We apply our best effort in whatever we tackle in life. The same can be said with video games that provide, what I call, fun challenges. Mostly. Sometimes we have to admit our weaknesses and maybe try again another day when certain things are blocking you from achieving your goal. It’s time I give a full report on this month’s video game challenge.
A Boy and His Blob for the Wii starts off as a seemingly simple game. Boy meets Blob, who comes from another world and is seeking help to save his home. Naturally, Boy takes up this noble quest and becomes the best of friends with this white, bouncing blob. By feeding Blob magical jelly beans, it can turn into any useful item or object to get past treacherous terrain or deadly black blobs that have infiltrated Boy’s world.
The game is a combination of puzzle and platformer. Each level is designed to use whatever form Blob needs to transform into for that specific level. It can range from becoming an anvil to a parachute to suit whatever is necessary to ensure Boy gets to the other side or past each obstacle safely. In some cases, the game may provide you hints as to what form Blob needs to be to progress the next part of a level. What you will find happens often in this game is you’ll have to use your own critical thinking to solve other parts of the level yourself. There isn’t a ton of hand holding in this game. There are four worlds in total and with every level you manage to complete, the harder each newer level gets. Considering my history with puzzle and platformer games, I unfortunately ran into some snags with the game.
When I last played this game a good long while ago, I stopped at World 2. When I resumed the game for my challenge, I managed to finish the entire World 2 and got past a really tricky boss fight. The amount of raging and cursing at my TV was inevitable, but I made it through after several retries. Luck and stubborn determination rewarded me with moving onto World 3 where Boy hops on a rocket ship shaped Blob and they fly to Blob’s home world. Playing the levels did start to wear thin on my patience. I started overthinking puzzles, a common tendency I have when I’m baffled with how to proceed, when the solution turned out to be really easy. Then a good amount of skill with platformers started to reveal just how inept I am at doing quick and timed jumps effortlessly.
I just about reached the end of World 3, but not without the obligatory boss fight. This boss involved a bird blob and I had to use Blob as a canon to suck up balls it threw down and then relaunch it back at the bird to knock it down. Once knocked down, I had to quickly get Boy up an elevated platform, call Blob to come to where the Boy is, throw the correct jelly bean to get Blob to become an anchor, and then push it off the platform onto the bird before it recovered and took flight. Repeat the steps again.
My boss fight with bird blob was a stressful one. I’m able to get through hitting the bird once, but unable to repeat the same process two more times. Every time I accidentally touched the bird (because black blobs are harmful for Boy to touch), it was game over and I had to start from the beginning. As I kept trying to repeat the same steps to defeat bird blob, I got progressively worse. There were plenty of bad missteps on my part or reaching my breaking point with trying to time jumps and running with the Boy. Between trying to get Blob to transform into the right object AND managing Boy to not get hit by the balls or touch the bird became too much for me. What was once a cute and relaxing game in the beginning just got too tiresome and frustrating for me. After maybe the tenth or twentieth try with bird blob boss I called it quits, ejected the disc out of my Wii, and turned the console off. It was bad enough to suck at puzzles and platformers separately, but to have them both working together under one roof in a game? This girl isn’t having none of it anymore.
This challenge is a fail because of my own ineptitude with puzzles/platformers. The explanation is as simple as that. The stress and frustration I suffered through this game has sucked the fun out of playing what is a very charming game. No amount of cuteness and spamming the hug button between Boy and Blob is enough for me to touch this game for a good long while. It’ll remain on the shelf until my bitterness for this game passes, but don’t expect to see this Wii game resurface in a video game challenge redux edition in the future (or ever).
Tune in next week when I try my hand at a whole new game for October and maybe one which won’t spike up my stress levels too much.