I am back from the depths of the underworld to review a game you probably haven't played. Us hardcore Nintendo fans are familiar with a list entitled "Best Wii Games You Probably Haven't Played". There's plenty of titles on that list, and one of them is de Blob 2. The first de Blob came out in 2008, during the Wii's first major drought, and most hardcore Wii owners played it. It was a fun little game with an awesome take on music, but it was lacking in variety and true engaging content. In 2011 this little game got a multi-console sequel which even less people played. Tons of Wii fans felt like developer Blue Tongue wanted a quick buck with this sequel, since it received little pre-release hype and it was released on the other systems as well. Add the fact that not many 360/PS3 owners care about a kiddy colorful game with little press, and no one played this game. It's a shame, too - this is one of the top sleeper hits of the decade.
What I especially appreciate about de Blob 2 is that it's one of those rare sequels that effectively fixes everything that was wrong or unpolished in the first game, but doesn't take many new chances either. The in-game plot and the premise are exactly the same as the first game, but this is a more refined and complete Blob, that makes the first game obsolete. de Blob is not a quirky painting and building-hopping game anymore, it's a full on platformer with a lot more variety than the first installment and all the little annoyances gone. The game is still very much about painting environments to up-beat jazzy tunes, but this time there's 2D segments, puzzle-solving, gravity-based environments, power-ups, useful upgrades, cooler enemies and more. There's also a ton of smaller improvements that you'll only appreciate if you played the first game; for example jumping is mapped to a button this time and you can stick to walls. The levels are more varied aesthetically (there's beaches, cities, outer space levels, etc) and the general in-game graphics are more charming and detailed too. The buildings especially look a lot more detailed and there's many more designs compared to the first game. I should clarify that the music is indeed once again tied to the gameplay, just like it was in the first game and it's still an amazingly fresh concept.
I could go on and on explaining how de Blob 2 works so that you can decide whether or not it's your cup of tea, but I don't think it's necessary in this case. We're dealing with an irresistibly simple game that you will not want to put down if you dig its premise (hop around charming 3D platforming levels and paint stuff) What I do want to stress is how much of a polished package de Blob 2 is. This is not a quick cash-grab like other Wii sequels (coughconduit2). It is a true, full-on sequel that does a lot of things right. Blob 2 ditches the disengaging "multiple lame and repetitive missions at a time" structure of the first game; the sequel instead has you do one mission at a time. It's much easier to understand and the game flows better as a result. These missions are thought-out challenges, and they're not repeated as often as they are in the first game. You'll be surprised at some of the creativity employed in the level design here. You can just do these missions or you can take some extra time to paint and explore the world as you please.
The levels are comprised of big 3D landscapes and small 2D underground segments. Both are fun and not too different gameplay-wise, they blend together to create a fun platforming experience. Really the only problems with de Blob 2 is that sometimes it holds your hand too much, and it is still de Blob. They polished the experience but didn't add or change any major gameplay elements - if you didn't like the premise of the first game you probably wont like this either. However, if you liked de Blob 1 but didn't like some of the design choices, or got bored of its repetitiveness, then this game is right up your alley. The first game established itself as a cool concept, but the sequel is one of the best 3D platformers on the Wii. I highly recommend you give it a try, it might turn out to be just what you need while you wait for the next 3D Mario.
(I recommend you play it in HD, but the Wii version looks just fine too, impressive for a Wii game in fact)
Hey, it's a blast from the not-too-distant past! That goes for both GE and de Blob 2!
This is one of those games that seems like it would've done better as a Nintendo exclusive, like Viewtiful Joe 2, Rayman Origins, and maybe Killer 7. I'm not sure why I think that. It seems kind of irrational that the cachet from being exclusive could outweigh greater availability. But I still think that it could. Just a gut feeling.
Anyway, aside from the awesome music implementation, I wasn't such a big fan of the first de Blob. But the changes that you referenced really might fix most my issues with the series. I'll keep an eye out for the 360 version of it!
I keep passing this game up when I see it. I want it...but then I'm like "maaaaaybe I can get it for less than $20" and it just hasn't happened. Also doesn't help that I have the three consoles and can't decide which one to get it on.
I had some specific issues with the first one (froze in the same spot three different times deep into the eighth level) that almost turned me off to de Blob, but I ended up gutting it out and adoring the game. I may see what the price is on the PSN Store and give this a go, if only because the art style and charm are still there.