Nearing the top of SpongeBob’s journey beneath the ocean, you are tasked with guiding a ball via an enormous Rube Goldberg machine in Mermaid Man’s Lair. Once you activate the machine it’s a must to match the ball’s painstakingly gradual pace whereas utilizing SpongeBob’s arsenal of bubble skills to ensure it doesn’t fall over. It’s a easy process in idea, however attempting to execute it’s a few of the most unfun and Sisyphean gameplay in latest reminiscence. In one part of the puzzle, all you want to do is stand on a button, and that button opens a gate so that you can bowl a bubble into so you may progress. The solely downside is that in SpongeBob’s wind-up animation for bowling, he walks ahead. That means you fall off of the button, which closes the gate and prevents you from bowling the bubble the place you meant, while you meant. These sorts of gameplay barricades are frequent, and pressure you to restart and face your demons once more, and once more, and once more.SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is never amusing or difficult, and finishing it’s a wholly dry expertise. It appears to be like good, and brings again fond reminiscences of a basic cartoon via iconic set items and tight voice appearing, however its uncomfortable and outdated mechanics make you are feeling frustratingly trapped and are in the end outclassed by numerous different trendy and basic platformers.SpongeBob is a present constructed on rapid-fire humour and good pacing, however this recreation misses that mark. The recreation is a remake of the 2003 cult basic 3D collect-a-thon platformer of the identical identify. There had been three variations of the unique: a 2D platformer, a 3D platformer, and one stuffed with minigames. This model took me round 20 hours to play via the primary story and get a bunch of bonus collectibles, and from the motion to the jokes, the entire thing feels gradual, with not one of the comedic timing that makes the present so beloved.It begins off when Plankton by accident creates a military of uncontrollable robots that it’s a must to defeat as a rotation of acquainted faces: SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, and Sandy Cheeks. The foremost menu is a hub world the place you may choose phases based mostly on notable SpongeBob areas just like the Flying Dutchman’s Graveyard, Jellyfish Fields, and Goo Lagoon. Your foremost goal is accumulating Golden Spatulas. They’re littered around the globe and are used to unlock phases. You can even discover Shiny Objects and Socks which may be spent to purchase spatulas from Mr. Krabs or Patrick respectively.Diving into the sport is thrilling firstly. The Greater Bikini Bottom Area is rigorously re-imagined right into a clear, revitalized fashion that’s popping with a brand new paint job. It appears to be like shiny, however it’s a must to surprise how needed the entire visible replace is when the unique doesn’t even look unhealthy. It’s acquired the identical voice monitor as the unique, with nearly all the voice actors from the present choosing up their roles for the sport, directing you round to numerous aims and making quick dialog. You can inform the voice actors try onerous to hold the expertise, however they’ll’t try this as a result of they’re solely given just a few canned strains that repeat time and again outdoors of the cutscenes. In a way, Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated capabilities as a SpongeBob museum, highlighting the environments that give life to the collection. There’s a eager consideration to element in recreating the unique’s appeal, which is completed properly, however this underwater world’s attract falls flat with out quality-of-life updates that take into account how in a different way we play at present.After the primary few areas, exploring rapidly turns into a chore. Some spatulas are thrown at you for doing nothing, and others really feel not possible to get resulting from unhealthy digicam angles and unexplained methods that you just’re someway anticipated to know. Luckily there are a ton of useful present discussion board posts and walkthroughs for the OG recreation that may information you thru essentially the most annoying elements. But that lack of consideration given to the spatula’s areas is off-putting and causes the sport to start out dragging inside the first few hours.Movement is simply as disagreeable. It’s a continuing wrestling match with mechanics which can be each restrictive and awkward to a degree that they take away your focus from the present goal and makes you need to put the controller down. Moving platforms are gradual, and it’s a must to soar on them typically. If you miss them you find yourself bored, sitting there, ready for the platform once more whereas taking a look at an idle animation for too lengthy and listening to the identical quick music loop on repeat. Even if you happen to just like the Stephen Hillenburg bangers, this will get annoying quick. Once you ace a transferring platform’s bizarre rhythms, it doesn’t suggest it is over. Sometimes there are robots positioned proper on the finish of these sequences which can be too massive in your character to maneuver round correctly due to their lack of mobility. It simply feels merciless. It looks like your solely choices are to have SpongeBob attempt to soar to a spot out of bounds and get escorted again to the stage by the enormous floating hand named “Hans,” or fall to the beginning….this underwater world’s attract falls flat with out high quality of life updates that take into account how in a different way we play at present.There had been a number of factors within the recreation the place I climbed as much as the highest of a excessive construction and a rogue robotic knocked me all the best way down into water. Ironically, not one of the protagonists can swim, so I immediately died and respawned at a checkpoint. Having to start out throughout is actually deflating. I’m prepared to discover ways to excel with a recreation’s controls even when they’re tough to understand initially, however with Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, it isn’t a matter of understanding the controls and abilities–it’s a case of the controls simply not working properly. It’s nice for video games to punish gamers for being unhealthy, however this recreation simply feels consistently punishing for no motive, and it doesn’t appear to note it or acknowledge it. Sometimes there are other ways to get to golden spatulas, however the recreation additionally randomly blocks paths with invisible partitions, rendering your try to get there ineffective and telling you that your resolution isn’t proper. Walking into these partitions looks like a slap within the face only for considering creatively.The ranges revolve round strolling to recurring characters across the map, choosing up duties from them, combating robots, and swapping between two characters to make the most of their strengths and full the world. The loop may very well be pleasurable, however you may’t run on this recreation. Or dodge. Or swap characters conveniently. It’s grueling. You must stroll round slowly, combat nearly each robotic in your path (some areas are means too filled with enemies), and incessantly transfer forwards and backwards to Bus Stops which can be out of the best way 90% of the time for character swaps. The protagonists all have distinct play types that grant you entry to completely different elements of the maps–if SpongeBob cannot soar there, then run over to a Bus Stop so you may swap characters to Sandy and Lasso Glide over. But if you happen to die, good luck preserving your cool. Deaths can really feel past unfair, restarting your progress to the purpose that you could be find yourself wanting into the darkish depths of the loading display screen abyss considering, “Why? Why me?”The fleeting enjoyable I had throughout this recreation occurred through the boss fights. They wake you up out of autopilot mode by reworking the sport’s monotonous motions into one thing that calls for your consideration. Your colossal foes and the methods up their sleeves trigger you to start out serious about your actions rigorously. The cutscenes earlier than the beginning of the fights are genuinely humorous, backed by an intense synth tune, and every battle is commentated dwell by a speaking fish. These moments are a vibrant gentle within the recreation and make it really feel alive, only for a second. It’s a delight to have the sport make you chortle at these factors, as a result of a lot of the different jokes within the recreation simply don’t hit.If you discover you continue to have fond emotions in regards to the authentic SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, you need to watch a speedrun of it or discover your outdated copy and dirt off that PS2. This one is not it. Remasters, ports, and remakes are good as a result of they make video games extra accessible to new audiences, and those that excel perceive that some options from the sport’s period are antiquated and must be up to date or eliminated. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated flops like a fish out of water on the subject of this. It’s a recreation so targeted on emulating and adorning the unique that it doesn’t know the elements of itself which can be enjoyable and the elements that are not. It overpassed the essential components that make a collectible platformer pleasurable. This recreation doesn’t promote curious or eager gameplay, the motion is not easy, and gathering collectibles by no means feels rewarding. Ultimately, the sport winds up being an disagreeable nostalgia journey that no one ought to pack their baggage for.
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