Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated - Sponginator 0.9 (Game Review)
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre: Third-Person Action
Ahoy there gamers, ye ask why the sponge makes a reprise for his misadventures? Well, merchandise. But hey, it's not like everyday you get a faithful remake of a good classical Spongebob game. Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated comes off pretty short in modern standards but for a game of this charm, it's hard not to try it out.
Developed by some newcomer devs in Europe, Rehydrated doesn't make life quality changes to the game mechanics of the original, rather it just pastes it with new animations and visual design. Yes, it also inherently comes with most of the flaws from the original.
I guess at a time like this, right after some exclusive that left a bad taste in my mouth, I guess this was the oddest palette cleanser I never thought I could ask for.
This story begins with Plankton(he's always the one causing up problems) when he build robots to enslave the rest of Bikini Bottom to his will, unfortunately he also build an obey lever which was pulled to not obey and now the robots are running amok, driving the rest of the sea bystanders crazy. It's upto Spongebob and his friends to save the day.
Yeah it's like watching a TV film of Spongebob but a good one, the premise is funny and it offers good humor with charm much akin to that Squarepants usually brings from the mainline TV show has brought. Thankfully that's also works in hand-to-hand with the characters thanks to great voice acting ripped from the original game, sadly not for Mr. Krabs.
Most of the side stuff exists for goofs, there's nothing serious to expect for story but just serviceable fun for the fans of the show. I mean who isn't a fan of the show?
This is the most essentially the most Spongebob-y game you could ever get, period. Even if most aspect of it like the mechanics, the platforming, puzzles and enemies are redone as exactly as it was in the OG version, there are small variations thanks to lighter adjustments. The game plays and feels like a SB SP video game.
Playing through each of the levels, you play as Spongebob but also can switch between characters inbetween levels sometimes by necessity. Spongebob has three different attack, one is a basic jellyfish catcher wipe, catcher float attack up air and one is jellyfish pummel down from mid-air. While Patrick has full body pummel and belly slam. Sandy has karate chop and lasso. But each of them have special attacks or abilities. Spongebob can jelly bowl, Patrick can grab stunned enemies and watermelons, and lastly Sandy has the ability to float with her lasso mid-air to get to long distance platforms.
This game was and is mainly collectathon, in order to proceed to different maps in the game, you'll need golden spatulas. You'll also need to collect sea leaf currency to unlock puzzles, level sections, etc. Then there's Patrick's dirty socks. You get the deal. Certain areas of the map lets you collect different sort of items only applicable to said levels like steering wheels or portraits. Finding these gets you more golden spatulas or you could farm leafs and buy them off from Mr. Krabs. He gets greedier by increasing the price however.
Maps that you've already explored can be traveled to via taxi ride, allowing you to explore untouched areas for getting more collectibles. Each of them has certain number of spatulas, acquire more to unlock them as well.
But then, there's the boss fights. These ones are doozy, because there's a good variety of them requiring you to do certain task to beat them. It's fun, nice touch while not super challenging has the added charm help to alleviate some of its issues.
Playing the game is easy, getting passed the weird puzzle designs and clunky controls are another thing. It's nothing aggravating but can be noticeably vexing at times. Other times you are confused by the levels and have to travel back and forth. At times it's easier to finish them, other times it can be tediously punishing. Just old flaws that weren't fixed much to begin with.
This game will take you less than 10hrs to finish, more than that if you want to be a completionist. While that sucks, this is a remake after all for a 17 year old game. That developers did add additional content but didn't seem feasible. Thankfully this title will only cost you mostly 30 USD to afford. Pretty cheap.
Bikini Bottom has never looked so vibrant and colorful before till now, this game just shines. While utilizing the best out of the UE4 engine. Everything from the lush cartoonish corals to reefs ooze with whimsical charm that is trademark of Spongebob. Though this is mostly updated based on how they look from the latest show compared to the original which had more muted colors but matched the aesthetics perfectly to the TV shows.
While the PC version had no graphical customization to speak of and is 60FPS locked, playing this game was pretty easy on my system. It consumed only half of my GPU most of the time so let's say this was a pretty less demanding game.
Sound and music is everything you'd expect from a Spongebob game. Including the voice acting, everything taken from the original game had an HD quality added. As if they sound like they were recently recorded. Quite stunning for a remake such as this.
THQ Nordic is really upto something these days. First this remake and the upcoming Destroy Humans game. Maybe this is pure nostalgic bait. But I'll bite. Am quite curious.
However, this game isn't without its faults. Gameplay seems pretty dated as well as the level designs. We've gone far in the late 2010s and even Super Lucky's Tale which had polished and well designed gameplay loop couldn't keep up. How will this? Not only that, but it's pretty short.
Even at a short price, I'd say this is good enough for a nostalgic trip but that's about it.