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The second boss fight in Splatoon 2 is a sword battle. You face off against Octo Samurai, an enormous cephalopod who brandishes a paint roller like a katana and rides around on an itty-bitty unicycle. Like the first boss fight in Nintendo’s ink shooter (due out July 21 for the hybrid home/handheld Switch console — read our preview), Octo Samurai is bursting with character thanks to striking visual design and excellent animations.

But the coolest thing about duking it out with Octo Samurai is that the combat switches up. Instead of going into the battle with any of the weapons you’ve unlocked in the campaign so far, you must use the paint roller. This gives the bout something of a fighting-game melee feel.

With the paint roller, you can do a short-range fling attack or a long-range jumping flick. This gives you a couple of options for attacking your enemy. The jumping attack lets you keep distance, and you can use that to escape Octo Samurai. But that move takes more time to perform. If you can get in close, you can quickly cover him with ink by hitting several close flings in rapid succession.

The risk is that your character moves slowly unless you are swimming through your own ink. To survive, you want to use the jumping ink attack to create lanes to move through. You must keep doing this, because Octo Samurai’s barrage will lay down its own ink. So when you’re in close, it’s difficult to evade if you haven’t paid attention to the ink routes you left on the ground.


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You can see how all of that works by watching me fight Octo Samurai in the video above.

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