Double Bloob Review
Posted by Corbie Dillard
For those who aren't aware, Double Bloob was actually announced over four years ago as a DS retail title. After disappearing for a few of those years, the game has now resurfaced on DSiWare. It'd be easy to assume that those four years of development time were used to make sure that the game was polished and enjoyable. That assumption would be dead wrong.
Double Bloob allows you to choose one of two characters at the start of the game. You're then armed with one weapon that you can fire vertically at a nearly constant barrage of swirling enemies. There are small platforms that you can climb up on to gain a shooting advantage on the aliens or avoid their diving attacks, but for the most part you'll spend the majority of your time at the bottom of the screen firing away.
As you complete a world, you'll earn special parts that your friend, the doctor, can use to build you new weapons and repair your spaceship. While there's a fairly wide assortment of weapons, some that even bring the touch screen and microphone into play, you'll generally find yourself sticking to one or two of the more effective weapons throughout your adventure. Although you can adjust the shooting angle using the shoulder buttons, this tends to be more trouble than it's worth, leaving the more simple method of firing straight up as your primary means of attack.
In an attempt to mix things up, destroyed aliens occasionally drop items; some give you additional time on your strict time limit or refill your health meter. You'll also have to watch out for keys to drop that can be used to unlock the treasure chests. Of course, even as helpful as they can be, there are generally so many enemies swirling around that you'll find yourself only going after items that fall close by and ignoring the rest.
The controls perform adequately, but the repetitive level designs make what little fun you'll have in the first couple of stages quickly dry up once you realize that there's really little more to the game that what you've already experienced. It's also worth nothing that many levels, even later on in the game, can be beaten by merely standing in one spot and holding the fire button down, not a good sign if you're looking for a helping of strategy and engaging gameplay.
It must be said that there are some beautiful backgrounds on display, generally getting more impressive as you progress through the game. The main problem is they tend to make the rather drab character sprites look out of place. It doesn't help that there's not a lot of animation in the various characters and enemies, not to mention the fact that most enemies look extremely similar to one another with only minor colour palette swaps.
The cute tunes that you'll be treated to range from charming to drab, with little in between. Maybe it's the fact that the musical tracks just don't feel like they belong in a shoot 'em up or possibly it's because the sound effects in the game are so well executed, it's difficult to tell. There are at least enough bright spots to warrant keeping the volume up, just don't expect to be humming these tunes any time soon.
Double Bloob is one of those games that features some interesting ideas that just never truly come together. Repetitive levels and an uninspired soundtrack end up bringing what few bright spots the game features crumbling to the ground. And while we could sit here and pick apart the countless flaws the game exudes, at the end of the day the game is just not any fun to play.