de Blob 2ESRB:
Category: Action Games
Playstation Move Compatible (requires navigation controller)
de Blob? It would be easy to pass this off quickly as a kid's game. I certainly didn’t know what to expect when our Editor-In-Chief forwarded this one on to me. Especially since I hadn’t even heard of the first one! I plead ignorance about that. It’s nothing personal. So, what is it? It’s a little bit of platformer; it’s a little bit of Marble Madness; it’s a little bit of Katamari Damacy. It’s also addictive as hell.
de Blob 2 has a comic-book feel to its appearance. Everything is very bright with tons of contrast. It won’t compete with the highest fidelity games available in terms of graphics but its look is definitely unique and (this is key) it contributes to the gameplay.
You’ve got some pretty basic character models. You’re a blob, what did you expect? Everything is kind of flat looking and lifeless at first glance. Don’t be fooled though. I think they want you to think this. As you add colour back each level comes alive with texture and activity.
I should also note that the cut scenes look spectacular. These are very well done. The actual game play doesn’t quite measure up but it does a good job trying.
When it comes to de Blob 2’s sound, I think cute is the best way to describe it. The game avoids actual dialogue with an in-game language of jibberish with just enough real words thrown in to keep your attention. I think this approach is always a fine line but it works here. The soundtrack is somewhat quirky but it really works here. This is a quirky game in a charming way so it’s a good fit.
I am assuming the opening cut scene of the game, which sets the premise, takes up after the ending of the first. Spoilers notwithstanding, you play as the aptly named Blob. For those like me new to the game, you are essentially a clear, gelatinous blob. As you move around the world that has been colored a mono-chrome set of grey’s, you are tasked with bringing colour back and overcoming the evil Comrade Black who is intent on “inking” up the world. Blob can absorb colours from various sources including pools and enemies that you use to paint the various level environments.
The levels themselves are themed pretty standardly. You’ve got your beach levels, your city levels and of course a snow/ice level. However, they are made up of somewhat basic geometric shapes. This gives each level a good sense of character and the shapes help the gameplay by giving you more surfaces to colour. This also works very well with the game's art style. More on that later, but I thoroughly enjoy the artist approach de Blob 2 takes.
It’s not simply all about colouring everything in sight though. The game presents several challenges along the way. These tasks range from simply colouring certain areas certain colours to more complex ones that will require some basic problem solving skills. There’s nothing too hard here (keep in mind the game’s rated E10+) but it’s a good blend that keeps things from getting stagnant. Your supply of colour isn’t infinite and the game play gets extra layers in having to not just manage your colours and size (you get smaller as you use up your paint). Brush up on your knowledge of those primary colours and how they mix!
Blob controls well using the two thumbsticks in a traditional third person way. Special moves are simple combinations of just a couple of buttons. This should be helpful not just to younger gamers but to more casual players like myself. While de Blob 2 features Playstation Move compatibility it is completely clear that it’s been essentially tacked on. Using the Move controller does not enhance the core gameplay whatsoever. It’s biggest perk is for two player coop where the second player, in a Super Mario Galaxy type fashion, can point the Move controller at the screen to help paint certain areas.
The cooperative play is local only and is the limit of de Blob 2’s multiplayer. There’s a wealth of levels though. Every level has a number of collectibles and extra challenges outside of the main story line. This all makes for good value in terms of length and playability.
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