News Article

de Blob 2 is Going Underground and Multiplatform

Posted by Trevor Chan

Franchise increasing its spectrum of coverage

When de Blob launched on the Wii back in 2008, it proved to be a solid and likeable game with fully deserved favourable reviews. THQ has now confirmed some initial details on the upcoming sequel, entitled de Blob 2: The Underground for the Wii, DS, Xbox 360, and PS3.

de Blob 2: The Underground will feature new friends, and new moves as players take on the challenges of Prisma City. Comrade Black is back and his desire to conquer colour is stronger than ever.

About de Blob 2: The Underground

In de Blob 2: The Underground for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, Comrade Black is back and so is his war on color. Disguised as Papa Blanc, Comrade Black rigs the city’s election in order to win and take control of Prisma City with his brainwashing new cult. That is, until de Blob bounces back in full color-spreading force with his revolution to restore color and life back to the city and its residents. In the colorful sequel, de Blob will paint his way through the enormous and pollution-filled Prisma City accompanied by a fantastic new interactive soundtrack and an arsenal of new tricks to confound his enemies. Joining de Blob will be a new robot sidekick, named Pinky, who will help him blast enemies, disable traps, and negotiate the challenging levels of Prisma City. The game will also present players with new side quests, which allow players to upgrade de Blob’s abilities. de Blob 2: The Underground will feature an in-depth single-player campaign with all-new power-ups and challenges, as well as multiplayer modes that support co-operative and competitive play.

In de Blob 2: The Underground for Nintendo DS, The war for Chroma City is over and Comrade Black and his forces are long gone. Peace has been restored and de Blob has returned to lazy days basking in the jungle sun. Meanwhile, in an underground facility deep in the jungle, Dr. Von Blot has been continuing his research on a new type of Mutated Ink. Unaware of Comrade Black’s demise, Dr. Von Blot has been studiously carrying out his experiments on unsuspecting creatures. de Blob goes for a bounce around the jungle one day when he mistakenly stumbles across the underground facility and Dr. Von Blot captures his final test subject. In the game, players will take de Blob through areas of 2D side-scrolling gameplay that will introduce a variety of new moves for the humorous and mischievous hero, such as Wall Jumps, Slingshots and a Sticky Mode for performing gravity-defying moves and smashing through enemies. The game will also introduce new friends and enemies and will immerse players in a rich, story-driven environment.

The game is scheduled for release in Spring 2011.

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User Comments (22)

TheBaconator

#1

TheBaconator said:

Aww man, when a game goes multiplatform that is when you know the Wii version is going to be half-assed.

Slapshot

#3

Slapshot said:

@Shadx... because they dont sell for crap on the Wii. These 3rd Party developers are taking such huge risk on Wii because Nintendo gamers buy nothing but First Party. Even the really well made great 3rd Party Games dont sell on Wii. deBlob is an excellent game and deserves to get as many sales that it can, multiplatform it is and Im kinda happy about it as the project has been a long time in the making and they deserve all the sales they can get!

Kaeobais

#4

Kaeobais said:

Yes, but that's a really big problem. If the Wii can't sell games, then obviously Nintendo screwed something up.

accc

#6

accc said:

@slapshot82: De Blob sold over a million copies on the Wii. Which is a hell of a lot more than it would have sold on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

Slapshot

#7

Slapshot said:

@Shadx.... Nintendo can sell games better than anyone. 3rd Parties cant sell games on Nintendo systems. Its not singled out to just Nintendo though man. Bungie, Bizzare Creations left exclusive development for Microsoft and Insomiac has left Sony as a exclusive developer as well.

Nintendo is just seeing more of it than anyone. I think its more of that Wii/DS have become more geared toward younger gamers (or did for 2 years) and many older gamers simply moved on to the other systems and didnt look back. I know several guys my age (28) that have, and refuse to even buy or rent anything for Wii again. Nintendo has done a serious rebound lately, and its just a matter of if they come back or not. Its not hurting Nintendo, its killing the 3rd Party devs that make the games for Wii/DS..... oh and the cheap cash in crap developers trying to get rich off crap game doesnt help either, but we saw today that they are already doing the same on the new gimmick systems as well.

