We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
Wii

A Boy and His Blob Are Back

by Jared Rosenberg - March 3, 2009, 5:36 pm PST
Total comments: 37 Source: Nintendo Power

The classic NES title is being reimagined for Wii by WayForward Technologies.

Amongst the pages of April's Nintendo Power are details on a new title in the A Boy and His Blob series. Developer WayFoward Technologies, who got their feet wet on Wii development while making the recently released WiiWare title LIT, are creating the new A Boy and His Blob, which will be a full-featured Wii retail release this fall.

The NES A Boy and His Blob was the brainchild of David Crane who is famous for programming Pitfall and Pitfall II: Lost Caverns for the Atari 2600. While the game received one sequel on the Game Boy called A Boy and His Blob in The Rescue of Princess Blobette, a more recent attempt at a revival on the DS by Majesco did not come to fruition.

The new game will have a lot in common with its forebearer. Players will once again take on the role of a boy who is on a quest to defeat an evil emperor with his jelly-bean-loving blob friend. Upon eating jelly beans, the blob (named Blobert in the NES title) can morph into a number of useful forms like a rocket, an anvil, a parachute, a trampoline, and even a humanoid-like appearance. Unlike the original title, many of the blob's new transformations will be used for more offensive means such as, in a possible nod to Lode Runner, punching holes in the ground for enemies to fall into. In addition, the game also sports a beautiful hand drawn 2D art style.

WayFoward may be well suited for the new A Boy and His Blob having developed the well received platformer Shantae, which saw release during the twilight of the Game Boy Color. The first artwork of A Boy and His Blob's new look can be seen at Nintendo Power's website.

Talkback

Mop it upMarch 03, 2009

I own the NES game but never could figure out what in the world you're supposed to do in it. There's too much trial and error in it for me as you have to keep giving each type of jelly bean to the blob to figure out what they all do and how to use them. Add to that the limited amount of beans, and, well, I don't have the patience for a game like that anymore.

This could turn out interesting however. If you're given more direction and explanation of each bean's transformation, it would be a lot easier to get into the game.

CalibanMarch 03, 2009

Hand drawn 2D art style? Heck yeah! I saw some screenshots and it looks great.

NovaQMarch 03, 2009

Mop_it_up: I also tried the game several times as a child and couldn't get into it (or even understand it) for the same reasons you mentioned. I'm not sure if I ever made it past the first first level's initial screen...

Those couple of screen shots look pretty great. I'll be interested to see how this one develops.

The original game is very interesting, although totally obtuse as noted above.  I like the approach of doing it in 2D, and Wii seems like the right platform for such a game.  But WayForward is totally overrated, so they have a lot to prove with this one.

I only know a Boy and his Blob from some classic Nintendo power walkthroughs. It was one of those games I played in my head because as a kid I was stuck with hand-me-down games from my uncle. Still, it's stuck with me ever since, which is why I'm looking forward to

OMGITS2DANDILOVEITANDBLOBTHEFRIENDLYCASPERISADORABLE!!!11!

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 03, 2009

I never played the original game. But its great the remake is happening on Wii.

broodwarsMarch 04, 2009

Cool, though i hope that it's better-designed than the original game (which managed to take a cool concept and ruin it with frustrating and confusing design).  2D's definitely the way to go here, as stylized stuff seems to look best on Wii and there aren't many 2D games made these days anyway.  Hopefully the 2D artwork can compete with what we've seen out of titles like Warioland: Shake It and Muramasa, though I somehow doubt it with the latter.

KDR_11kMarch 04, 2009

Looks cool. Talking about attacking enemies, I wonder if there's an Ovalqwik flavoured bean that makes the Blob pull out a plasma cannon and vaporize anything in his path...

broodwarsMarch 04, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

Looks cool. Talking about attacking enemies, I wonder if there's an Ovalqwik flavoured bean that makes the Blob pull out a plasma cannon and vaporize anything in his path...

Well, that would so totally awesome that it would probably lead to an instant inclusion in Screwattack's Armory.

StratosMarch 04, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

The original game is very interesting, although totally obtuse as noted above.  I like the approach of doing it in 2D, and Wii seems like the right platform for such a game.  But WayForward is totally overrated, so they have a lot to prove with this one.

By that are you referring to games they made in the past (Shantae), recent games (Lit) or just the fact two of the guys are also part of the IGN Nintendo team and therefore they automatically get attention, hype and the lielighte? Or is it a mixture of all the above?

I found Lit to be enjoyable and since they now have a solid handle on Wii I hope to see even better things from them.

Blimey, is that why Shatae got so much exposure on the GBC way back when? I am sickened. (I never played it; can't say if it was good.)

Anyway, I too played A Boy and His Blob and was utterly frustrated with how many abilities I had with so little idea of what to do. The NES game conjures distasteful memories for me, so I find it odd that someone would reprise this IP.

CalibanMarch 04, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

But WayForward is totally overrated

They did an excellent job with Contra 4.
I don't think they are overrated. They are spoken about a lot because they got a good connection with a videogame media outlet, IGN.

