Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 2003 action platformer developed by Heavy Iron Studios and published by THQ for the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox. The game was remastered in a 2020 release Titled Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, this version was developed by Purple Lamp Studios and was published by THQ for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One.
In this review I will be mainly looking at the original game and then briefly discussing the remake afterwards.
Plankton has built an Army of Robots to help him steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula and take over the world. Unfortunately for him the robots were set to not obey mode and instead decide to take over Bikini Bottom leaving Spongebob, Patrick and Sandy to defeat the robots and put a stop to their chaos.
There are three playable characters in the game which can be switched at bus stops hidden within levels, each of these characters have different abilities which are needed to find secrets and progress through out the game.
Spongebob has the most moves in the game and each of these revolve around blowing bubbles, his most commonly used move puts a bubble helmet on his head which he uses to destroy robots that are positioned high above the ground.
His bowling bubble can be used to hit enemies that are wedged within difficult spaces or to hit buttons when he is standing on a pressure pad.
The cruise bubble is a projectile move that allows Spongebob to blow a timed missile at enemies.
Patrick is able to pick up heavy objects which he can hurl at buttons or stack up so that he can climb to higher places. Using freezing fruit Patrick can temporarily freeze body’s of water so that he can walk over them to find secrets that could not be found otherwise.
Sandy is my favourite character to play as in the game, she is able to use her lasso to grab enemies, swing across specific sections and temporarily glide across large gaps.
There are various surf sections in the game where players need to quickly travel down ski slopes which hide additional secrets and collectibles. I really like these sections I found them to be challenging with tight enough controls and overall a great experience.
I really enjoyed the boss fights in the game I thought they were really well designed and challenging to fight, some of these were references to episodes from the Television series and the others were robotic versions of the playable characters. Concept Art from the game shows art for a robot Squidward fight, this could be a sign that he may have been designed as a playable character at some point in development.
The main collectable in the game are the Golden Spatulas, these are needed to access new levels and areas in the game, players can either find these or be given them as rewards for helping in-game NPC’s. You can also get spatulas for finding Patrick’s missing socks, or by purchasing them from Mr Krabs in exchange for Shiny things the in-game currency.
The soundtrack is really fun and is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a licensed videogame, its not phenominal or anything but it really works so well for this game. The music is a lot of a fun and can be more serious at times when needed, what I really appreciate is that in the rock bottom section of the game they removed the music entirely so that it felt just like the episode it was based on. my favourite was the Bikini Bottom Music that played during the hub world it made me think of jolly sailors travelling the high seas.
Battle for Bikini Bottom is one of the greatest licensed video games ever made, this is a really solid experience and a love letter to Spongebob fans from the developers. I was shocked with how much effort was put into this, mulitple playable characters, funny dialogue, great music, tight controls and lots of things to do, I do wish that the theatre gave us a little more than just concept art and a better completion bonus would have been appreciated but apart from that I can only reccomend you get yourself a copy of this game even though these days it doesn’t sell for very cheap I think it is well worth its price and is better value for money than the remake which we will discuss now.
The new version obviously looks better than its predecessor the graphics are lot more appealing and run at a higher frame rate compared to the original.
I also really enjoyed that the new game added up to date Spongebob references and memes for the younger fans and the older ones too.
Gorgeous new visuals aside lets discuss the game in general, the first thing that really sucks about this is that they didnt add anything new so this is purely a visual remake.
They modernised the music as well and while still is very good its lost a lot of its charm and doesn’t suit the game as well as did previously.
The theatre returns but they removed the concept art which makes sense as they should have replaced it with concept art from this game but instead they put a handful of still images from the game as your reward for unlocking the theatre.
I haven’t really got much else to say about this remake as it is very close to the original but it just feels like a few more months fixing up a few of its fall backs were needed. I think a bonus world would have been a great addition and if not the robot squidward fight that was added into the multiplayer could have just been added into the main game even if it was a hidden boss fight. As for the theatre how about instead of screen shots from the game they could have placed a playable ROM of the Battle for Bikini Bottom GBA game as it will probably never be released virtually anyway and it would give fans of the console game a chance to play a version they may have missed.
Speaking of the GBA game maybe one day I will take a look at it to see how it holds up compared to the console version.
If you do not have a an older system then rehydrated is still a really fun game it just struggles to compare to the original game that in my opinion is vastly superior.
Battle for Bikini Bottom 9.5/10
My Favourite Spongebob episodes – Rock Bottom
In this season 1 episode Spongebob and Patrick have just finished a day of fun at Glove World and are catching bus home to Bikini Bottom but unfortunately they are on the wrong bus and end up in a town called Rock Bottom.
Rock Bottom is a unusual place where everything is backwards or just genuinely doesn’t make any sense, the area is quite dark and somewhat creepy which makes the need for Spongebob to get home even more intense.
The episode only really gets funny when Patrick manages to catch the bus home and Spongebob is left alone, poor Spongebob keeps missing every bus home by seconds and no matter what he tries he just cannot catch that bus and it soon becomes apparent to the viewer that the bus might be missing Spongebob on purpose. This is definitely one the funnier episodes and may be one of the highlights of the show where the comedy is at the expense of Spongebob and not another character.
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