Splatoon isn't out yet — but already one of its classes is gaining the type of infamy relegated to items like the blue shell, or characters like Little Mac.
Behold... Splatoon's roller.
Picture: Sleepy Jirachi
As some of you might know, Splatoon is a game about squid girls who fight with ink, not bullets. People got a taste of this unique premise last weekend during the "Global Testfire" demo, which allowed everyone to try out one of Splatoon's modes for a limited time. Known as Turf War, the mode asks you to cover as much ground as possible in your team's paint. The team with the most ground covered wins the game.
You know what's really good at covering a lot of ground with paint? The roller. Look at it! It was made to cover surfaces with paint; the water guns don't hold a candle to it. So it's probably no surprise to hear that matches were always stocked with roller players. Sometimes, it wasn't unusual to get into a match with mostly roller players. People even felt the need to document the rare instances when a match didn't have rollers in it.
There's good reason for it. Not only is the roller good for getting the objective, it's also really good at taking out enemies:
Picture: Sleepy Jirachi
More importantly, the roller is a) really easy to use and b) a ton of fun to play. I gravitated more toward other classes, but I still feel confident in saying that Splatoon's roller is one of the best renditions of a "heavy weapon" that the shooter genre has to offer.
Combine the roller's uniqueness, ubiquity, and fun factor, and what you get is a weapon that people have very strong Opinions about. During the Global Testfire, I heard a lot of clamor about the roller. People seemed to be in two distinct camps.
There were those who felt the weapon was overpowered:
And there were people who felt that the roller wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be:
Even if people didn't fall into those camps, the roller still elicited a strong reaction. Notably, lots of people were cracking jokes about it:
— hohoho8 UR MOVE LAIN (@o___8) May 9, 2015
HOO HAH pic.twitter.com/mYUDwpyq9L
— Matthew Morandi (@Yoshi1up) May 9, 2015
Splatoon multiplayer in one gif pic.twitter.com/H14ROfaEMQ
— Golden (@GoldenSRL) May 9, 2015
Others felt that this was a prime opportunity to give tips on how to deal with the roller situation:
Personally, I feel that people with rollers are really easy to deal with... provided you're paying attention to what's going on. Rollers, after all, turn someone into a target. A slow, easy-to-hit target. I also feel that dominating with a roller isn't a sure-fire thing, though any serious team should still try to have at least one roller on the roster for good measure. Team balance and all that.
Mostly, though, I noticed that many roller players seemed more interested in kills than in playing for the objective. And in a mode where kill/death ratio means diddly squat, that's obsession with murder is pretty hilarious. It seems that even Nintendo can't get people to stop caring about how many kills they have.
Perhaps the roller's infamy will fade once the game is out, and people have had time to really develop the Splatoon metagame. For now, though, Splatoon players can't stop talking about the roller.