@accc.... Im not knocking Nintendo at all, deBlob isnt really a great example of this more of Madworld, Dead Space Extraction, Tenchu, etc. Actaully both Microsoft and Sony have casual games that sale well into the millions (Buzz and Singstar). But you put the game on all three system and then you sell 3 Million copies and its better for the developer. Gives the developer more money to expand on new ideas and new games without the pressure of financial weight on them. Its never cool to loose an exclusive as Sony and Microsoft are loosing them too, but this means more money for the developer to make you better and more games. Honestly play the games on what system you want and who cares what other people think!

@irken... why is it THQs fault? They publised a game made from a college project that went on to sell a million units on ONE system. They had great advertisement, and its a phenominal game and a must have for Wii owners! The new game is also coming to Wii for you enjoyment as well!

AVahne

#8

AVahne said:

Blaming Nintendo when it's the 3rd Party's responsibility to advertise their game?

Ryon

#9

Ryon said:

is a "hardcore" gamer saw this game on the PS3 or 360. they'd say.. "wtf is this kid crap?!"
but if a gamer see's it on the wii they'll say... looks interesting and fun!

Token_Girl

#11

Token_Girl said:

Selling over a million units of a game like de Blob seems like a success to me. I think it's just simple economics - selling a game on 3 systems = more money than selling a game on 1 system. It's not really in 3rd parties' interests EVER to do exclusives, since they don't have hardware to sell off said exclusives. It makes sense for them to get their games out to as large a market as possible. For de Blob 1, probably the cheaper dev costs of the Wii made it attractive, and it would have been too difficult to port the game over. Now that they have the beans, they can clean up the graphics and put it on the HD twins as well.

It's not the personal insult when a dev goes multiplatform some of you think it is. I'm guessing a game like de Blob wouldn't be THAT watered down. Just no HD and perhaps less or no online multiplayer and new colors for de Blob or whatever that cost $5 as DLC. I don't think we'll be missing out too much.

Sean_Aaron

#13

Sean_Aaron said:

@TokenGirl: Agreed. I personally don't care if a game is exclusive, I care that it's good on the platform I bought it for, which will be the Wii. It's nice that the Wii has exclusives, but I think it's great if a good game can have the widest audience. I'm interested in enjoying a game others can play, not rubbing other people's nose in the fact that they need to buy additional kit to play a game I think is great.

citizenerased

#14

citizenerased said:

If this sells better on other consoles, however, it could mean that other developers are switching over as well and possibly that we wouldn't even get a new version. Of course that's not going to happen with this game, but just showing why you should care.

Of course if that's what happens, perhaps Wii owners don't deserve good exclusive franchises.

Hardy83

#15

Hardy83 said:

Doesn't matter who's fault it is anymore (personally it's everyones)
Third party Wii games don't sell that well and devs/publishers no longer want to take the risk for big games anymore. So we're going to see more and more watered down ports until Nintendo's next system.

Varoennauraa

#16

Varoennauraa said:

So its confirmed, that this is not going to renew anything. As well as me not buying it, at least for the Wii.

darklinkinfinite

#17

darklinkinfinite said:

To be honest, third parties never took big risks when developing for the Wii. When was the last time there was a game on the Wii on the scale of something like Fallout, Oblivion, Mass Effect, Resident Evil 5, Final Fantasy XIII, GTA, Bioshock, Arkham Asylum, Assassin's Creed, or any of an ongoing list of titles.

Don't get me wrong, no one loves the Wii more than I do, and developers have turned out some excellent games for the system, but no developer has put the kind of investment in both production and marketing that the HD consoles have. The fact that they can release a single project on two consoles is surely a factor, of course, but the investment in Wii development hasn't been anything near what it should be if publishers want to see big returns.

