by Mitch W. Sequeira III
Edited by Will Delancy
DISCLAIMER: There will be two versions of this review. A quick to the point article version, and a more in-depth video version.
With the remake of the game only getting closer and closer, no better time than now to review the game licensed games a new name, SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom.
Well it’s a SpongeBob game, so the story isn’t gonna be the most in-depth or amazing story.
Deep in the laboratory of the Chum Bucket, Plankton has created a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000. A machine that make robots that will cause mayhem and destruction at his command. But for some reason the machine has a Do Not Obey setting, and the machine is already set to that. Cutting to the pineapple under the sea, SpongeBob and Patrick are playing a game of Robots and Racehorses. Eventually they get bored of the game, and wish to play with real robots. Patrick then drags out a “magic wishing shell,” and the two “wish” for real robots. Overnight, the robots from the Chum Bucket wreak havoc across the entire town of Bikini Bottom and many other places, including SpongeBob’s house. The next morning, the battle for Bikini Bottom begins.
The story, albeit not the best of stories, matches the tone and pace of the first few seasons of the show perfectly. It’s almost like you’re playing an episode of the show. The story also doesn’t have many plot-holes, the only one I can think of is the creation of the surprise antagonist, Robot Plankton. Overall, the story gets a 7/10.
The game itself is a collect-a-thon similar to Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie, and you have three characters to go through this journey with. SpongeBob, the default and character with the most attacks. Patrick, can do certain things SpongeBob and Sandy can’t do. And Sandy, as previously mentioned. Sandy’s unique feature is she can glide and swing across gaps. Throughout the entire game is 100 Golden Spatulas for you to collect, similar to that of the Power Stars from Super Mario 64.
Some are simply at the end of a level’s pathway. Some are rewarded from doing simple tasks, like bungee jumping. And some make you want to snap your controller in 2. However, there are only three challenges in the whole game that will make you want to do that, and once you figure out how to do them, you can blaze past 2 of them in less than 10 minutes. The game has technically 15 levels with 8 Golden Spatulas to earn (with the exception of boss battles. The difficulty of the game is adaptive. Little to no spikes. The only difficulty spikes are in one level, but I’ll talk about those in the review video.
While not exactly relating to gameplay. The way the game explains certain things… like explaining how your health works.
Overall, I mostly wasn’t disappointed.
The gameplay gets a 9/10.
The music sounds like it’s ripped right out of the show. Every song also fits with the area they’re made for. Jellyfish Fields feels bouncy, Rock Bottom sounds ominous, SpongeBob’s Dream sounds like an LSD trip, like the level. I could go on really.
The music gets a 10/10.
Here is a playlist of the entire game’s soundtrack, if you are interested.
Overall the game gets a 26/30.
Probably one of the best licensed games I’ve ever played, and that’s saying something as most of them are pretty bad. Battle for Bikini Bottom is what a licensed game should be. A fun experience that matches the spirit and tone of its source material, and I’m not the only one who thinks the same way. Some people’s entire YouTube channels are known because of this game.
As to what version I recommend, if you want an easy way to play it, the GameCube version, it’s the version you can find the most, and if you have a Wii and GC controller, you can play it on the Wii. However, if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks, get the original Xbox version. The loading times are shorter, the lighting is better, some “missing” audio clips actually play, and the audio mixer is miles better than the GameCube version. Play this game at least once, you most likely won’t regret it.
If you are interested, here is a more in depth version of the review