de Blob 2 is not only the second game of its series, but also the second port of the franchise to arrive on Switch; de Blob – the predecessor – made its way to Nintendo’s latest console just a couple of months ago. The first Switch port brought the original 2008 Wii game to a brand new audience with a shiny lick of HD paint, and de Blob 2 is clearly aiming to do the same for the 2011 sequel. But which one’s better? And what does this game do differently?
Well, one important thing to note is that de Blob 2 originally released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – as well as the Wii which acted as an exclusive platform for the first title – and boy can you tell. One of our main frustrations with de Blob on Switch was the annoyance experienced from its cameras and controls, with even the simplest of tasks causing the odd flash of anger due to a lack of accurate control. de Blob 2 feels so much more naturally suited to a traditional controller setup than the first game, no doubt thanks to the fact that it was designed that way in the first place, and we had a much easier time playing as a result.
That’s not to say that everything’s perfect, however; despite the improvements, we did still occasionally find ourselves accidentally falling off buildings when the camera wasn’t playing ball. Things are much better this time around, but de Blob will never be the platforming masterpiece it aspires to be without a good old tidy up under the hood.
Elsewhere, though, the game is as bright and brilliant as the first title. You don’t need to have played the first entry to understand what’s going on – the baddies have drained the world of colour once again and it’s up to you (as Blob) to make everything all pretty again – and every cutscene and character is as exuberant and fun as ever before. These games are heavily geared towards a younger audience, and the gobbledegook language and comical enemies are sure to leave a smile on any child’s face.
The gameplay is similarly best suited to younger players, which acts as both a blessing and a curse. Just like before, de Blob 2 has you reaching checkpoints to be assigned a small task – usually painting a row of buildings or taking out some enemies – before quickly moving on to the next one. The game never leaves you wondering what to do, with every single mission explicitly spelt out to you at any given time. Things feel a little more linear here than in the first game, too, with chances to explore usually saved for the very end of the level.
Once you’ve completed each task, your guide – Pinky – finally offers up the chance to let loose and explore your surroundings. This doubles up as a chance to claim that lovely 100% completion mark and see everything that the game has to offer, while simultaneously giving you a breather from the objectives at hand. Younger or less experienced players will no doubt appreciate the guidance, especially as tutorials pop up every time any new element is introduced, but platforming veterans will likely get a bigger kick from those end-of-level sections.
The game’s difficulty similarly never strays far from being relatively simple. It opens with ‘Easy’ or ‘Normal’ modes, but even when selecting ‘Normal’ we didn’t come across anything particularly challenging until very late on. The levels are actually played on a timer, with a set number of minutes placed on the clock when you first begin. Theoretically, as Pinky keeps reminding you, this means that you need to get a move on, but you can pick up so many additional minutes by completing objectives that we rarely saw our timer reach anything other than absolute safety.
While the main chunk of these levels follow on exactly where the first de Blob game left off, this predecessor does add the odd 2D section to change things up a bit. It’s during these sections that we found it easier to forgive the game’s linear, hand-holding approach, as these are a joy to play. You’ll be collecting paint just like before, but this time you’ll use it to trigger switches and levers - skilfully dodging other colours that would mess up your plans - and even draining your colour in water to squeeze yourself through small gaps.
On top of this, a small (and simplified) RPG-like system has been included. As you explore each area you’ll be able to pick up points that can be spent towards abilities or attributes. By spending points on things like your maximum paint count or your total number of lives, you can make Blob stronger in areas which suit your playstyle. It only really acts as a minor part of the experience, but it’s a nice little touch all the same.
The multiplayer side of things has seen a bit of a revamp, too. Rather than the competitive minigame nature of the first title, de Blob 2 features a series of levels which have two players co-operating to complete split-screen tasks. These levels are much smaller than the main game, but again, it’s a nice little inclusion to have. A second player can also join in with the main campaign, using Pinky to pick up items or ink for the main player, but there isn’t really enough for Player 2 to do to keep them interested for long.
Finally, just like de Blob before it, this remake places a nice HD shine on proceedings, while still being subject to some blurry edges and fuzzy models. The colours and overall aesthetic are bright and bold, though, helping to make it as visually pleasing as possible. The soundtrack is also an absolute treat, once again adding layer after layer in its jaunty tunes as more and more paint fills the game world. It certainly has its drawbacks, but the world of de Blob is a fun place to be.
de Blob 2 keeps many of the same characteristics found in the original game, with both the brilliant - and the not-so-brilliant - features mostly staying intact. The cameras can still be occasionally fiddly, and things can feel a little too easy in places, but brand new 2D sections and a slightly more refined-feeling overall experience put the sequel just above the original in our pecking order. Either game should go down well – especially with a younger audience – but this one just about splashes its way into first place.
Definitely better than the first in my opinion, although I’ve not played either since the Wii versions.
@justin233 Totally agree except for the cut scenes. The ones in De Blob 2 are cute, but the first game made me laugh out loud quite a few times.
Wow! I bought the first one last week too! I’ll have to keep an eye out for a sale...physical preference of course!
Hopefully we’ll get a third installment.
I’m currently playing through the first one and will be buying the second soon. Well worth the money in my opinion, it’s so satisfying to paint everything! It takes me over an hour to complete each level.
Highly enjoyable games, both of them. Nice to see them return in an HD jacket. Hopefully, both of them will now attract a wider audience, because they certainly deserve to.
Is it recommend for a 7 years old to play?
@tourjeff I first played it when I was 9, and I couldn't grasp the controls very well at first for either game. If the 7 year old is willing to be patient while learning, then yeah. Otherwise, wouldn't even consider it.
Bought both of them. £22 each physical is a bargain.
@judaspete - I love how the whole universe isnt just voice acted and cutscene play out the stories through very expressive actions.
Those types are by far my favorite. And I hope a third is made one day. It was an amazing Wii experience and age hasn't done much damage to the IP, definitely a gem if ever one.
i love this game so much!
How often can you save? I’ve always had problems continuing where I left off in these games.
@tourjeff my kids are now ten and seven, my daughter played and enjoyed it on Wii years ago and more recently my son, the youngest, has played and enjoyed the Wii version on our Wii U. I would recommend. In the original game you can actually play the levels with no missions or time constraints, just painting at your leisure, I remember my daughter loving that.
Such a therapeutic game, especially once they gave jumping a button prompt for dB2. Regardless, I enjoyed both titles on the Wii.
@MartyFlanMJFan thanks for the help!
I'll get it for my daughter then, hopefully she will enjoy it.
@SladeWatkins thanks for the help!
Highly recommended. This is even better than the first game. If i was a reviewer it would definitely be a 9 out of 10.
@tourjeff I hope she enjoys it. It's perfect for Switch, I love the simplicity of putting the console to sleep and picking up exactly where I left off anytime.
Ah, I love roaming through these levels, and just painting everything afterward to bring the world to life and ramp up the tunes, always a good time. This and the original are definitely getting on my Switch as soon as I grab a memory card for them.
Just picked up a physical copy along with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.
It's sold out everywhere so I'm glad I locked a pre-order in
Actually going to disagree with the author about the game play being suited for younger players. I am nearly 50, I played both of these games on the Wii, and then its sequel on the 360. There were very challenging sections in both games. These are actually some of my favorite games of all time. I found the difficulty "just right." I've always wished I could get my hands on some original artwork from the games. They just have such an amazing style to the games and the cut scenes. While I haven't bought the games on the Switch, I am thrilled that they are being exposed to a new audience and really hoping we see a 3rd game in the series come out as a result.
I LOVE the 2nd game. It's actually made it into in my top ten 3d platformers.
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