Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Boy and His Blob

A Boy and His Blob (Wii) Review
A game where you can give hugs at any given time.

 Now, I must be honest and say that I have not actually completed this game.  However, I am very close to the end (have a huge headache and didn't feel up to continuing), have a very clear picture of what the game is like overall, and I needed something to post for today.
A Boy and His Blob, the 2009 Wii game that is, is a unique experience as far as recent games are concerned.  Being a remake, it obviously isn't one-of-a-kind.  Like all games, it has flaws but this time around, they're extremely minimal and don't hurt the experience in any really significant way.
What pops out first to me in A Boy and His Blob (and probably to others as well) is the appearance.  It is a 2D sidescroller on a 'next-gen' (ish) system, though this is not new for the Wii.  This is what made the game immediately promising to me as I loved Warioland Shake It! and my brother seems to thoroughly enjoy Muramasa.  The hand-drawn animation is simplistic but effective and overall very eye-pleasing.  What I find really stands out are the absolutely gorgeous backgrounds.  Vivid colours and the perfect amount of detailing are present just about everywhere.  Long story short:  Beautiful 2D Graphics
For those who don't know the basic concept behind the gameplay, you play as a boy with a pet blob that morphs into different things when you feed it jellybeans.  You can turn the blob into a ladder, a cannon, a hole in the ground, a ball, etc.   In most 2D platformers, you deal with enemies with basic attacks and make your way to the end.  A Boy and His Blob takes the route of sidescrolling-puzzler.  Effectively every piece of every stage, and even the enemies (though in small ways) are puzzles.  That note can pretty much decide whether or not you will enjoy the game.  I like both formulas for platformers but I just can't say no to a good puzzler.  In spite of the very kid-friendly presentation and simplistic controls, A Boy and His Blob succeeds in delivering very solid puzzles.  Even the boss fights offer some brain teasers; though pale in comparison to some of the level-puzzles.
Well now that the praise is out of the way, let's take a quick moment to view negative issues with the game.  The game has 4 worlds, each with 10 levels.  While the game progressively gets harder (not counting the third boss which was way easier than the second), playing through still won't last a player more than maybe 10 hours (and I'm being generous).  It does give replay incentive though, as there are three treasure chests hidden in every level, some you really have to hunt for.
My second issue with the game is the soundtrack.  The music is very calm, very quiet, out of place at parts, and just completely unmemorable.
And my third, biggest issue with the game...well, it goes away after the first world, but it still bothers me. The game holds your hand very tightly over the first 10 levels.  Large wooden signs can be seen in the background about every five steps you take, all of which give you very obvious hints (i.e. showing which form you should get Blob in).  The signs still appear after the first world, but nowhere near as frequent and it can take some time to understand why Blob needs to be in the form it's showing thanks to the puzzle design.  The signs seemed obtrusive and pretty much insulting early in the game though.
Before I end off, I have a few random thoughts of the game, none that necessarily effect my viewpoint.  As parodied above, the game gives you the option to hug the blob at any given time.  It's cute and I enjoy the gimmick, as completely pointless as it is.  A Boy and His Blob gets by with effectively no dialog whatsoever.  The only idea you get of the story is from the instruction booklet.  I have to say that I highly prefer this to the game describing every one of Blob's forms through text; something I dreadfully expected.

I guess that wraps things up.  Simply put, it is a great game.  If you own a Wii and are fan of platforming puzzle games, I can't recommend this enough.  Good day.

No comments:

Post a Comment