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de Blob

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de Blob (Blob: Colorful na Kibou in Japan) is a platform puzzle video game that allows players to explore and liberate an alien city from the evil, monochromatic INKT Corporation that has taken over the city and outlawed all colour and fun from daily life. Playing as de Blob, gamers will embark on a quest to re-animate the fictional place of Chroma City, and bring character back to the oppressed, by splattering buildings, landmarks, and citizens with colour.

de Blob was developed by Blue Tongue for the Wii and is currently being developed by Helixe for the Nintendo DS.[3] Both were published by THQ. The game was originally scheduled for a February 2008 release,[4] but it was delayed and then released on September 22, 2008 for the Wii.[1][2] It will be released for the Nintendo DS in 2009.

A version of the game for Apple Inc.'s iPhone was released on July 13, 2008. [citation needed]

Gameplay

The player—Blob—starts out as a ball of clear "water". de Blob is free to roll around and collect paint from Paintbots in the three colors of red, yellow, and blue, which can be combined into orange, green, purple, and brown. de Blob then merely has to touch a building, lamppost, billboard, or other object for the entire surface of said object to be smeared in his current color. As he colors the city, the game's soundtrack, featuring live bands which recorded slow and fast versions of each "lick" (each hit), gradually adds more instrumentation as well as an additional "layer" of sound corresponding to de Blob's current colour—being red usually adds a saxophone solo to the music, for example.[5]

As de Blob collects paint, his size increases to a maximum of 100; each object he paints costs a paint point, as does attacking enemies. de Blob can get rid of his colour with water. While de Blob is free to paint, there are various missions which can or must be completed. These missions are given by various members of the Color Underground and include painting certain buildings certain colours and transforming a landmark with enough of a certain color of paint (for example, 30 yellow paint points).

There are various hazards to avoid, however. Pools of ink turn de Blob black and cause him to lose paint points constantly; when he reaches 0, he loses a life. Ink must be washed out with water. The INKT forces, Inkies, will send out footsoldiers to stop de Blob, as well as other forces - handheld ink guns, turrets, tanks, jetbikes, and even Inkies that are immune to all but one colour. There are other hazards such as hotplates, spikes, and electric plates.

As de Blob paints the city and completes missions, points are accumulated. Each gate separating the player from the next part of a stage can be opened by reaching a certain number of points. Once the final gate is open, the stage can be completed.

Plot

Told through a combination of pre-rendered cinematic sequences and in-game dialog, de Blob tells the story of Chroma City, its invasion by the INKT Corporation and its subsequent liberation by the titular Blob and the Colour Underground.

Initially a lively and colourful city populated by its equally colourful and diverse citizens, the Raydians, Chroma City is suddenly invaded by the INKT Corporation. A corporate military dictatorship, INKT is led by the villainous Comrade Black and dedicated to the eradication of colour through its "War on Colour". Chroma City quickly falls to the invading army of Inkies and colour draining Leechbots, leaving its landscape barren, its flora withered and its fauna in hiding. The citizens are rounded up and turned into Graydians by encasing them in homogeneous gray prison suits with their only distinguishing feature a bar code on the back of each shell. When the last remaining pocket of resistance, the Colour Underground (The Professor, Arty, Biff and Zip), are cornered by INKT forces, de Blob appears, rescuing them and embarking on a Colour Revolution.

In the end, when nearly all of Chroma City is in the control of the Colour Underground, Comrade Black orders all troops to retreat to his spaceship in Lake Raydia. He attempts to launch all the stolen colour into a black hole where it will be lost forever.

The Colour Underground sends de Blob onto the spaceship to defeat Comrade Black once and for all. Comrade Black is piloting a giant robot in his appearance. After defeating Comrade Black, de Blob activates the last Transform Engine and flees the ship. The ship bursts in a giant explosion of colour and musical instruments. The Raydians have a big celebration, and de Blob returns to his home in the forest. He returns to his tree, lies down, and lets out a big sigh of relief.

After the credits it is revealed that Comrade Black landed on a tiny island that is infested with colorful, tiny, happy creatures much to his irritation.

