De Blob 2 Review (Xbox 360)

There are some things you just don’t see coming. I don’t play Wii games, generally, so I never touched De Blob; when De Blob 2 arrived, I thought, “Huh, OK, it’ll at least be good to have a diversion from JRPGs for a bit.

De Blob 2, however, arrives on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in addition to the Wii, opening up its audience a bit, and we’re all better off for it; while I have no doubt most in the “hardcore” crowd won’t give De Blob a second glance, you really should, because this game might be just the easygoing, thrillingly fun experience you need right now.


De Blob 2 (XBox360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)
Developer: Blue Tongue
Publisher: THQ
Release Date: February 22, 2011
MSRP: $34.99

At first glance, I think most Xbox and PS3 gamers will find the game pretty underwhelming — that was my reaction, anyway. It starts off so slowly, with platforming mechanics so very simple and seemingly nothing to make it even a little bit difficult, that it was, frankly, boring. Yeah, it looks fantastic, and the colors pop like whoa in HD, but that’s all it seemed to have going for it.

And it’s not like the plot is engaging on its own. Here we have the story of an absorbent blob returning color to an island taken over by the forces of grayscale by hopping around painting buildings. It’s not a thrilling idea, and it certainly isn’t thrilling in the beginning, when hopping around painting buildings is all there is to it.

De Blob 2 is, at its heart, a kids game, and so a slow, very forgiving learning curve is to be expected. Give it time, though, and you’ll see Blue Tongue add new mechanic after new mechanic until you end up with a really deep, really interesting puzzle¬†platformer. Even as it gains in complexity, it stays true to its core concept; it never stops being about the colors, and so it never grows beyond itself and never loses the players with its shifting ideas.

The game is built on a series of open worlds that serve as sections of an island called Prisma City, and you’ll be assigned tasks that amount to military action against the gray forces of the evil Comrade Black. What you and Blob do in Prisma City isn’t really unlike what Rico Rodriguez does to tropical islands — you’re liberating Prisma City piece by piece, from the entertainment district to the local university, aided by the dissident locals, except instead of shooting people you’re covering them with paint.

Most of the game is spent in these 3D open worlds, but you’ll on numerous occasions venture into buildings, at which point the game becomes a 2D platformer. These sections gain in complexity alongside the 2D sections, but in completely different ways. These bits are incredibly effective and add a lot to the experience of playing the game, because it allows Blue Tongue and co. to experiment with perspective and level design in ways they can’t in a fully 3D environment, and they really do go crazy with it.

And that’s why De Blob 2 shines: Blue Tongue does so many cool things you don’t expect to see in a tried-and-true genre like the platformer. It doesn’t feel calculated, though, as much as it feels like an artist playing around in a fun, consequences-free space.

Not everything is perfect, of course. Players have free look in the 3D sections, but the camera acts up something fierce in all the places third-person cameras tend to act up; it’s worse at times, really, because the game refuses to allow any object to get between the camera and Blob, and so a simple act like walking under a low bridge might make you vomit.

But, hey, nothing’s perfect. What matters is that De Blob 2 is full of heart and creativity, and anybody who picks this one up is in for a lighthearted good time that’s well worth the time and money they spend on it.

Pros:

  • A platformer with ideas
  • Alternating 2D and 3D sections provide excellent balance
  • Complex
  • Beautiful
  • It’s just fun

Cons:

  • Slow start
  • Wonky camera

final score: 90/100

Having trouble? Check out our De Blob 2 walkthrough.

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