de Blob review for Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Blitworks
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-4
Online: No

One of the unfortunate things about remastered versions of games is that, far too often, they show that nostalgia goggles are a powerful thing. It doesn’t matter how fondly you remember an old game, when that same game is released in a different context years later, it’s rare that you find that the reality of a game matches up with your memory.

That gave me some reason to be concerned about how de Blob would fare in its current-gen console debut. After all, as I remember the game as a fun Wii platformer that looked nice on my old CRT TV ten years ago. By my count, there are at least three parts of that last sentence that should have been reason to worry that the game may not hold up in 2018.

Improbably, however, that’s not the case. In fact, far from being a disappointment, I think I may enjoy this remastered version of de Blob far more than I did the original.

In part, of course, my increased enjoyment of the game can be attributed to the lack of waggle controls. Given the sheer number of bad guys to smash and buildings to paint and quests to carry out, this game could get pretty tiring with all the Wii-mote waving involved. Simplifying the controls so that they’re a little more standard makes it easier to play the game in large doses.

Mind you, that, in turn, highlights one of the game’s flaws, too. You can’t really help but play de Blob in large doses, since some of the levels clock in at well over an hour, and, as far as I can tell, there are no interim save points. While I didn’t mind playing the game as much as I did, there were one or two times where I needed to go do something else, and, not wanting to lose substantial amounts of progress, I had no choice but to pause the game. If the levels were shorter, forcing players to finish them all in one go would be understandable, but with levels this enormous, it’s a strange design choice.

That, however, is my only complaint with the game. As you’d hope for from a game built around restoring colour to a black and white world, de Blob looks incredible — even better than it did in its original incarnation, in fact. There’s a brief moment when you first turn the game on where the animation looks oddly washed out, which made me a little concerned about just how much work went into “remastering” the game, but the moment you start playing, you discover that’s a one-off issue. Everything else here just pops off the screen, giving the game exactly the sort of vibrancy it requires to live up to its gameplay.

In other words, pretty much all of what worked for de Blob originally on the Wii still works, just to an even greater degree today. The vibrant graphics, the fun gameplay, the sense of humour — they all combined to make the game an underrated gem in the previous generation, and they’re all in full effect on current-gen systems, too.

THQ Nordic provided us with a de Blob Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: A-