Let’s paint this town… anything other than black.
Can I be honest? I probably would have never even taken the time of day to play, or even considered purchasing de Blob 2, if I hadn’t been asked to review the Xbox 360 version for Brutal Gamer. And truthfully, I’m glad I did have the chance to play it, because I actually liked it quite a lot.
I suppose that being a gaming enthusiast sort of puts me in this “higher-than-thou” sort of attitude when it comes to games, that automatically excludes family titles from my “legitimate” game library. Part of it is the jadedness with the reality of the gaming industry — not a lot of video games on the market are actually exceptionally good. The other part is that being a parent and a husband means I don’t have a lot of gaming time, and the time I do have, I want to try and spend with titles that will interest me and give me the most value for my dollar spent. I leave the family games to Wii and Kinect sessions, but mostly rely on the kids to let me know if the games are actually fun.
I’m here to tell you that de Blob 2 is worth your money, even if you don’t have kids (but it’s a lot easier to validate the purchase if you do, of course). Whether or not, you as the gaming enthusiast, will choose to purchase de Blob 2 over Killzone 3, Bulletstorm, or Crysis 2 is up to you, but I’m here to tell you that you’d have a good time with de Blob 2.
The game’s basic premise is that the color has been drained from Prisma City from the aptly named Comrade Black, and it’s up to you as the Blob to restore color to the drab, gray world. You’ll do this with the help of Pinky, your robot accomplice (and co-op partner during a 2-player game).
You’ll restore color by simply touching buildings and objects (like trees and cars), and the effect is actually quite impressive, if not slightly beautiful. The game’s graphics are certainly no Unreal Engine quality, but the high-resolution cartoon world looks really impressive as you begin filling it with color. The Blob will come in contact with different pools of colors, simply diving into the pool will change the Blob’s color.
In later levels, or in certain situations, you’ll be required to paint a certain building a specific color, or you’ll need to combine different colors to achieve a color that isn’t available without mixing colors, like mixing available red and blue colors sources to make purple.
Let me take a moment to also mention that de Blob 2’s levels are LONG. Expect to spend about an hour completing the first one, perhaps a bit longer if you’re a completionist like me. It’s not a real knock against the game, as I’m a fan of games that take some time to finish, but if you’re crunched for time, it’s not exactly the kind of game that’s good for quick pick-up-and-play sessions.
To give the game added challenge, your color can be washed away by jumping into water, or falling into the deadly black ink. As the game progresses, you’ll be required to maneuver carefully through areas in order to not accidentally submerge yourself into the wrong color (or nullify your color by falling in water).
For the most part, de Blob 2 is an easy game but packs a healthy challenge in the puzzle department. I died only a handful of times, and most of those times were completely accidental. As long as you keep the Blob out of the ink and saturated with paint, you’ll be fine. There is a time limit that you’re given at the beginning of each level, but completing tasks by coloring groups of buildings, or returning colors to the citizen’s lives will give you 30 and 60 second time boosts. I never once had problems with not having enough time. Before you complete a level, you’ll be given the choice to complete all of the tasks of that level before proceeding to the next. At that point, the time limit is removed, and your required objectives are clearly labeled. Never once did I have to hunt around for that last objective to paint.
For somebody like me who is red-green colorblind, I never really had a problem distinguishing colors in de Blob 2. There is a color name toggle in the menus to help you identify which color you currently are, or what color you’ll about to jump into.
If there was one negative thing to say about the game is that the tasks can get a bit repetitive after awhile. With the levels being long, and with there also being plenty of levels, once you’ve played one level, you pretty much know what to do for the rest of them. I didn’t mind the repetitiveness, though, but I can see how some people might.
Killzone 3 isn’t the only 3D game hitting store shelves Tuesday morning. de Blob 2 also features 3D settings. If your TV supports stereoscopic 3D, you’ll be able to flip the switch in the game’s menu to toggle this option. Unfortunately, I was not able to test this feature and will need to leave the verdict on the quality of the de Blob’s 3D up to other reviewers.
The soundtrack is very hip and happening. I know that makes me sound old, and perhaps in part that’s the truth, but I do know good music and it’s obvious some thought, talent, and production when into the game’s music. It’s got this fusion-jazz kind of sound to it – lots of brass instruments with some scratchin’, where others will feature a 60s style lounge music, or a groovy disco beat. It’s a good mix of many styles and is definitely easy on the ears. It’ll get your toes-a-tappin’.
Final Thoughts: de Blob 2 is a cute game. There, I said it. It’s also charming, it’s bright and colorful, it’s happy, it’s easy to control, and best of all it’s fun. I don’t really have a lot of negative things to say about the game, other than the tasks can become a bit repetitive after awhile, and the levels tend to be long. Outside of that, I absolutely enjoyed my time with de Blob 2. If it wasn’t for this position at Brutal Gamer, I would have likely never given de Blob 2 the time of day, but I’m glad I did, because it’s been totally worth it. I really recommend this game to anybody to enjoys fun, light-hearted games, but I especially recommend it if you like good games, and you have children.