Are you ready, kids? The cult classic is back, faithfully remade in spongetastic splendor! Play as SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy and show the evil Plankton that crime pays even less than Mr. Krabs. Want to save Bikini Bottom from lots of rampant robots with your mighty bubbles? Of course you do! Want to underpants bungee jump? Why wouldn't you! Want to join forces in a brand new multiplayer mode? The battle is on!GAME FEATURES - Play as SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy and use their unique sets of skills - Thwart Plankton's evil plan to rule Bikini Bottom with his army of wacky robots - Meet countless characters from the beloved seriesREMAKE FEATURES - Faithful remake of one of the best SpongeBob games ever created - High-end visuals, modern resolutions and carefully polished gameplay - Brand new horde mode multiplayer for up to two players, online and offline - Restored content that was cut from the original game like the Robo Squidward boss fight and more.
I enjoyed this in my more spectator role and I know my son loved the game so I would have to say this is a hearty recommendation, if you yourself are a fan or you have a fan in the family… this ought to put a smile on their dial.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated breathes new life into one of the best games of 2003. It is a remake that any fan of the yellow sponge or the original game should not miss.
What stands out to me the most though? The considered thought of the level design.
It’s fair to say Battle for Bikini Bottom was hardly a revelation back in 2003 and it’s definitely not one now, even with the cult popularity the original has gained due to the speedrunning community. What it is, however, is a fun time that nobody can knock, no matter how simple it may be. The boss battles may be poor, the jokes may often fall flat, and the ending may be completely anticlimactic, but any faults here are actually faults of the original that this new version has masterfully remade. Rehydrated is a total success in bringing the original back to life and it somehow looks truly beautiful, especially considering the obviously juvenile nature of the source material. It’s not something I would outwardly recommend to everyone but it did make me reconsider my pipeline of games and if I might not just want to throw in a couple of mindless simple ones, in order to relax between the giants.
Although the gameplay and character models feel refreshed (Patrick’s limbs are delightfully floppy), the level design pales when compared to newer 3D platformers. Fully remade,2 including a remastered soundtrack, Battle For Bikini Bottom proves to be fun on a technical level, but the barren worlds, many NPCs you cannot interact with, and vexing objectives (the rolling ball in Mermaid Man’s lair, anybody?) make it fun and frustrating in equal measure. Fans won’t want to leave this one at the bottom of the sea. [Issue#178, p.82]
There’s no reason for fans of the television series, or fans of the original game to not check out Rehydrated. It does a brilliant job of encapsulating the source material’s feeling, all the while updating the mechanics to feel fresh, snappy, and modern. Just keep in mind that Rehydrated is based on a game that was made in 2003. Many of the old tropes from games of this era, like repetitive NPC dialogue and music, have made the seventeen-year journey to affect Rehydrated the same way they did the original all that time ago. But I also think the shortcomings are made much more bearable by everything Rehydrated does right. It’s sort of like ordering a Krabby Patty, but they forget the pickles. It’s perfectly edible. Delicious, even. But it could be so much better.
Remasters, ports, and remakes are nice because they make games more accessible to new audiences, and the ones that excel understand that some features from the game’s era are antiquated and should be updated or removed. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated flops like a fish out of water when it comes to this. It’s a game so focused on emulating and embellishing the original that it doesn’t know the parts of itself that are fun and the parts that aren’t. It lost sight of the basic elements that make a collectible platformer enjoyable. This game doesn’t promote curious or keen gameplay, the movement isn’t smooth, and gathering collectibles never feels rewarding. Ultimately, the game winds up being an unpleasant nostalgia trip that nobody should pack their bags for.
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