Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is pure platform joy

Illustration for the article titled iSpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated / i Is Pure Platforming Joy

Screenshot: THQ Nordic

One of the most beloved licensed games of all time, Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom It is a wonderful jumble of all the good things about 3D platforms. It has multiple characters with different abilities, big boss battles, endless collectibles, entertaining mini-games and all kinds of secrets to discover. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated it has all of that too, only brighter and prettier. It makes me so happy.

Heavy times require playful games. While I appreciate the appeal of games that address major issues and challenge players’ moral notions, those are not the games I need right now. I need a platform game where I control a bright beacon of happy ignorance, set in a colorful world that is as far away from real life as possible. SpongeBob and Bikini Bottom are what I need now. I’ve been counting on Battle for rehydrated bikini bottom, a new version of the 2003 original that will be released tomorrow for PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, to cheer me on since it was announced. The job is done.

Rehydrated is the original Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom with a gorgeous graphic update and a remastered soundtrack. There is a new multiplayer horde mode for up to two players. It also features cut content from the original game, such as an evil Squidward robot and an additional phase in the battle of the giant boss SpongeBob.

This silly game never stops smiling. It starts with Plankton, the show … we’ll call him archvillain … unleashing a horde of robots against the unsuspecting fish of Bikini Bottom as part of his latest attempt to steal the secret formula from Krabby Patties. Unfortunately, the villain accidentally sets his robot-making machine to “Don’t obey,” leaving a major mess for SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy to clean up.

The trio of heroes travels from one place to another, completing tasks and collecting golden spatulas and shiny objects to unlock new areas. From the lush Jellyfish Fields desert to the secret superhero headquarters tucked under the Mermaid Man rest house, each place is lovingly rebuilt from the 2003 original with brand-new footage and many more details. It is as beautiful as the underwater world of cartoons has been, and that includes the cartoons themselves.

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Illustration for the article titled iSpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated / i Is Pure Platforming Joy

Screenshot: THQ Nordic (Kotaku)

Most areas allow players to swap between one of the two characters, depending on the skills required to overcome the obstacles in the level. Spongebob can turn into a ball, a bowl with bubbles, launch guided bubble missiles and jump on the wall. Patrick has the unique ability to pick up and drop stunned objects and enemies. My favorite character, Sandy, the squirrel, can decimate enemies with his lasso, as well as use it to float and jump from special Texas-shaped devices. They are the dream team of Bikini Bottom, for better or for worse.

In each corner there is a new challenge to overcome. There are precision platform sequences that require a lot of patience. Huge robot bosses must be shot down in multi-stage battles. There are puzzles that require a combination of critical thinking, precise timing, and dexterous jumping. There is an entire area dedicated to downhill skiing, which SpongeBob performs using his language because he is who he is.

Everything about this game makes me smile. The happy music, the colorful landscapes, the bounce, the mechanics of the underwear as an indicator of health. Even the silly, sometimes repetitive pranks, a hallmark of 90s era 3D platformers, warm my heart. I have yet to play the game’s new multiplayer competitive mode, but I suspect it will have a similar effect.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated It is an excellent remake of the cult classic. It evokes the same giddy feelings as the original, while looking better than any game based on a Nickelodeon cartoon.

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