Battle for Bikini Bottom -
By JAY TEE
Patrick is great.
SpongeBob as a character is responsive, but repetition will quickly sink in.
The original voice work and soundtrack have been lovingly retained, and for the most part are faithful to the show.
There’s a fair bit to see and do, but your enjoyment may be affected by a strain of repetition.
A considerable upgrade when compared to the original release, but level design lacks detail.
THE LAST WORD
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom -
THE FINAL SCORE
We use a simple “out of 5” rating criteria for all reviews.
2 out of 5 is OK.
It might have some half decent ideas, but the execution misses the mark and falls short.
*Review copy provided by THQ Nordic. Reviewed on Xbox One X.*
The WAGGLE YOUR LIPS badge is for a game with terrible pacing and/or too often takes control away from the player.
The LAME WAD badge is used in the event a game has particularly bad dialogue or cheesy voice acting that distracts from the story.
The I GUESS I SHOULD BE THANKFUL badge is for a game that has purposefully annoying dialogue.
The TOO MANY TARPS badge is awarded when a game has a lot of content, but no real substance or depth.
The DROWSY badge is for a game that sometimes has issues with pacing.
The SEVEN’S IMPLANTS badge is for a game enhanced for specific hardware, and / or re-
THE BASICS -
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT -
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom -
This is about as faithful a remaster as one could imagine; the feel of the platforming, TV accurate voice work, and overall structure have been retained, with a brand new multiplayer mode thrown in for good measure. And while Spongebob’s moveset and puzzle design are both responsive and thoughtful respectively, there are other aspects that have continued to age poorly since its first release.
Graphically speaking, it’s clearly leaps and abounds ahead of the original in terms of visual clarity, but there’s still a pervasive lack of detail permeating much of the level design. Interiors suffer the most, with rudimentary texture work that sticks out for all the wrong reasons. The over reliance on text based tutorials, and painful repetition of over written voice lines, create a through line of irritation that mars much of the experience.
To be clear, I’m not misunderstanding the target audience; this is a game aimed squarely at two camps. The first is quite obviously fans of the show, perhaps those who grew up with it and are re introducing it to family members. The second are torch bearers for the platformer's of yesteryear, brought up on a healthy diet of Banjo Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
While I can’t speak to the former, I can certainly view Bikini Bottom through the lens of the latter. For me, it doesn’t hold a candle to those seminal experiences. Level design is faithful to the show, but its simplistic and does little to differentiate itself from other licensed titles. There’s something of a disconnect between the constant flurry of random collectibles, and the need to push forward; Bikini Bottom lacks urgency, and the pace suffers greatly as a result.
Ultimately, your appreciation for this Rehydrated revisit will vary massively depending on your affection for its source material.