Quote from: Stratos

or just the fact two of the guys are also part of the IGN Nintendo team

Mark Bozon works as a freelance for WayForward Technologies (WFT), and is brother to Matt Bozon which I think currently he occupies the position of creative director and lead designer.
Matt Cassamassina does not work for WFT.

UltimatePartyBearMarch 04, 2009

Screenies are purty.  Double-plus Want.

Yeah, the original is almost completely unplayable by modern standards, but that's why a remake sounds so good.  The idea is great, but it needs a good execution.

vuduMarch 04, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Blimey, is that why Shatae got so much exposure on the GBC way back when? I am sickened. (I never played it; can't say if it was good.)

No, it's not the reason.  As Caliban pointed out one of the members of the development team is brothers with Bozon, who only joined IGN (and the industry in general, as far as I know) in the past couple of years. 

PopeRealMarch 04, 2009

Yeah I rented this way back when on the NES and couldn't get anywhere.  However I just watched game play video and it seems much more obvious what you need to do.  Plus it looks amazing.  The soundtrack was great also (no sound effects yet, you can tell it is still kind of early).

CalibanMarch 04, 2009

This game in motion (videos on IGN) is quite appealing to me. I think it has a Warioland Shake It/Braid vibe to it.

BlackNMild2k1March 04, 2009

I played the original, and I figured it out without too many problems. Don't remember if I beat it or not, but it wasn't unplayable at all,

Just saw alot of the screen shots & this game does look good, just like the other high-quality 2-d games that I've seen on Wii.
This game has made it to my watch-list.

broodwarsMarch 04, 2009

Hmm...I'd say the graphics are about on par with Warioland: Shake It.  So pretty good, but at this point I'd hope for a little more bar-raising than "pretty good" with the likes of Shake It and Muramasa on the Wii.  Still, you can definitely see some areas where they're reimagining screens from the original game, and I definitely like this version a lot better.  The character design for the Main is pretty interesting, almost vaguely Earthbound-ish.

Quote from: Stratos

By that are you referring to games they made in the past (Shantae), recent games (Lit) or just the fact two of the guys are also part of the IGN Nintendo team and therefore they automatically get attention, hype and the lielighte? Or is it a mixture of all the above?

There's no doubt that IGN has extra/exclusive content on WayForward games due to the Bozon connection.  But no, that's not really why they're overrated.  Basically, the studio does great art -- I'm sure we can all agree on that.  But the three games of theirs that I've played were all disappointing/crap to various degrees.  Ping Pals is worthless junk, obviously.  Sigma Star Saga took a great idea and fumbled the execution in more ways than I can count.  And Contra 4 is basically a level pack for Contra 3, except even harder.  It has no new ideas and shows basically no gameplay progress since the early 90s.  I'm just not nostalgic enough about Contra to accept more of the same from fifteen years ago.  I bought a copy on the recommendation of many friends, but traded it in after a couple of weeks because I wasn't enjoying it at all.

I haven't played Shantae.  (And neither have any of you, most likely.)

KDR_11kMarch 05, 2009

Oh Contra 4 had new ideas like making enemies blend in with the background in the first level so you accidentally jump into them.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 05, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

I own the NES game but never could figure out what in the world you're supposed to do in it. There's too much trial and error in it for me as you have to keep giving each type of jelly bean to the blob to figure out what they all do and how to use them. Add to that the limited amount of beans, and, well, I don't have the patience for a game like that anymore.

This could turn out interesting however. If you're given more direction and explanation of each bean's transformation, it would be a lot easier to get into the game.

The limited amount of beans was one of the larger problems in the original.  With unlimited beans, you could have seen the various things that each bean did without issue.  In the new game (look at the videos on IGN) you can see that you have a radial jellybean select menu which shows a preview of the transformation the bean will cause.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 05, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Basically, the studio does great art -- I'm sure we can all agree on that.  But the three games of theirs that I've played were all disappointing/crap to various degrees.  Ping Pals is worthless junk, obviously.  Sigma Star Saga took a great idea and fumbled the execution in more ways than I can count.  And Contra 4 is basically a level pack for Contra 3, except even harder.  It has no new ideas and shows basically no gameplay progress since the early 90s.  I'm just not nostalgic enough about Contra to accept more of the same from fifteen years ago.  I bought a copy on the recommendation of many friends, but traded it in after a couple of weeks because I wasn't enjoying it at all.

If Contra 3 seems easier, it's only because you're more familiar with it (or else you haven't played it in a while and have forgotten how hard it actually is).  Compare the hard mode in each game and I don't think you will find 4 any more difficult than 3.  If the normal mode is a touch harder, it's probably good considering that it is a sequel aimed mostly at fans of the series.

