Nintendo's most popular new IP in the last decade has to be Splatoon. The zany and bright multiplayer title brought something new, and since then has gone on to have two more entries into the series - the third of which, Splatoon 3, is coming out soon. So far fans have been shown two new stages, and a returning one: Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, and Museum D’Alfonsio. But what other stages should return to the series? These could be for Ranked Battles as well as 'Turf', and 'Salmon Run'.
Camp Triggerfish is one of the rarer seen maps in Splatoon 2's rotation. This writer took months to even see it for the first time! That may add to the enjoyment of the stage, but the design is fun, and it is filled with shortcuts and obstacles.
At the final minute mark, inkable gates are dropped so that opposing teams can easily reach each other's inner areas, ensuring more chaos ensues. But be warned, there is a lot of mesh grating floor in this level that offers no help for unsuspecting Inklings.
Anyone with a bucket or bloblobber weapon can excel in this stage, or any sort of launchable specials and bombs. The low walls can provide a great hiding place while launching ink over them to hit anything on the other side.
The Kelp Dome is a giant greenhouse, owned by an unknown character named Grammie, and is used to grow fruit and veg. It is unknown what kind. The stage features a maze-like system of grow tunnels and grating pathways that can lead to new areas and right to each teams' spawns.
Wahoo World is a stage that is set in an amusement park, and as such is very amusing. There are rotating paths, extending floors, big open areas to cover with ink, and plenty of platforms to pick off poor Inklings.
If players get the chance to have a look around, they'll notice many jellyfish having a grand day out, as well as a huge rollercoaster and other rides in the background. Also, fun fact, the Inkling language logo for this stage spells out 'Smeshi World', which is the stage's Japanese name.
Starfish Mainstage made its debut in Splatoon 2, continuing the series' intertwined theme of music. The stage features some stickers of bands featured on the game's soundtrack, showing that this is probably where Inklings go to chill out and soak up some fresh tracks. The stage has plenty of hidden paths, places to hide, and vantage points.
There's only one reason that this map may not be brought into the third game, and that is because it is on the box art for Splatoon 2. This could mean it is specific and won't be redone.
One of Splatoon's many exercise and activity-themed areas is Humpback Pump Track, introduced in the second game. It features a wobbly track around the outside with a raised hump in the middle, perfect for doing close battles with the other team.
Spawn points are off-limits on this map, but players can get very close to lay traps and douse them with ink. The pump track is a great stage and is loved by many players, but is not without its negativity due to how hard curling bombs are to use on the uneven surface.
The street kid, active and sporty themes of Splatoon lend themselves very well to the Blackbelly Skatepark stage. With plenty of curves, dips, and hiding spots, it makes for a fun battle.
This is another stage that was featured in both existing games, having only small changes between the two including moving the spawn points further back on their platforms, meaning enemy teams cannot access them. Its central tower-shaped structure is well-regarded as a vantage point for players to pick off unsuspecting squids.
One stage that did not receive a re-do for Splatoon 2 is Mahi-Mahi Resort. The design and elements of it are superior to the New Albacore Hotel that came into the second game.
At halftime, Mahi-Mahi Resort's water level drops - allowing a lot more inking to be done to push towards a win. This also allows players to be more daring as there's less threat of drowning if a jump goes wrong. The setting of this stage is chaotic and would lend itself well to the third installment. Maybe a new branch of the resort opened in the SplatLands?
Possibly the best map is Ruins of Ark Polaris - featuring posters warning of bears in the area and a giant crashed spaceship in the background. In terms of gameplay, this stage has large ink rails that can easily transport Inklings, along with multiple mesh grates and different levels to pick Salmonids off from.
Moray Towers is a fun map - it inconveniences players right off the bat as spawns are set high up on a parking garage-like structure, and have a winding path down to the main area. However, if players choose rollers or bucket weapons, this will be easy to cover in ink.
As this fan-favorite stage has been featured in both games so far, it stands to reason that it will return again, possibly with some more minor changes as it had between the two; a larger 'battle' area and some ink rails being added.
Splatoon 2 introduced Shifty Stations to its roster of SplatFest stages, and they were something to behold. Each stage had a unique twist, taken from the single-player mode - like moving platforms, cannons, or rollers that can be shot away.
Bringing these back to the new game would be amazing, even if just for special events. Specifically, The Bunker Games and Bridge to Tentaswitchia, which feature a dome that entraps Inklings inside, and a long strip of inkable turf that gets closed off after a certain period of time respectively.
Splatoon 3 releases for Nintendo Switch in 2022.