Colourful! It’s the one word I would use to describe de Blob 2 above all others. Everything about the game revolves around being artistic with your palette and spreading the vibrancy to anything in your vicinity. As with its Wii exclusive predecessor, Blob must bring the colour back to the world by bouncing across buildings like a paint covered Space Hopper. Does the sequel take this basic idea to new heights?
If the original game taught us anything, it was that a well conceived art style can do wonders for player’s first thoughts on a game. de Blob attracted a lot of press attention due to its joyous use of bright tones, and the cutesy stylings of the main characters. Reminiscent of PSOne era platformers, the game’s light-hearted nature made it one of the Wii games to really look forward to in 2008. Cut to 2011, following disappointing sales of the game, and we have a sequel appearing on all 3 platforms in order to improve profit. That cutesy feel is even more prominent on PS3, the colour coming to life even more in HD. As such, the first time you boot up de Blob 2 will undoubtedly be a happy moment. Just like games such as LittleBigPlanet which draw a player in with a cutesy art style though, de Blob has a lot more to give than just looks.
The gameplay in de Blob 2 much resembles that of the original game, albeit with the Wii Remote functionality replaced in some respects by the Playstation Move. You must paint yourself various colours in order to pass on that colour to your environment which is now stark white. It’s a mix of Okami, and colouring by numbers, the various buildings in your vicinity requiring specific colours to complete your missions. Each area will have different combinations of paint available for you to use, mixing the basic primary colours together is vital for completing later challenges for instance.
The platforming element of de Blob appears when you have to traverse the buildings you’re trying to paint, wall running and jumping between surfaces becoming two specific moves vital as you progress. Outside of this, the game incorporates 2D sections when you go underground into the sewers, where you must hit colour specific switches and navigate elevators. It’s never extremely clever, but the platforming in de Blob 2 is always enjoyable.
On the surface, de Blob 2 may seem extremely linear, but it takes a novel approach with its mission structure. You enter each world and have a single linear mission to complete, each section activated by rolling onto Red glowing checkpoints. You have a time limit to complete this, but the time is extremely generous, upwards of 30 minutes usually, meaning you have time to do everything else that you can get up to in that world. You can paint every single building for instance, or for collecting the entire myriad of collectibles the developers have incorporated into the game. Most of these are pretty meaningless, though the light bulb ones do let you upgrade your attributes, sort of Levelling up Blob. It adds an extra dimension to what would otherwise be a disappointingly straightforward title.
de Blob 2 is definitely a worthy sequel to the original game, the only problem I have is that its very one note once you get to grips with the format. As fun as colouring the world can be, and no matter how many twists the developers add in, it never really goes anywhere. de Blob 2 is a fun game, but when comparing it to other Colour the world (Okami) and platform (LittleBigPlanet) titles, it never really stands out from the crowd.