Having beaten Uncharted: Golden Abyss on every mode except for crushing, I decided to look at some of the lower priced PS Vita games until I can find free time to get to Fnac for my next game card. (I’m waffling between Shinobido 2 or F1 2011.) My first choice was Super Stardust Delta, but after seeing so many great reviews for Mutant Blobs Attack, I figured that might be good for a laugh. In fact, it’s not good for ANY laughs, or much of anything else, either.
The premise sounds interesting: a “Humane Blob Torture Museum” is host to a bunch of blobs that the humans made as a result of torturing one blob who crash landed on Earth. (This being a sequel to a PS3 game, I’m guessing the spiky main character is the descendant of the first blob.) This torture makes the main mutant blob angry enough to arrange for an escape, and so our game begins. But, thereafter nothing about this game makes much sense, and not in a cute cartoon kind of way. No, it’s more like an “incomplete project from a kid snorting too many Pixie Stix” kind of way.
Before I start bitching, I’ll mention what I liked. Before they’re shrunken and impossible to see, the humans moving around in the early levels used a cute and simple animation style. I also liked how the outer edges of the screen are made grimy and reflective, like you’re watching all of this on an old tube TV. And, as I said to the artist of the game on Twitter, the art used for the humans and the backgrounds is nice in an old cartoons kind of way.
But despite the art and music trying to capture old campy feelings from a long-gone era, the level designs are absurdly and haphazardly assembled without taking advantage of the new concepts the game makers are introducing to the familiar attacking blob trope. It doesn’t help that the blob’s half lidded eye conveys a sense of boredom more than anger. He looks bored going through every level, and in this regard, I was able to identify with him well enough. Right from level one, I was bored too.
While most space blobs shown in the intro seemed resilient to all forms of torture, the blob I’m playing is slow, hard to control, and frail. So pretty much everything can kill it, and probably has a few dozen times. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if levels weren’t designed to make every move a life or death decision. Which would kinda make sense if our blob was trapped in the bowels of a lab still desperately trying to contain the “hero.” But the blob easily escaped the scientists’ clutches by hiding in a student’s bag, and his course begins in a mundane college dorm.
And yet, there’s lasers in the dorm living room; floor-to-ceiling lasers that force you to rush through the room or be insta-killed. (Yet don’t set fire to all the trash lying around, or burn the carpets…or the people.) There’s moving lasers in the air conditioning ducts, lasers in the plumbing, and lasers on the “football training field”. There’s even a blob-seeking laser. Clearly, the men behind this game are fond of lasers, whether they fit a location or not. Or, maybe they didn’t have any other ideas for what could harm a blob and just kept tossing out the same crap answer over, and over, and over and… I mean, heaven forbid they should make it go through a walk in freezer (a known problem spot for ALL space blobs) and perhaps avoid ice cubes or touching the frozen metal floor. Nope, just lasers, lasers, and more lasers. (more…)