Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is a side scrolling action adventure platformer available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS3 and Vita. Mutant Blobs Attack is the sequel to the downloadable PS3 game Tales From Space: About A Blob that is seemingly inspired by B-movie style horror films such as an early Steve McQueen film titled The Blob. Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack was one of the most successful and talked about Vita games at launch that has since been ported to PS3. Can Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack on PS3 and Vita improve upon the excellent Tales From Space: About A Blob?

Story mode includes 24 levels and five Tilt-A-Blob levels comprising of five chapters spread across half a dozen locations including college, town, moon, badlands, army base and metropolis with all of them looking completely unique when compared directly to each other. Story mode levels are viewed from a side scrolling perspective in which you play as a mutant blob that has one eye in the centre of the blob that kind of makes 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 as it consumes more food and objects; creating an important gameplay mechanic as there are quite a few areas that sees the player having to guide the mutant blob eat more in order for you to hit a target size and weight to be able to remove an obstacle such as a large cork or vehicle from preventing your path before being able to progress further into the level. However, there are occasions when the search for a path to a new area 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 particular puzzles 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 that adds another platforming and puzzle element to the gameplay. There will be occasions when the mutant blob will be squashed underneath an object; resulting in 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.

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 29 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.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack has a sense of humour that is anticipated from DrinkBox Studios, whether you have played Tales From Space: About A Blob on PS3 or their more recent releases such as Guacamelee! 2 and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition on PS4 and the previous versions of Guacamelee! on PS3 or Vita; then you will be familiar that the same kind of humour is always encapsulated in their games. The billboards from Tales From Space: About A Blob and Guacamelee! remains within the environment design including 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 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 humorous tone.

There are three options when purchasing the PS3 version of Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack from the PlayStation Store with the first being a £5.79 purchase of the PS3 version, while the second option refers to a discounted upgrade bundle for everyone who has previously purchased the Vita version with the Vita to PS3 discounted upgrade bundle only costing £2.49 and including the PS3 version, avatars, themes and the original soundtrack or the third option being for everyone that has not previously purchased the Vita version can purchase the Delicious Bundle for £7.39 that includes all of the content from the discounted upgrade bundle encompassing both of the PS3 and Vita versions; therefore no matter which circumstance refers to you it is guaranteed to provide an amazing amount of content for exceptional value.

The controls are very easy to learn throughout story mode and the Tilt-A-Blob levels as they are well mapped to both the Vita and DualShock 3 controller. The Vita controls for story mode during normal platforming gameplay elements 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; pressing O when in mid air or after pressing X to jump to slam into and destroy certain objects; pressing L to attract loose metal objects and platforms; pressing R to repel loose metal objects and platforms; changing the direction of the left analogue stick or pressing up, down, left or right on the directional pad to move the mutant blob; swiping the touch screen to use telekinesis powers to move platforms; pressing select for the mutant blob to self destruct; and pressing start to display pause menu. The DualShock 3 controller optimisation includes pressing square, L1 or R1 to cycle your focus backwards or forwards respectively between multiple platforms to choose which platform to use your telekinesis powers on; pressing L2 to attract loose metal objects and platforms; pressing R2 to repel loose metal objects and platforms; and changing the direction of the right analogue stick to use your telekinesis powers on the chosen platform. The Vita controls for story mode during the rocket gameplay elements include pressing X to move with the left analogue stick or direction pad held in the appropriate direction you want to travel in, while pressing L, R or tapping the rear touch pad can be used as a rocket boost or alternatively pressing L2 or R2 to use a rocket boost on the DualShock 3 controller. The controls for the Tilt-A-Blob levels are purely restricted to the gyroscopic motion sensing capabilities of the Vita or DualShock 3 controller as you tilt the controller up, down, left or right to navigate the mutant blob through the maze and away from the circular pitfalls. The DualShock 3 controller vibrates when the mutant blob loses any quantity of health such as landing on spikes or being hit by a missile.

As is always the case with games developed by DrinkBox Studios; Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack has a unique graphical art style that looks amazing in Vita native resolution and 1080p on PS3. There are beautiful graphical details such as a bright colour palette, alongside being rendered in stunning quality from the backgrounds to the hilarious billboards that will have you standing still for a few seconds at a time to just take in all of the scenery and environment design.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack’s presentation is solid with a great touch screen based user interface across various menus on Vita such as the main menu, options menu, online leaderboards, cutscenes and various gameplay menus with support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons, although there is no support for the right analogue stick on Vita or the DualShock 3 controller. Menu backgrounds revolve around the orbiting of Earth and other planets amongst shining stars with rays of light coming from Earth in the shape of the sun.

