The sequel to 2008's critical darling de Blob, de Blob 2 is a puzzle-platformer that tasks players with painting a monochromatic metropolis in a myriad of colors to "liberate" it from the oppressive clutches of a nefarious group called de Blancs. This installment takes de Blob, the series protagonist, back to Prisma City, and introduces a host of new features and improvements.
de Blob 2 takes place shortly after the first game. It begins with de Blob and his new robotic life partner Pinky enjoying a pleasant trip about the skies in their blimp when suddenly the Prof contacts them and asks that they investigate the nearby settlement of Paradise Island -- a popular vacation spot just outside Prisma City -- after getting some reports of something being horribly off around there. The two arrive to find that their old enemy, Comrade Black, is up to his old tricks again as they discover that Prisma City and its surrounding settlements have been drained of color. On top of all that, a mysterious cult known as de Blancs is going around spreading propaganda against all things colorful, and appears to be trying to rig the running election. De Blob quickly sends for his old gang, the Color Underground, to help him once again fight back against Comrade Black and liberate the masses.
The Nintendo DS version of de Blob 2 tells a completely different tale, meanwhile, taking place instead between the first game and the console versions of the second game. In this story, Comrade Black's chief scientist Dr. Von Blot uses creatures he's been experimenting on to form a new mutated Ink. De Blob happens to find the laboratory while taking a stroll through the jungle and decides to put a stop to the evil doctor's plans since he has nothing better to do.
de Blob 2 remains similar to the first game, in terms of structure. The goal still remains to color vast, semi- open world levels to revive them from their current monochromatic state. Levels are typically split into three separate segments, with a new one unlocking after all the story challenges in the area have been completed and the "transformer engine" activated. Once all the story challenges within the level are complete, players may either end the level or take on additional side challenges. The constant time limit is still in place.
The core aspect of de Blob 2's gameplay, painting, is as simple as can be. Just come into contact with anything while de Blob is dowsed in color and the item he touches will instantly be covered from top to bottom in whatever color de Blob is carrying. Different colors can be obtained from color pools or from paintbots, spider-like machines that scurry about and suck the paint out of any colored item or being.
Painting items comes at a cost, though, that cost being paint points, which determines how much paint de Blob is currently carrying. Each item that's painted, smashed, etc. has a certain cost. Painting buildings, for example, costs only one paint point, whereas painting a landmark would cost thirty points or more. The player is therefore encouraged to constantly replenish their paint reserve.
Additionally, each color has its own musical instrument associated with it, each one adding onto the underlying theme for the level. Red, for example, plays a saxophone whenever something is painted, while blue plays a guitar, and brown scratches a turntable.
Prismans and Graydians
Upon painting an entire block of buildings, the curious citizens inside start pouring out into the streets. Depending on the situation, the types of citizens that appear will either be Graydians, citizens trapped in a sort of white casing who are drained of color; who can be freed by painting them, or Prismans, who retain their color and needn't be rescued. Painting whole groups of Graydians grants extra time.
Amongst all the mindless painting, de Blob is frequently tasked with completing various challenges to progress onward. These missions task players with certain objectives such as clearing an area of enemies, painting all the buildings or billboards in the area, painting landmarks, among others. Challenges are activated by rolling up to the red mission marker, at which point Blob's partner Pinky or one of the many bystanders or members of the Color Underground, gives Blob a quick debriefing on what he needs to do. Completion awards de Blob with an extra minute added to the timer.
New to this installment are levels that are played on a two-dimensional plane. Whenever de Blob heads down a manhole or enters a landmark building, the game changes to a side-scrolling perspective to gain a better view of the indoor environments. Gameplay remains the same, just with a more constricted level of movement. For obvious reasons, the DS game is built entirely around this concept.
Throughout de Blob's mission to overthrow the peaceful if boring government, his adversaries (the Inkies) put up quite a fight to impede de Blob's path. All de Blob needs to do to defeat them is smash them, or run 'em over with a quick charge. Just like everything else, different types of enemies have different paint point costs. A standard Inky, for instance, only costs five points to crush, whereas one in, say, a turret costs fifty.
Providing some assistance are power-ups that de Blob varying abilities. The abilities are as follows:
- Supercharge - Allows de Blob to preform the charge move without using up paint points.
- Rainbow - Grants de Blob the ability to use any color without needing to physically switch.
- Haz-mat - Envelops de Blob in a bubble that protects him from hazards like ink and water, fire floor pads, among others.
- Wreaking Ball - Transforms de Blob into a metal ball that can plow through enemies and allows him to sink into water. It also enables him to roll on magnetized surfaces.
- Gravitron - Sucks up any and all enemies and paint bots in the vicinity toward de Blob and crushes them under the weight of increased gravity.
- Regen - Instantly gives de Blob the maximum amount of paint points he can carry and constantly replenishes his stock over time.
New to de Blob 2 is the ability to strengthen de Blob's attributes. This is done by collecting light bulbs spread throughout levels. Once collected, they can be exchanged to increase attributes such as the maximum amount of paint the Blob can carry or the amount of lives he starts off with at the start of a level.
When playing solo, another player may join in as Blob's partner Pinky in an asymmetrical co-op mode. The second player is given control over a small reticule that can be used to gather small collectibles, attack enemies, and fire spare paint points onto Blob to keep him stocked.
In de "Blob Party" mode, two players can compete to complete a series of objectives in a race to gain de most points. Points are earned by completing objectives quickly, overall number of buildings painted, and so on. Some co-operation is necessary to proceed at certain points, such as having one player stand an a pressure pad so that another can use the jump piston to get higher, but the competitive side unfortunately remains the focus.
Levels in this mode are all based off those from the single-player campaign.
Xbox 360 Installation
Installing the game on the Xbox 360 requires 6.0GB of hard drive space. Loads are, on average, five seconds faster after installation is complete.
Both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are compatible with 3D television sets. The option for 3D must be enabled every time the game starts, and is presented in stereoscopic format. Due to obvious technical limitations, it is not available in the Nintendo Wii or DS versions of the game.
de Blob 2 comes with different colored Blob on the box art depending on which console players buy the game on. Wii and DS versions have a blue Blob, the PS3 version as a red Blob and the Xbox 360 version features a light-green Blob on the artwork.