Nintendo Switch Review: Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass Wave 2 – Side Order

Is it worth chipping in for this side order?

Challenge yourself to a new single-player campaign, Side Order! As Agent 8, you wake up to discover Inkopolis Square has been drained of colour and its residents have gone missing. Looming over the city is the ominous Spire of Order. Alongside a drone who claims to be Off the Hook member Pearl, Agent 8 must fight off waves of enemies in floor after floor of challenges on their way to the top of the Spire and learn its secrets. Use colour chips to boost your abilities in this experience that’s designed to be replayed over and over.

Splatoon 3 is the best in the series in my opinion, I thought so as I reviewed it back in 2022. It was the culmination of what made the series great and added to it with the likes of Salmon Run that sold it for me. I honestly wasn’t expecting much more from it but now there’s an extra single player campaign called Side Order…but what’s it all about?

Side Order is essentially a roguelike mode where you fight floor after floor of enemies till you reach the top of the Spire. Each floor completed will grant you a colour chip that gives you perks and these are awarded randomly and you are given the choice of difficulty between them, so harder stages will award you better colour chip perks and vice versa. There is a boss after each 10th floor, as well as the option to rest up and buy items at random intervals or on certain floors.

The variety of the challenges on the floor vary on each and every playthrough is unique like this. These vary from trying to guide giant 8-balls to specific locations, hunting down enemies that are very quick, destroying portals to stop them from spawning or even shooting an object with a propeller on it so it pushes along to the end.

To say it’s tough would be an understatement. You only begin with one life but can grab more if you spend your points on them, but there are also plenty of other upgrades you can buy too and these are the permanent perks that you will take with you through each run. It can be relentless at times and even if you manage to get to a boss, odds are it’ll take you a good few runs to actually learn its weakness and defeat it. They can be brutal.

The visuals are still great and the game runs at a solid framerate throughout. I didn’t come across any glitches and load times between floors aren’t that long either.

The Verdict

While Side Order doesn’t do anything different from other roguelikes, it does cover the basics well and within the Splatoon universe, it feels like a no-brainer for it to exist in the game. It’s a welcome addition to the series and hope if there’s a Splatoon 4 that we get another version of it.

Score: 9.0