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Spongebob Squarepants Bikini Bottom Rehydrated Nintendo Switch Review

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Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom is a game that I played a lot when I was a young child on my original Xbox. That game was developed by Heavy Iron Studios, AWE Games, Vicarious Visions, and was published by THQ. The game was then released in the year 2003 for the original Xbox, Playstation 2, and Nintendo Gamecube.

However, here we are 17 years later in the year 2020, and THQ Nordic decided to release a remastered Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Since I primarily play on the Switch, I decided to pick up the Nintendo Switch version of this game. So without further ado, let’s dive deeper into Battle for Bikini Bottom on the Nintendo Switch!

Story/Plot:

Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated takes place in the wonderful world of Bikini Bottom.

Plankton has devised yet another plan in order to overthrow Bikini Bottom and snag the Krabby Patty Formula from Mr. Krabs. However, Plankton’s plan backfires when he forgets to flip the switch to “obey.” Instead of the robots following Plankton’s order, they are instead running wild around Bikini Bottom, causing havoc everywhere throughout Spongebob’s hometown.

Spongebob and friends have one task in hand, which is to save Bikini Bottom. In order to do that, Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy will swap in and out in order to collect the Golden Spatulas in order to progress throughout the entire game. So get ready to bungee jump, bellow flop, and karate chop here in Battle for Bikini Bottom!

Gameplay/Mechanics:

Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is 3D platformer, but with all of your favorite characters from the Spongebob Squarepants tv show!

Here in the game, the core gameplay involves collecting three different types of items and defeating enemies in each area in order to progress through the game.

The 3 items that you will collect are:

  1. Shiny Objects – This particular object is found literally everywhere in the entire game. Shiny objects are your currency throughout the game. You will use these objects to pay for tolls, bridges, and other places that you are trying to access in the game. Also, when you acquire a certain number of shiny objects, Mr. Krabs will buy these shiny objects from you and give you a Golden Spatula.
  2. Golden Spatulas – The second item that you will collect throughout this game is the Golden Spatula. Golden Spatulas are used to be granted access to new areas. You will acquire these Spatulas by completing missions throughout the entire game. Some Spatulas can also be found by completing side missions throughout the game as well!
  3. Patrick socks – And last but not least, you will also collect Patrick socks. These articles of clothing can be found all around Bikini Bottom, as well as in each different area that you can go into. They are definitely difficult to find at times, so you have to keep a close eye out for them.

All three of these items are very important for you to collect. In order to access new areas, you need to have a certain number of Golden Spatulas. So if you fall short of an area, it’s always a good idea to backtrack and check every corner in order to make sure you have collected all the Golden Spatulas.

Also, in Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, you are able to play as three different characters. Obviously, these characters are important to the Spongebob tv show. So in this game, you have the opportunity to play as Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy, and each character has their own particular skill set. For example,

  1. Spongebob has the ability to use bubbles. You will learn these special abilities from bubble buddy throughout the entire game.
  2. Patrick is the stronger of the bunch. So Patrick’s special ability involves him picking up heavier objects and throwing them at enemies. Also, Patrick has the ability to pick up an ice block and throw it into the water, freezing the water for a specific amount of time!
  3. Last but not least, Sandy has the ability to lasso her enemies. At the same time, Sandy can also fly for a short period of time by double jumping. Once you do that, Sandy will then pull out her lasso to fly over short areas. There are certain places where if you hit a switch, things that Sandy can swing from will show up in the game. Sandy can jump at them, and then swing from them to get to other areas.

You will have the ability to switch back and forth between characters depending on what level and situation you are in. The good thing is, you don’t have to really guess which character you need to use in a specific instance in the game. The bus stop will automatically change characters for you in each level, leaving the guesswork out.

So you will take these three unique characters, and venture out throughout Bikini Bottom, looking for every single Golden Spatula, shiny object, and sock. However, while you and the team are looking for all of these things, you will be required to defeat robots at every turn, and solve some basic puzzles. It’s Spongebob, it’s supposed to be colorful, fun, and simple. Anyone who thought this game was going to rival a game like Mario unfortunately had their hopes up.

Overall, the gameplay is almost exactly like I remember it when I played this game as a child. I will admit, they did do some polishing on some aspects of this game, so it was nice to see some of those gameplay mechanics running better on the Switch. But honestly, I saw that a lot of reviewers were giving this game a 2 out of 10, and I honestly think that these people had too much expectation placed on this game. Spongebob’s gameplay isn’t meant to rival a game like Mario in my opinion. It’s supposed to be geared towards a pretty casual audience, and yes, it isn’t perfect, but I don’t think this game at all deserves a 2/10 based on gameplay alone.