And I think it's unfair to call 4 a Contra 3 level pack.  It borrows ideas from all over the series and specifically tosses several elements from Contra 3 that were not great ideas.  You don't start out with the machine gun as you do in 3, the murder everything on the screen bombs are gone, and the silly mode7 levels are also gone.  They kept the switchable weapons (adding upgradable weapons from Super C) and replaced the overhead levels with over-the-shoulder levels from Contra 1.  The hand rails are from 3, but the associated gameplay is changed because the grappling hook attaches to them.  They made excellent use of the dual screens as well, which was entirely uncharted territory for the series (and not very well charted for any 2D shooters really).

My biggest complaint about Contra 4 is that it's a little buggy (nothing major, but it's noticeable here and there).

My worries about Blob are that it's probably a more difficult game design to build on.  The original was flawed in many ways and doesn't hold up today nearly as well as Contra (so they will need more fundamental innovations to fix it and make the new game really compelling relative to today's games).  As an action/adventure/platformer/puzzler, Blob's most direct competition will be the critically acclaimed Braid.  The great thing about Braid was that it didn't make you do the same things over and over again.  That works in an action game, but sucks in a puzzle game.

KDR_11kMarch 07, 2009

Contra 3 is easier than 4. I've started playing all the Contras at roughly the same time and 4 is almost like Hard Corps (I'm judging from the levels I've been able to reach, got up to 4-5 in the 8 bit Contras, 3 in 3 I think, never past the first in Hard Corps and needed a lot of tries before making it through level 1 in 4, never going past 2 without easy mode). Yeah, okay, I'm playing at medium difficulty, not at hard but I prefer a game that is still doable even if it takes training. Easy mode in C4 is pretty much a teaser mode or the equivalent of using the Konami code on Contra so that you almost can't lose and all weapons are ridiculously powerful without needing a second upgrade. It shows you the game but it hardly counts as playing it.

CalibanMay 30, 2009

5 gorgeous gameplay videos.

http://media.wii.ign.com/media/143/14326534/vids_1.html

broodwarsMay 30, 2009

Quote from: Caliban

5 gorgeous gameplay videos.

http://media.wii.ign.com/media/143/14326534/vids_1.html

This game is looking extremely promising.  It's A Boy and His Blob...actually playable this time!

StogiMay 30, 2009

Looks very very good, although I am turned off by how slow it seems to be.

KDR_11kMay 30, 2009

The amount of shouting seems kinda annoying but it seems IGN already pointed that out to the devs. I wonder if there's a gameplay function for the hug or if it's just because they found the blob so adorable they wanted to hug him...

TofuFuryMay 31, 2009

Those videos are gorgeous. Wayforward is doing a great job with the game. The shouting is a bit overdone and hopefully will be toned down, so I don't have to turn the volume off while my wife is around.

D_AverageOctober 09, 2009

First review I could find, as I was thinking of buying this next week at the Toys r us but 2 get 1 free sale.  Man, the night level graphics look so stunning.  It looks like the main issue is the controls which is a bummer.  Bad controls can really ruin a game.  I'm still renting worse case senario though, I gotta try this.

http://wii.ign.com/dor/objects/14326534/a-boy-and-his-blob/videos/boyandhisblob_vidrev_100908.html

KDR_11kOctober 10, 2009

On the upside at least it's only confusing controls, not broken controls.

broodwarsOctober 10, 2009

You know, you'd really think after all these years of practice that companies would finally have a handle on how to do 2-frickin'-D platformer controls.  Apparently, between Scribblenauts and Boy & His Blob it's just too difficult for modern gaming companies.  :rolleyes:

KDR_11kOctober 10, 2009

The review sounded like there are simply too many different buttons involved, Scribblenauts had problems where the controls tended to do the wrong thing, here it's just that you have to remember how to do things.

D_AverageOctober 10, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

The review sounded like there are simply too many different buttons involved, Scribblenauts had problems where the controls tended to do the wrong thing, here it's just that you have to remember how to do things.

Very true.  And Matt was probably playing Afrika at the same time, which would make it all the more confusing.  I wonder if he still thinks Afrika is amazing as he said it would be.

Come to think of it, the details in the NMH controls were a bit confusing if you went back to the game after not playing a few weeks, but that certainly didn't spoil the game for me.  But overall, confusing controls are much better than broken.

KDR_11kOctober 10, 2009

The IGN review of Afrika I read was VERY negative. I was wondering if the reviewer would have liked Endless Ocean.

CalibanOctober 10, 2009

It was Greg Miller from IGN who gave Afrika a 3.5/10.

D_AverageOctober 10, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

The IGN review of Afrika I read was VERY negative. I was wondering if the reviewer would have liked Endless Ocean.

Haha, just picturing Greg trying to play endless ocean or afrika cracks me up.  I can't believe they let him review it!  Dude is great for many games, and funny on the podcast, but ADD as all hell.  Even if a game like that was great, no way he could get into it.

ThomasODecember 23, 2011

Sorry to revive this after two years, but here's a little something that I think no one has noticed--


the entire soundtrack for this game is available for purchase on iTunes. I went and bought it as soon as I discovered it there.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement