Being a platformer fan since I gave the Super Mario games a chance, to be in the lookout for good old games within this genre can deliver some surprises. Such is the case with A Boy And His Blob. Now this game doesn't try to reinvent the wheel or anything but rather take players back to the NES era of plug and play to have some fun. A remake of a game from the 80s, the charm and gameplay mechanics of this game more than encourages players both veterans and new ones to keep on beating every level as doing so is satisfactory. This is A Boy And His Blob.
Out of the sudden and in the vein a kid's fable, an alien ship hits on Earth bringing with it a Blob, this round white creature capable of changing forms. Our protagonist boy hears the crash and goes to the site to befriend said creature. From there on, both of them must make way defeating monsters that have also appeared on Earth but that unlike Blob, are the bad guys. Armed with just the will to success and help Blob stop this menace our duo embarks on a journey consisting on four worlds to save the boy's world and that of Blob.
One of the many things that excel in this game is its art style. For a moment I believed I was watching a cartoon of sort due to the child's animation approach but in reality it blends perfectly with the game as a whole. As it was and will forever be a game aimed for kids, to see how beautifully and full of details the environments are serves as a hook. Even monsters look cute. More textures and details for the backgrounds would have been nice but as far as what it is shown around the characters, is a job well done. I played it on the Vita and I had no complaints resolution wise or whatever.
In the sound department as well, the intention of bringing that 80s platformer vibe works wonders. The soundtrack set the tone right away and creates this sensation of exploration and challenge. Boss fights and the climax of the adventure deserve a shoutout thanks to the sense of conflict and ultimately of completion as all of the game's bosses will require good reflexes and the best use of our abilities. Also, the sound design will stick for you for a while, either by calling Blob every now and then or the monsters lurking around before and after killing you as if Boy gets touch, is game over.
Perhaps the defining factor that had me trying to unlock everything I could, which I ultimately did, was the gameplay itself. Simple commands for moving and using Blob's abilities is all there is to it. Boy serves as the conductor and side kick in a way while Blob does all the heavy work, which creates good balance between controlling the two. Selecting for diverse powers, to find a way to finish each stage is challenging in a good way. Defeating monsters can come as second as this is plaftomer to begin with. Each of the stage's layouts really make you think which I see as a good instruction for those who want to play platformers as the difficulty doesn't get unfair at all. In each stage there three chests which once found unlock secret stages. For example, each level have 20 stages being ten of them already there to beat as you progress and the other ten if you find the chests in those. During the course of the game, this serves as a nice bonus mostly because secret stages require a little bit more of skill.
A Boy And His Blob is a fine example of how old conventions can be brought back for modern times if the essence of what once made games a blast in the past gets redefined. This packed with simple story of good vs evil and the power of pure, honest friendship makes for a platformer that while may to rival others of the genre, sets itself apart for having a good heart. Available on Wii, PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, PC, and on Switch November 2021.
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