I never would have imagined that an $8, downloadable title would be one of the biggest highlights of the PS Vita launch lineup. Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is not the most original or appealing name, but the game itself is addiction in a download. This has been, by far, my most played game on the system yet, and a must own if you picked up Sony’s sleek new handheld. With a mixture of Katamari style mechanics and pitch-perfect controls, Mutant Blobs Attack is the definition of sleeper hit.
The name may sound familiar, and no one would blame you if you forgot, but this game actually has a prequel that was released for PS3 about a year ago. It didn’t exactly light up the gaming world with its lack of content and frustrating controls. Developer DrinkBox has taken all that feedback and crafted one of the most addictive games I have played in a while, and one that perfectly suits the portable aspect of the Vita.
On the surface, Mutant Blobs Attack is a little dash of Katamari that slowly progresses into more of a platformer. You roll around as this giant green blob that slowly consumes items (and people, eventually) and grows larger and larger. The larger you get, the bigger the scale of the levels, and eventually the more platforming the game tosses at you. Instead of just moving around, DrinkBox throws in some cool mechanics that spice up the gameplay. Some levels have you flying around, while others have you using magnetic powers to grab onto platforms. None of it is derivative, and all of it perfectly executed. You will never be tired of a level, and the length is just right to keep things interesting.
The first thing that stood out when I started the game was just how solid the controls are. The previous outing had some issues, feeling a bit sluggish and unresponsive. For a game like this, poor controls just don’t work. Here though, the team has nailed it. Controlling the blob with the analog stick is perfect, and the team has even tossed in some touch screen mechanics to take advantage of the Vita hardware. You can pull platforms with your finger to open up new paths, or toss objects across the screen. It never feels gimmicky and actually comes across as really fun.
Mutant Blobs Attack is one of those games that make it hard to pinpoint what makes it so good. Sure, these screenshots don’t scream “must own,” nor will any videos you see of the game. It is that moment when you nail a certain section, or realize that the game controls so fluidly, that you really begin to appreciate what makes it so much fun to play. Honestly, to this day when I boot it up, I wonder why I keep coming back. The culmination of all these items makes this my most played Vita game to date, and with a lineup like the Vita has at launch, that is saying something.
The whimsical visual style rounds out the package featuring lighthearted art with plenty of color and diversity. They shine on Vita’s gorgeous OLED screen, and squeezing your blob through a seemingly impossible gap looks fantastic. The music gets the job done, as do the sound effects. Cut scenes are littered with gibberish most of the time, and outside of a few visual gags, the audio is entirely forgettable; a small gripe in an otherwise outstanding package.
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is one of those games that will shine bright when people discuss the Vita’s launch lineup. It is the Geometry Wars for Sony’s portable and a game that anyone who enjoys the medium needs to check out. The price is right, the content is plentiful and the gameplay is top notch. There is absolutely no reason not to check out DrinkBox’s latest effort. You won’t be disappointed.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.