The best boss battle of 2022 made this Nintendo shooter an instant classic

Imagine being tricked by a giant ink-splattered grizzly into helping it wipe out your entire species.

Nintendo has never been afraid to get weird, and Splaton 3, with its absurd and surprisingly detailed story, is the ultimate expression of this strangeness. The game’s final boss battle is a jaw-dropping culmination of both the story and various gameplay mechanics in a goofy way that makes you wonder, “Is this really happening?” approximately every 30 seconds.

But this boss battle is more than just a trippy ending to one of Nintendo’s best games of the year, it’s also a masterclass in how to reward longtime fans while pushing a franchise. to new limits, bizarre as that may be.

Grizz’s design is absolutely delightful, making the boss feel like a massive creature tank.nintendo

The set up

The “Return of the Mammals” story arc in the single-player campaign initially involves clearing up a pile of fuzzy slime that has arisen around Splatsville. However, as this core mystery deepens, we eventually learn that all of Splatoon takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans and other mammals have gone extinct. But an oversized, ink-infested bear named Grizz is determined to bring them all back.

In the Salmon Run multiplayer mode, players are hired to collect salmonid eggs for a company called Grizzco. In the end, however, it’s quite a front for Grizz to harvest the eggs as a source of energy. So every multiplayer match you played was actually in service of this villain’s grand scheme.

Somehow, things get even crazier when you follow this mean bear through space.

The battle

In the grand finale, you fight Grizz next to a rocket hurtling through space. The battle itself cleverly incorporates all of the core mechanics gradually introduced throughout the game. You must make generous use of your little companion Smallfry to destroy the inkblots on the bear, while dodging Octarian enemies and other obstacles. You also have to move up and down the length of the rocket to manage the different factors.

A chaotic version of the Grizzco theme (featured in Salmon Run in a clever callback) plays as you progress, becoming increasingly unbalanced with each combat phase. As the tempo increases to match the rocket’s rotational speed, it creates a disorienting yet rhythmic escalating feel.

The best part of Splatoon 3 the end is how it entirely recontextualizes one of the main multiplayer modes. nintendo

Just when you think it’s over and Grizz is done for, Splaton 3 becomes cosmic for an even more intense final boss phase.

Grizz detonates the rocket and grows to the size of a building as the game turns into an anime. The game’s first boss, DJ Octavio, arrives and rescues you, and Smallfry transforms into a giant cosmic kaiju, a mind-boggling surprise that comes entirely out of left field.

You must now control Octavio’s UFO to suck up ink, dodge blurry comets, and fight enemies that land on your ship. Meanwhile, you hear a new rendition of “Calamari Inkantation,” the song sung by series mascots Callie and Marie in the very first Splatoon it’s become something of a franchise anthem.

Mechanically, Splaton 3 carries out the best version of the formula the series has established since 2015. Having these idols cheer you on here brings the series full circle – a fitting climax to an epic trilogy.

The Splatoon 3 finale brings the series full circle both mechanically and narratively, seeing players work with DJ Octavio, the main villain of the first two games.nintendo

Nothing this year seems as ambitious as Splaton 3the final battle. It ties the whole trilogy together in a narrative way, recontextualizes the multiplayer elements, and forces you to dynamically use all the mechanics introduced by the campaign. Conceptually, there isn’t a single encounter in recent memory that cleverly offers so many layers of meaning in one sequence.

The fact that it’s a capitalist cosmic bear just proves that Nintendo remains as brilliantly weird as it’s ever been.

Reverse celebrates the best of the best in entertainment, gaming, science and technology of 2022. Reverse Rewards Center.

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