SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is now available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Growing up I loved SpongeBob, it’s humour was fantastic, each episode booming with creativity and gags for kids, teens and adults alike. On the PlayStation 2 THQ had brought out several games and collectively people agreed that Battle for Bikini Bottom was the best. I booted the old PS2 up and launched it, the game while it still kept its humour and fun, hadn’t aged well at all. THQ Nordic announces SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, at first I won’t lie, of all the remakes I didn’t see a TV show tie-in game getting a reboot. I didn’t know what to think of it, it got closer to release and I still couldn’t make my mind up on it. Luckily enough we got a review code and honestly, I love this game.

SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated puts you in the shoes of SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy each with different abilities to traverse the multiple levels all brought in from the TV show, for example, Jelly Fish Fields, Merman and Barnacle Boys underground cave and much more. The story is that robots have invaded Bikini Bottom and you must put a stop to their attacks while also collecting Patricks Socks, Golden Spatulas and more items that help you progress through the game. The story is entertaining because of the cut-scenes between each moment and the many characters from the TV show you’ll get to meet and interact with. Most of the characters retain their original voice actors and act just like they do in the show and I admit I had a lot of laughs through-out. While the story isn’t the narrative quality of many blockbusters out there, it’s a lot of fun to follow and just actually get to be in Bikini Bottom and have a great time.

Each of the levels provides fun challenges with some mini-games that range from fairly easy to trial and error, for example, the part in Merman and Barnacle Boys cave where you have to guide a boulder into a tube to get a golden spatula, it was quite tough figuring it out but rewarding once you did. One challenge, unfortunately, didn’t impress me and it was using SpongeBobs underpants as a bungee, trying to successfully trash the tiki boxes in the Bikini Bottom Downtown level was an absolute nightmare as they’d keep moving out of your sight. The challenge level increases as you go but it doesn’t get as difficult as Crash Bandicoot 1 for example. Before I launched the game I’d heard the controls are still similar the PS2’s game, this worried me, I played the PS2 version and it felt clunky by today’s standards, luckily it wasn’t true, the controls feel smooth, precise and well-executed, controlling each of the characters and their abilities wasn’t a problem at all, it’s a great game to pick up whether you’re a child or an adult, there’s something in this game for everyone. If you’re a trophy or achievement hunter, this is a great little title with enough challenge to feel rewarding once you’ve 100% completed it.

SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated feels like a really good remake, it’s a game I never expected to get announced, I genuinely believed it was a slight risk but one that paid off. Can we just take a moment to say, damn this game looks good, the graphic fidelity is wonderful, it runs at a steady 60fps, looks great, every little detail in the environment, the characters and effects are perfect. This is one of those titles that belong in the masterpiece remake hall of fame graphics wise. Sadly the audio lets it down slightly, some of the music can get quite repetitive, never annoying but not overly creative or as good as the music in the show but good enough. The voice acting from the characters is great, just the same as the show but Mr Krabs is missing for some reason and sometimes when Sandy talks it’s like she’s shouting into one of those low-quality microphones so when it gets loud it pierces your ears.

Verdict

SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated was a game I’d never thought would get a remaster, let alone a remake but you know what? I’m glad it did. It was a breath of fresh air after playing a game with such dark tones like The Last Of Us 2 and I loved it. I think that there are some areas which can be difficult but nothing a quick guide can’t fix. As remakes go, this one is a good one that I will keep on playing.

8/10

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