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Review – Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated (Xbox One)

by on September 8, 2020
Details
 
Release Date

June 23rd, 2020

Developer

Purple Lamp Studios
Publisher: THQ Nordic

 

I don’t know if I had a weird upbringing or not, but I didn’t grow up watching Spongebob Squarepants.  It’s not a question of whether or not it’s funny or entertaining.  I just happen to have had parents that didn’t like it when I watched that kind of stuff.  So the nostalgia factor just isn’t there for me when the remaster of Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was announced.  So going into this review, I wanted to focus more on gameplay and how fun it is for those who have never played the original game.

About 17 years ago, the original Battle for Bikini Bottom launched, and this “Rehydrated” version brings graphic integrity up to current standards.  You take on the role of Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy as your platform through Bikini Bottom and destroy some evil robots.  

The premise seems to fall in line with a typical scenario in a Spongebob episode.  And that means there are many cheeky one-liners, puns, and other funny situations that you deal with.  I was definitely amused by the writing and jokes, and my kids seemed to laugh quite a few times.  However, the laughter seemed to fade when we got into the gameplay mechanics.

From a young player’s perspective, the platforming and gameplay were a little tough for my son to get through.  I didn’t have too much trouble, but it seems to me this Rehydrated version mostly focused on graphics and a few game modes.  In the main campaign, I dealt with weird camera angles, some confusing directions on where to go, and collectibles that are placed in some funky areas.  

Besides the areas listed above, the platforming itself is rather easy for the majority of the game.  Again, my younger co-reviewer had some troubles that I needed to help him through, but that was fine.  The combat itself is pretty easy to pick up.  It’s easy to find the weaknesses of the different enemy types and you learn quickly which character you should play as when fighting.  

I think the main question that comes to mind is why remake Battle for Bikini Bottom?  Again, I could be completely in the wrong since I’m not a huge Spongebob fan.  But was the original so amazing that it needed a remake?  It’s not exactly a groundbreaking entry in the platforming genre.  I guess I’m curious about the demand for it.  

I will say the visuals look very nice.  Spongebob is colorful and full of life, and the updated graphics reflect that.  The soundtrack is lively and fun.  And besides, the updates to the graphics, the addition of the horde mode was pretty entertaining, although I wish there were some rewards that would give me more of a desire to keep going.  Maybe some costume unlockables or something like that?  

Here is the bottom line – Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated can be entertaining.  The platforming is a bit outdated but is accessible for younger gamers who need something a little bit easier.  The visuals look great, but that’s about it.  Even if you are a hardcore fan of the series, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you get Battle for Bikini Bottom.  I think the question on all of our minds is what else can we do with this series instead of remastering a 17-year-old game?  I would be curious if THQ Nordic can take this license and create something completely new.  

Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.

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Positives

Nice graphic upgrade
Humorous story

Negatives

Outdated mechanics
Lackluster gameplay
Not a lot of fun if you aren't a fan of Spongebob

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
C

 
Graphics
B

 
Story
B

 
Replay Value
C-

Total Score
C+

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Bottom Line
 

Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated can be entertaining.  The platforming is a bit outdated but is accessible for younger gamers who need something a little bit easier.  The visuals look great, but that’s about it.  Even if you are a hardcore fan of the series, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you get Battle for Bikini Bottom.

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