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Video Game Review: 'De Blob 2'
Filed under: Video Games
Rated ON for Ages 9 and Up
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that "De Blob 2" is an action/adventure game with some puzzle elements, which revolves around a freedom-fighting blob's attempts to rid his land of a ruthless dictator who has stolen all color from the world. The violence is cartoony at worst, as most of the villains are robots and they lose ink, as opposed to blood. There are some darker moments, though, in which kids will have to make moral choices, choosing between the pursuit of a villain or the rescue of innocents. Kids can play with two players, although one is mainly in control.
The good stuff
- Ease of play: Controls work very smoothly. If the camera work seems problematic at first, know that you can adjust the X and Y axes and the speed with which the camera moves; it's very likely you can find a setting that will be comfortable for your personal style of play. The game offers two levels of difficulty: Easy and Normal.
- Educational value: There are puzzle aspects to many of the levels, but the intention of the game is definitely entertainment over education.
- Messages: On the whole, the message is a positive one. Blob is a hero, determined to bring color (and freedom) back to a world ruled by a tyrant. Certain story moments, though, pose moral questions to players, asking them to choose between pursuing a fleeing villain or rescuing innocents.
- Role models: Blob and Pinky are self-sacrificing heroes who value the freedom of their people. Players could choose to make Blob a bit more callous in his pursuit of the bad guys if they opt to follow the villains rather than save the innocents at certain points.
What to watch out for
- Violence: Blob fights enemy robots at times with a jump-and-smash ability (or sidekick Pinky can zap them with paint). Defeated emenies disappear in a burst of ink.
- Sex: Not an issue.
- Language: "Damnit" appears in a cutscene.
- Consumerism: Not an issue.
- Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.
What's the Story?
In "De Blob 2," the evil INKT Corporation from the original game returns to once again suck all the color out of a vibrant world and turn its formerly lively inhabitants into drone-like slaves. Former-prankster/now-freedom-fighter Blob is called in to save the day, this time joined by his floating robo-sidekick, Pinky. Blob must dip himself into paint ponds and re-color the world around him, restoring life and spirit to the enslaved people in the process. Player 2 can join in as Pinky, siphoning paint and using it to zap bad robots, destroy INKT machinery, or even rescue Blob if he gets into trouble. There's also a split-screen Vs. game that pits two blobs against one another to see who can earn more paint points while completing the same mission.
Is It Any Good?
"De Blob 2" is a rare better-than-the-original sequel. The controls and overall gameplay style feel much improved, and there's a wonderful open-world aspect to the adventure. Once you've completed the required missions on a level, you can continue to explore, take on side missions, and paint and re-paint to your heart's content. You can choose to stick around until you've completely restored and repainted the entire land. While the co-op play is officially designated as "1.5 player" (as opposed to "2 player"), the game has been designed so that having a second person handle Pinky is a genuine benefit. Pinky's not just sitting around waiting to zap a bad guy or two; she can grab hard-to-reach power-ups, rescue civilians, change Blob's color when he needs it, and even rescue him if he's been inked over -- there's a lot there. In fact, that's the feeling we have about the entire game: There's a lot there. It's a good feeling.
Released on: 2/22/2011, Price: $29.99–$39.99, not online enabled
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language
This review was written by Christopher Healy.
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