Sunday, June 2, 2019

De Blob 2 (NSW) Review

We have a rare, elusive Sunday evening review on SuperPhillip Central tonight! As the sun gets ready to set here in Central City, De Blob 2 returns to the site's forefront with a review of the recently released Nintendo Switch port. Does this port paint a pretty picture? Find out with the SuperPhillip Central review!

Make the INKT Corporation feel the pain[t]!

De Blob 2 brings back the colorful prankster Blob, and it also brings back the nefarious INKT Corporation and their leader Comrade Black. The villain once again aims to turn Blob's world into one completely devoid of color! Teaming up with a ragtag gang of rebellious rogues known as The Underground, Blob gets ready to paint the town red... and blue, and yellow, and green, and purple, and brown!

Made up of 12 open levels, De Blob 2's playgrounds of painting fun take you all across INKT strongholds that were once home and monuments of the peaceable Raydians. Whether it's eschewing the black ink pouring out of the once colorful Soda Falls to kicking out INKT enemies from the local Raydian college campus, Blob has a duty and overall objective for each level.

Don't know where to go? Look for these red mission markers in levels
and let your compass guide the way.
Levels themselves play out in 3D and new 2D sections that task you with a new perspective and simplistic platforming challenges. These aren't too terribly taxing, but they break up the overall experience of De Blob 2 well. Additionally, they offer a change of pace, too. When you're not entering into sewers and buildings via holes in them to enter these 2D sections, you're roaming levels as Blob, moving to each red story marker, one mission after another. Missions range from defeating all of the enemies in a given area, painting buildings a specific series of colors, hitting switches to open gates, and reaching certain points in the level safely.

"2D or not 2D?" In De Blob 2 you get both, so no need for the question!
Of course, there's optional exploration to be found in the form of colorizing every part of the environment--from buildings and billboards to trees and captured Raydians--as well as collecting tokens to unlock gallery art and help upgrade Blob's maximum capacity of ink, armor, and lives.

Collectible spotted! ...But we have more important things to do right now, Blob!
When it comes to painting Blob's world, Blob has a set capacity of paint he can hold. This capacity also serves as his health gauge. If hit by an enemy or submerged in hazardous ink with a small number of paint points available to him, he'll lose a life. While lives are handed out generously if one explores levels well enough, it can be aggravating to progress in these lengthy levels for a fair amount of time (many ranging over an hour in length if you wish to complete everything in them) only to lose all your lives near the very end.

Color Blob's world to make dull and drab INKT-infested areas turn fabulous with visual vibrancy.
Blob is a walking...well, blob of paint. When he enters a pool of paint or slams into a paint canister, his body will turn that color. There's only red, yellow, and blue canisters to stumble upon in levels, but through mixing colors together Blob can create the other three colors: green, purple, and brown (the latter being a combination of all three primary colors). Simply touching other objects will transfer his color to them, instantly painting them fully. As this is performed, levels become much more vibrant and animated. It's really cool to see how dull, drab, and barren levels start off as, only to have them become happening homes of colorful goodness. The crescendo of music that occurs through a level's entirety, starting with subtle sounds, and as more and more is painted, more instruments and parts are added until the full jazzy score for that level begins fully playing.

De Blob 2 doesn't shake the majority of the problems it presented in the 2011 original (but thankfully, there are no forced motion controls in this Switch remaster unlike the Wii game). For instance, it can be difficult to home in one the correct object or enemy when you're facing a mess of foes littering the screen. Many times I would accidentally hit a paint canister instead of home in on my intended target. This meant for missions where I had to paint buildings a specific set of colors, I would unintentionally turn buildings the incorrect color. What that ended up doing was costing me time and patience, as I would have to paint Blob the right color all over again and repaint the buildings. It's a minor inconvenience, as you can't "fail" these missions outside of dying in them, but still, an inconvenience all the same.

These particular green platforms allow our bloated hero to jump off
them in successive fashion to reach new places.
Furthermore, the camera is still rather troublesome, and the jumping physics don't have a great feeling of tightness or control to them. Many missed jumps were had in my time with De Blob 2, and I'm no poor player when it comes to platformers (though, that's not the case with many other genres...).

De Blob 2 took me just over 15 hours to 100% complete, and for the most part, I enjoyed my return to the game. However, the bare minimum was put into this port, as issues like massive hits to the frame-rate when the camera shows off far distances with lots of geometry in them and mediocre draw distance in terms of objects popping in and out of the background are present.

I'm not a fan of the lack of color here, either, Blob. Let's get to work!
Still, De Blob 2 remains a delightful, family-friendly game for Nintendo Switch owners. Sure, it hasn't evolved much since its 2011 release, but it's nice to have in both docked and totally portable play whether at home or on the go--but mainly if you're never played the game before. The humor and story are on point, the characters and cinematics are charming, and the levels are genuinely enjoyable to explore. Now, excuse me while I pour one out (a paint can) for the developer Blue Tongue who was disbanded shortly after the original De Blob 2's launch in 2011.

[SPC Says: B-]

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