I should be working on GameSpite Quarterly 2 layouts, but I felt the need to revisit the NES ABC project just to avoid anyone thinking it’s a dead project a mere three posts in! After seeing the results, though, it probably wasn’t time well spent. I work better when I focus, so this particular entry’s artwork is a bit lacking. Ah well. Complaints I don’t want to hear: (1) A Boy and His Blob should be filed under B; (2) technically, this drawing is of a girl and a frog-thing rather than a boy and a blob; (3) this is about the NES game but uses the Wii remake’s art style; (4) this is about the NES game but uses the Wii remake’s art style badly. Thanks for your cooperation, citizen.
ToastyFrog’s NES ABC: A Boy and His Blob – Trouble on Blobonia
David Crane/Absolute | Magical Jellybean Quest | 1989
Yuki: I really enjoyed this game when I was young. I suspect the fact that I was too young to properly understand what I was supposed to be doing contributed to my enjoyment. Instead of trying to win the game, which I have recently discovered is a frustrating and unforgiving taskmaster, I simply had fun playing around in underground caverns with a boy and his adorable, mysterious Blobby, which would transform into strange shapes when fed candy. Another thing I recently discovered is that the cute version of the game I played was not the same as its original American version, in which the boy was an awkward stick-person and Blobby was a couple of simple geometric shapes. I think is is the only instance I know of in which an NES game was reverse-localized, with the ugly being taken out for Japan instead of added for the U.S.
ToastyFrog: Don’t be racist. America is land borne from a grim, hardscrabble existence. Ugly things remind us of our ancestor’s hardships. In that sense, A Boy and His Blob is a true act of patriotism, ’cause man is it ugly. It can be forgiven that, though, because it’s suffering an identity crisis. It’s really a good game on the wrong system, you see. It’s very much the successor to the Pitfall! games, which were masterpieces on Atari 2600. It has the same sense of exploration and treasure collecting and unflinching difficulty, but it also adds a strange mutant creature to the mix. If this had been a 2600 game, wow, it would have been heralded from on high. But it arrived instead a few years too late and with a look that didn’t really fit the NES’s general style, so the whole thing feels a little off. It’s interesting and fun, if you’re patient enough, but don’t expect to be coddled. Something tells me the upcoming remake is going to ditch the difficulty along with the ugly, but since the NES game’s difficulty mostly stems from awkward collision detection and untelegraphed, blink-and-you’ll-die hazards, I think I’m OK with that.