SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated Has Me Thirsty for More
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is shaping up to be a fun remake despite some noticeable flaws.
If you told me 10 years ago that in 2020 there would be a remake of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom I wouldn’t have believed you, but it exists. Not only does it exist, but it is also very good. However, I wouldn’t call it a remake, but I also wouldn’t call it a remaster. It is in this weird middle ground where it is kind of a bit of both.
The game was rebuilt from the ground up in Unreal Engine 4. With the updated visuals, it gives Rehydrated a more modern look but is also reminiscent of the original. The bright colors of Jellyfish Fields are vivid and beautiful. All the dialogue used is from the original in 2003 and remastered for Rehydrated, which is the one big factor that I think hurts the game. With remaking all the cutscenes and gameplay but not the voiceover, it is immediately noticeable where lines don’t fully translate well when characters are speaking or even yelling when running away from angry jellyfish.
A relative criticism I hear about modern games from time to time is “it plays like an *insert older console name* game.” SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated definitely fits under that category. It feels like a PlayStation 2 era title just like the original, but to me, that doesn’t really matter in my opinion. Is it a fun game? Does it accomplish what it tries to do well? Those are the questions I look for in a game, and I think SpongeBob does both of those things exceedingly well. It’s a remake based on a Nickelodeon IP. I’m not expecting it to break barriers; I’m expecting to have a fun time like I did years ago.
Traveling through Jellyfish Fields, catching jellyfish and bashing robots is a simplistic joy. As a 3D platformer, it is still one of my favorites across the genre not only because of the design, but because of how true it is to the SpongeBob brand. Fighting King Jellyfish from the show is a great example of that. It is a nostalgia trip in more ways than one and also a legitimate challenge to face.
Anyone that knows me can tell you that I’m a major SpongeBob fan and at the reasonable age of 26, Rehydrated is just the complete package for a SpongeBob game. What I played is just a small taste of the big world of Bikini Bottom to explore while interacting with characters that you likely grew up with during your childhood. But it’s also a fun charismatic platformer that anyone can enjoy whether you are a fan of SpongeBob or not. For those looking forward to its release, just be aware of what you’re getting into and keep your expectations in check.
From what I’ve played, Rehydrated is a solid remake of a great platformer. With THQ Nordic bringing a pleasant yet unexpected title back in a new light, I’m hoping that with its potential success we can see a sequel or even revivals of other Nickelodeon titles in the future (please, at least give us Rocket Power: Beach Bandits).
SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, and is set to release sometime in 2020.