Spongebob Squarepants: battle for bikini bottom (rehydrated) Review
The novelty is a remaster of the game released seventeen years ago, which among fans of the animated series has become a kind of cult classic. In order not to spoil or break anything, the developers decided not to touch practically anything in it, leaving the same gameplay, the same structure and the same story. Only the visual component has changed — the graphics are more modest than in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, but still the artists tried hard to revive each location and modernize the picture.
Battle for Bikini Bottom constantly resembles a animated cartoon — one after another, you visit the locations that you saw in the series (Jellyfish Fields, Rusalogovo, Gu lagoon and others), communicate with your favorite characters and receive tasks from them. In the starting location, from where you are heading to the rest, you can even go to the homes of Bob, Patrick and Squidward, and then visit Sandy and look into the nursing home. The atmosphere is beautifully maintained, and the longer you play, the clearer it becomes, why the fans loved this project so much and rejoiced at the reissue announcement.
The plot is as simple as possible: Plankton again wants to steal a crabsburger recipe, makes a machine that creates robots, but forgets to pull the right lever in time and sets the piece of iron on the whole Bikini Bottom and its surroundings. The point here, of course, is not in the story itself, but in the details: references to episodes, recreated memes (be sure to look carefully at all the pictures on the walls and follow the expressions on the faces of the characters), in jokes and jokes. SpongeBob is just as good-natured a simpleton as in the series, and a lot of the dialogues with his participation will cause a smile. Even if you watched the cartoon for a long time, the local humor will evoke the same emotions as many years ago.
The game itself is an adventure in the spirit of Banjo-Kazooie and Yooka-Laylee. Several paths from the central location lead to the neighboring ones, where they have their own riddles, stories and problems. Each zone has a main task and several additional ones, and most often it all comes down to gathering. There are a lot of collectibles here, chief among them are the golden paddles that open up access to new areas. Basically, they are given out for completing assignments, although sometimes they lie just like that — you just need to figure out how to get to them.
There are also Patrick’s socks, for the sake of collecting which you will have to think a little more with your head and solve some simple problems. You collect a certain number of socks — and you can give them to Patrick in exchange for an extra scapula. Well, it was not without currency, which falls in tons for a variety of actions: for killing robots, and for destroying boxes, and for trying to get to hard-to-reach places. This «money» is suitable both for buying shovels and for unlocking additional options in some locations — either a passage will open, or another riddle will appear.
There are only three characters available for play, but you cannot freely switch between them — only at bus stops, in small numbers scattered across locations. Everyone makes a double jump and can fight in close combat, but everyone has unique abilities: SpongeBob jumps high, breaking crates hanging in the air, Patrick carries and throws objects, and Sandy is able to glide after a double jump and uses a lasso. Some tasks cannot be obtained until you change the hero, and it is also impossible to complete them without certain skills.
Although Battle for Bikini Bottom came out almost two decades ago, it doesn’t seem overly dated in terms of game mechanics. Yes, there are times when you come across something that modern three-dimensional platformers try not to add: for example, a puzzle with several generators, where, when one of them is activated, three of them unfold at once and all of them need to be directed in the same direction. Now you won’t see this in children’s games — they try to make everything more accessible and simple, so that you don’t have to call your parents and ask them for help. Locations sometimes seem too large, but here the ability to teleport between different parts of the same area saves, which simplifies the research process.
It can be a little tiring that the main characters practically do not develop in any way during the game, do not expand their arsenal of abilities and do about the same until the final. Even when, a few hours later, SpongeBob learns a technique called «bubble bowling» and creates a rolling bubble, it doesn’t really change anything — you just don’t have to hit the button close up, but press it from afar. But the varied design of locations smooths out this drawback: you get to the beach, where you hit the bridges from below and change their location, then you fly from one roof to another, controlling Sandy, then you cling to the bungee hook and break the boxes.
The main innovation in Rehydrated was the multiplayer — alas, not a full-fledged cooperative, but a kind of horde mode, designed for two participants. Choose from seven characters (they differ only in appearance) and set off to clear more than two dozen islands from opponents.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom — Rehydrated perfectly cheers you up both with its unpretentious gameplay and great humor in the spirit of the famous animated series. The innovations are insignificant: the multiplayer is especially disappointing, on which more energy was spent than it should be. But the single player campaign for the most part evokes a satisfied smile — it is difficult to call an outdated game, and fans of three-dimensional platformers with a great emphasis on collecting will surely like it.