XBLA Review: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

All and all, you’re just another blob on the wall.

All and all, you’re just another blob on the wall.

By: Justin Redmon

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is an ever so charming title by Drinkbox Studios, the devs behind a personal favorite of mine, Guacamelee. Unlike Guacamelee, however, if you wanted to experience what Mutant Blobs Attack was like, a PS Vita was your only option; until now that is. Bringing its unique blend of gameplay styles from the handheld to the big screen was a jump, and thankfully, Blobs makes the transition with the perfect amount of grace.

With touch screen functions and tilt controls gone, changes had to be made in moving to a controller, but movement and platforming remain solid, letting you squish and flop all over the place in all but perfect control. There’s a magnetism mechanic as well, letting you push or pull objects, or perhaps most usefully, yourself, to complete puzzles and continue levels.

Really, the only bit that didn’t make the smoothest of transitions was the touch screen functions, which were used to move objects around. That’s relegated to the right stick now, and when you have to spin or move objects delicately, especially when it’s a platform you’re currently on, it has a tendency to fling you away or act sporadically from time to time, causing some annoying deaths.

In presentation, Mutant Blobs Attack gets top marks. One of the best parts about Guacamelee was the great sense of humor the game had in its world, and Blobs is no slouch either. This time around, though, there’s significantly less of the meme references if that wasn’t your thing, and a heaping helping of pun-based jokes that toe the line of “so bad its good” territory. Environments change up quite often, my favorite probably being a moon colony you destroy before taking a space elevator back to Earth, and the overall theme and soundtrack to Blobs rounds out the experience to perfection.

Mutant Blobs plays like a traditional puzzle platformer but brilliant pacing and variety keeps everything fresh and fun. The main gameplay mechanic is very Katamari-esque, with you absorbing items among the environment, getting bigger and bigger for the duration of the game until you’re a city/world destroying terror.

Just absorbing stuff wouldn’t make things all that interesting though, so there’s a clever use of your blob skills, giving you the ability to squeeze through narrow gaps or a more outlandish ability to fly around in sections where you basically become a rocket. Outside of this, a magnetism mechanic allows you to stick to metal objects or push them, which at first is used mainly to walk on ceilings or give yourself a boost when jumping, and later ramps up where you’re controlling your distance between spiked walls while rocketing down a path at breakneck speeds.

Mechanics set to Vita’s use of touchscreen and tilt functions have been changed to use the controller, and although moving platforms for platforming to block lasers can be a bit unwieldy at times, it gets the job done with minimal fuss. The tilt levels kind of lose their charm with just straight controller input though, and a lot of the challenge of completing these levels is lost, but their inclusion is a nice diversion to the main levels, which helps keeps things fun so I can understand why they were kept in.

Mutant Blobs isn’t the longest game out there, but its experience is made with expert pacing, interesting mechanics and ends on a high note, slowly ramping up difficulty for an extremely satisfying title that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

OVERALL (4.25/5)

The jump from handheld has been more than kind to Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, bringing its solid gameplay experience to the big screen with minimal fuss, and tons of fun.

About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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