My GameCube Library: Spongebob, Battle for Bikini Bottom

Spongebob BFBB
image: ign.com

In this series I will go over all the games I remember playing as a kid on my Gamecube. Some were good, but most were bad, but all of them have a special place in my heart.

I was a kid at the height of Spongebob’s popularity, and with that came all sorts of products like clothes and movies, and became so stuck in our minds that we would often quote lines from the TV show on a regular basis. It was on so frequently at my household that my parents were relieved when my brother and I stopped watching it. We were so invested in the series that one of the first games we owned for the GameCube was Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom.

This is my favorite GameCube game for a few reasons, and one of those reasons is simple nostalgia. My brother and I cranked many hours into this game and it is very easy to see why. We were obsessed with the TV show and the game plays out like an extra long episode, with a lot of characters making appearances and many jokes and gags to be had. The original voice actors were all there and they definitely didn’t phone it in, as all the energy from the show is present and very fun to listen to. The biggest presentation error that the game has is the 3D aspect. This isn’t the biggest issue as it looks good for the time it was released but seeing 2D characters as 3D models is strange and the graphics aren’t the most appealing to look at today.

The game’s premise is fairly simple as it is a traditional collect-a-thon, with Spongebob collecting golden spatulas to advance to other levels of the game to eventually take down evil robots Plankton made. Playable characters are limited to three: Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy. This is a great 3D platform for young children to play as it is very easy to collect golden spatulas and enemies aren’t too challenging to defeat. I really enjoy the levels themselves as they are vast and fun to play through without feeling bloated or unnecessary. All the areas are themed very nicely and provide a good  difficulty incline, where the further you go the harder it gets. When I played it, I never struggled to defeat bosses or destroy enemies, the only issue I had was difficulty timing jumps and landing them accurately.

There are not many gripes to be had with the game as the only real challenge for me was the camera angles, which are not as free moving and changeable as one would want when playing a 3D platform. The majority of the game consists of the camera being where it wants to be with not a whole lot of change, making the option of regressing more of a pain than it should be. Another thing to point out that is worth noting is the repetitive sound effects for character actions. Every level requires a considerable amount of jumping and the sound effects are not the most appealing to listen to. It gets to a point where your brain drowns out the noises, but they definitely are a nuisance to deal with when starting the game.

This game really paved the way for me to like 3D platform and video games in general considering how easy the game is to play. Everything oozes charm and the feel of the game is very inviting and silly, with nothing too scary for kids.

Next week we take to the skies in our Nimbus 2000.

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