Voice-overs consists of mumbling TV news presenters during cut scenes, while gameplay audio includes sound effects such as squelching of the mutant blob as he moves and jumps, electricity produced from telekinesis powers as platforms are moved, feasting on various foods and objects, a 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, tight underground vacuums of air that spits the blob out from one location into another, a thud of the mutant blob against an object, a splatter of the mutant blob when it is squashed, a sound that occurs when a blob friend has been rescued and the checkpoint confirmation sound effect, alongside space sci-fi music that ties the space sci-fi theme together that collectively provides a significant quantity of character to the audio.

The trophy list includes 14 trophies with 12 bronze trophies, 1 silver trophy and 1 gold trophy. The trophies are mostly quite easy and are earned naturally through completing every level such as the Amuse Bouche bronze trophy for eating the final cork in the first level; the Graduation Dinner bronze trophy for eating all of the people at the graduation party at the end of the fourth level; and the easiest trophy has to be the Jealous bronze trophy for looking at the top score of any online leaderboard. However, there are also harder trophies including the Blob Friends Forever silver trophy for collecting all 53 blob friends and the Golden Blob gold trophy for earning a gold medallion in all 29 levels. It is estimated that depending upon skill in regards to overcoming all of the puzzles, outrunning all of the laser beams and a good trophy guide for the Blob Friends and Golden Blob trophies that it would take between 5 to 10 hours to 100% the trophy list.

Online leaderboards focus on all 24 story mode levels and 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. Upon selecting a level, the player is provided with a menu detailing the level number, the name of the level, your best score, the amount of blob friends that have been successfully rescued and your ranking score on the online leaderboards that provides the important knowledge on where the player needs to improve their performance within that respective level in order to achieve a higher medal and score such as not having rescued all of your blob friends.

There are no difficulty levels, although the difficulty naturally increases as new gameplay elements are introduced such as telekinesis, rocket boosts and attracting or repelling loose metal objects and platforms, while threats are also introduced in the form of spikes and laser beams, amongst others, although difficulty naturally increases as you progress further; the difficulty curve itself is judged absolutely perfectly.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is oozing with replayability, especially considering how much fun the gameplay is spanning across the entirety of its 29 levels, alongside 53 blob friends to rescue, gold medals to earn throughout 29 levels and competitive points scoring online leaderboards to add a further dimension to the pick up and play feeling the gameplay already focused upon; meaning that you will definitely be coming back after your initial playthrough. Meanwhile, as a reward for completing each chapter; there are unlockable cut scenes that when unlocked can be watched at anytime with there being eight cut scenes in total including: the intro, chapters one through five, credits and epilogue.

Analysis
• Title: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
• Developer: DrinkBox Studios
• Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
• System: PS3 and PS Vita
• Format: PSN Download
• Cross-Buy: No (Delicious Bundle includes PS3 and Vita version for £7.39 or £5.79 for the Vita version with a £2.49 upgrade to include the PS3 version)
• Cross-Play: No
• Players: 1 (Online Leaderboards)
• Hard Drive Space Required: 244MB/Vita Memory Card Space Required: 275MB (Version 1.01)

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Storyline
100 %
Gameplay
100 %
Graphics & Sound
100 %
Controls
100 %
Difficulty
100 %
Replayability
100 %
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Jason
Jason plays all genres of games and enjoys all different kinds of experiences that the games industry has to offer. Jason’s favourite PlayStation exclusive franchises throughout various eras include: Crash Bandicoot, God of War, Gran Turismo, inFamous, Killzone, Little Big Planet, MotorStorm, Resistance, Spyro the Dragon, Uncharted, Wipeout and various games that never became big name franchises. A special mention goes to Black Rock’s superb Split Second: Velocity as it is rather unbelievable that it will never receive a sequel. Jason now mainly plays modern PlayStation games on home console and portably, but occasionally returns to the old retro classics on the 3DO, PS1 and PS2 such as discovering Cool Spot Goes to Hollywood 20 years after its original release on PS1. Jason is happy to see gaming coming full circle with updates for retro classics such as Alien Breed, Superfrog and Crash Bandicoot.

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