Review: de Blob 2
The original de Blob released almost 3 years ago as a Wii exclusive title, and its success made releasing de Blob 2 a no-brainer. Not only is this sequel releasing again for Wii, but it has gone multiplatform by releasing for 360, PS3 and DS, too. That should be a clear indication to the mass appeal de Blob struck back in 2008. So, how does de Blob 2 compare to the original? Does its colors, platforming and charm still resonate as loudly in 2011? In a gaming generation driven by graphical horsepower and AK-47s, I would hope so.
The story in de Blob 2 is tied together by gorgeous cinematic cutscenes that are both humorous and surprisingly deep. Color plays a major role throughout the game, and when these cutscenes play, you will not be able to resist sitting back to enjoy them as they flourish on screen. In a very simple nutshell, Prisma City is about to vote for their new leader, and Papa Blanc, otherwise known as Comrade Black from the first de Blob, is rigging the system to have himself elected. It is up to you to make sure that this does not happen. There are political connotations left and right throughout the story, and those who are sophisticated enough will pick those up right away.
The game is capable of being run in 3D, so if you have the means to support this feature, the game looks even better than it already does. Unfortunately, the game has no voice-over outside of incomprehensible “Blob-babbling.” This works well with the cutscenes, because of the “Tom and Jerry-no-need-for-voices” style they were going for. However, when playing the game, it does have a heavy amount of dialogue and in-game instructions that leads to a good amount of reading. To me, in this day and age, not having voice-over just comes across as lazy. Pardon me, the dialogue and in-game instructions are accompanied by voices. They’re accompanied by — you guessed it — more “Blob-babbling” that doesn’t do anyone good.
When you get into actually playing the game, de Blob 2 is a platforming goodness with its own little twist. You control Blob, and you use him to bring color back into a world that is black, white and shades of gray. When you dip Blob into a color, anything and everything he touches in his environment turns that color and brings life back into the oppressive setting captured in de Blob 2. It makes you feel like you’re doing a great service to this on-screen world that looks so boring without the help of you and Blob. There is also some sweet sounding tunes that beautifully complement the enjoyment of splattering paint all over Prisma City.
The game also goes into both 3D and 2D environments. This mixes up things nicely, but being a big 2D platformer fan, I have to say that the 2D portions of the game are definitely the more enjoyable side of things. Like in most platformers, there are enemies to stomp, and more techniques than simply running and jumping. Eventually, you get all kinds of different maneuvers and abilities that help freshen up the game as you progress.
On the downside of the whole platforming experience, the game needs to know when to shut up. A good continuous flow of gaming is almost nonexistent, because instructions are hand-delivered to you constantly. There is absolutely no sense of exploration and wonder in de Blob 2 because of this, and that’s a huge disappointment, because that’s what I feel is one of the defining aspects of any platforming game.
A big issue with de Blob 2 was some of the design choices for the game. The game has a timer when trying to complete tasks, but they do not add to any of its challenge. These timers give you more than enough time to do whatever it is you need to do. So, why are they included? My conclusion is that they are simply an added nuisance to the game. They are so irrelevant that you sometimes forget about them. Outside of the very few who may find it a challenge, I really don’t see anyone finding the game’s timer an issue. This is especially the case, because time bonuses are added constantly. The only way I see someone being defeated by the timer is if they walked out of the room and forgot they left the game on. Another design choice that can get gamers frustrated is the game’s saving/checkpoint system. They are spread far apart, and it makes de Blob 2 feel very forced.
Overall, de Blob 2 is a solid platforming game that could have used a little more inspiration, and it could have given gamers a whole lot more credit. The game looks great, it sounds great, and there are truly great portions in the game. However, you’re going to be spending a lot of time skipping through dialogue and wishing a checkpoint would arrive sooner than later. If you’re in need of a good platformer in 2011, then I recommend giving this game a try. Solid gameplay, collectibles, and an option for two players make this a pretty decent package.
- Game: de Blob 2
- Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 3
- Developer: Blue Tongue Entertainment
- Publisher: THQ
- Release Date: Available Now
- MSRP: $49.99 ($39.99 for Nintendo Wii)
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers, Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review.