A Boy and his Blob, which some of you may be old enough to remember the first time around, way back in the lead up to Christmas of 1991. Programmed by David Crane. It was a brutal experience, and I never managed to complete it, despite many vain attempts, and cursing. Lot’s of cursing. I was only 12 years old then, so naturally my parents were far from happy with my language. But it kept me coming back for more, being the glutton for punishment that I am.
It received a remake back in 2009 for the Wii, and this is what was ported to Xbox One. For which I am grateful. A lot has changed with this remake, graphical overhaul is by far the most noticeable. There are far less jellybeans sadly. Each level gives you the required jellybeans you will need to advance past all the slimy black creatures you will encounter along the way to Blobolonia.
The setting is of a young boy relaxing in his treehouse, when there is a crash landing nearby. This is your cue to go and investigate. If that was me, and I saw something crash-land from the heavens, I would avoid like the plague, let alone investigate and hug the white blob that emerges from the wreckage.
The story starts off nice and simple, easing you in gently, with little to give you trouble. It wont get that much harder as you progress, but in a way this gives you a relaxing journey. I’m not saying you will breeze through the game, as it is a far cry from the NES release. Which in a way is a shame, but given the gorgeous visuals, the change of pace is a welcome change. Both backgrounds, and foreground art is superb, and pleasing on the eye, although it’s not a AAA affair, the cartoon look is perfect for the type of game it is.
Playing the game is easy, as the controls are responsive, and the layout is perfect. The gripe that I have, is sometimes Blob will go off on his merry way and do his own thing, or will get left behind, and make little to no effort to catch up. Sometimes he can’t even catch you up, despite throwing him the blue jellybean. Enemies are quite easy to navigate past, as they have set patterns of movement. Some do make a beeline for you if you reach their line of sight, so getting complacent will see you having to restart a section.
Music and sound effects are average but Mecha Blob FX will begin to grind on you after a while and is needlessly convoluted. Challenge levels are simple enough in theory, but to complete them, you will need to perfect run through them all. Die, and you start from the beginning of said challenge. Some are frustrating, and will bring on a small amount of rage. To unlock these, you will need to find 3 chests per level. So some leg work is involved. Some will be visible and some are off the beaten path. A good video guide is available on YouTube, or you can search for yourself if you’re that way inclined.
The boss fights are always in 3 stages, and once you have their attack pattern memorised, you wont have much in the way of any trouble in beating them. In all, Boy and his Blob can offer you approximately 8 hours of game time for your money, offering you a good return for a visually impressive bout of nostalgia, should you remember the original.
Should you be in it for the achievements, they are quite easy, and there is no real issues unlocking the full 1000 gamer score available to you. From hugging Blob 5 times, to collecting all the chests, mixed in with completion related requirements, you will have to do everything the game has to offer you.
I would heartily recommend Boy and his Blob, especially if the nostalgia appeals to you, and you like your platform adventures. The price of £7.99 is a reasonable one, and averaging between 8-10 hours, it gives value for money. A great change of pace from all the other games out there.
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