Yes, every game I listed is multiplatform, but they've also had large budgets, a ton of marketing, and sometimes years of build-up. Its no wonder they sell in the millions. It definitely gets frustrating when developers try to use games like MadWorld and DeadSpace Extraction as barometers for "core" Wii audience. Don't get me wrong, I personally enjoyed Extraction more than the original Dead Space, but I do realize that the production of the former is nothing compared to that of the latter, nor was the media build-up remotely comparable. The original Dead Space was a relatively lengthy game in a popular genre preceeded by a comic book mini-series, an animated film, a viral game, trailers, and developer diaries over the span of a year. It was a new IP and managed to sell over a million units across the two HD consoles combined; not extraordinary sales by today's standards but the game had become so ingrained in the public's mind that it didn't matter. Then they try to convince people that Extraction is just as important a game for them. They make it a rail shooter, a genre that hasn't been important in the console space in over a decade, they make the game shorter, and they give it none of the build up the original did and then they wonder why they didn't see amazing sales and write it off as a lack of an audience. Don't get me wrong, there is some blame on the Wii-owning audience, but not to the point where you can simply write off a game's failure by placing the blame squarely on their shoulders.

The same goes for games like MadWorld. Great game, sure, but when was the last time a brawler was a significant release on a console (not a DMC-type action game, but an old school brawler)? Was it the Bouncer on the PS2? The industry and audience as a whole have declared these kinds of games as shallow, short, and repetitive and they really expected it to breakthrough? Its a miracle the game did as well, critically, as it did, but anyone expecting it to be a million-seller was fooling themselves.

Games like Cursed Mountain, Deadly Creatures, or the Conduit are done by small teams that have nowhere near the experience or the financial backing to really churn out a breakthrough product. Passion and dedication sure, but unfortunately that's rarely enough to make an impact in such a fickle industry where even games with 90% review averages are widely derided by critics and audiences.

I will admit that Capcom has put in a great amount of effort into their Wii releases. Darkside Chronicles was a top notch effort and sold fairly well, but again, an unpopular genre and a production nowhere near the scale of its contemporary, RE5. Capcom put in a tremendous effort in localizing Tatsunoko vs Capcom, but in the end, its release was overshadowed by a re-release of a year-old game, Street Fighter IV. Okami was a brilliant game, but it didn't sell very many copies on the PS2, the de facto "hardcore" console, it was a miracale that the Wii version sold as well as it did, but was there really a chance that it would have turned the game into a million-seller?

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers was an impressive effort by Square in a production cycle that took place over five years (though I wonder if it was that same team that produced My Life As A King, My Life as a Dark Lord, and Echoes of Time in the meantime) but if the traditionally critic-proof Final Fantasy series proper can get crucified for straying from expected gameplay conventions, then what chance did a game who's gameplay is as abstract as Crystal Bearers? Then there's the fact that there was no awareness for the game as Square was focused on pushed Final Fantasy XIII. Hell, many people didn't know Crystal Bearers existed, much less that it had come out in December.

I'm not trying to say that all the core gaming failures on the Wii are entirely the fault of the developer since I believe the traditionally "hardcore" gamers can be some of the most ignorant and fickle audience when they should be the most knowledgable and widely-played segment. They complain about only owning 3 Wii games or that their Wiis are gathering dust while conveniently ignoring or simply not bothering to go out of their way to discover the well of great games on the Wii. Hell, people complain about only owning a handful of Wii games, I bought 11 Wii games at launch, and I bought 29 retail games released in 2009; there is no shortage of playable games on the Wii. The "hardcore" audience likes to dilude themselves into thinking that they know the good games and that they know the industry and that they're widely-played, but the truth is that they only play what is pushed and marketed. Demon's Souls is one of the darlings of the "hardcore" audience but it wasn't marketed and it didn't sell, at least not as much as the word on the grapevine would have to believe. In six months the game moved just over .25 million copies and that not-so-amazing number was 4 times the company's expectation.

