Boss Rush Banter: Did The Zelda-Themed Splatfest Fix Splatoon 3’s Tricolor Turf War Battles?

This past weekend saw yet another splatfest in Splatoon 3, this one themed around The Legend of Zelda. Players were asked to pick between Power, Wisdom, and Courage, epitomized by Gannondorf, Zelda, and Link respectively. While Power ended up taking home the win for the splatfest, I think the real winners of this splatfest were fans of the newest gimmick in the Splatoon franchise: the tricolor turf war battles. Did this Zelda-themed splatfest finally fix tricolor battles?

Since the launch of Splatoon 3, players have had only six or seven splatfests so far, depending on if you want to count the pre-launch test splatfest. During these splatfests, for one full day, players are allowed to engage in the newest Splatoon battle mode, the tricolor battle. Tricolor battles have changed since launch, but what has remained consistent is that it’s a three way battle involving one team of four players against two other teams of two players each. The team with four players is the defending team, and they are trying to prevent the attacking teams from obtaining the ultra signal, which if obtained creates a permanent sprinkler for the successful attacking team(s). Victory, however, lies solely with whichever team inks the most ground.  

Early on in this mode there were issues with players being unable to access tricolor battles, and limitations on which teams could fill which slots, but that has evolved and improved. In the past, standard stages were used with the defending team being put in the middle of the stage on either side. However, for the most recent splatfest, Nintendo made a bespoke stage for this unique mode.

A screenshot of an in-progress Splatoon 3 tricolor battle with the text on screen declaring “The Ultra Signal appeared!” Image Credit: Nintendo

Some may argue that this mode is still flawed, despite any alleged improvements made for the Zelda-themed splatfest. Tricolor battles are inherently asymmetrical and anecdotally it seems that many players would prefer a true 2 v. 2 v. 2 or 3 v. 3 v. 3 experience. In addition, even though a new stage was made where, for the first time, each time had one separate starting area, it was still not perfectly symmetrical.

However, others might say that while the mode isn’t perfect, with these newest changes it’s fun to play on both sides, even if the defending team has a slight advantage. Knowing the gameplay is asymmetrical can make winning as an attacker feel even better. The design of the unique version of the stage made the gameplay fit better, with each team having a clearly defined area to itself, and the middle being a vertical hill made for a real “king of the hill” style gameplay that worked for the mode.

I believe this past splatfest gave us the best version of tricolor battles we’ve seen yet, and hopefully Nintendo takes note and makes unique stages for each fest going forward with these same sort of parameters.

What did you think? Did Nintendo nail it and fix this new mode or does it still need some adjustments? Let us know in the comments below, or come be a part of the discussion on the Boss Rush Discord.

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