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You can find pleasure in the strangest places. Take this game, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, for instance. It is, by all accounts, a "kiddie" game. But it plays extremely well, and is actually better than the recent Crash, Sonic and Spyro games. Surprised? I sure was. But I shouldn't have been. This game comes from the same company that published Tak and the Power of Juju.
If platforming nonsense be something ye wish! Spongebob Squarepants, bona fide phenomenon, wacky, wild, inheritor of the genius of Looney Toons, has only been represented in gaming by mediocre to interesting adventure games and generally poor 2D sidescrollers. It's about time the square one got his props with a full 3D platforming adventure.
Unter dem Strich präsentiert sich die Schlacht um Bikini Bottom als ein spielerisch zwar wenig innovatives, aber dennoch unterhaltsames Jump&Run: Dafür sorgen die gute Cartoon-Optik im Stil der Serie, die offene Spielumgebung, die gelungene Steuerung und die feine Soundkulisse. Vom Schwierigkeitsgrad her wird zwar ein jüngeres Publikum angesprochen, doch auch die etwas älteren Schwammkopf-Fans dürften ihren Spaß haben. Es fehlt zwar ein gutes Stück zu Kalibern wie z.B. Ratchet & Clank 2 oder Beyond Good & Evil, doch das Abenteuer verströmt sofort das Flair der TV-Serie und präsentiert sich als eine der besten Lizenz-Umsetzungen der letzten Monate – auch wenn der ganz große Wurf nicht gelungen ist.
The love for the SpongeBob franchise really shines through in Battle for Bikini Bottom -- and if it weren't there this would be a very dreary title. I'm constantly amazed by the how much THQ and Heavy Iron got right -- this truly is like playing through an episode. While SpongeBob is a little too easy, it's still a lot of fun to romp through Jelly Fish fields or go clam boarding with Sandy. This game offers a lot of variety and each area feels like a fresh and distinct entity rather than just a palette swap.
While it is deserving of the hallowed rank of the best SpongeBob SquarePants game yet, in the broader scheme of things it’s still not a very good title. For some reason, the industry really seems to be stuck in a rut. Why does every cartoon-based license need to be transformed into a platformer where you need to collect a billion different items? I don’t get it. In SpongeBob’s case, the gameplay engine is solid, and I love the animations that Heavy Iron Studios came up with. I also like the fact that you can play as Patrick. That fat oaf slays me. The challenges are not so flattering, and the characters’ move sets are very bizarre. If you’ve had neurosurgery more than twice, you may find a thimble’s worth of entertainment here. If not, you’ll get more kicks out of a sponge…just an ordinary pantless sponge.