I rather liked the first de Blob; it was a game with a lot of heart and soul. In fact it grew on me quite quickly and after reading a few reviews, I picked it up. I was surprised since normally Iíd only ever played Twilight Princess and Mario games on my Wii. But the Wii is long gone, consigned to the dark place in that cupboard where the consoles of yester-year now live because Iím having far more fun with the 360.
So I was pleased when I got 2 copies of de Blob in for both my PS3 and 360. So this review can be taken for both platforms and not really as a comparison. I donít think thereís much between both versions of the games and thatís really it.
The gameplay is reminiscent of the first game, but itís all been polished with an extra layer of colour and shine. Controls are smoother and the feel is much better, thereís a nice element of the kid-friendly about de Blob 2 though as an adult, Iím having just as much fun as the kidís Iíve seen playing it.
It pushes a natural feeling of exploration and enjoyment in the regular gameplay, and whilst thereís a ticking timer for a lot of the levels, you can still paint outside the lines. Itís the mix of frenetic gameplay elements and crazy colour-based platforming that draw you in. It might feel a little static to being with but as you get deeper into the game, youíre given harder and harder levels/challenges to complete. It feels as though this one got the game balance just right.
As per Games Xtremeís ethos on story spoilers, Iím going to skip the story and just say thatís it is engaging, told with nicely done CGI for a lot of the level intros and puts a smile on the face of the most jaded adult.
I really like the colour switching gameplay in this one, thereís a lot more to do and more to explore and paint than ever before. With the smooth control system itís a joy to revel in Blobís colourful side as well as his destructive ability. Switching colours is easy and getting your own back on those dreadful grey monochrome enemies is simple.
It doesnít swamp you in needless controls and it just lets you play around in the large gameworlds. There are also some great 2d levels that really challenge your ability to explore/puzzle and paint. I think I really preferred the 2d levels to the full 3d ones but thatís because it evokes an old-skool platformer in me that harkens back to the good old days of the C64 and the Sacred Armor of Antiriad. Or even Jet Set Willy/Manic Miner.
Thereís a way for a friend to join in the fun too, with Pinky, Blobís sidekick and together you can play the main game, or you can tackle specific co-op levels. That extra slice of gaming fun is just what de Blob needed on this second outing.
The graphics are top notch, in HD and high quality with gorgeous uses of colour that bring the drab worlds to life as you paint around. Blob leaves trails of colour where ever he goes and it seems to delight kids and adults alike, for some reason. I think weíre all a bit messy at heart and it stirs some kind of primal desire to go nuts and bury the world in paint and crazy colour schemes.
Thereís also some great music that plays based on the colour that Blob is at the time, yet it doesnít actually seem out of place as you whip from colour to colour. It actually works really well with a good emphasis on coherency and providing an ever-changing soundtrack to the game. Sound design in general is really good and there are lots of nice spot effects as youíre battling, painting and exploring.
I really do like this game and itís hard not to like it, thereís nothing fundamentally wrong at all with de Blob. There are no real bugs or massive glitches that spoiled the play on either version of the game and I have to admit I spent a lot of time on the 360 one since I am more comfortable with that pad than anything else. Having the extra 2 player co-op options really does help to bulk out the main game itself and it has a generous and well thought out checkpoint-save system that means youíre not being needlessly frustrated.
Itís a good looking fun romp and the game is perfect for kids and grown-ups alike.