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Tales from Space: About a Blob (PlayStation 3) artwork

Tales from Space: About a Blob (PlayStation 3) review

"Overall, there is just no reason to play About a Blob."

I seem to have heard a lot of buzz about how good the Tales From Space games are, especially the Vita version (Mutant Blobs Attack?), but man did About a Blob disappoint. It's a 2d platformer where you play as a blob from space that slowly grows in size. You start out real tiny and absorb objects as you roll through the levels, which are usually interiors, but extend outside as you get bigger. You absorb regular objects (which you then see floating around inside your translucent body, which is a cool touch) trying to get to a big enough size to absorb a larger object that is blocking your path to the next area. Along the way you solve some physics based puzzles and dodge enemies. You can shoot objects you absorbed out of your body using a weird aiming system. You have to point the direction you want to shoot with the right stick and then hit fire, which can be tough if you are also trying to move and jump with the other stick and X.

The game is kind of a mash up of Katamari Damacy and Loco Roco, but it lacks the fun factor of either. The puzzles and enemies slow the game down way too much; it would be better if it just let you flow quickly through the levels or explore without too much danger the way the other two games I mentioned do. The physics, which are great at showing your blob squish through tight spots and letting piles of stuff go crashing around, are terrible for jumping and platforming, which you'll be doing a lot of. The best platformers feel great and smooth as you jump around. The challenge comes from asking you to do interesting things, not from basic jumps you have to try over and over to complete, which just leads to frustration. For example, if there is a small ledge in front of you and you need to jump up to continue the level, you might try several times to jump up to it as you would in any game and fail, falling just short as you didn't move through the air at the speed you expected to... It's pretty bad.

The game is just not fun as most of its central ideas (the poorly spaced out platforming, the boring -slow puzzles) are poorly executed. Absorbing things is fun, especially the few times the game lets you cut loose and absorb lots of stuff all at once and grow huge. The visceral thrill of the first time you get to absorb certain... objects that used to be huge background pieces or entire levels, is pretty neat, as is the sheer sense of scale the game covers when you compare early levels to later ones. But other games, notably the very similarly concepted Katamari Damacy, do this idea in a much better game and in a way that is actually fun the whole time, not just in tiny burst surround by boring stuff. And to top it all off, the music is really horrible and annoying, and the cutscenes seem unfinished; they seem to have been conceptualized with the idea that there would be speaking parts and sound effects, but there aren't. You just here more awful music.

Overall, there is just no reason to play About a Blob. The only thing it gets right (causing chaos by absorbing tons of fun objects) is done very infrequently (and better in other games); the rest of the time you are stuck fighting enemies that not only conceptually make no sense (they are random missile launchers and aliens that are never explained) but are also a chore to fight, or you are doing puzzles that interrupt the fun you were having running around absorbing stuff for the 15 seconds the game allowed you to. Add on the fact that the music is terrible and the cutscenes feel unfinished and you have a mostly un-enjoyable experience. It's a 1 out of 5.


Robotic_Attack's avatar
Community review by Robotic_Attack (May 14, 2016)

Robotic Attack reviews every game he plays... almost.

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EmP posted May 17, 2016:

This is a really good little review. Probably the most organized one I've read of yours yet. Good job!
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Robotic_Attack posted May 19, 2016:

Thank you!

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