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Review

Review: de Blob 2

Painting the town red.

de Blob was a breath of fresh air when it launched on the Nintendo Wii back in 2008. Of course, this new approach coupled with a new IP meant it wasn’t a huge hit, but luckily that hasn’t deterred THQ and Blue Tongue from cracking on with de Blob 2; only this time Blob will also be sliding his way to the Xbox 360 and PS3 in sexy high definition (sans the motion control of the Wii version).

Info:
  • Available on Wii, PS3 & Xbox 360
  • 3D enabled
  • Free roam and side scrolling sections
The sequel picks up directly after the first game which saw Blob liberate Chroma City from the evil dictator, Comrade Black. Unfortunately you can’t keep a decent bad guy down and not only has Black returned, but he has now set his sights on Prisma City, draining it of all colour and converting its inhabitants into drab, monotone ‘Graydians’. This cannot be allowed to stand; it’s time to start a rebellion. They can take our lives, but they can never take our freedom! Or perhaps something a bit less dramatic.

Like its predecessor, de Blob 2 is a free-roaming platform game with a twist. Blob is essentially a big sponge, and as such can soak up coloured paint he finds scattered about levels. This allows you to use him as a big grinning paintbrush, as you slam him against buildings and the like. This is the main purpose of the game; to return as much colour as possible to the levels.

It’s not as easy as rocking up and taking control though, as at the start of every level you must get the colour fountains flowing. This involves heading underground, at which point the game switches to a 2D perspective as you are tasked with freeing Graydians, and hitting switches which will eventually pump paint to the surface.

With enough paint to make the Dulux dog very happy, you are then set various assignments to liberate the area you are currently in. At first these are basic ‘paint that building a certain colour’, but soon paint mixing comes into play as you require bright orange, green, and purple. The game will demand that different tiers of a building be painted different colours, and it’s up to you to work out what to use first. Hardly rocket science, but it needs a bit more thought than your average platformer.

Obviously Comrade Black won’t be taking this lying down, and has deployed many a minion to kick you right in the…blobs. These range from standard grunts, to elites that can only be killed when Blob is a certain colour. It just so happens that Blob is far from helpless though, and has a stomp move that would make Mario nod his head in respect. You can also charge dash through enemies too, although you need to make sure you’re not near a ledge when you do! Every move you do uses up paint, so every now and again you’ll have to find a paint pool, or paintbot to refill yourself. The amount of paint you can absorb is upgradeable, along with other aspects such as amount of lives you have, and a decrease in the amount of paint your charge attack uses.

The game also features a main game co-op mode and some additional non-story challenges for two players. For clarity I did not manage to test this out.

The visuals, whilst not massively detailed, are bright and varied, and it really is a joy to return the various landscapes to their former glory. The cutscenes are very well done, and have a wicked sense of humour, with a cast of characters that are charming, despite never uttering a word. The soundtrack is immense, with every level starting off in a low, foreboding tone, gradually building to a joyous crescendo as your spread the paint about.

Unfortunately a number of issues stop de Blob 2 from reaching the upper echelons of the platform genre. The game has some fairly large environments, stuffed with collectables, but any sort of exploration is stomped on by the fact that there is a time limit. I have no idea why on earth one has been included, and the fear of running out of time is always there in the back of your mind. Yes, throughout the levels there are collectibles that increase the time on the clock, but ironically you have to go and find them. Thank goodness that performing certain tasks automatically gives you a time increase. In all fairness, when you complete a level you are free to explore it, but by then the location of that particularly juicy looking collectable is all but forgotten.

Bearing in mind the games target audience, the punishment for failure – be it death or running out of time – is especially severe and will see you plonked back right at the start of a section, meaning a long slog back through the tasks you had just completed. This really is disheartening. The targeting system can also prove troublesome, as it’s not particularly fussy what it locks onto in a crowd, be it an enemy, a paintbot, or an exploding barrel that will kill you instantly.