Then there's the media that likes to report on sales failures according to ridiculous standards. There was one article I read that called Red Steel 2's 50k units in its first week disappointing compared to God of War III selling over a million in two weeks. Remember, this is the sequel to a much maligned launch title that requires an additional peripheral compared to one of Sony's most hyped flagship properties. That's like saying a movie like say Kick-Ass is a disappointment because its box-office didn't come close to Iron Man 2. The media reports on the monster sales of much hyped properties that we begin to accept them as the standard instead of realizing that they're, by far, the exception. If 20 games released in a year sell a million copies their first week, great, but its not a standard. Not compared to the total number of games released and their first week sales. If we compared Red Steel 2's sales to the whole of the video games released, I'm certain we'd find that its far closer to the average than say God of War or Halo, which are outliers on the far end of the graph instead of the lines on which we and game publishers should base our expectations.

Given this pension for distortion, I really wonder how horribly some games have sold. Even today, its difficult to find solid sales figures for games like Dead Space Extraction. The figure of 9,000 units sold the first week (five days by some some reports) is still what's quoted in articles over 8 months after the game was released. No sales figures to date, we're simply told that the number of sales was disappointing, but by what measure? EA somehow expected the game to be a flagship Wii title so I wonder how reliable they are when they tell us the game sold horribly.

Sales for games like Madworld, House of the Dead Overkill, and the Conduit aren't praised for having sold 66k, 45k, and 72k copies in their first months but if you notice, those numbers are fairly close to what Atlus predicted their unknown action game to sell in several months. So are they failures or are they average? Did they sell poorly or did their publishers (and the gaming audience as a whole) have unrealistic expectations as to what every game should be selling?

Anyways, I'm sorry for the rant, but I think the Wii third-party/hardcore game sales is such a tricky subject and one that I don't think has been examined with quite the breadth it really needs. People are quick to say these games don't sell because X game didn't sell, or that there's no audience, or that the games just aren't good. I think the whole thing is a blend of all of that and more and I do believe that if handled right, you can have a truly successful third-party/hardcore title on the Wii; I hear Modern Warfare Reflex has been doing very well for itself and this is 2 years after its original release. Could it have been even more successful had it been released at the same time the original Modern Warfare was? Could Modern Warfare 2 have sold impressively on the Wii had a competent version been released on the Wii alongside the other versions?

noblo601

#18

noblo601 said:

@darkinfinite - what about Monster Hunter Tri?

I for one really enjoyed the first one, and know that they aren't going to compromise the gameplay present in the first one when they make the sequel.

Also, I am stoked to see that the DS version is completely different. Makes buying both seem like a likely prospect!

Slapshot

#19

Slapshot said:

@ darklink.... you are comparing the wii to the other systems. Some of the games you listed push those systems to the limits. The games simply can't run on wii.

Then you have the fact that both Sony and Microsoft both help fund big 3rd party games. Nintendo doesn't do this.

Comparing the multiplatform games on wii is going to get you anywhere. Problem is we always looked to Nintendo for family style gaming where Nintendo has always succeeded and now Microsoft and Sony have entered this market in full force.

JimLad

#20

JimLad said:

That's the biggest comment I've ever seen! :o
You're pretty much right though. (I did read it all)
I would just like to add, that if third parties want to sell well they first need to create a solid franchise exclusive to the Wii. Something that plays to its strengths and doesn't highlight its weaknesses.
Say for instance if Conduit 2 turns out to be the definitive Wii FPS. Offering all the depth the first one didn't have, with a level of control you can't get on any other console. It could be very highly praised and become a sales slow burner. Then if they released a third one with even more content, that's the point when you build up the hype and really cash in.

The problem is third parties have never faced this kind of scenario before, where they're not able to step forward with graphics. In past generations they've always found a way to make their games wow people visually, because the rival consoles were pretty similar in terms of power.
This is the first time they're actually being made to put gameplay first, and frankly I think it's scared a lot of them off. So many of the biggest studios are still trying to reach absolute realism, imo to the point where it compromises the fun. Meanwhile the ones that stick with the Wii are mostly making things that can be done much better on the other consoles. They need to focus on the controller and what it can do, since that is the Wii's only technical advantage.

