Which Nintendo online game is the best?

The last entry in the Splatoon The series is here, inviting a whole new wave of gamers to cross the line between squid and kid. Splaton 3 isn’t the only quirky online Nintendo game released in the last month, however. Just weeks before “Turf War” and “Salmon Run” took over the cultural conversation, the big N released a much smaller track: Kirby’s Dream Buffet.


With two excellent online multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch so close, many fans will have a hard time deciding which title is more worthy of their time. An online game can be a daunting time commitment, and although Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet both are aimed primarily at casual audiences, those who only want one colorful and light multiplayer game to waste hours of may still need some help deciding which one is best.

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How Kirby and Splatoon Gameplay Compare

The bread and butter of an online game is, of course, the gameplay. If you’re expected to put time and energy into improving yourself in a game, it should be an enjoyable experience. On the gameplay side, despite the similarities that appear on first examination, Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet are quite different.

Both Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet focus on fast and digestible matches. No game turn takes more than a few minutes. Where Splaton 3 use these super-fast laps as stepping stones on a journey to unlock the best gear and rewards, however, Kirby’s Dream Buffet is not affected by “progression”. There are a few cosmetic unlocks, but for the most part, game is game and that’s it.

There is also the simple fact that Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet exist in radically different genres. The former is a team-based shooter (in a very Nintendo way) while the latter is a fall guys-party game. Both feel great, but both will appeal to fundamentally different demographics.

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The competitive viability of each game

In the broadest sense of the word, the two Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet are competitive games. It is about trying to triumph over other players. Kirby’s Dream Buffet doesn’t seem particularly worried about who does better, though. In a very mario party-ish twist, when the points are tallied, a few bonus points go to players who unknowingly complete a few arbitrary measurements during play, which means the winner is often decided entirely at random.

Splaton 3, on the other hand, cares a lot about who does best. Like most competitive games, it comes with a ranked mode for those who are very serious about their splashes, and winning usually comes with far more generous rewards than losing. Whereas Splaton 3 has a handful of alternative gameplay options, including the hugely popular “Salmon Run” PvE mode, it’s largely competitive-based.

That means Kirby’s Dream Buffet will be the best option for younger or less experienced players, who are not necessarily ready to dive into the hectic world of Turf War. For those looking for a new title to satisfy their competitive cravings, Splaton 3 is the way to go.

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Offline offers from Kirby and Splatoon

Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet are online games. They are built around their online compatibility. But the Switch is a portable console, and gamers may not always have an internet connection when they feel like playing their games. Luckily, both titles have at least something in terms of offline play.

Splaton 3 almost certainly has the more robust offline offerings of the two. It comes with a lengthy single-player campaign complete with a reasonably compelling story and tons of level-based challenges to complete. The campaign is almost as fun as online multiplayer, and it could arguably sell out Splaton 3 all alone.

Kirby’s Dream Buffet has Splaton 3 beat in one key area though: local multiplayer. Splaton 3 allows local online play, but Kirby’s Dream Buffet comes with a real local game on the same console. Unfortunately, it’s limited to two-player split-screen, but it’s still a great option for game nights with friends, family, and significant others.

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Splatoon has a much higher player count

Online games are for all other players. Without competitors from around the world to share the fun, there is no game. Unfortunately, when it comes to the number of players online, the answer is clear: Splaton 3 won. There’s no getting around the fact that the Splatoon already has a thriving online community. With more competitive and cooperative options available, and with a brand name associated with online play, Splaton 3 is destined to remain a major presence in online gaming.

Find an eight-player Turf War match in casual or ranked play in Splaton 3 is extremely easy. It usually only takes a few seconds. Matchmaking in Kirby’s Dream Buffet usually takes much longer, and many games will still end with one or two CPU-controlled players. Both games are still young, but it seems clear that Splaton 3 will have a much more sustainable community than Kirby’s Dream Buffet.

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Kirby’s Dream Buffet is significantly cheaper than Splatoon 3

The number one factor that keeps many gamers from just grabbing both Kirby’s Dream Buffet and Splaton 3 is the price. Video games can be expensive. Luckily for thrifty gamers looking for a decent online experience, one of these two games is significantly cheaper than the other, and this game is Kirby’s Dream Buffet.

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a complement to a larger Kirby game released this year, Kirby and the Forgotten Land. ‘Cause it’s a little game Dream Buffet also comes with a smaller price tag: just $14.99. Splaton 3 is a complete sequel to Splaton 2and its price is this way at $59.99. Kirby’s Dream Buffet may not be as feature rich as Splaton 3but at around a quarter of the price, it’s hard to feel too bad about it.

Verdict

In the end, both Splaton 3 and Kirby’s Dream Buffet are great games. Which one to buy comes down to personal preference. For those looking for a full-fledged competitive online experience, Splaton 3 is the way to go. Those looking for a smaller game to flesh out the date night roster will appreciate Kirby’s Dream Buffetlow price and local multiplayer. It all depends on the type of game you are looking for.

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