SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated Review
In this modern age of gaming where remakes and remasters are a standard, ONE SPONGE stands alone (not really Patrick and Sandy are there too) to try and breath life again into the platformers of yesteryear? But does this one get the job done or does SpongeBob just leave us all wet?
The original game was developed for PS2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube back in 2003 believe it or not. While a major commercial success, overall reviews were middling at best. However the game has obtained a cult following and ironically enough even a large speed running community. So like all popular things from the past, if you wait long enough, they come back in style, so here we are with Battle for Bikini Bottom.
SpongeBob attempts to defend Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots created by his tiny Krabby Patty stealing nemesis Plankton with a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000 that goes haywire and causes chaos throughout the ocean. Added to this remake is a multiplayer (horde) mode and some cut content from the original game.
Right off the bat one of the most noticeable things about this game is the sounds. Most (not all) of the actual voice actors recorded their lines for the game with the exception of Mr. Krabs (who sounds nothing like Mr. Krabs) and Mermaid Man (not too bad). I thought this was a nice touch vs utilizing ripped audio from the show. This original story used for the game warranted having original audio. The sound track is super repetitive, BUT, I found it more akin to the music you might hear while waiting in line for a ride at Disney World, so it didn’t bother me much at all.
Visuals have been updated, textures re-skinned, all necessities for a game this old to be re-released and while the game certainly doesn’t look like something that was designed for this generation, it is certainly passable knowing this is an older game, especially on Nintendo Switch which is typically graphically hindered on multi-platform games anyway.
Now looking at other platformers that have been remade, like Crash or Spyro….Spongebob doesn’t even come close unfortunately. All of the problems in the original game carry on in this as well. Now you might be thinking Kevin, this is a childs game, and I get that. The game captures the childlike nature of SpongeBob and Bikini Bottom well enough but mechanically it’s not great.
Load times are pretty long and frequent as you move from section to section or enter someones house. The unique attributes of the different characters are RARELY utilized and some characters clearly shine more than others…(looking at you Sandy). The game is very easy for all ages but swapping characters requires you to often backtrack a distance as opposed to a quick swap (something that would typically be updated for a modern game). Dialogue of the playable characters becomes super repetitive and even annoying at times.
Overall if you have a little one that is a SpongeBob fan then this might be worth the time and effort of playing with them. But as far as comparing the quality of life improvements to other games, SpongeBob really just got a graphical overhaul and some sound enhancements. Horde mode is fun for a few minutes, but it becomes evident it doesn’t require any real skill or effort.
While passable sure, developers have been spoiling us with remakes like Crash and Spyro, SpongeBob falls a little short and doesn’t really make it a better experience than the original, just a better looking one.