Here we have a gem of a 3D platformer from back when the genre was booming so let's head undersea and check it out.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated is a remake of the 2003 3D platformer. Although I haven't played the original, I must say that I'm impressed by this iteration of it. Considering I still own and play a ton of similar games from around the time this originally came out, that's saying a lot. At its core, it's what you would expect from a 3D collect-a-thon platformer as you run and jump around while amassing a wealth of pick-ups and aiming to discover Golden Spatulas which are the main collectible. As you progress, you'll come across all sorts of missions and the campaign is jam-packed with variety and fun challenges so unlocking and exploring new stages is always a treat. Overall, it may not be revolutionary but Battle for Bikini Bottom is certainly a fantastic classic 3D platformer.
Battle for Bikini Bottom's game world consists of a variety of elaborate and large environments that are great fun to explore as you take on all kinds of enemies, unlock shortcuts, and uncover some secrets along the way. From spending earned pick-ups to unlock additional paths to obtaining a hard-to-reach Golden Spatula at the end of a grueling platforming section; you're bound to have a ton of fun in the virtual playgrounds within its delightful campaign. Speaking of which, I absolutely loved how colourful, bright, and cheerful everything is which matches the animated series perfectly. Plus, the voice acting is authentic and the music adds a layer of fun to every journey.
As you play through SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated's stages, you'll occasionally be able to switch between 3 playable characters in the form of SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy and each character has their own set of abilities which adds even more variety to the equation. SpongeBob can do things like slam into the ground and collect a power-up that turns him into a ball while Patrick can pick up and throw watermelons. However, my favourite character to play as is Sandy because she has a very handy lasso that can deal with faraway enemies as well as be used to swing from suspended hooks. She can also hover after she jumps which reminded me of Spyro the Dragon. Mastering these play styles is a lot of fun, especially whenever you challenge one of the kooky bosses.
Although I was very impressed throughout my time playing SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated, it definitely has its shortcomings with the primary one being its severe lack of challenge. This is good news if you're looking to give it to a child to play but a lot of folks who grew up watching SpongeBob are adults now so I was hoping that it would be more difficult. A similar issue is that you're constantly rewarded with item pick-ups which act as currency so you'll always have a surplus which makes unlocking things feel much less fruitful than if you had to actually try and earn the collectibles. Finally, I found the combat to be rather floaty and disconnected. In other words, I didn't really feel like I was hitting the robot enemies and the same could be said whenever they hit me.
Whether you played SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom back in the day or not, there's no denying that this Rehydrated version is something special. Overall, it's a classic 3D platformer that feels fresh and fun in today's gaming scene.
- + Solid 3D platforming with a variety of characters and skills to play with
- + Bright and cheerful game world
- + Large environments encourage exploration
- - Overall lack of challenge
- - Collectibles generally don't mean much
- - Combat feels somewhat disconnected