Tales from Space: About a Blob Review
Tales from Space: About a Blob is built on a unique combination of the Katamari series, as well as the Mercury series (of PSP fame), and while it does not live up to the critical acclaim of either, it is a solid title that tries something out of left field. Despite the game appearing to try too hard to match these series at times, it will eventually win you over with its charm and sense of humour.
The early levels in TfS:AaB involve the simple tasks of manipulating doors and switches, and absorbing enough of your surroundings to be able to progress past the obscure objects blocking your path, whilst humans try to thwart your escape. As your completion skyrockets, special abilities are introduced, and the latter part of the game is skewed towards making the player use these abilities as often as possible.
Although the game is about controlling a blob, about as basic a character as one can imagine, the control scheme can feel a little unnatural at times, especially when said abilities are introduced. In particular, I found myself losing my place when switching between powers, or during some of the platforming elements included; the physics, while being fairly accurate for a blob-revolving game, do make this platforming section a little more difficult.
The single-player campaign will no doubt be the meat and potatoes of most people’s time with the game. Experienced gamers will find no more than 6-8 hours worth of gameplay here, which may give the indication that TfS:AaB is not worth the money. However, I find the game oddly relaxing, if slightly stressful in sections, and can see myself picking it up again in the future just to enjoy its quirks.
TfS:AaB supports local co-operative multiplayer, a bonus for anyone who has friends that enjoy playing with blobs (don’t be disgusting!). As with games like LittleBigPlanet, TfS:AaB can be very enjoyable in multiplayer when two people of similar skill are paired, however it can get frustrating when one has had a significant amount more game time than the other.
The Final Verdict
It is hard not to come to like Tales from Space: About a Blob, given you allow it enough time to grow on you. Despite some control issues and putting a little too much emphasis on various elements at different stages of the game, it maintains a charm factor all the way through, and never takes itself too seriously. For those who loved Katamari, TfS:AaB will be the perfect PSN filler to bide your time with.
By Tom Hughes
We say: GOOD BUY