De Blob 2
De Blob 2 is the sequel to the succesful first adventure of Blob, and again you get a fun combination of platform- and… coloring gameplay. The story is simple, but interesting enough to appeal to other people than enfants. In Prisma City a new regime comes to power which makes all the vividness (and color) getting sucked out of the surroundings and inhabitants. Up to you to reverse this metaphore of political repression and restore freedom as well as color in the life of the Prismatians. The twists are told with nice cut-scenes that have a good balance of comedy, politics and fine references to recent and less recent events.
A simple mission that you take on as such: you suck up paint, jump against buildings or objects after which they take over your color and now and then have to solve a color puzzle. You need to give the right things the right color so you’ll need to think about which things to color first and also mix colors if you want to go beyond the primary ones. The devs also looked closely to Okami as there’s more to do than painting. Just like in that game you can bring the city to life by touching things after which they go through life happier. Think of a plant that suddenly starts to florish.
There’s more to do than being friendly. The hostiles Inkies (which come in different versions) deserve a kick in the ass and you’ll gladly provide them with that. The controls are pretty good, locking on an enemy goes smoothly with the right trigger and the attacks are intuitive and fast enough to not become frustrating. Only too bad that you can’t switch between one Inkie to the other faster as this way you’ll attack something or someone you didn’t really intend to attack.
The basic gameplay is good and more than enjoyable for young and old. There’s also no lack of content and levels so you’ll be occupied for quite a while. What we did miss is variation. In these times of abundance we expect more than endless repetition of the same things of coloring the same types of buildings.
The devs do try though. There are 2D pieces that bring some variation including a couple of surprises (and here they looked carefully at Super Mario Galaxy, just like they did with the co-op) but as you near the end of the game you feel like a bandworker. What makes this even worse is the fact that when you die you all too often have to redo a large part and the checkpoints don’t give you extra time which sucks. Personally I don’t understand why such a challenge is necessary here as this game is all about happy colors and relaxing gameplay, not about speed runs or perfectioning your skills.
The only things I want to mention still on a positive note is the music! Not only are the sound effects happy, they perfectly fit the soundtrack that nicely builds as you progress on your objectives. Very gratifying and an ideal addition to the gameplay.
This second Blob games nicely manages to build on the foundations of the promising first game. With improved graphics, excellent music and good controls it’s a pleasant snack, especially on a console where platformers are rare. It doesn’t really come close to the games it’s inspired on, but the attempt is more than decent. Those looking for a fun and happy game, but aren’t afraid of some frustration and replaying, will find their things right here.