SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
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|SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab|
North American Wii cover art
|Developer(s)||Blitz Games (PS2, GC, Wii)
WayForward Technologies (GBA, DS)
|Release date(s)||GC, GBA, & PS2
|Genre(s)||Platformer, Action-Adventure Game, Racing Game, Rail Shooter|
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is a video game for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Wii developed by Blitz Games and published by THQ. It stars SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star, and their enemy Sheldon J. Plankton as they journey to nine different worlds, supposedly, inside the dreams of the characters. The Wii version was a North American launch title. It is also the first SpongeBob game released in Japan (PlayStation 2 and Wii versions), but was released under the title: "SpongeBob" (スポンジ・ボブ Suponjibobu), to mark it as the first video game in the SpongeBob series to have a Japanese release.
Players have access to three playable characters during the game, SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Starfishman (Patrick Star in superhero form), and Sheldon J. Plankton, and must guide them through nine levels of play in a dreamworld. Four different types of gameplay have been incorporated into the game, known as flying, rampaging, racing, and platforming. During flying sections, the game sets obstacles, one in front of another, and the player must maneuver past them. In most cases, the game will tell the player which way to fly (up, down, left, and right). On the Wii, the player uses the controller like an actual plane control stick. The most common cases of this is when SpongeBob uses his plane to attack a giant-sized Plankton. In rampage levels, the player controls a giant sized Plankton and uses special powers and moves to destroy everything in their path. The player's laser power is indicated by a bar on the right side of the screen, which refills after use. The Wii version features controller movements that respectively activate moves. Racing gameplay is similar to most racing games; it is featured in both the air and the ground's gameplay, fuel must be collected in order to keep the player's vehicle running. The platforming gameplay is spread throughout the game, such as when Plankton must escape from a live Krabby Patty or when Patrick Starfishman saves Bikini Bottom from his evil form, Dreaded Patrick.
In a dream, SpongeBob's bed transforms into a hot rod, Bikini Bottom into a massive racetrack, and he into a Rat Fink version of himself. He drives around a track for a test run, but then Plankton then rams SpongeBob, causing him to drop his driver's license, which is carried away by the ocean currents. With the help of Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob retrieves his license and then challenges "Piston Patrick" to a race. After winning (possibly), Plankton rams him again and destroys his hot rod. SpongeBob then searches for new hot rod parts and defeats a horde of thugs in his way. He is later rammed by speed-king Gary. SpongeBob searches for turbo drives to outfit his engine so he can challenge Gary to a final race. SpongeBob is triumphant, but fails to notice a pit ahead of him and accidentally drives into it.
In another dream, Patrick is a superhero named "Starfishman" in a comic book-like world where everyone resembles him. Starfishman goes in pursuit of the villainous "Dreaded Patrick", who attempts to remake the town in his own image with the aid of his paper thinned thugs. Along the way, he is repeatedly given advice by a mysterious character who contacts him via phone booths. Patrick eventually challenges Dreaded Patrick at his secret lair and beats him in an elevator duel. However, Starfishman fails to see a surprise attack coming from the minions. He is tied to a rocket by his foe and launched into space, where he hits an asteroid, a piece of which falls to Earth and traps Dreaded Patrick.
In Plankton's dream, he grabs a crumb of a leftover Krabby Patty and zaps it with his Enlargatron Ray. However, the coordinates of the ray are inaccurate, causing the Krabby Patty to overgrow and mutate into a living patty, who then takes notice of Plankton. Plankton decides to fight back with size but the inaccurate ray only makes him the height of an average citizen, not enough to dwarf the patty. Plankton, carrying only his freeze ray, is pursued by the patty through various parts of Bikini Bottom, eventually leading back to the Chum Bucket. At the end, Plankton hides behind a coral formation and the patty passes by. However, he gloats about his victory and the patty notices him. The patty makes a leap and crushes Plankton.
Continuing off when SpongeBob drove over the pit, he falls through a long, narrow tunnel dodging obstacles. He reaches the bottom of the pit and is eaten by an Alaskan Bull Worm. Although disgusted, SpongeBob finds the inside of the worm to be intriguing. He encounters Old Man Jenkins, who is building an airplane to escape the bowls of the worm. SpongeBob decides to help and explores the area to find a village under attack by parasites. He rescues the Chief and many of his followers, and later finds spare parts for the airplane. SpongeBob and Jenkins' flight is delayed due to vibrations in the belly. SpongeBob investigates and learns that a giant can of chili is causing pain in the worm's belly. SpongeBob removes it and returns to Jenkins so they can take off. While flying through the throat, the worm closes its mouth and Spongebob wonders if he can make it through.
Beginning from the fate Starfishman suffered in the second level, he is alive in outer space, still attached to the rocket. Patrick now must control the rocket while getting untied. He flies through a black hole and finds a space station under bombardment by asteroids. After untying himself, Patrick controls the laser cannons and destroys the asteroids, obtaining lasers for his rocket. Patrick advances to a level where he must destroy pillars and energy crystals to open doors out of a space ship containing aliens. He then gets out and destroys a U.F.O. in the shape of a Krabby Patty. Patrick returns to Earth but does not know how to stop the ship and crashes into the sea.
