THQ de Blob
"Ba-dooba-doo beep bop, ba-doobity-doo wowww."
- Awesome integration of sound and colour, simple controls, cute underground revolution plot
- Saving could be friendlier, cut-scenes break the game's flow
de Blob is a cute game that is best taken at a leisurely pace when you feel like putzing with something uncomplicated. Or, you know, when you're feeling funky. The soundtrack is a constant groove, and the good vibes only get better when you see how happy the city looks as a big messy rainbow.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
"Ba-dooba-doo beep bop, ba-doobity-doo wowww", I splatter the walls of dreary, oppressed downtown Chroma City with some much needed paint. De Blob is as close to synaesthesia as most of us will ever get, so we should enjoy it.
As the newest recruit to the Colour Underground, our titular hero is tasked with literally bouncing off walls to combat Comrade Black and the INKT Corporation, who are sucking all the colours away. The idea is to absorb paint and fling yourself in pretty much every direction, from the skyscrapers to the beach.
Swinging the remote to jump seems like a risky control choice, but it's actually sort of fun, and having the mid-air, stop-on-a-dime brake helps immensely, once you remember to use it. Z-targeting is useful, but frustratingly, there isn't really a way to choose your target if there are multiple stompable items in sight and the system doesn't always prioritise the same way you might.
Each level is quite long if you're going for 100% completion, which must be done at once; if you beat a level and return, everything is grey again. Unfortunately, the different areas didn't stand out very much, and the timed missions (e.g. following a marked course, painting in specific colours) get sort of old. INKT enemies grow more technologically advanced as you progress, so that adds a bit more challenge to the platforming feats. More exciting than unlocking new areas, however, was unlocking new "moods."
The most charming part of the game is how the music you hear while you play is tied directly to your art project. Each "mood" is a base groove, that starts off pretty slow and lacking in energy, but as you add colour to the environment things get pretty jammin'. Plus, depending what colour you are, you trigger riffs from different lead instruments (guitar, trumpet...) with each coat of paint you throw down. Multiplayer events are decent (races, who can paint the most), but I can't help wishing full-on co-op would've been possible. Aside from that, my other minor gripe is the annoying fly-by cut-scenes that point out new objectives. Even when you skip them, they still chop up the experience.
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The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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