The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
It’s easy to let nostalgia for the property – or for 2D
side-scrolling platformers – blind you while playing A Boy and His
Blob. The reimagining of the 1989 NES title had throngs of gamers
aflutter upon announcement, conjuring memories of a game shrouded by
time and the mask of childhood. Having finished the hefty remake, I can
safely say that fans and newcomers alike will be impressed. But like
its predecessor, A Boy and His Blob isn’t without its frustrations.
key elements of the classic version have been left untouched; the new
iteration is primarily an avenue for higher production values. Twenty
years later the boy and his newfound friend are still working their way
across the universe to save blob-kind. No other story elements or plot
points are needed; after the pair’s initial encounter, the ingenious
gameplay takes center stage. Blob can change into 15 unique objects by
eating aptly named jelly beans. Some of them become mainstays, such as
the Licorice Ladder or the Tangerine Trampoline. Others offer a breath
of fresh air, completely changing the way you approach platforming.
did a fantastic job easing players into the ever-evolving skill set,
using signs and simple introductory scenarios to challenge the player
and force them to shake up their problem-solving arsenal. In earlier
levels, water is a deadly obstacle for the boy. After obtaining the
Bubble Gum Bouncer, water no longer poses a threat and new doors open
to you. Still, levels are designed to continually challenge; once water
is no longer a problem, new obstacles await. Blob has more,
increasingly interesting forms that I won’t spoil for you, and each
feels more of a treat than the last. Nothing stays simple for too long.
have plenty of time to master these new skills (or die trying) because
the game offers a massive amount of content, spanning 40 levels. To top
things off, each level also harbors three treasure chests, and nabbing
them all will net you access to a challenge level. Find all the hidden
chests in the game and you effectively double your playtime. That’s a
lot of bang for your buck.
Sadly, the stunning graphics, charming
music, and endearing characters don’t mask the game’s faults. While the
puzzles are nothing short of ingenious, you are always one treacherous
step away from infuriation. I have no qualms about being stumped from
time to time. The issue is when that eureka moment finally comes,
progression can be halted by a series of obstacles that require
perfectly timed jumps with even more exact trajectories. At times it
takes dozens of attempts to string together a combo of moves to make it
across an extremely short expanse. With a very forgiving save system,
this doesn’t often become an issue, but in several particularly
challenging areas with falling platforms and walls lined with floating
mines, the frustration was nearly game-ending. The twitchy controls,
particularly when flying, compound the problem. After 15 or 20 minutes
of repeating a 10-second string of actions, all I could do was step
away and put the game down for another time and disposition. A clear
mind and calm hand is needed at all times.
problems, there is something undeniably magnetic about the game. The
lush environments, charming characters, and the infinite power of the
hug button make it impossible to stay upset for too long. Like its
namesake predecessor, a couple of days after setting the controller
down, it’s hard not to look back on A Boy and His Blob and smile.
I never played the original game, but it doesn’t matter one bit. From
the moment I started playing A Boy and His Blob I was taken in by the
slick animation, adorable characters, and clever level design. The
basic mechanic of feeding jellybeans to a blob to transform it into a
constantly expanding variety of objects results in a smooth stream of
engaging platform puzzles. Riding a rocket through spike-filled tunnels
or parachuting down a deadly pit mixes in fast-paced action, keeping
things fresh. The boss battles are great David vs. Goliath matchups,
focusing on wits over combat prowess. Hardcore players may scoff at the
liberal checkpoints and infinite lives, but they’ll relish finding
hidden treasure chests and beating the 40 taxing challenge levels.
Definitely play this one all the way to the end. You’re in for some