Slapshot

#21

Slapshot said:

No the problems is gimmick gaming trying to make gameplay but its shown go have limitations everywhere and ends up with repetive gameplay that plays to its strengths. The dual analog controller is perfect for home console gaming but nobody wants to admit that anymore.

darklinkinfinite

#22

darklinkinfinite said:

@slapshot82 some games, maybe yes, can't be ported to the Wii because the gameplay itself simply can't be handled, but I would say that that limitation isn't present in most games. Take for example, the original Dead Space. The developers have said that they certainly could bring it over to the Wii it'd just take time and money. Why couldn't Oblivion be ported? Morrowind ran on the original Xbox and there's very little difference in terms of gameplay mechanics. What about Mass Effect? Two Knights of the Old Republic games and Jade Empire were released on the Xbox to wide acclaim and use very similar mechanics. Street Fighter IV? There was a version released for the iphone and Tatsunoko vs Capcom was an amazing game. There is no reason that game couldn't have been made on the Wii. Resident Evil 5? Mechanically nearly identical to Resident Evil 4, which saw its finest days on the Wii. Arkham Asylum is an action game divided into reasonably-sized maps, I find it hard to believe that the gameplay could not be faithfully represented on the Wii. What is there in Bioshock that prevents it from being released on the Wii? Will the games look the same as their HD counterparts? No, of course not, but most HD don't have inherent base mechanics and gameplay that can't be handled on the Wii.

Its also really simplifying my argument to reduce it simply down to "I want these games on the Wii." No, the point I started off with is that third parties don't put the effort into producing a Wii title that they do into producing an HD title. You mentioned that some of the titles I mentioned were pushing the limits of the HD consoles. Well, why don't third parties put more effort into pushing the limits of the Wii?

As it is, when making a multiplatform game, the Wii version tends to be handed off to a less experienced developer and I'm willing to bet that their budget is reduced to match. Comparing the HD version of one to the Wii version of another often reveals, not only that the obvious that the Wii version looks worse, but more importantly, the design of the game is far weaker. Alone in the Dark was an ambitious game on the HD consoles which had the Wii version released alongside. The Wii version looked bad, not just "oh its a wii game so it won't look as good"-bad, it was, without hyperbole, first-generation PS2 game bad. But that's the obvious. Beyond that, the Wii version actually represented some of Alone in the Dark's main features (combining items) fairly well. While there's nothing wrong with the Wii version being different, the quality of the design was inferior to what was seen in the other versions. It was easy to get lost at time and you weren't always sure what you needed to do or where you needed to go. Furthermore, the production values suffered further. The quality of the voice acting and the direction of the cutscenes was inferior, both aspects that really have nothing to do with the power under the hood but are instead representative of the effort (or lack thereof) being put in by the developers to produce a good game.

This happens with many Wii game. Tomb Raider Underworld lacked many features (some of which were present in the previously released Tomb Raider Anniversary) that made it less interesting than its HD incarnations. The Wii version of multiplatform titles often feel like afterthoughts because the publishers tend to ignore them and they're often handled by less capable teams.

@JimLad You do bring up a good point about building franchises. After all, Resident Evil has sold well on the Wii, partially because the games were great, but also the fact that it has the name behind it. The question really though, if franchises are really grown or if they have to be made? Dead Space was a household name after its first game and the second one is much anticipated by the industry as a whole, but Dead Space got there after a huge marketing push by EA, something the original Conduit, and now Conduit 2, lacked. After all, Conduit 2 is only a few months away but all we've really gotten is the announcement and a few details here and there. Modern Warfare 2 began revealing information, trailers, providing interviews, etc over a year before its release and continued until after the game was released. The Conduit 2 wasn't announced a year before its release and hasn't been working to provide that level of anticipation that guarantees great sales and, probably more important, audience acceptance.

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