SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
Lights, Camera, Pants!
THQ Studio Australia (PS2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube)|
AWE Games (PC)
WayForward Technologies (Nintendo DS Game Boy Advance)
SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! is a 2005 party video game based on the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants. It was released in October 2005 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and the PC. It was released for the Nintendo DS in Korea in 2007, but its North American release was cancelled. It is the first SpongeBob SquarePants title to feature multiplayer mini-games, similar to the Mario Party video game series. It is also the last SpongeBob game for the Xbox. This marks the only time that the Dirty Bubble is voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly in a video game before his death in 2007. This is the first video game where Mermaid Man is voiced by Joe Alaskey, who would voice him again in SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab.
Home console versions
In the home console versions of the game, the city of Bikini Bottom is producing an anniversary show of The New Adventures of Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy in which the titular SpongeBob wishes to play as the starring role. SpongeBob must compete with the other characters in the series – including Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs, and Sheldon J. Plankton – in order to impress the talent scouts and land the lead role of the villain.
The game includes 30 unique minigames (referred to as "auditions") that have different play style and objectives, though the common goal is to get the highest points. Each minigame is based off an area or location in Bikini Bottom. Every location has three minigames with it. There are a total of 8 locations for a total of 24 minigames that are played through story mode. The other six are optional unlockables. Examples of the minigames include a driving test, whose goal is to finish the first through three driving courses; a jailbreak, whose goal is to free as many prison inmates as possible without getting caught; and a rhythm minigame, whose goal is to match the short and long musical notes that travel toward a marker. There are two types of minigames: the free-for-all type, where the player competes against the three other characters, and the 2 vs. 2 type, where the player teams up with the first computer-controlled character that the player chooses (or the second player) against the other two computer-controlled characters.
The game features six playable characters: SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward Tentacles, Sandy Cheeks, Plankton, Patrick Star, and Mr. Krabs. Before the player can play a minigame, a character must be chosen, as well as three (or two in 2-player mode) CPU characters. All characters are available from the start and have equal abilities; they have no advantage over each other. However, the player can adjust the difficulty to control the character in three different options (Easy, Med, Hard) as well as setting the computer characters' artificial intelligence in three options (Silly, Norm, Smart).
In Story Mode, the player are required to obtain a certain amount of popularity points to move through the 8 locations in the game. If there are not enough points, the player will have to replay the minigames until they can pass the mark. Additionally, each location also ranks the number of points all four characters obtain; having the highest means that that particular character becomes the main star of the location's film segment. If two characters are tied, the winner is decided by rock-paper-scissors. A different and unique minigame is played if three players tie, and in the very rare case that all four obtain the same points, the rock-paper-scissors is played thrice. Once all 8 locations are passed, the movie clips are combined to form a full-length cinematic. There are three phases of the mode: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The movies produced are the same; the difference lies in the number of points required to pass a location. Each phase also has their own action figures and artworks unlocked by fulfilling a certain objective and attaining a certain score, respectively, in a specific minigame. The game will warn the player when they are about to proceed to the next phase since they cannot go back to an earlier phase; once the player choose to enter a new phase, all figures and artworks from earlier phases not yet collected will be lost.
The game also includes Tournament mode, in which four players can compete in a tournament of up to five auditions. Also included is Single Audition, in which four players can compete in a single audition/minigame. Any minigame that has been unlocked can be played in either mode. The three phases also apply to Tournament and Single Audition, giving the player a chance to obtain figures and artwork that were missed in Story Mode.
The PC version of the game is a point-and-click adventure, with the main objective being to find actors for the TV show.
Game Boy Advance version
In the Game Boy Advance version, Gil Hammerstein and his crew are going to film a special episode of The New Adventures of Mermaidman & Barnacleboy, but the two heroes are missing, so SpongeBob and his friends volunteer to find them. They are also offered roles for the special episode. The Game Boy Advance version is split into four worlds – Mermalair, S.S. Rest Home, Goo Lagoon, and Sound Stage. Each world contains four levels, consisting of platforming levels, driving levels, and mini-games. By completing levels, some extra mini-games can be unlocked and in one level per world, the character who reaches the end of the level earns a role. After completing the four worlds, the Final Game is unlocked, allowing the player to play the events of the TV show through mini-games.
The main collectibles in the game are Golden Stars, which are used as in-game currency. The Golden Stars can be used to buy extra lives or mini-games. The Game Boy Advance version features four playable characters: SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, and Squidward Tentacles. While a character must be chosen before playing a level, the player can change characters any time in the game. Each character has their own set of abilities.
IGN gave the home console version a generally good review. They gave it 8.5 points on its presentation, saying, "Makes excellent use of the license. Great, humorous cinemas and a fun storyline. A decent selection of mini-games. Slick menus. Some minor load times." They gave 7+ points to the graphics of the game, the sound, and the gameplay. Criticism from IGN was focused on the dialogue being repetitive and the game lacking depth. IGN gave it a 7 overall rating.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! Release Information". GameFAQs. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Castro, Juan (May 25, 2005). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, PANTS!!". IGN. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! Company Line" (Press release). THQ. June 10, 2005. Retrieved January 12, 2011.