January 5, 2009

de Blob (WII) review

de Blob
Nintendo Wii
Blue Tongue, THQ

Ever reminisce those times as a child when you'd actually get a crayon and start painting on the bland, white wall, and every time you did you would get reprimanded by your parents? Well, this game basically takes this child-like desire to color the world and put it in a video game, and infuses it with a political metaphor along the way.

So you start out as the titular Blob as you help the Color Revolution bring all life back to Chroma City, much to the anger of the colonizing INKT Corporation. You restore landmarks, ancient ruins, rivers, lands, and look at pretty pre-rendered, but smartly 'written' cutscenes in between.

Gameplay-wise, de Blob is extremely easy to pick up and play. The primary mechanic here is to put color back just by absorbing a specific color and touching a building to color it. Still, you're not exactly an unlimited coloring machine, as you have to observe the number of paint points you have. They operate similar to ammo, but these points also double as your HP or life points. 

You can get several styles to give a bit more personality to your establishments, and you are free to color the part of the town you want as long as the timer doesn't run out, which is pretty much the least of your concerns if you agree to the challenges presented to you by the members of the Color Revolution.

These challenges are generally easy, but one challenge type in particular which involves having to paint a select part of the town in specific colors is a bit limiting (and at times, frustrating). They manage to infuse some variety in the paint job, but they, in the end, lack just that as well-variety. To be honest, the lack of challenge types (there are only 4 if I'm not mistaken!) is the only major con in the whole game, but that won't stop you from actually getting addicted to coloring the entirety of Chroma City and killing every INKT soldier in sight.

Another con, albeit minor this time, is the fact that Blob can and will cling on to the walls of buildings every single time. This is frustrating if the path is narrow, but with a little bit of perseverance and luck, you can get out of that sticky situation.

The thing that the game definitely runs with is its artistic presentation (the effect that accompanies you painting a building never gets old) as well as its addictive, yet simplistic (and deceptively so) gameplay. If you have a Wii, de Blob is a title you may want to nab if you're into platformers. It may not be as magnificent as Super Mario Galaxy, but it's a potential third-party franchise I'd want a sequel for.

Rating: 8/10

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