Graphical Quality:

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Obviously, since this game is a remaster for the Nintendo Switch, they upped the graphical quality here during this generation. While I do own this game on the Switch, I do understand that the graphical quality had to be downscaled from other consoles. The game looks bright, colorful, but honestly, at specific times of the game, it just looked really pixelated. There was a point during the game where the camera was really zoomed in on Spongebob’s face and well, it didn’t look appealing to the eye. So overall on the Switch, it looks good, but there were some portions during this game where I was like “yeah, that looked pretty rough.”

Performance:

As always, when it comes to the Switch, the question always stands, “How does this game run on this console?” And well, I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed when it came to the performance here on the Nintendo Switch.

First off, this game dropped frames quite frequently for me. And the thing is, sometimes it would be while I was fighting robots, and sometimes it was when I was just randomly walking around and just exploring. They definitely need to patch this issue because the game did drop some frames during boss fights and while I was using Sandy to fly through mid air. Luckily for me, no frames dropped while flying around or fighting bosses, but I could definitely see it happening to other people, and I could see how it would be very annoying in the long run.

Also, textures were struggling to be loaded in. I noticed while playing this game that when I would come back from a location to the area where Spongebob’s house was, the textures in the background had a hard time loading in. In some areas, I noticed that the words on signs really struggled to load in. They would look super pixelated and then a couple of seconds later, they’d load in. Also, textures on characters failed to make characters distinct.

Graphically, I think the games look pretty good on the Switch. Performance wise, Spongebob Squarepants was somewhat of a let down in my opinion. There were definitely some frame rate drops throughout the entire game, and they really need to try to put together a patch as soon as possible to resolve this issue.

Favorite/Least Favorite/Review:

Obviously, I played this game as a young child, so I am biased when it comes to this review. I have prior experience with the game, so just remember, my views on the game are going to be less harsh than someone who has never played the original.

For me, a couple of my favorite things about this game are:

  1. Solid game play mechanics. Sure, some things aren’t perfect, but they are far from bad. Each character has their own skill set, so it makes using each character unique in their own way. They could have taken the lazy way out and gave everyone the same skill set, but they did not.
  2. Another thing I enjoy about the game are the levels. Each one is an integral part of the Spongebob Squarepants tv show, and at the same time, each one brings me back to my childhood when times were simpler. Plus, the levels are very well designed.
  3. I think for me, I appreciate the fact that even if you don’t complete the “main mission” of each area, except for boss fights, you can leave once you feel like you have enough golden spatulas. The game doesn’t hinder your progress just because you didn’t defeat the “main” character’s mission that they had for you. It somewhat leaves that option up to you. However, I will say, just go ahead and finish the main mission for each level, it’ll make the game so much easier in the long run.
  4. I also appreciate the fact that they try to incorporate as many characters in the game as possible. Or at least all the main ones. A lot of video games that are made from tv shows or movies are just bad at doing this. They will only showcase 2-3 people throughout the entire game, however, here in Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom, you’ll hear from people like Squidward, Plankton, Mr. Krabs, Larry the Lobster, Gary, and King Neptune. So the game gives you a variety of characters you will interact with.

However, despite me really enjoying this game, there are some things I would like to bring up, because this game is far from perfect on the Switch.

  1. The first thing I’d like to bring up is while the voice acting for most of the characters is pretty accurate, Mr. Krab’s voice just sounds so off. I’m not sure why that is, but it really through me for a loop when i first heard his voice in this game.
  2. Performance issues in this game are quite frequent, and quite annoying. It would randomly drop frames during strange sequences and scenes, and while i kept on playing the game, for some, this may be a big issue. Especially in handheld mode.
  3. For me, there was a slight delay in some actions performed by the characters. For example, while using Sandy, I noticed that when using her lasso in mid air, I would push whatever button it was to use it, and I would notice a delay. This would happen quite frequently when I was trying to swing from hook to hook.

For me, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives when it comes to Battle for Bikini Bottom on the Nintendo Switch. The game is not perfect, but it is definitely far from a terrible game for Switch users. I saw some reviews giving this game like a 2 out of 10, and trust me, this game is definitely not a 2 out of 10. Hopefully in the future they come out with some patches for this game because I think with a little work on the frame rate and texture issues, that the game could be a very good game for people who are looking for a good, fun 3D platformer.

Overall, Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated on the Switch is a good remaster. The game offers a good 3D platforming experience, a unique set of skills for each playable characters, intriguing levels and level design, funny characters to interact with, and the old nostalgic times of the Spongebob tv show before it got weird.

For me, I rate this game a 4 out of 5 stars. The game is good, but it is not great. And for most, if you go read the other reviews, this game does not deserve a 2 out of 10 in my opinion. A 2 out of 10 game is a game that won’t even run for me. But like I said earlier, I am a little biased when it comes to this game. But overall, it’s a solid pick up for the Nintendo Switch!

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