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A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia - VC Review

Game Info
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia

Virtual Console | Majesco Entertainment | 1 Player | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (sideways); Classic Controller; GameCube Controller 
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Review
21st October 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

When the original NES game of A Boy and His Blob released on the Virtual Console, I thought: "What the heck, I'll give it a shot." After all, I was hearing some good things about how great the game was, especially in line with the Wii remake. However, in my humble opinion, 90% of the people who can appreciate this game are those who were exposed to it many years ago. The VC release is warranted, for sure, and the game has some unique ideas. But this game is just not worth getting at all.

    Pressing the Start button will throw you into the game instantly, where you'll find a youngster with a backpack, and a bouncing creature. In order to get beyond obstacles, you'll need to feed your white blob a fruit-flavoured jellybean that will transform him into a handy accessory. Use the D-Pad to scroll amongst a selection of items, and press the 2 Button to throw it when facing the creature. Pressing the 1 Button will get the boy to whistle, calling your alien friend back to you when he ventures off. So, what do all the jellybean flavours represent? Good question. 

    One could very well say that trial and error is what makes up the entire game. It's all about experimentation to determine what effects each delicious candy will have. So, for example, licorice will turn Blob into a ladder, and vanilla will turn him into an umbrella. Seeing each transformation is rather amusing for the first time (especially the Rocket power-up). Taking the time to figure out what each jellybean will do takes up a good chunk of time as you play, as it forces you to stop and determine how to advance.

    It's this kind of game design that alienates a whole slew of gamers, particularly those who get impatient easily. But that's not to say this principle can't have its moments of enjoyment. Here, though, you'll be hard-pressed to appreciate this game. The problem is that there's a lack of direction and structure that would otherwise govern flow and seamless player interaction. A Boy and His Blob has simple platforming with not-so complicated puzzles, meaning that this shallow sense of challenge is really all that makes the game stick together. Not knowing what to do or where to go creates confusion amongst players, even for the curious types. And that's a big problem.

    As if the trial and error aspect wasn't already riddled with frustration, the game actually limits you on how many jelly beans you can use, restricting how much freedom you have. You also need to exercise caution when it comes to making a sprint for the next area. The character you control in the game skids when you tell him to stop, meaning that if you don't time things carefully, you're bound to run into or off something. And it's not like you can prepare yourself when you're playing for the first time since you have no idea what to expect when the screen changes.

    It's downright aggravating to get a Game Over in this game. Because there's no save feature, once you die for good, you'll have to start all over. If you were already upset with having to figure things out on your own (and not doing very well at it), you're likely to stop playing altogether after a few deaths. After being scarred with burns of frustration, you'll lose a major amount of motivation to continue with the game. Only then will you find out the hard way that this game is barely enjoyable, if at all.

    The visuals in the game aren't really worth discussing at length. The textures and the colour choices range from being bland to downright terrible, and the music is annoying and repetitive. Not exactly a good way to win over an audience.

    A Boy and His Blob is, in all honesty, a boring game. The whole friendship aspect is heart-warming in a way, and it's definitely unique, but it's all for naught when the core mechanics aren't up to snuff. If you have a sense of attachment to this game and have played it a lot back in the day, then by all means, relive a portion of your childhood. Everyone else should stay far away from this game; it's definitely not worth paying $5 for.


11/30 - Very Poor

Gameplay 5/10 - Great concept that's ruined by terrible flaws, lacks direction, trial and error at its worst
Presentation 3/10 - Not very good at all, audio is worthless, visuals are bland, environments are neither exciting nor interesting
Enjoyment 1/5 - Very boring, more for those who have already experienced this in the past, more enjoyable if you don't take it too seriously
Extra Content 2/5 -  Minimalistic effort put into this, at least there's some variety with the jellybeans, not worth purchasing beyond nostalgia

Equivalent to a score of 37% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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A Boy and His Blob
: Trouble on Blobolonia
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