De Blob Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: Out
File size: 3424.65 MB
Remember the good old times before your Nintendo console was portable? Yes? Then there might be a chance you owned this title which I took a close look at for this review. Or, perhaps you had encountered it at least once before in your gaming life? Originally released in September 2008 for the Wii, de Blob was a bold experiment by THQ Nordic that paid off very well. More than 700,000 copies were sold worldwide, and that colourful platformer became a huge success. Last year, remakes had been made both for XBox One and Playstation 4. But did our old friend age well almost 10 years after the original release…?
The story in de Blob is the direct opposite in the rich colours our hero will submerge himself into. Chroma City, once a lively hotspot for tourists as well as its inhabitants, was taken over by the INKT Corporation. Oppressing the citizenry by a military dictatorship, the so-called Raydians are afraid to even go out anymore.
While witnessing the world around them turning into a dull grey, black and white place, our hero watches from a distance. The will to fight back in his whole body, Blob marches into the city to take back what INKT Corporation took with force. Guided assistance by other members of the “Color Underground” like the Professor, Blob takes on the fight in the “War of Color” and also frees the citizens that had been turned into the “Graydients”.
Comrade Black, the evil mastermind behind all of this, quickly sees in our round hero his nemesis and will fight back of course. He wants to remain in that dull and somehow sad environment. Will all his actions be to no avail or does INKT Corporation march out as the successor in the end?! You have got that in your hands.
In de Blob, the player starts as the main character going through a handful of tutorials. Well educated, you take your course at the scattered-all-over-town Paintbots. Shaped in height like a magicians hat, those little robots wander around being no threat to Blob. Although, you are one to them since Paintbots are the key to your objective: repainting the whole city. You encounter the colours red, blue and yellow. I hope you had paid close attention to art class in school because you have to mix the colours into other ones to make orange, green, purple and brown colours in some of the quests.
A PATH OF COLOUR
The player starts in the first world and has to fulfil certain objectives. You can get lost easily in tasks in one of the levels when you complete all of the quests (some are absolutely required to open the gates, some aren’t).
The variety of tasks you get provided with are as colourful as the shades Blob can submerge into. You get some racing challenges, colour challenges as well as winning back important buildings from the INKT Corporation. Winning such challenges or simply freeing the world from black and white shades around you will collect points while doing so. If you achieve the total number, another gate can be opened to proceed further into the level. The end point is always a water tank where Blob will dive into to finish this part of the city.
Having a lot to discover and to do, you do not have to worry about rescuing the whole Chroma City. The player has to keep a close eye on the timer, too. If the time’s up, then so is Blob’s as well. But, to be fair, you do not run out of time easily since you will be rewarded with a bunch of extra seconds after every challenge or getting Raydients out of their houses.
One thing I want to point out is the fun to be had while actually painting over something. Every time you paint something, a funny corresponding tune will be played depending on your current choice of colour. It is a simple way to make the gameplay even more interesting besides how you tint the houses in a graffiti-like design.
RESCUE THE CITY WHOLEHEARTEDLY
While proceeding through the game and unlocking new town districts to get closer to your enemy, Comrade Black, the tasks you get do become a bit repetitive. With spending approximately 30 to 45 minutes in one world without rushing, you sure will be busy. But, when trying to beat The Chroma Dam, the fourth district, you will wish for something new aside from only colouring or racing tasks. Not even giving you slightly more enemies to defeat or more obstacles to overcome will help to spice up your mission to save the world.
Do not get me wrong. de Blob is fun! The colours and the splendid soundtrack provide you with a good mood as much as you get entertained by the funny characters during the cutscenes. But saving the world by colouring it is not as much fun as you might think in the long run. However, as soon as I had played de Blob, I could not turn it off because it was a fun concept. Seeing the world flourish by my hand was just satisfying.
While getting to the second world though, I had to stop because my concentration was running dry as well as my time. I had an appointment. “No problem, I’ll just save!”, was my first thought. After searching through the menu, I had not been granted with that possibility. So I kind of hoped for the autosave function and turned off my console. That was a big mistake. I lost my progress and had to beat that level again from the beginning. I get that game designs changed over the years. But, this basic saving function is sorely missed here.
MORE THAN JUST PAINTING AND ROLLING AROUND IN COLOUR
The controls and camera work very well in the Switch version, but they are not perfect. In a few moments where you had to pull off a jump to reach certain areas, I could not manage to pull it off on the first try which caused me a little bit of frustration. Doing some research for the former Wii version, I heard that those issues had existed in that as well. Although this is nothing that will lower the positive game experience, it’s just a small frustration.
