Reintroducing a Classic
March 14, 2009 – Although the Wii has seen its share of ports and Wii-makes, it has never really taken on the retro scene like its handheld counterpart, the DS. While the DS has seen some amazing retro remakes from the NES and SNES era, like Final Fantasy IV, Chrono Trigger, and Dragon Quest V, the Wii has yet to feature this type of catalog. However, a big name from the past is finally coming to the Wii with a whole new look and plenty of new content.
A Boy and His Blob was originally released in 1989 for the NES. Although it did not go on to become an instant classic like The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Bros., it was a very entertaining puzzle-platform game that captured the imagination of those lucky enough to experience it twenty years ago.
The story in A Boy and His Blob revolves around the alien planet of Blobolonia, where an evil junk food-obsessed emperor has taken hold of the planet and has his eyes on Earth. Luckily, a blob comes down to Earth and joins forces with a human to try and combat this evil foe with vitamins (to foil his evil junk food ways.) Although the story is somewhat simple, it is definitely unique, and I am hoping the Wii version will expand upon it, especially because the original had no dialogue in it until the very end.
One of the most exciting aspects of this Wii-make is the brand-new graphics. A Boy and His Blob originally had the NES’s signature 8-bit look and, for its time, was not a shabby-looking title. However, this new version will have a hand-drawn anime-style look to it, which is reminiscent of a Hayao Miyazaki feature film. The visual style is also complemented by very bright environments with plenty of detail. And, although the game is presented in 2D format, there are plenty of 3D elements that add depth to the levels.
However, even though the visuals are a lot different, the gameplay in A Boy and His Blob remains almost completely identical to the original NES version. You’ll play as the titular Boy, feeding the Blob various jellybeans that can turn him into useful objects like a ladder or a trampoline. This type of cooperative gameplay makes up the backbone of the puzzle-platform gameplay, but there are also some battle elements as well. The Blob can also turn into offensive structures like a cannon or a defensive structure like a shield. Although the gameplay mechanic is very simple, those who have played the original NES version can attest to the intense difficulty of latter puzzles.
But, if you have played through A Boy and His Blob, you may be wondering about any extra content that would make the game worth playing through again. Luckily, there is going to be quite a substantial amount of extra content, including new jellybeans for your blob, as well as unlockable bonus content to further enhance the game experience.
One area that is surprisingly mysterious at this time is the control scheme. It would seem logical that this game would follow in the footsteps of Wii titles like Super Paper Mario and Wario Land: Shake It!, which use the Wii-mote on its side so that it resembles a classic NES controller. However, there has been no confirmation as to what the controls might entail, so this is pure speculation at this point.
Like many others, I was never able to play The Boy and His Blob when it was first released twenty years ago. However, I have to say I am very excited about this upcoming Wii-make. The visual style alone was enough to pique my interest in this title, but the old-school 2D puzzle-platforming will definitely make this a title to look for when it is released this fall!