Plankton, lucky to be alive, awakes to find the giant patty sleeping beside him. As he tries to sneak away, Karen's wake-up call awakens the patty. Plankton sets the right coordinates for his Enlargatron Ray and makes himself monster-sized. The patty runs away and Plankton gives chase, destroying Bikini Bottom in his wake. He finds the patty hiding in a skyscraper and destroys each floor to force the patty out. Meanwhile, at the end of the level, the Alaskan Bull Worm watches the carnage unfold until SpongeBob and Jenkins force their way through the worm's teeth. SpongeBob finds Plankton. The patty that was captured escapes Plankton's clutches and clings onto SpongeBob's plane. Enraged, Plankton pursues SpongeBob.
SpongeBob tries to avoid Plankton while coming up with a way to defeat him. He flies through the city and hides in the sewers to confuse Plankton. After a long pursuit through the city, SpongeBob engages Plankton on a radio tower. SpongeBob destroys the support bolts to make the tower unstable, causing Plankton to fall on his rear. As Plankton aches in pain, SpongeBob feels sorry for him and decides to give him a hand. That was a trap and Plankton captures SpongeBob.
Starfishman arrives and teams up with Mermaid Man to battle Giant Plankton and help SpongeBob. In the first round, he must avoid his subjects and the cars Plankton is throwing at him. Then he must avoid Plankton's atomic eye by throwing rocks at him, opening up TV dishes, and hiding behind them. After that, he must get recruits from the military by finding a way to turn army searchlights. Next, he needs to find a way to squish Plankton's hands by attacking his subjects, making Plankton shoot lasers at him to reveal buttons, and pushing all the buttons to stop both of his grips on the building. Finally, he needs to catch up with a shrink ray to shrink Plankton.
After Plankton is shrunk, he accompanies Patrick and SpongeBob into a dream bubble, where they meet a doctor with a Krabby Patty for a head. The doctor explains that the reason why they are having the dreams is because they all ate a Krabby Patty before they fell asleep, saying that the particular chemical composition of the patties affected their biorythms and caused a reaction that resulted in the dreams. SpongeBob then asks the doctor why he knows so much about krabby patties; the doctor strips his outfit off to reveal that he is that Krabby Patty. SpongeBob, Patrick, and Plankton chase after him and head into the final level where they race against one another for the Krabby Patty trophy in a bizarre, nightmare-like racetrack. The ending of the level depends on which character the player wins with:
- If SpongeBob wins, he celebrates his victory, and overlooks his dream bubble to find out that it was a dream. He pops out and brings the Krabby Patty to the Krusty Krab, chopping the patty into average-sized patties for the customers. One customer complains about relish in his patty and SpongeBob decides to remake it but then notices that he along with the customers have Gary's shell on their backs. SpongeBob then says "Meow" suggesting that he is turning into a snail.
- If Patrick wins, he suddenly ends up at the Krusty Krab where everyone is celebrating him. He attempts to eat the Krabby Patty in front of him, but it escapes and Patrick ends up ramming into the door, causing him to see multiple Garys.
- If Plankton wins, he then successfully takes over Bikini Bottom and destroys the Krusty Krab with his own Krabby Patty franchise. However, the talking patty from before warns him that, "what the patty gives, the patty can taketh away." Patties then began raining down and crushing Plankton's empire, one of which has a familiar set of snail-eyes that crushes the Chum Bucket.
In the ultimate ending, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Plankton wake up in one another's dream and it is revealed that this was all Gary's dream, who was the one who ate the Krabby Patty. After waking up, he goes around town and sees SpongeBob, Patrick, and Plankton, who are acting just like in the dream. He then returns home to rest. SpongeBob brings back a Krabby Patty for Gary, who refuses to eat it because it will give him nightmares. Gary then watches as SpongeBob has a "conversation" with the patty. As SpongeBob prepares to eat the patty, he is eaten by the Alaskan Bull Worm, causing Gary to faint into slumber.
Developer Blitz Games had a meeting with staff from THQ during the 2005 E3 trade show, where they were asked to oversee and develop the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise. THQ staff revealed that they had an "intimate" business relationship with Nintendo, and that Nintendo had expressed an interest in having a SpongeBob game published on their new console, the Wii, which at that point was still known by its development name Revolution. Blitz came up with several styles of play during development, some of which did not become part of the finished product. In particular, shooting sections using the Wiimote had been considered, but license holders Nickelodeon were uncomfortable with them due to SpongeBob SquarePants being a cartoon. Due to Blitz developing their own middleware with a focus on providing cross-platform compatibility, the main sections of the game such as driving and platforming are the same for each console version of the game. The mini game controls work differently on the Wii version of the game, the Nintendo console was the main focus of development. Extra development time was spent configuring the control methods for the Wiimote and the standard controllers used on the other consoles.
The game was announced prior to the 2006 E3 show, and was first shown to journalists at that event.
The game was nominated for an Annie Award for best animated video game in 2006. It also won the award for favorite video game at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards. The game received average reviews in addition to some more positive or negative ratings. Nintendo Power referred to the game as the "most ambitious and most successful SpongeBob game to date" in their December 2006 issue.
Several reviewers noted that the fictional world does not resemble Bikini Bottom or the cartoon itself, that the game does not "feel" like a SpongeBob SquarePants title.
Key points brought out in the above reviews include:
- The ease of navigating through each level.
- The play control is both "perfect" and "responsive".
And key flaws brought out in the reviews include:
- Bad graphics.
- A continuous racing and 2D levels.
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