de Blob makes up for some shortcomings with brilliant mechanics.
The revolution is at hand! Sure, you may have heard that tons of times in the different worlds that compose the unified videogame ultraverse, but never have you heard it like this. de Blob's weapon isn't firepower or a superior naval force. His power is color, and never has color kicked so much ass. It may have a few minor setbacks, but de Blob overcomes them and delivers a great adventure that helps establish Wii's dominance over the realm of fun, creative IPs.
So, the game takes place in Chroma City, a land of color and funk, when, while de Blob was out napping, the INKT Corporation comes in and jacks all the color. Taking control of the now gray city, INKT continues to suck the joy out of the Raydians (now called Graydians) to fuel their war machine. If you're not pissed off at this point, you can just get the hell out of here. This game aint for you. de Blob then wakes up and helps lead a resistance against the Inky forces and their general, General Inky.
Control is handled via remote and nunchuk. The joystick moves you around, Z locks on, and an upward swing of the remote jumps. It functions alright, but the option to change the controls would have been appreciated. It's not tiring, but sometimes a button press is fine. Another motion mechanic that I love is used when you convert a landmark. When you get a certain amount of paint, you jump to a special cursor, and shake the Wii remote and Nunchuk up and down really quickly. It acts as a drum roll to the transformation, and is really a great touch.
The game is split up into around 10 levels, each of them pretty long. Too long, in fact; my biggest gripe with the game is that the levels aren't split up enough, and you can't save your progress mid-level. If you start a level, it's at least a half-hour commitment. The levels are areas of the city, such as downtown, the entertainment district, and so on. The goal of the game is to paint the city and free the Graydians to help suck the power from INKT, and eventually destroy them. You do this by breaking open color cials and touching the buildings around you. Touch a part of a building, and the entire thing will be painted. The mechanic works great, and is a blast to do. To help you along and give you some direction, the other members of the resistance give you tasks, such as painting a block a certain color, racing along a path before the time runs out, and shutting down INKT landmarks, like propaganda towers and prisons. These are also pretty fun to complete, though I found myself preferring the random approach that comes with painting whatever you want at any time.
Combat is handled via waggle combined with targeting. Many different enemies lurk in the city, and there's special ways to defeat them all. The common cost is an amount of paint, be it just a drop or two or your entire stash. Combat isn't bad, but it's not revolutionary. It's satisfying, though, so no complaints, especially since it isn't really the core of the game.
The music in this game is one of its shining stars. A soundtrack consisting of high-powered funk, it changes dynamically with how much of the city you have painted, and with what color. It's fun to mess with, and a pretty varied list of templates for the soundtrack to be built upon (such as "triumphant" or "smooth") make it all the better. The visuals, in the same vein, are spectacular. Running at a smooth 60 frames a second and with a colorful pallette, it denies any accusations that the Wii can't handle the pretty pictures.
The game will last a pretty solid amount of time on the first play, but there's some value to going back and playing a level again. The multiplayer modes are fun, but not particularly brilliant. They can still act as a neat diversion from an all-night Brawlout. That's about it in the package.
Despite some pacing issues, a lack of control customization and a somewhat lackluster multiplayer mode, de Blob shines through with its brilliant story mode and winning gameplay mechanics. Simply put, this is one revolution that you don't want leaving you behind.
One of my psychological pet peeves in all of gaming is a gimmicked title. Few things repel my wallet from a game store like seeing a game with a title that plays with improper punctuation (Punch-out!!!), numbers in place of letters (Left 4 Dead), or deranged capitalization (inFAMOUS.) So in spite of appearing to be the kind of clever, original game concept that would need all the financial support one could lend it against the oppressing brigade of space marine shooters and plastic instrument mu...
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