Alongside the firepower, items that modify the player’s body are one of the more original elements of the game and their correct use can make some levels infinitely easier. Springboard pickups throw you up into the air allowing you to shortcut some sections, and the helicopter helmet (that allows B.O.B to hover) removes any danger presented by floor hazards.
which would be fantastic without the "grueling" part. The many large levels may add game length, but when there’s limited time offered to complete them, unpredictable dead ends become irritating. Opening stages may be short and time limits may be generous, but as the game progresses level size and time given increase at disproportionate rates. Ultimately this all means that by the game’s end, it is impossible to complete stages on the first go. Every maze like level is filled with too many incorrect routes and with no signposting, luck dictates success. Of course passwords allow you to infinitely retry a stage but these do not keep track of any upgrades you’ve carried over from previous levels. This means, any trampoline or helicopter hat advantage you had on a first try of a level, is lost on subsequent retires.
“He’s a character with attitude in the mould of Sonic or Zool.” The problem with this is that he is a deeply irritating character, one that is under the mistaken impression he is irreverent and edgy. He is a robot that’s very much a product of the nineties and tragically wasn’t liked even back then. “Bob?” Super Play’s Jonathan Davis once questioned “more like Nob”. It’s an opinion that remains true today. There was a time when many said “groovy” under the mistakenly belief it was “Totally” “Rad” to do so. That time has passed and anyone still saying these things feels cringingly embarrassing.
This includes orange robots trapped in retro platform games. The game was even called ‘Space Funky B.O.B’ in Japan, showing just for far developers were willing to go to hammer home that this was a “cool” game, one for funky Nineties hipsters to play while they were rewinding their ‘Austin Powers’ VHS, in between watching ‘Ren and Stimpy’.
Booming explosions are exciting, but B.O.B’s ridiculously loud footsteps on ladder rungs, shouldn’t be what you hear over everything else. That being said, if incidental sounds weren’t so prevalent I may not have heard the incidental sound when my robot avatar hit his head on the ceiling following the misuse of a trampoline. These little attentions to detail are always appreciated, and this, rather than ‘B.O.B’s more explicit attempts at humour, is what made me genuinely laugh aloud.
The problem is, I never found them that engaging or comical and was more irritated by the fact that at no point in the game do we find out what B.O.B actually stands for. Any affection you have built up for the titular orange robot, also is completely destroyed in the games closing. When B.O.B. finally meets up with his his large blue robot date, a slender red female robot flies past them on a space surfboard. Despite having spent ten hours getting lost in endlessly repeating backgrounds, with ears being bombarded with the shrill sharp noise of ladders being climbed, B.O.B. decides "That's the girl for me!" and drives off in pursuit of the red female. To be honest, robust blue robot has dodged a bullet. B.O.B isn’t half as funny as he thinks he is and despite all his efforts to be cool and hip, in twenty years time the world would have forgotten he ever existed.