Development

The game de Blob was originally developed as a free downloadable game for the Windows PC by eight students studying Game Design & Development at the Utrecht School of the Arts and one student studying Game and Media Technology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. At the time of conception, sections of Utrecht were being rebuilt and the principal task in creating the game was to convey how the railroad station area of Utrecht would look in 10 years. The city of Utrecht has adopted the de Blob character as its mascot.[4] THQ noticed the game and was very impressed with the team's work, and acquired the rights to the game. THQ handed over the game to Blue Tongue Entertainment and Helixe and the companies each developed their own versions for different consoles.[6][7]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81%[8]
(42 reviews)
Metacritic 82/100[9] (48 reviews)
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 7.75
GameSpot 8.0
GameTrailers 8.3[10]
IGN 8.4[11]
Nintendo Power 8.0
Official Nintendo Magazine 92% [12]

de Blob received favourable reviews overall. IGN called it "one of the best third-party efforts to come over to Wii in a long time."[13] Nintendo Power said "Admittedly, there's not a tonne of variety...but it remains fun throughout".[14] Nintendo World Report claimed "de Blob is defined by its pure unadulterated fun", giving the game a 9.0 rating.[15] Game Informer said "The game is missing the most important element to a game: the gameplay."[16] Eurogamer described de Blob as "excellent and thoroughly original", while noting that "the best and worst thing about de Blob is that it's got 'Destined For Cult Status' written all over it".[17] Edge rated de Blob 8/10, calling it "a game for meandering in, for absorbing and messing around with."[18] Gamespot gave the Wii version 8.0/10.[19] Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the game 92% and a Gold Award, stating that "de Blob is an absolutely flippin' awesome videogame."[citation needed] It won several Wii-specific awards from IGN in its 2008 video game awards, including Best Platform Game,[20] Best Graphics Technology,[21] and Best Use of Sound.[22] It was nominated for several other Wii-specific awards by IGN, including Best New IP,[23] Best Original Score,[24] Most Innovative Design,[25] and Game of the Year.[26]

de Blob sold more than 230,000 copies by December of 2008 in the United States.[27] THQ stated they have shipped more than 700,000 copies of the game.[28], and have sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide.[29] THQ CEO Brian Farrell believed the success of the game was related to its "Nintendo-esque" style.[29] THQ responded to these sales by telling IGN to tell their readers to expect more de Blob in the future.[27]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 IGN: de Blob
  2. 2.0 2.1 GameSpot:Video Games PC Xbox 360 PS3 Wii PSP DS PS2 PlayStation 2 GameCube GBA PlayStation 3
  3. Travis Moses, "De Blob," GamePro 235 (April 2008): 36.
  4. 4.0 4.1 De Blob officially announced - Wii & DS!, Go Nintendo, 2007-07-05, http://gonintendo.com/?p=20799, retrieved 2008-06-12 
  5. Te Koha, Nui (2009-01-11). "Soul of the Game". Sunday Herald Sun (News Limited): pp. play supplement (p. 14). 
  6. The Blob, Banana Games, http://binnenstad.hku.nl, retrieved 2008-01-19  Template:Languageicon
  7. Casamassina, Matt (2007-07-05), Pre-E3 2007: Hands-on de Blob, IGN Entertainment, http://wii.ign.com/articles/801/801815p1.html, retrieved 2008-01-19 
  8. de Blob Reviews at GameRankings
  9. de Blob at Metacritic
  10. GameTrailers de Blob Review
  11. IGN de Blob Review
  12. Official Nintendo Magazine review
  13. [1]
  14. Nintendo Power, Nov 2008, p.98
  15. [2]
  16. Relax, It's Just A Game, Game Informer, October 2008, p. 105, http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/142F0C88-5955-4A93-9E8D-94653CD53B32.htm 
  17. [3]
  18. Edge, November 2008, p 98
  19. http://www.gamespot.com/wii/action/deblob/review.html
  20. IGN Wii: Best Platform Game 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  21. IGN Wii: Best Graphics Technology 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  22. IGN Wii: Best Use of Sound 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  23. IGN Wii: Best New IP 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  24. IGN Wii: Best Original Score 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  25. IGN Wii: Most Innovative Design 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  26. IGN Wii: Game of the Year 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  27. 27.0 27.1 THQ: Expect more de Blob. IGN (2009-1-23). Retrieved on 2009-1-23.
  28. Goldstein, Marteen (2009-02-04). THQ Announces Financial Results, Cuts More Staff. Shacknews. Retrieved on 2009-02-04.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Graff, Kris (2009-02-26). THQ: de Blob Sells Over 700K. Edge. Retrieved on 2009-02-26.

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