de Blob 2 – Review

The sequel to the hit 2008 game de Blob has finally arrived. The original title in the series was a Wii exclusive, however, THQ decided to bring de Blob 2 to all of the consoles which was a great move. De Blob 2 looks amazing in high definition with its vibrant, colorful worlds. Also, if you have a 3D television, you can play this game in 3D on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to one myself and can’t comment on how it works. For those who aren’t familiar with this title, you assume the role of Blob. Comrade Black and INKT have stolen all of the color out of the world and made everything greyscale. In doing this he also imprisoned the the citizens of Prisma City, except for the Color Underground, a small resistance group of which you are a member. The other members of the Color Underground will provide assistance and guidance throughout your journey, however, it is up to you and and your friend Pinky to save the day.

De Blob 2 is the perfect title for all ages. Whether you are a parent who is looking for a game that your kids can enjoy or a “hardcore” gamer there is something for everyone. Since this is a title for all ages there is quite a bit of “hand holding” throughout the game. The first level of the game is a huge tutorial and some gamers might be put off by the slow nature of the tutorial. Be sure to get through that and keep on playing though and you will find a fantastic platformer. If you have a significant other that doesn’t play many games and generally enjoys watching over playing they can get in on the action too. They can join your game as Pinky (your robot sidekick) at any time and help you out on your adventure by helping you fight Comrade Black’s army. This is the same basic concept that the Mario Galaxy titles have utilized so if you have played those titles then you already know how this works. Pinky can even be upgraded to carry more ammunition (i.e. paint) and can also paint the ground if necessary. This was a great idea by the development team because this allows the person controlling Pinky to feel a sense of progression as well, alongside the person controlling Blob.

De Blob 2

De Blob 2 also features a standard multiplayer mode called “Blob Party”. This is local split screen multiplayer only so if you want to play it with your friends they will need to be sitting on your couch and not on Xbox Live. You have nine different levels to choose from for this multiplayer and this mode features the same concept that you will use in the single player campaign in bite size chunks. In one level you have to destroy all of INKT’s cargo while in another scenario you have homes that have been flooded by INKT and you need to restore them. An interesting feature of this multiplayer is that you simultaneously play cooperatively and competitively. There are certain tasks that will require both of you to solve, however, the winner of the game is the person with the most points. You are going to have to figure out how to score more points than your opponent while working alongside them. It adds a nice dynamic to the gameplay and should create some memorable moments with your friends as you battle for supremacy.

The single player campaign is where you will get more up close and personal with INKT and their leader Comrade Black. Comrade Black has taken over and he has brainwashed the majority of the population and turned them into Blanc soldiers. As you progress in the story you will keep meeting new types of enemies as well as learning new skills. There are also quite a few collectibles to find that are strewn around the environment. The most important collectible is the “Inspiration” collectible which looks like a light bulb. Inspiration points are what will allow you to upgrade Blob. You can upgrade how many lives you have, how much armor you can carry and things of that nature. The pacing of the game was done pretty well as you never really went too long without learning either a new skill or discovering a new way to eliminate an enemy. As you beat levels and progress in the story you will see these amazingly cute cinematics which should leave you chuckling because they are so well done. There is one level as well where Comrade Black is continually taunting you as you complete your objectives. His taunts were fantastic and it helped add something more to the situation that I was dealing with at that time. Another thing that stood out were the 2D levels that you had to explore. These levels would pop up whenever you had to “convert” a building from the inside. There was some great game play here as you had to utilize some of the game’s different mechanics to solve the color puzzles. The puzzles were fairly simplistic and straight forward, however, it just added to the charm of the game.  Once you did everything you would then “transform” the building and the exterior of the building would explode with color. The soundtrack for deBlob 2 is also pretty amazing. As you are playing the game the music that you hear will be dependent on your current color. If you are red then you will hear the instrument associated with that color until you change to blue and then you will hear that instrument. The more objects that you paint the more complex the soundtrack will become. It’s a fantastic concept and just helps make the game more fun.

The gameplay itself is very fluid and I appreciated the level of polish in this title. The animations were fluid and I didn’t notice any frame rate problems. My only annoyance with the game was the timer. In de Blob 2 you have a timer and you have to beat all of the objectives in a level before the timer runs out. Along the way you will earn more time by defeating enemies, painting buildings and performing various other tasks. I’m the type of gamer that generally likes to explore my surroundings in games. The timer really doesn’t allow you to do that until you have completed all of your objectives. Now, I will say that after all of your objectives are completed the timer disappears and you can spend as long as you want exploring. There are even special challenges that you can do where you can earn more Inspiration, extra lives or whatever. It’s great that they allow you to do this at the end of the level, however, some of these levels are so big that you might not want to go back all the way to the beginning to explore once you are at the end. There is one way around this though and that is the difficulty setting. If you select the “Normal” difficulty you will begin a level with 15 minutes on the timer. If you select the “Easy” difficulty you will begin with 60 minutes. Personally, I preferred that option as it gave me the time I wanted to explore and made it so I didn’t have to worry about the timer.

Overall de Blob 2 is a fantastic title. It took the concepts from its predecessor and expanded upon them with great results. The game is unbelievably charming and has a great sense of humor. The pacing of the game was just right as it slowly ramped up the difficulty level so the more causal gamer won’t be overwhelmed too quickly. If you like platformers at all you owe it to yourself to give this game a chance. Whether you are a newcomer to gaming or a seasoned veteran be sure to enlist in the Color Underground and save Prisma City from Comrade Black. You’ll be happy you did.

Score 8.5/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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