After saving the Raydians from the INKT Corporation, Blob takes a vacation to Prisma City with his new friend Pinky. In what we’re sure is a coincidence, Comrade Black and his company made it there first, and has started to take over the populace. So… we get a sequel to de Blob.
In all seriousness, the story has never mattered in this series. It’s about getting paint and slamming things and restoring color to buildings, all to an upbeat, fun soundtrack. And de Blob 2 has those things.
So what’s new? The main campaign has a Super Mario Galaxy-like 2-player mode, where the second player shoots things and helps out in a purely supplemental way. There are co-op versions of each level with special challenges. Most of the changes come to the core challenges, though.
Most noticeable are the new side-scrolling levels, where things become distilled to simple platforming. As a quick diversion from the world-exploring main quest, a formula that wouldn’t stand on its own serves as a change of pace that works well.
In addition to these new areas, the world itself sometimes changes its dynamics. There are some places that have a similar balance to the original, but others feature unlimited, unmixable paint sources where the focus is less on resource management and more on simple movement-based challenges. There are also a few new moves, most notably a charge attack that uses a large amount of paint points to take out an enemy.
For a game all about personal expression, the original de Blob didn’t really let you do much to express your own preferences. In this sequel, players can upgrade Blob’s abilities, letting him hold more paint, take more hits or charge attack for fewer points, among other things. For purists, there’s a reward for beating the game with no upgrades, but for most people it makes the game go by more smoothly and enjoyably.
The original game, a Wii exclusive, had some rather unnecessary motion controls, like shaking to take over buildings. Now, with the series’ appearance on 360 and PS3, these have been ironed out, and without motion controllers, the game’s still fun. (The old control scheme, minus the shaking, is still available on Wii and an option for Move owners on the PS3.)
Visually, the game’s simple but stylish, a wise choice for a multiplatform game that couldn’t push most systems’ capabilities anyway. The music is similar to the original, which is a very good thing, and the audio flourishes when going on a painting streak are still as satisfying as ever.
The one thing de Blob 2 needed to do to be a worthy sequel is retain the charm of the original while ironing out a few first-attempt kinks. To us, it seems there are checks in all the right boxes. Looking for a challenge? This probably isn’t it, but come back when you’re just looking to enjoy yourself.
Pros: Loads of fun and charm, new co-op mode
Cons: Not much challenge, jokes are usually for the young set