person shooter launched in May 2015 and was based on a premise which was simultaneously both simple and innovative. Players controlled characters who shoot ink at opponents or an environment, but can also then shapeshift into a squid to swim through the ink they have fired. This meant they can hide from enemies and move covertly around the map they are playing in.
Considering the popularity of the title, which debuted at #2 in the UK games software chart and has been named the most successful new franchise since Wii Sports, it is unsurprising that Nintendo have chosen to develop a sequel for the Switch. Splatoon 2 launched at the end of July and offers all of the thrills and spills you would expect, along with some new maps for gamers to battle friends and family on.
The success of Splatoon shines a light on an interesting trend which has been part of the gaming industry for many years – the art of transforming a real-life game into a virtual setting. Splatoon is essentially an innovative take on paintball, albeit with a few twists to provide gamers with a fresh experience.
Many other real-world games have had this treatment down the years, such as roulette. Once seen as the preserve of the rich and glamorous in casinos, such casino games are now widely available online. Many sites also offer players the chance to easily try their hand at different versions of the game including American and French roulette, which feature different wheels and are therefore not often available together at traditional offline casinos.
Sport has also proven to be a great inspiration to the world of video games, with developers looking to recreate the thrills and spills of real-life action for consoles. Whether it is FIFA, Madden, Brian Lara’s Cricket or the NBA series of games, sports titles have always been incredibly popular. Perhaps the fundamental aspect is that it allows fans to literally “live the dream” and manage or control teams featuring their favourite players. The recent FUT Legends mode on FIFA has even taken that a step further and allowed gamers to bring famous footballers from yesteryear back to the pitch and into their sides.
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Wii Sports brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “sports simulator” when it launched alongside the original Nintendo Wii back in 2006. The game provided a more physical sporting experience by asking gamers to get off their sofas and use the console’s controller to mimic playing games including tennis, baseball and golf. Again, the game was based on an innovative, virtual idea and meant that people could try their hand at a basic version of real-life activities without having to pay out for expensive, specialist equipment beforehand.
All of the above show how video games have turned to offline games on numerous occasions for inspiration. With Splatoon 2, it is clear that trend shows no signs of abating, but as long as it means that developers continue to provide a new and exciting twist on classics, it will be hard to find many people complaining.