SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated


Caden Massey

Ravioli ravioli, give me the formuoli! The formuoli of course being a remastered version of a cult classic licensed video game about SpongeBob SquarePants saving the Bikini Bottom from an evil robot army that was initially released in 2003! The original version of this game is one of my all-time favorite games for a multitude of reasons. I love the game so much that I learned speed running strategies. When I heard one of my favorite games of all time was getting remade or the next-gen consoles, I was jumping for joy. Finally, I could relive my childhood and say, “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready!” without looking like a freak.

Here is the thing. The graphics and art style look good, but also terrible at the same time. On launch day I bought the game and played before any patches came out and the very first cutscene has a terrible visual glitch that made Patrick look very bizarre and in Jellyfish Fields the trees looked crazy. The game itself pops out and everything about the sounds and art is appealing to me, but I think I smell a smelly smell that smells smelly. The game had a rushed development, and it reeks of that. Fortunately, the game received a patch to fix most of these glitches, but you can still find them. The fog effects are very thick and noticeable as well. It helps keep the game running smoothly, but it makes the game seem very restricted. It definitely needed touching up. I think that one of the biggest strengths though are the new expressions and body language the game uses for the main characters. Everyone seems like a livelier member of the cast, and you can see the hidden emotions of characters like Plankton, who actually caused the whole disaster.

My biggest issue with the game is one that hits very close to home for me. My favorite thing about the original Battle for Bikini Bottom was how it felt. It felt like I was developing skills playing, and everything was so tight that it felt like anything I wanted to do was possible if I kept practicing. This game does not feel like that. I think the controls are extremely technical and almost perfect. But this rehydrated version of the game just feels wrong. It feels simpler, or maybe looser? Everything feels nothing like what it used to feel like and it feels like they remade the game in order to make it easier. I am upset that it is like that, but it does raise an important point. Remakes should be treated the same way as the original. It is its own unique experience that should be appreciated separately. That pains me greatly, but I it is unfair to look at both games under the same lense. Gamers just have to understand that everything they love is going to die someday, and games are no exception. The game is too easy? Maybe I’m just too good.

I had an overall good time with the game after I took a step  back and started appreciating it for what it was instead of what it wasn’t, and I would even venture to say I had a little fun along the way. I did genuinely find myself enjoying the playthrough at a lot of spots, it just took some time to warm up to the idea.

If you want to try the game for yourself, you can find it available on Steam, Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. The prices have dropped since release for some of the reasons I mentioned above, so you can probably find the game for anywhere between 15 and 30 bucks. I recommend giving the game a shot for yourself, but I would advise you not to buy the Switch version, as it is jus not powerful enough to run the game at its fullest potential. I will give SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated by rating of 7 Krabby Patties out of 10.