Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: de Blob 2

Review based off Wii version

The sequel to the 2008 cult classic, de Blob, de Blob 2 once again puts into the, um, feet of the Blob fresh off of saving Chroma City from the nefarious INKT Corporation invasion and their attempt to rid the city of all color and leaving the INKT leader, Comrade Black, stranded on an island full of cute colorful creatures. Unfortunately for the residents of Prism City, Comrade Black escaped the island and has taken on the guise of Papa Blanc, a leader of a cult of Inkies and is out to win elected office, though not fairly. It is up to Blob and his robotic friend, Pinky, and stop Comrade Black's new attempt the rid the world of color and..........................wait for it.................................TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

de Blob 2 plays pretty much the same as the first. As you steer Blob through the stages, you collect paint, use that paint to recolor the buildings, signs, furniture and Raydians who had their color stolen from them as well as using paint to defeat the INKT soldiers and their various weapons of mass discoloration. These are typically done in the form of missions that will have to complete as long with bonus missions you will access after you finish the main objectives. There are a few new twists in the game such as color pools which make it easier to get the colors that require mixing without the need of finding red, yellow or blue paintbots though paintbots will still play a prominent roll in color collecting. Next are the side-scrolling stages. At various points you will enter hatches that bring you into various buildings where you will be tasked to destroy any INKT machinery, free any Raydians trapped within and eventually revert the building back into its original colorful form. Another is Inspiration: basically the upgrade system added for the game. It'll let you upgrade Blob so you can collect more paint, use less for special attacks and collect more lives and defense. You can also upgrade Pinky for use in the co-op mode, which is much like the co-op in Super Mario Galaxy 2. A few tweaks to the gameplay from the first includes moving the jump from a wrist flick to the A button, whether this was to better facilitate the PS3 or 360 versions I don't know but it does make jumping an easier process. Also there are now checkpoints after clearing portions of each stage and with each stage roughly taking an hour plus to finish, it lets you take a break if you need to without losing your progress. Some of the flaws of the first game weren't addressed, mostly the lock-on uses to launch attacks. Sometimes Blob won't lock onto what you want him to sending him bounding off the wrong way or onto the wrong thing. This only gets in the way when things get really hectic in the later parts of stages but can be enough to drive you crazy. Also the camera can work against you, especially when you are jumping around tall buildings and a bad angle will either cause you to fall off and have to start over or fall to your death.

Graphically the game is much like the first. Very cartoonish, simple character models and while each stage starts off dull and grey by the end each stage will be extremely colorful, vivid and fun to look at. I'd actually consider buying this on the PS3 when it gets less expensive and see what HD does for the overall look. One of my favorite aspects of the game are the pre-rendered cutscenes, they are generally very nice looking and pretty funny overall and really fit with the overall feel of the game.

The music in the game is very relaxed and fitting with the mood of the game and changing as you bring more color to the world and even depending on what color you use. While the music might not be as memorable as Mario Galaxy's fantastic score, it does the job admirably. The SFX also fits the cartoonish nature of the game. The characters are voiced in a cartoon gibberish style, which does a good job of conveying the characters personalities well.
In summation, de Blob 2 is one of better 3rd party efforts to come onto the Wii, which may not say a lot considering the average effort put out by 3rd parties. And considering the Wii's rather anemic line-up this year so far, you could do worse than to pick up this game or even the prequel which is cheap and also quite good.

+ Solid 3D platforming
+ Colorful, cartoonish graphics

+ Very easy, going music
+ Funny story and FMV sequences

+ Gameplay tweaks make game easier to control and allows you not to play each stage in one go

- Lock-on can be a pain sometimes
- Camera won't always cooperate

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