Review: De Blob (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Review: De Blob (Switch)

by James Charlton

A New Lick of Paint?

Back in 2008, decent third party games on Nintendo systems were a rarity, and de Blob was a unique, fresh action game on a system that needed it. Fast forward to 2018 and Nintendo has a console with an abundance of games of every genre. Not only that, it has one of the finest 3D platforming games of any generation on it, too.

De Blob Remastered makes sense on paper. It's a colourful platforming game which is a hint of Splatoon, a dash of New Donk City, and a smidge of Katamari Damacy - a perfect match for the Switch. However what was back then a very sorely needed fresh take on the platforming genre, now feels a little clunky and outdated.

Visually this game is a treat. The sharp resolution and solid framerate is really nice to look at and once all the colours get on screen and the stage elements start bouncing in time with the music, it’s a joy to behold. While we’re on the topic of music, it’s extremely funky (in a good way) and actually is reactive to what is happening in the game. More instrumental layers get added as you colour in the stages. By the end you’ll have a full jazz band playing along with you. Nice.

The controls have been much improved over the Wii original, too. No more waggle to jump, and there's full camera control with the right stick. However, the heavy yet floaty unresponsiveness of the platforming has remained in tact. De Blob sometimes feels more like controlling a sack of potatoes than a smooth ball of ink. The camera also gets in your way constantly, and the manual control you have over it doesn’t help enough because the speed of it is too slow and needs too much manual adjusting to be useful.

Now for the kicker, the gameplay itself. You are tasked with painting the black and white world with colourful ink. There are also doodads to collect, and NPCs to talk to. However that’s kind of it. You paint buildings, sometimes randomly, other times specifically (at the request of certain characters), you collect stuff, you paint, you paint some more…I think you get where I’m going with this. The lack of variety in the missions quickly becomes a chore, and you’ll soon find yourself just running for the exit as soon as you can.

It also does behoove you to hurry up because for some reason there is a time limit in this game. Not only that but you’ll get shorter time limits for mini missions within the stage. Time limits within time limits, oh what fun. Can you imagine exploring a kingdom in Mario Odyssey with a ten minute timer? Yeah, not a good game design choice. Couple that with the fact there are no mid-level save points on stages that can take up to 25 minutes to complete, this game does not make it easy to have fun.

What this game needed was a modern sequel with more mission variety, revamped controls and a better camera system. Might be worth a shot if you were a massive fan of the original, but just be careful as memories can be deceptive and it might not be as fun as you remembered.

Final Score: 5.5

[Review code provided by the publisher]

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