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de Blob 2


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Debut Trailer

Video Preview

Preview.

While the same ideas drive de Blob: The Underground (a title that may confuse some French people), developer Blue Tongue has tried to craft the sequel into a more challenging and complex experience geared toward attracting a larger core-gaming audience. The addition of new platforms--for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and DS--as well as new gameplay elements (such as a four-player co-op mode and as many pop culture references as a game can take), are all steps in this direction. In our first hands-on preview with de Blob: The Underground on the Wii, we tested out some of de Blob's new abilities and checked out the new 2D side-scrolling component of the game.

The sequel picks up roughly where the first game left off, with one notable difference. Blob now has a sidekick--a sassy flying robot named Pinky--to help him in his quest for world colouration. The game opens with Blob and Pinky arriving in a vast metropolis populated by some very disgruntled and downtrodden citizens; it doesn’t take long for the pair to discover that something is rotten in the state of Prisma City. Indeed, Blob's old enemy Comrade Black has staged a comeback, forming a religious cult named The Blanks and is trying to convince citizens to give up their colour to find the true meaning of life. In an excellent parody of modern economic thought and numerous nods to Christianity, Scientology, modern society, consumerism and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, de Blob sets about trying to rid the city of its dark, depressive state by sabotaging Black's plans to win the favour of the people.

Our demo began with the opening of the fourth level (there are 12 levels in total). Having just rigged an election, The Blanks were on Blob's tail as he tried to find the silenced election candidates and stop the inauguration of Comrade Black. The gameplay felt instantly familiar: Before us was a well laid out and colourless city grid, an empty canvas just waiting to be painted. One thing we did notice was the high level of detail in the environment and the ability to paint absolutely everything we touched, including the ground. As in the last game, each area you paint will earn you colour energy points, which you'll need to unlock the gate to the next level. Part of Blue Tongue’s strategy to let the narrative guide the gameplay was evident in the difficulty curve of the level: Our movements were guided by more specific missions that related to the overall story. We also saw a few new obstacles that helped shape the direction we took in completing the level. For instance, some walls were marked by the sign of The Blanks, and touching them caused Blob to lose his colours. Keeping away from these walls and still managing to paint every last surface made for a much more challenging way to play. As in the first game, we were able to choose de Blob’s mood and match it with an audio equivalent (Melbourne funk band The Bamboos return to provide the soundtrack for the sequel).

One of the most significant changes we saw was made to the game's control scheme, which has been given a thorough makeover. Blue Tongue was the first to admit it had received an endless list of messages from disgruntled gamers about Blob's jumping action in the first game, which involved a flick motion with the Wii controller. Frustration aside, this wasn't a very accurate way of moving from platform to platform, which is why this action has now been remapped to the A button. We felt the difference immediately when we were able to get on top of buildings with speed and accuracy and thus complete the level in a shorter amount of time. The new moves proved pretty handy in combat, too, which has become a lot tougher since the first game. We saw a new Inky with a spike gun, which we could only defeat with a charge attack by locking on with the Z button and pressing B (since jumping on him would have resulted in death), as well as a swarm of Blanks who tried to bleed us dry on contact (we had to jump on them from afar and turn them into bright, happy Raydians). We discovered that Blob can also use paintbots as weapons this time around, targeting them and shooting them at packs of Inkies. Although we didn’t get to fight any bosses in our demo, we did get a sneak peek at what’s in store--one boss we saw was cleverly modelled on the nameless monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

We also had the chance to use some of Blob's new power-ups, including a shield (a single-use pick-up); a graviton ball of energy, which Blob can use to suck in enemies around him like a vortex; a regeneration power-up; and a supercharge power-up. After painting most of the level, we completed a landmark challenge where we had to transform one of Comrade Black's strongholds. Immediately after this, we were able to go inside the landmark and finally check out the 2D side-scrolling component of the gameplay. The point of these 100-plus underground levels is to expand the world and give players a bit of variety. You'll still have to paint the environment, but the focus is much more on combat. In our demo, we entered a sewerlike environment with pipes and platforms where we bulldozed our way through a line of Blanks while splashing everything with colour. We’re also told there are lots of secret environments to explore in these levels, indicated by things like broken walls and shady-looking Blanks. Back above ground, we found our way to a "transform all" point, which has now also become a save point.

At the end of the demo, we were treated to some cutscenes to get a feel for the game's tone and its new environments. We saw an ice station, a bio-dome, and a beverage factory, as well as a glimpse of some of Blob's other abilities that will come into play later in the game (like the one where he can crawl on walls and ceilings). The humour also stood out and was reminiscent of Pixar's animated shorts (silent, slapstick). We picked out references to George Orwell, National Lampoon, and China’s take on political freedom (or lack thereof).

Although we didn't get to see any multiplayer, we know the game will allow players to opt in and out with a two-to-four-player split-screen mode and take control of Pinky to help Blob in combat. We also know the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions of the game will be the same, with the DS version slightly tweaked to expand on Pinky's background. De Blob: The Underground is shaping up to be a very clever game that has lost none of the charm of its predecessor.

http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/adventure/deblobtheunderground/news.html?sid=6265035&mode=previews

Looks good. :)

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This was good, but the lack of mid level saves killed it for me. It's a game that really works for a quick 10 minute blast, but the thought of having to do entire levels before you could save just put me off after a while.

