De Blob Wii review We loved the original De Blob game like safari park monkeys love windscreen wipers and the main character - a sentient splodge who fills himself full of paint and then lurches around the world - is the best blob since Kirby.
In the first game, your broad goal was to prevent the dastardly Comrade Black from sucking all of the colour out of the world and De Blob 2 doesn't fiddle with the established formula too much.
The second game picks up from the end of the first game, with Black tearing across an island and getting up to his old tricks, launching you into an only marginally-urgent chase across 11 sizeable, open environments.
Blob handles beautifully, steaming and squidging around the levels with precise analog control. On the occasions when you do end up tumbling into life-sapping ink, it's not going to be because the controls have jinxed you.
Blob has a new dash attack, which relies on you locking onto items with the Z button and then hitting B to smash them - it doesn't take long to master this, and the only frustration is when you have to do a relay back and forth, to absorb the required paint to destroy a series of statues, for example.
The dash comes in handy in the new 2D sequences. During certain sections of the game, you'll head inside caves, buildings and facilities, at which point it will briefly switch to a side-scrolling platformer.
These segments are short, but they're numerous enough, and they usually involve solving a puzzle of some sort, providing a moment or so of head-scratching that neatly breaks up the pacing.
These puzzles tend to take the form of colour combinations, which ask you to first absorb a particular type of paint and then either use this to paint items in the correct colour, or to activate colour-specific switches. If you accidentally stumble into the wrong paint, Blob will assume that hue and you may find yourself starting from scratch as a result.
There's also a new upgrade system, which is based around collectable 'Inspiration Points'. The upgrades offer straightforward increases in basic skills, such as the size to which Blob can expand and the number of lives he has.
Most of De Blob 2's appeal isn't really the mechanics, though. It's the overall vibe. The visuals are pitch-perfect cartoon fodder - we love Blob's companion Pinky, the floating 'sass-bot', who is also the means by which a second player can join in the fun in co-op. The plot is delivered through a series of entertaining cutscenes that, while not quite as brilliant as LEGO Star Wars' inspired story segments, are rammed with comedy pratfalls and gigglesome moments.
Just like with the original De Blob, we're also in love with the soundtrack. Enter a level that's devoid of colour and there will only be the most minimal hint of music, but the score starts to fill out as you reintroduce life to the world.
Admittedly things haven't changed hugely since the first De Blob, and while there's more variety in the locations this time, as well as the odd power-up to shake things up a bit, the bulk of the redecoration still feels the same as it did before.
Yet if you've never actually experienced De Blob before, and believe us when we say that plenty haven't, it's very much worth picking up De Blob 2. This is definitely a refinement of the concept, rather than a massive overhaul, but everything we adored about the original game is still tickling our charm receptors here, too. This is an edited version of a review that appears in the March issue of Official Nintendo Magazine For more in-depth analysis, boxouts and screenshots, buy the magazine here.