By far the biggest issue though is repetition. Every level follows the exact same formula, and sees you doing the exact same thing. The levels can go on for far too long as well, with the best example of this being when you have to liberate seven towers in a row, using an identical method. It stops being enjoyable after tower four.

Pros

  • Expansive levels
  • Great soundtrack
  • Solid gameplay

Cons

  • Repetition
  • Targeting system
  • Time limit

Overall de Blob 2 is a real mixed bag. There is definitely a fun, solid game there but it is held back by a number of frustrating issues. Charming, but ultimately flawed.

Score: 7/10

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23 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Loved the idea of this game (and that it was coming to the PS3). With the niggles and frustrations above, I think I’ll wait to see a demo first but am open to being won over in an instant if that happens.

    Lovely review, Dan. Thanks.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:08.
  2. AshGraham99
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Never heard of this game til i saw it in Asda the other day. Read the blurb and sounded a pretty interesting idea but as i’d never heard of it, decided some research was needed. Nice review, sounds like a pretty frustrating game so i won’t be purchasing now but be interested to play it for a while and make my mind up properly.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:12.
    • kevatron400
      Drake, baby.
      Since: Dec 2008

      You mean you read De Blurb.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:14.
    • Kovacs
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009
      • Dan Lee
        Common like the rest of us.
        Since: Jun 2010

        The list that never dies!

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:22.
    • ruinereraser
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      The game is fun, and it’s not that flawed IMHO. Bit unfair when complaining in review that Kirby is far too easy and then it gets 10/10, but when there’s death penalty and some time limit, then it is “frustrating” and receives 7/10. Come on. I think it deserves at least 8 for great soundtrack and fun story plus enjoyable gameplay. Plus, the 2D levels are great addition to the formula.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 19:22.
  3. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Good review , i might pick this up as something different from KZ3 et al.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:21.
  4. kevatron400
    Drake, baby.
    Since: Dec 2008

    It’s a shame they’ve ommitted Move control for the sequel, would have been nice to add another game to the Move’s arsenal.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:31.
    • jimmy-google
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      My copy works with move and a navigation controller. Not tried the 3d yet, thats one for tonight. I actually prefer the dual shock to move on this.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:37.
  5. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    My Mrs has her period at the same time as her mate each month. Every month I hear the same thing “im on de blob 2″! Budumtish

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 17:46.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      I’ve just sicked up a little.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:07.
      • tonycawley
        Pint! Pint!
        Since: Feb 2009

        Shall I get my coat?

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:18.
      • spooner_22
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        Legendary

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:26.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      At least, for the first time, you’ll be able to reply with “I’m on de Blob” when asked about going to bed early for a “fool around”. Ah, how the tables have turned.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:50.
  6. Rob92
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    Move?

    Missed a trick there THQ. People are clamouring for decent Move games and you couldve been one of the first!

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:08.
    • ruinereraser
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      It has Move support.

      I’m actually surprised it is not mentioned here – maybe the game was tested on other platform (Wii or X360) – but it should at least get the info out.

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 19:25.
      • Dan Lee
        Common like the rest of us.
        Since: Jun 2010

        Version tested was the Xbox 360. Unfortunately The review copy didn’t have a fact sheet regarding various control schemes. My mistake.

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 19:36.
      • ruinereraser
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Fair enough. I can just confirm that it works with Move and DS3 or Navi setup, and with Move/Navi it’s very similar to the Wii control scheme I’ve played first De Blob on – Z and C buttons are L2 and L1 on Navi, A/B is Move/T button. It’s actually very easy to pick up for Wii users if they upgraded to PS3 meanwhile :)

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 21:00.
      • Rob92
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        Ahhh right cheers

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 21:59.
  7. jimmy-google
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    You can use the move controller.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 18:41.
  8. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Will probably pick this up when the price drops. Thanks for the review.

    Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 20:55.
    • ruinereraser
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      It’s already 23.99 on Amazon UK ;)

      Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 20:58.
      • Dan Lee
        Common like the rest of us.
        Since: Jun 2010

        That’s a good price, definitely worth it.

        Comment posted on 01/03/2011 at 21:17.

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