Game Review: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (PS Vita)

Tales From Space Mutant Blobs Attack PS Vita

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is a side scrolling platforming action adventure game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. Mutant Blobs Attack is the sequel to the downloadable PS3 game Tales From Space: About A Blob.

The story mode includes twenty-four levels and five Tilt-A-Blob levels comprising of five chapters spread across six locations including: college, town, moon, badlands, army base and metropolis with all six of them looking completely different in regards to their content. The story mode levels are viewed from a side scrolling perspective in which you play as a mutant blob with one eye in the centre of this blob kind of making it look as though it was a pale green mini Cyclops with purple spikes covering its circumference. The mutant blob that you control increases in size and weight with the more food and objects that you eat. There are quite a few areas that see you having to eat more in order for you to hit a target size and weight to be able to remove an obstacle, such as a cork from blocking your route to provide your path to further progression.

However, there are occasions when this becomes more of a puzzle in which a switch will have to be activated or a platform will have to be moved via telekinesis powers in order to release food before you can hit your target size and weight, meaning that it is no longer just about eating, but also figuring out how to overcome that particular puzzle before being able to concentrate on hitting the target size and weight. There are areas of certain levels that provide you with a rocket in which you can propel the rocket to greater speeds in order to progress past obstacles that open and close before they get the chance to squash the mutant blob, which adds another platforming and puzzle element to the gameplay. There will be occasions when the mutant blob will be squashed underneath an object, which will result in you having to start from the most recent checkpoint, so make sure to pass over each of the checkpoints, otherwise you will be restarting the level or returning to an earlier checkpoint if this occurs.

The Tilt-A-Blob levels are viewed from a top down perspective as you attempt to avoid various circular pitfalls in order to successfully navigate your way through a complex maze. There are other mutant blobs that you have to rescue along the way ranging from one to two mutant blobs spread out across each of the twenty-nine levels and successfully finding them will definitely improve your score for that particular level. You will be rewarded with a bronze, silver or gold medal based upon your overall score and if you have successfully rescued all of your blob friends for each level. Upon selecting a level, you are provided with a menu detailing the level number, the name of the level, your best score, the amount of blob friends that you have successfully rescued and your ranking score on the online leaderboards, which provides you with key information on where you need to improve your performance within that level in order to achieve a higher medal and score, such as not having rescued all of your blob friends. As a reward for completing each chapter; there are unlockable cut scenes that when unlocked can be watched at anytime. There are eight cut scenes in total including the intro, chapters one through five, credits and epilogue.

The humour of the game is as you would anticipate from a DrinkBox game, whether you have played Tales From Space: About A Blob on PS3 or their most recent release Guacamelee! on PS3 or Vita that same kind of humour is always encapsulated in their games. The billboards from Tales From Space: About A Blob and Guacamelee! remains here with billboards in the first level of the college setting stating, “All your beer belong to us” and the third level of the college setting stating, “Alcohol and calculus don’t mix. DON’T DRINK AND DERIVE”, while another containing an image of a calculator with the tagline, “weapon of math disruption” and an advertisement in the second level of the badlands setting for drawing crayons that reads, “What does it all mean?? DRAW your own conclusion!” with an image of double rainbow crayons. The cut scenes are also humorous as they don’t contain any speech other than two news readers that repeatedly mumble their words, while still images mostly tell the story; the chapter two cut scene featuring a dramatisation of a rocket being swallowed by the sun to protect the Earth and the sun winking at the camera really showcases the humour of the game.

The controls are very easy to learn across the story mode and the Tilt-A-Blob levels. The controls for the story mode during normal platforming elements of the game include pressing X to jump with another press of the X button when up against a wall or an object to traverse gaps and climb walls onto higher platforms, O when in mid air or after pressing X to jump to slam into and destroy certain objects, L to attract objects, R to repel objects, the left analogue stick or the directional pad to move the mutant blob, the touch screen to use telekinesis powers to move platforms, select to self destruct and start to pause. The controls for the story mode during the rocket elements of the game including pressing X to move with the left analogue stick or direction pad held in the direction you want to travel in, while L, R or the rear touch pad can be used as a rocket boost. The controls for the Tilt-A-Blob levels are purely restricted to the Vita’s motion sensing capabilities as you tilt the Vita up, down, left or right to navigate the mutant blob through the maze and away from the circular pitfalls.

As is always the case with games developed by DrinkBox Studios; the graphics have a unique art style. There are beautiful graphical details with such a bright colour palette and everything is rendered in stunning amounts of detail in general from the backdrops to the hilarious billboards that will have you stopping for a few seconds at a time to just look at everything and take it all in. The presentation of the game is solid with a great touch screen based user interface that can also be navigated via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons across various menus such as the main menu, pause menu and online leaderboards.

The audio consists of mumbling TV news presenters during the cut scenes with the gameplay audio consisting of space sci-fi music which does well to help tie the overall space sci-fi theme together and quite a variety of sound effects, such as the squelching of the mutant blob as he moves and jumps, the electricity produced from the telekinesis powers as platforms are moved, feasting on various foods and objects, the gleeful sound when the mutant blob has feasted on enough foods and objects to have reached the target size and weight to progress further in the level, the power of the rocket and rocket booster, the tight underground vacuums of air that spit you out from one location into another, the thud of the mutant blob against an object, the splatter of the mutant blob when it is squashed, the sound when you have rescued a blob friend and the checkpoint confirmation sound effect that all add a significant amount of character to the audio.

The trophy list includes fourteen trophies with twelve bronze trophies, one silver trophy and one gold trophy. The trophies are mostly quite easy and are earned naturally through completing all of the levels the game has to offer, such as the “Amuse Bouche” bronze trophy for eating the final cork in the first level and the “Graduation Dinner” bronze trophy for eating all of the people at the graduation party at the end of the fourth level. There is an even easier bronze trophy called “Jealous?” which includes looking at the top score of any online leaderboard. However, there are also difficult trophies including the “Blob Friends Forever” silver trophy for collecting all of the fifty-three blob friends and the “Golden Blob” gold trophy for earning a gold medallion for all of the twenty-nine levels. I would estimate depending upon skill and whether you have a trophy guide for the “Blob Friends” and “Golden Blob” trophies that it would take between two to five hours to 100% the trophy list.

The online leaderboards focus on all of the twenty-four story mode levels and the five Tilt-A-Blob levels and are split into three categories including overall (top), overall (me) and friends with each leaderboard containing each players’ rank, name (PSN ID) and score.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is oozing with replayability, especially considering how much fun the gameplay is spanning across the entirety of its twenty-nine levels, along with online leaderboards to add a further dimension to the pick up and play feeling the game already focused upon; meaning that you will definitely be coming back after your initial playthrough of the game.

Overall, Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack surprisingly shook the foundations of the Vita’s launch and really provided a huge breakthrough for DrinkBox Studios as many critics regarded it to be the Vita’s best launch title and rightly so. The charm and humour of the game is above all else with a unique art style and amazing graphics, quality audio and fun platforming gameplay with a pick up and play feeling further incorporated via online leaderboards providing competition for rankings through points scoring that will have you returning many times beyond your first playthrough of the twenty-nine levels the game has to offer. Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack cannot possibly be refused, especially for such a cheap price as £5.49, so don’t hesitate to purchase it right now!

Jason Bonnar

At A Glance

  • Title: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
  • Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Cross Play: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 275Mb


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