SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
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|SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom|
The North American Cover Art of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom for the Xbox
|Developer(s)||Heavy Iron Studios (PS2, Xbox and GCN)
AWE Games (PC)
Vicarious Visions (GBA)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 2003 video game based on the animated series of the same name, developed by Heavy Iron Studios, AWE Games and Vicarious Visions and published by THQ. The game was released for the PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance (GBA), Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube consoles as well as for Microsoft Windows. The game features an original storyline, in which the player attempts to defend Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots created by Plankton with a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000, playing as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy. The game was released on October 31, 2003 in North America and in Europe on November 28, 2003.
Players control SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy, except in the Game Boy Advance (GBA) and PC version, where in the GBA version, players controls SpongeBob only and in the PC version, the player can play as SpongeBob in various parts of Bikini Bottom. Players also battle robot bosses such as Sandy, Plankton, Squidward, Patrick, and SpongeBob. Players can also switch between characters at bus stops throughout the game. Core gameplay involves collecting items, such as Golden Spatulas, Shiny Objects, and Lost Socks, and defeating the robots which have attacked various areas in Bikini Bottom, whilst crossing platforms and avoiding environmental hazards like spikes and flames. A number of mini-games are also accessible throughout the game, like Whack-A-Tiki, The Rolling Ball, Ske-Ball, The Funnel Machines, or Cruise Bubble Challenge.
The core gameplay resembles other 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, requiring players to collect three main types of items. Shiny objects are the game's currency, and can be used to pay tolls within game areas or to buy golden spatulas from Mr. Krabs. Golden spatulas are used to grant access to new areas, they are hidden throughout the game and can also be earned by completing tasks set by Squidward and several other characters from the cartoon. Patrick's socks are spread throughout the game. Patrick will reward SpongeBob with a golden spatula in exchange for 10 of his socks. SpongeBob can also blow bubbles to advance further in the game, and can learn new bubble moves from Bubble Buddy.
Props are also included in the game. Trampolines help the player bounce to further ledges or platforms, Buttons activate certain things throughout the game, Pressure Pads are like buttons, but they are big metal squares with feet. There are also character specific abilities, such as Sandy being able to swing from Texas hooks, SpongeBob being able to dive downward on a bungee hook, and Patrick's ability to pick up and throw a watermelon, freeze fruit, or fire fruit at any object, albeit Fire fruits are not that common in the game, they debuted a cameo when the big balls shot out of the volcanoes in Jellyfish Caves. Though some areas can be navigated by any character, several sections can only be completed with a specific character, due to each one having unique abilities. SpongeBob can create a bubble helmet for head-butting enemies. Patrick can throw objects at buttons, robots, and freeze liquids. Sandy can glide over large gaps with her lasso. The Windows version features a series of mini-games and greatly differs from the console versions. Gameplay for the GBA version is much different as well, as it is simply a 2D game.
Home console versions
The game revolves around the theme of robots invading Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob's hometown. Plankton, the evil genius owner of the Chum Bucket, has built a new machine called the Duplicatotron 3000 to produce an army of robots to use to take over the world. After creating them, he realizes that the switch on the Duplicatotron has accidentally been set to "Don't Obey" and the robots quickly kick him out of the Chum Bucket before taking it over.
Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick are playing with toy robots. SpongeBob is bored with the toys, and wishes he could play with real robots. Patrick uses his "magic wishing shell", believing it will make their wish come true the following morning. SpongeBob wakes to find that his house has been trashed by real robots. He receives a fax from Mr. Krabs, stating that he would give SpongeBob a Golden Spatula for every certain amount of Shiny Objects he collects for him. Shiny Objects must be collected to open or activate various tolls throughout the game. Outside, SpongeBob finds a disappointed Plankton, who lies and claims that the robots appeared suddenly and kicked him out. Fooled by the diminutive villain, SpongeBob promises to help Plankton back into the Chum Bucket by embarking on a perilous quest to find golden spatulas and get rid of the robots.
SpongeBob travels to Jellyfish Fields, where he finds that Squidward has been stung by jellyfish. SpongeBob defeats King Jellyfish in a battle and obtains some of his jelly for Squidward's stings. SpongeBob also helps Mrs. Puff by locating stolen steering wheels, stolen paintings, and missing students. King Neptune calls SpongeBob and Patrick to the Poseidome to defeat Robot Sandy. He then goes to the Mermalair, where he fights Prawn, one of Mermaid Man's archenemies. Later, SpongeBob and Sandy save Squidward from Robot Patrick.
SpongeBob then falls asleep, allowing him to enter his friends' dream worlds to search for more golden spatulas. After SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, and Squidward gain access to the Chum Bucket, they discover Robot SpongeBob and Robot Plankton, and learn that Plankton was responsible for making the robots. After defeating the giant robots, SpongeBob hopes that Plankton learned his "lesson". The Duplicatotron produces several more Robot Planktons, which begin arguing among themselves. The game ends after SpongeBob says that their work is not done, as there are still many robots running amok in the city.
The game then cuts to The Spongeball Arena, where the player rolls around in ball form in a large arena, while the credits roll on the screen. If the player collects all 100 golden spatulas, the game ends with a special surprise cutscene of all the game's characters singing the theme song.
Game Boy Advance and PC versions
In the Game Boy Advance version, Mr. Krabs thinks the robot invasion is putting him out of business, so his assignment for SpongeBob is to fight the robots to get into the Chum Bucket to shut down Plankton's Duplicatron with the help of Mystery the Seahorse.
At the end of the PC version, SpongeBob and Patrick discover that Plankton was the one behind the robot invasion. Plankton admits that it was his fault and that the robots are not listening to him and the only way to control the robots is to set the switch to "obey" mode. Instead, Patrick fools around with the machine, accidentally pulling its obey switch off, which turns off the machine and deprograms the robots. After SpongeBob and Patrick leave, Plankton tries to tell them that he will be back with another plan.
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Battle for Bikini Bottom was generally well received by critics. The game holds a 4.5 out of 5 from the Official PlayStation Magazine. IGN rates the game a 7.3 out of 10, praising the sound, graphical style, and gameplay, saying, “While it's generic collect, jump, and kill mechanics, the variety and general SpongeBob zaniness keep things fresh.” The game has won numerous awards, including favorite video game at the 2004 Kids' Choice Awards, and entered the Player's Choice, Platinum Hits, and Greatest Hits for GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 respectively.
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