Saturday, September 10, 2005

Spongebob Squarepants

Are you ready, kids?

It's time for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game review. Those who have played Battle for Bikini Bottom will find some of the game play to be quite familiar. You take control of SpongeBob and Patrick and try to save the world from the evil Plankton. It's great fun, and will surely please any SpongeBob fan.

The manliness has landed.

Story – 8/10
Mr. Krabs has announced the grand opening of the Krusty Krabb 2. And with a new Krusty Krabb opening, SpongeBob's hopes of becoming manager rise. That doesn’t happen so SpongeBob goes and drowns his misery and sorrows at the Goofy Goober ice cream parlor. Meanwhile, Plankton has started “Plan Z” to take over Bikini Bottom and the rest of the world. First he frames Mr. Krabs for the disappearance of King Neptune’s crown. Now SpongeBob and Patrick have to retrieve the crown to save Mr. Krabs. While SpongeBob is out of the way, Plankton steals the Krabby Patty recipe and starts selling them at the Chum Bucket. And with every purchase of a Krabby Patty, you get a free mind control bucket helmet! Soon all of Bikini Bottom, which Plankton has decided to name “Planktopolis,” is now under the control of the tiny, yet evil, Plankton. It’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to save the world. Are they manly enough to do so? No, not really.

The story is told between each level through still screenshots taken from the film. The quality of the screens are decent, but not perfect. It would have been nice if they redid a few scenes from the movie with the in-game graphics, but the screens and funny narration work alright.

This game is for only the manliest of men.

Game Play – 8.5/10
You play as either SpongeBob or Patrick, both with their own unique moves, and try to collect Goofy Goober tokens. With Goofy Goober tokens, you can purchase new skills that can help you progress through the game. And by collecting weights, you can upgrade your moves or increase your maximum health. Each level has several tasks where you can earn Goofy Goober tokens. These tasks range from stupidly easy to annoyingly hard, yet all are great fun. There are even a few tasks that are similar to the special stages in Super Mario Sunshine. There are also a few boss fights in the game which require you to use certain abilities you have gained to succeed.

Some of the best stages are the ones where you get to drive around in the Patty Wagon. The Patty Wagon is easy to control and makes it to be one of the funnest moments in the game. Each of these levels have tasks where you can beat your own time, or challenge a ring mode where you have to drive through each ring that appears on the course.

There are also many unlockables in the game. You can get a Mermaid Man outfit for SpongeBob, a disco suit for Patrick, and even unlock art galleries and movie trailers. Unlocking these features requires you to find hidden treasure chests throughout the level.

One complaint I had was the load times. They aren’t terribly long, but long enough to annoy you. Load times only occur between each level.

One over-sized Krabby Patty to go.

Graphics – 8/10
The graphics are pretty good, but nothing spectacular. The game features a pretty solid frame rate. The hairs on David Hasselhoff’s back were extra disturbing. They didn’t use his name in the game, as they just referred to him a “not a real lifeguard, but he played one on TV.” The game features some funny animations from the characters, like Patrick stretching out his tongue.

Sound – 8/10
The BGM is great and fits the style of the game very well, but it sometimes muffs out the character voices. SpongeBob and Patrick have some very funny things to say, but the BGM can make them hard to hear at times. Other than that, the game features the best end boss music I have heard in a while. The Goofy Goober Rock was just awesome to hear while fighting the final battle.

Goofy Goober Rock!

Controls 9/10
The controls for the game are great. The special moves really help you out in the game, and they get even better once you upgrade them to their “macho” status. The camera is always right on the character as well.

Replay Value 7/10
There are many Goofy Goober tokens to collect even after beating the game. Also, there are those treasure chests to get.

Overall 8/10
I really enjoyed this game and fans of SpongeBob will enjoy it as well. It’s one of the best SpongeBob games I have played so far, and if you are a fan of Battle for Bikini Bottom, you should definitely check this game out.


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