As I mentioned before, you can end a level in de Blob without completing absolutely everything. Going with that choice will not earn you with the maximum amount of points though and therefore you will not obtain all the medals that could possibly be achieved in the end. An enormous amount of colourable objects make you consider that option twice, but it sure is satisfying as hell to see all the medals ramp up in the level summary.
Our hero might be one, but that does not equally mean that you cannot die in de Blob. When you smash Paintbots with a simple jump, you will fill up your Paint Points. They are not only required to complete some of the challenges and destroy enemies but also work as your health. Dropping that gauge to zero by getting ink all over you means death… But let me tell you that it is really, REALLY hard to achieve. Nothing is really a threat, and if you come close to that zero-range, water is almost everywhere to be found.
FREE PAINT MODE AND COOP
If kicking back and having fun without worrying about any Inkies or opening gates is what you want, this mode is the best choice for you, then. Nothing much to say besides that here. You can paint and stay as much and long as you like. Although beware, you can still die in this mode after all!
The local co-op mode called “Blob Party” brings even more life onto the screen. Up to four players can join the fun and pick a colour for their own rebel. With three possibilities, you and your friends will get a fun experience. In “Paint Match”, you have to compete in painting as many buildings as you can before the timer ends. In “Blob on the Run”, only one player is able to use paint and the other ones are chasing after that person. “Blob Race” is a race through the city, collecting and picking up the flashlights along the way.
*This review was written by Jennifer for switchwatch.co.uk.
The soundtrack in de Blob is fantastic. It is hard to please my musical taste, and I repeat myself regarding that in every single review of mine. If the music is right, the game experience will be benefited greatly by it. The eleven tracks here are all very good and heighten the experience.
Speaking of the title, the developer made everything right. You have a bunch of moods for de Blob you can select at the start of the game. Every mood is bound to a track, and the player unlocks new ones while proceeding further in the game. But, the collection does not stop there at all. Seven colours to choose from bring their own tiny bit of music every time you paint something. It chirps up like a bird in the park. It is very appropriate for the environment and a pleasant change of pace.
Being very child-friendly and cheerful, de Blob represents that philosophy in their graphics as well. The concept of a city held hostage by an evil company isn’t as bright as the colours might shine, but the love that was put into the game overall does. Making the characters quirky and represented in their unique way to be the “good guys”, the faces of the colour-loving Raydians makes them just fun to look at. Having the bad guys on the other side with their dull and colourless appearance, you immediately know who you should cheer for.
With smooth framerates and no slowdowns, de Blob is fun to play on the Switch as well. No long additional loading times between opening gates slow you down as well. The player has to wait at the beginning of the game for an initial loading screen but gets entertained with amusing conversations bits between the main character as well as the baddies. The game never crashed on me while playing. That is always a good sign if you ask me.
While watching the cutscenes, something immediately caught my attention. Not owning the Wii version or any of the ports for the Sony or Microsoft console, I could not make any live and direct comparisons at home. I had to watch Youtube videos and rely on that for references. Knowing the quality from that time, I cannot comfortably say it is the same as I had experienced, but I want to assume so. The cinematic graphics do tend to be washed-out a bit and not be as crisp as we gamers might get used to.
The actual gameplay graphics are enhanced and look more sharp and detailed overall than they did in the Wii version judging by the pictures I have seen of it. However, you can see its age, especially in TV mode. In handheld mode, I got the impression that the cut scenes seem to be a bit blurry, but not the in-game graphics. This is, though, knit-picking. The visuals really do look good. I might have said it a couple of times and still will again, but that game is a lot older than some other ports the Switch has hosted so far.
Vibrant colours were a topic in my previous games that I had reviewed for SwitchWatch and sure are in some games I play for fun, too. Compared to them, de Blob looks a bit more toned down, but regarding its age, it is more than just excusable. You could have done something to make it even more vibrant, but de Blob looks and feels great even after all these years.
At $29.99 USD and £26.99 GBP, you may wonder if you should double dip on this game. With its success, de Blob absolutely is a great game. But, to be honest, it only felt great because I haven’t played it before on the Wii. This game feels almost like it might be a 1 to 1 port due to its lack of touchscreen support which is great to reach a wider audience and people who did not play that gem from THQ Nordic. Suggesting double-dipping for that price is something I cannot openly suggest at all except perhaps just if you are a die-hard, hardcore fan. With no additions such as online multiplayer or anything else, the only benefit of the Switch port is having it portable or/and playing it for the first time. The pure content of the game will keep you busy for hours and is a very fun and solid experience for families and fans of that genre.
*A review copy of de Blob was provided to SwitchWatch by Blitworks.
Fun game with lots of details
Lots of content
No save function
No new content