Hopefully, the sequel will include this as the mechanics and general ambience of the game were really enjoyable and refreshing.

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Ooooh!

Yeah, the only thing I didn't like about the original was the lack of mid level saves. With some levels taking over an hour it was a real pain.

Shame they've ditched the swing-to-jump though. I liked being able to jump in different directions based on how you swung.

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Liked the Wii version, but the Wiimote "flick" to jump got very tiring, so I'm glad this is coming to the 360 and PS3.

Also like deKay & Squirtle said, lack of mid level saves practically ruined the game. Got about 70% through the game before I thought "fuck this"

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They've ditched swing-to-jump for the Wii too, though.

Is this confirmed?

The PS3 version supports Move, so it's definitely got motion control in there.

I liked the movement for jump, he's a blob of paint, a swing to drag that gloopy body in to the air felt just right to me. And the game didn't demand the swift precision of a mario platformer, so it worked.

EDIT:

Okay sorry, I just read the Wii version preview above "this action has now been remapped to the A button"

boooooooooo

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Well, I played the entire game that way, so, er, yes?

I played the entire game too, and as far as I know, the direction of your Wiimote swing doesn't affect the direction of the jump. In other words, you could swing in any direction, and it would be just the same as pressing a button.

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  • 3 months later...

IGN Review

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It's just a charming and fairly straightforward platformer that wears its all-ages appeal on its kaleidoscopic sleeve. Everything is bubbly and bright and freewheeling – and the gameplay is largely very good. It's also a sometimes frustratingly overprotective experience that points towards its youth appeal – and that's either a great thing if you're a casual player or a constant pebble in your shoe. Still, Blob and his buddies will get under your skin - and if you're a platformer fan, jam this one on your wish list.

http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/114/1149811p1.html

Trailers

Side-scrolling gameplay

Gameplay

:)

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Had to order this in at my local shop, they'd never even heard of it. I only had 30mins to spare so just a quick go, but it all seems really lovely. And the music! It's just so good and, in the bit i played, filled with little jazzy phrases that react to what you're doing, or something.

Surprised to see other people on my friends list are playing it also, but i'm a bit worried it's going to go largely ignored.

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I've had this since Wednesday and it really is excellent, I never got round to trying the first one, so can't comment on how different it is but I'm absolutely loving it, its a nice distraction from Dead Space 2 too, and especially useful as its currently half-term where I am.

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Gameplay have all 3 versions of this for £22.99 which seems extraodinarily cheap for a brand new release. When I pre-ordered it was I sure it was a mistake and they weren't going to honour it.

Anyway I never played the first game, I always intended to but just never got around to it. I've completed the first two levels and I'm actually not sure if there are mid-level saves or not, I'm scared to try. Sometimes you see a saving icon but it really doesn't make it clear if it's a checkpoint or not and there's no option to pause and save. That aside the game seems pretty fun. It seems like the type of game where one level at a time is enough because of how long they are and because otherwise I think repetition could creep in. I'm a bit worried that in later levels my collectible OCD will go absolutely crazy though. Oh and the cutscenes are pretty fantastic.

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There's checkpoints throughout the levels. Whenever you complete a story challenge within a level, it will save your progress on that level, it won't save your progress on the optional challenges however.

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Yeah the mid-level autosave works fine, you can quit out whenever. Pretty much the only fault with the first game as far as I'm concerned, that this has fixed it, is in shiny HD and doesn't have motion controls makes it pretty essential.

And indulge the OCD, it's the whole point of the game imo. Objectives are cool and all, and I like the 2D sections, but it's at its best when you're just tearing around splashing colour everywhere with the soundtrack going bonkers. Lovely game.

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Gameplay have all 3 versions of this for £22.99 which seems extraodinarily cheap for a brand new release. When I pre-ordered it was I sure it was a mistake and they weren't going to honour it.

Cheers.

Just ordered the PS3 version from them.

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Yup, this is lovely. The only issue that most reviews seem to have pointed out is that the game seems overly-keen to hold your hand, which, having reached level four, does appear to be the case. But that's overlooking the fact that de Blob isn't a game to be played for the challenge - it's to roll around painting big buildings in pretty colours with a giant gibbon smile stretched all across your face. Get it in.

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It's also there because kids will want to play it, hence why the text is SO BIG, if my daughter would come inside for more than 5 minutes I'd see how the co-op plays with a 6 year old, but she's been at other peoples houses all week (by invite, not through me dumping her on people).

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Oh man, there are mid-level saves? Literally the only thing that kept me from finishing it. Torn between getting the Wii or 360 version though.

Yup. Completion of most mini-objectives will bring on an auto-save. As for format, PS3 version looks absolutely bloody lush, but runs at 720p, if such a thing could possibly matter.

...aaand I've just noticed you didn't even mention the PS3 version as a possibility. So, err, yeah. I'd go with the 360 version - it's a game which really does benefit from high-definition loveliness.

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De Blob looks wonderful on the Wii - so I can only imagine that this will look amazing on the 360 or PS3. I'm most tempted to go for the PS3 simply because I'm fed up of my 360 sounding like a harrier taking off whenever I play games. Definitely on the list.

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