Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Boy and His Blob for Nintendo Wii (Full Review)

Title: A Boy and His Blob
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Genre: Platformer
Rating: E for Everyone
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Majesco Games
Developer: Way Forward Technologies

Following recent traditions in film and television, Majesco Games has re-imagined a classic Nintendo Entertainment System game and re-released it for the Nintendo Wii. A Boy and His Blob was a fairly popular game when it was released 20 years ago, now…not so much. Hang on tight, this will get ugly.

Upon starting up the game you are taken through a video that shows an 8 to 12 year old boy asleep in his bed as a meteor crashes to earth. This boy, from now on I will call him Eugene since the game never gives him a name, exhibiting he clearly has no fear, leaves his tree-fort type house, where he lives alone, to investigate the crash. Once he arrives a white blob type thing jumps out of the wreckage and they become friends. Of course they do, why wouldn’t they. They then continue to travel and take down enemies with no explanation of why this is happening.

Now the actual game begins. Throughout the first part of the game, you would expect there to be some kind of explanation on how to play, this however is not the case. You just get thrown into the game with no idea how to do anything. You leave your house and set out in search of the blob, then once you find him you have to magically know how to control him. After a few trial and error attempts you’ll have the basic controls down.

The gameplay consists of basic platforming elements. Eugene will run and jump, but doesn’t jump very high. The blob comes into play when Eugene hits a dead end. By utilizing jellybeans, Eugene can make the blob turn into all sorts of fun objects, like a ladder to a parachute to a hole… Wait he can become a hole? Not to scoff the game for ignoring the rules of physics, but a solid object cannot turn into nothing, or even the absence of matter in other objects, but then again, what should I expect from a game that wants me to believe a 8 year boy would be living on his own in a treehouse?

Now the goal of this game appears to be to restock your treehouse with artifacts that can be collect around in the wilderness. For some reason there are these black blobs that don’t want you to do this. Again, there is no explanation why you are doing this and really nothing telling you you have to do it. You just have to assume what the game wants you to do and how to do it.

The game’s art style is decent, they do some unique things. The sound is incredibly bland. Music and effects fail to stimulate the gamer. And there is hardly a user interface. One button will bring up the different types of jellybeans and other then that, Eugene dies with one hit so there is no need for a life bar, also no mini-map is present.

A Boy and His Blob is only available for Nintendo Wii. I had high hopes for this title being as how I played the original on NES. That being said I just couldn’t get myself motivated to play it more then just a couple of hours. The lack of background story and no tutorial level really hindered the game’s progress. Especially for someone who rented the game, I didn’t get a copy of the user manual, which is likely where all of this information can be found. The game, however, isn’t completely broken. It does a few things right, just not enough to garner a purchase.

Overall Rating: **1/2

The Gaming Savant, Ryan Smith


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