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Review | de Blob 2

Blob of inspiration

Format: PS3/Xbox 360/Wii | Genre: Platformer | Publisher: THQ | Developer: Blue Tongue | Release Date: 25/02/2011 | Price: £39.99

Brendan Caldwell gets colourful with DE BLOB 2.

AND LO, on the eighth day, Blob said, “Let there be colour.” And the world filled with a vibrant mix of reds, blues and yellows. And Blob saw it, and he deemed it better than average.

That’s a quote from the Blobspel. I hope you don’t doubt it, dear reader. It’s mostly accurate. This here de Blob 2 is delightful for the most part. Let me break it down for you. Straight outta the mouth of Funkmaster B. That’s right, I’m talking like this. Don’t try and stop me. I have momentum, biznitch.

After defeating Comrade Black in the first game, Blob and friendly “sass-bot” Pinky (yes, I know) are called on to do it all over again.

Comrade Black is a monochrome ink-stain ‘pon the planet. A tiny, ruthless dictator. He wants everything in black and white. It is not explained why. Perhaps because profile pictures look more stylish that way. It’s up to Blob and his friends in the Colour Underground to paint everything and return colour to Prisma City.

Artistry

You do this by dipping into pools of colour and smearing yourself all over buildings. In any civilised society, such behaviour would not be encouraged. And in fact, in Prisma City, it is equally unlawful. Guards of various power and ability, called Inkies, will try to stop you from doing so, squinting and swinging their truncheons around. The adorable Israeli border guards to your gelatinous, multicoloured Banksy.

By slamming into paintbots – spider-like containers of colour that scurry around – you can mix red, blue and yellow into secondary colours. Any basic colour combination you didn’t learn in art and design class will soon be firmly plastered to your brain.

The platforming itself is very basic. Jump from one place to the other, brightening the world up and stomping on baddies as you go. The joy comes not through progression, not through jumping from one futuristic cruise ship to another. It comes through the sound of jumping. The notes of a flat surface. The music of progress.

Each colour has an instrument mapped to it, you see. Every time you touch something as a certain colour and paint it in, the instrument plays a little ditty. It is the philosophy of synaesthesia based twin stick shmups like Everyday Shooter, applied to the platforming genre.

Mr Blobby

The result is a bewildered and smile-raising mix. Jazz and funk and action and colour. You hurtle over bridges as a yellow ball of trumpet. You reel across rooftops as a red spatter of saxophone. You scratch along walls as a brown blob of turntable. With such free-form music, you’d expect it to sometimes sound jarring. Oddly, it rarely does.

The backing track and style of music shift with each level. Some are more interesting and catchy than others. But it usually adheres to a particular genre. The genre of Funking Awesome.

The movement of Blob (and in particular his unenthusiastic jump) is not always as fluid. You can “wall-run” for a small amount of time but it is mapped to the same button as jump. The same button is also used for activating side missions. This makes Blob a sad Blob. With some extra streamlining de Blob 2 could have been the perfect mix of Sonic Adventure blue and Jet Set Radio red. A sort of Jet Sonic Radio purple. At the moment there is slightly too much blue. Not enough funky, funky red.

What? Hey listen, if you don’t enjoy the feel of Jet Set Radio, then you and I are going to be having some creative differences right up in heah. So, yeah. Quietness or whatever.

Continues…

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