A Boy and His Blob (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 30.11.2009

Review for A Boy and His Blob on Wii

2009 is the 20th anniversary of A Boy and His Blob, a cute little platform game with a heap of puzzle goodness mixed in for good measure. The original was released on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and quickly garnered a cult following, one clearly large enough to warrant WayForward Technologies stepping up and teaming with Majesco Entertainment to remake the game for Wii. But has the original game’s charm been successfully transferred across to a new format and has WayForward managed to have the same magic touch it had with Shantae on GBC and Contra 4 on DS?

The world of Blobonia has been attacked by an evil Emperor, leaving the extremely cute Blob protagonist to retreat from its home land and escape to planet Earth in search of help. Interestingly enough, rather than enlisting the aid of the armed forces, Blob ends up befriending none other than a young boy...hence the ‘does what it says on the tin’ title of ‘A Boy and his Blob’! The unlikely duo make one heck of a devastating team, though, with any deficiencies in the boy’s repertoire of moves more than compensated by the range of abilities the blob has up its figurative sleeve. You see this may appear to be a run-of-the-mill platform romp, but in reality what has been crafted is a finely balanced mix of traditional running-and-jumping, with a wide range of clever puzzles.

The titular blob just loves its jellybeans and the boy conveniently has a seemingly endless supply of them, in all sorts of different flavours. Since all the boy can do is slowly trot along, jump short distances and cry out for the blob’s help, it is quite fortunate that each variety of jellybean not only keeps the round, white alien happy, but also has the ability to transform it into useful objects to ensure the boy can progress through the forty main levels on offer. The stages are spread equally across four separate locations, each stunningly hand-drawn and bursting with style and charisma. The game’s charm comes not only from the aesthetically pleasing background setting, but also the main characters themselves, with the little boy voiced by the son of one of the developers, while motion capture is used to mimic the child-like movements exactly.

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Wii

In terms of how a standard level works, the boy will generally wander along and come across a particular obstacle, with the key to overcoming it being the appropriate use of jellybean / blob ability. At the start of the game it comes down a simple case of turning the blob into a ladder to climb up to platforms above or below that cannot be reached, or making it into a trampoline to bounce upwards to scale even larger heights. However, further down the line it becomes a case of knowing how to use a mixture of manoeuvres to figure out situations - for instance, having to make a hole in the ground so a large monster can drop to your level and charge at the stones blocking your path. Then a trampoline needs to be quickly despatched so the boy can jump over the on-coming beast. The blob can also become an anvil, to weigh switches down or kill beasties, a parachute for gliding down / across large gaps and chasms, or even a small ball that can be thrown through tight gaps or swallowed by some enemies, only then to burst through their stomachs. There are fifteen abilities in total and playing around with the moves on offer in a particular stage is enjoyable in general, but there are normally a few different ways to reach the golden jellybean at the end of a stage (which turns blob into an exit door), which only adds to the fun factor.

Many developers try their hardest to strike a decent balance between making their game appeal to a wider audience, whilst not completely alienating that dedicated core base of gamers that are likely to come back for future releases no matter what. Sadly, though, achieving such an equilibrium state is easier said than done, and more often than not, games will heavily slew one way or the other. WayForward, however, has done an absolutely superb job of hitting the target in this respect. Working through the standard courses is not exactly an overwhelming challenge, thanks to the numerous check-points across a stage and the fact that there are infinite lives for the boy. However, there is added incentive for veteran gamers to take the time to slowly scour the surroundings to find the three hidden treasure chests per level. That incentive? Well, for each three collected, a special challenge stage opens up, some of which can be agonisingly tough. Then, if that was not enough, as a reward for being so painstakingly diligent, knuckling down and grinding through, there is a great selection of extras, such as concept art and development video clips. It is very difficult to find any flaws with A Boy and his Blob. Sure, it would have been nice to have some IR and motion controls in places (such as pointer control for throwing beans, or tilting the Wii remote whilst on its side when gliding with the parachute), but the omission of such features hardly warrants any major negativity toward the game. To overlook this would be an extremely foolhardy act!

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

WayForward has pulled off what Good Feel was unable to with Wario Land: The Shake Dimension - they've crafted a 2D platform title that looks stunning, keeps the gamer hooked throughout thanks to its perfectly executed gameplay and clever mix of puzzles, as well as offering a wealth of extras to unlock along the way. A Boy and His Blob is in the upper echelon of Wii titles in terms of quality and is a must buy for anyone looking for a fantastic gaming experience. An unforgettable experience.

Developer

WayForward

Publisher

Majesco

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (7 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
jesusraz

There are 1 members online at the moment.