De Blob review

The most infectiously enthusiastic game I’ve played since Katamari Damacy.

Thumbs way up.

I played this one on the PC when it was a free indie game after reading about it in the RPS archives, and it is incredibly addictive and fun, though I got stuck in the scenery and had to restart a few times until I gave up.

Is the transformation a gameplay mechanic thing or does it just add a lot more levels and polish?

Have any of you guys tried this one? I imagine it’s going to get lost in the holiday avalanche, but I heartily recommend this to pretty much everyone.

It’s one of my favorite platformers in a long time for how, well, relaxing it is. While I’ve been so busy lately, this has been a really cool soothing chill-for-an-hour game. I’m starting to go back through and re-explore the levels, collect the badges, and try the secret challenges and it’s still not getting old.

-Tom

Kareem, as I mentioned in the review, this is like a studio remake of an indie film. THQ acquired the game from the students who made it and then handed it over to the development studio in Australia. Those guys really knocked it out of the park in terms of taking the basic concept and growing it into a full-featured platform game with plenty of levels, a great set of challenges that ramp up gradually without being frustrating, some cool backstory concepts (love the cutscenes!), and a lot of unlockables and replayability.

-Tom

I also played the student version. A lot.

The student version was a great proof of concept, with only one level. It also never ended, so you just had to decide to quit.

I played this on the Wii last year sometime at one of the shows, and now I’m really excited to see how it all turned out. Tom just confirmed that this is a must-buy.

All the other reviews turned me off with talk about how frustrating it got towards the end and how you’re constantly being interrupted with timed challenges and mini-cutscenes.

Bollocks, I say! Bollocks!

The last two levels are a bit tough, but once you’ve failed once, it’s pretty easy to know what you have to do and just do it. And the last level itself is cool enough that I didn’t mind replaying it.

As for the timed challenges, the beauty of de Blob is that almost every one of them is optional! Each level is divided into sections. To open the gate to the next section, and also the exit at the end, you simply have to accumulate a certain number of points. This number is always clearly displayed in the upper right corner of the screen.

The best way to get points is by doing challenges, but there are enough challenges that you don’t need to do all of them. In fact, if you do other things to get points (e.g. freeing greydians, painting blocks with various colors instead of just one color, fighting guards, collecting collectibles), you can actually reach your score thresholds without having to do many of the challenges at all! It’s a generous and flexible system.

Oh, and I didn’t mention this in the review because it was for Variety, but the best way I can think to describe de Blob is as a combination of Jet Grind Radio and Katamari Damacy. It does a great job of combining qualities of both games: charming, subversive, lively, colorful, musical, simple, generous, etc.

-Tom

The only issue I’d had was that it gave me motion sickness after playing for too long.

I loved the concept, but unless the new version has improved whatever - that keeps it somewhat off-limits for me.

But… but…

Game Informer said it has no gameplay.

You know, I read that Game Informer review. IIRC, the writer mentioned a bunch of positives and then said something along the lines of, ‘But I realized I wasn’t having any fun’. So, yeah, there you go. He wasn’t having fun.

But it’s got plenty of gameplay, mostly in the form of level navigation, exploration, and minor combat.

Also, motion sickness, zengonzo? I know some folks get that from first-person shooters, but from de Blob? That’s weird. You should see a videogame doctor, maybe get Dr. Derek Stiles to have a look at you.

-Tom

Is it just me or is this game rife with communist undertones?

I think the tropes used (power to the people, evil corporation) are pretty standard now.

As far as the game goes, the only issue I have are the controls. I’ve found it way to easy to get stuck on a wall, and jumping when on a wall causes you to fly off away from it. And waving the wii mote to jump is just gratuitous waggle usage, one of my pet peeves for the system.

Otherwise, great game, with a large amount of freedom to pick and choose what challanges you want.

It’s very strange, admittedly. Most 3D games I can play just fine for hours and hours, but there are a very few that consistently make me sick.

Red Steel is the last one before deBlob that really got me, and to the point where I was in bad shape for the rest of the day. deBlob I quit once I realized it was coming on.

It’s usually a first-personner with funky geometry or depth of field, but obviously not always. Rare enough that I can forget to take precautions, but consistently enough that I can tell that it will happen if I’m paying mind to it.

Wow. Thanks for the recommendation, Tom. For the two hours I played de Blob I was completely entranced. Absolutely brilliant, joyous game. Now I have to prevent myself from going OCD and doing EVERYTHING in the game.

GI reviews make me insane sometimes. They just don’t get any kind of game that’s remotely casual in nature. They should really add a staff member that is more into the casual stuff. Heck, I already work for GS. Pick me.

I’m going to have to pick this up I guess. I haven’t really found anything that makes me want to play the Wii lately, short of World of Goo. I was very enthused about this months ago, then became less so because of concern over timed portions of the game, but it sounds like that isn’t a big deal.

I’m enjoying De Blob quite a bit. But lately I’ve become increasingly aware of a problem… I just don’t enjoy gaming on the Wii.

This game would be 10 times better with a 360 controller (jump button, please) and high def graphics wouldn’t hurt it one bit. Ah, well. Still an excellent game.

I can get behind this. More or less the only criticism in my review was that the game could well get lost not being avaliable on other platforms and that it got no benefits from the Wii controllers, while the terrific art direction could have looked even greater in HD.

The only reason this is on the Wii is that it’s cute and colourfull and that’s hat the Wii is all about, I guess.

But I love the game and agree with Toms review (we’re still neanderthals with no opposable thiumbs to use in our rating system, so I gave it a 5 on a 6 star scale)

Worse than no benefit, it’s markedly less fun with the way they did the jump mechanic. Flicking the Wiimote to jump is imprecise and tiring, plus it has no logical, physical connection to the thing it’s trying to simulate. The Wiimote can do bowling or golf swings quite elegantly, but this is just dumb. A real turn-off in an otherwise excellent game.

Oh, I agree. I’d much rather have to press a button and I hate every Wii game where you shake the Wiimote to accomplish something, that would be done better with a button press.

I got this for Xmas and finished it today. It would have taken less time but since you’re waggling basically the entire time you’re playing and levels last upwards of twenty minutes, my arm would get very sore. I had to restrict myself to one level a day to keep from hurting myself.

Final impressions reposted from another site:

I just beat de Blob. It ends with a tacked-on, four-stage, utterly horrible boss fight. What the fuck, assholes.

Like a lot of games it just gets worse and worse as it feels compelled to increase the difficulty to compensate for the fact that you’ve seen everything it has to offer in the first level. Throw in the wretched jumping mechanic and camera and the platformer-heavy later levels become exercises in frustration. I’d still call it a good game because the base gameplay is fun and rewarding, but they layer crap on top of crap on top of that base and they had better flush a lot of it if they want me to be interested in a sequel.