THQ Nordic brings us back one of the most succesful titles of Mr. Squarepants with Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated.
This remaster not only promises to adapt the campaign for current platforms, but also includes a new multiplayer mode for you to enjoy with friends.
I had the chance to test it out before its release, so here is what I thought of the game:
From the beginning, Rehydrated feels like we were at home. There may be some variations in the timing of the animations for some characters, but this remaster does a great job in recreating the mechanics of the original game.
TEXAS! - Sandy flying through the buldings in Downtown Bikini Bottom
Clearly, this is elevated by the new graphics as it is expected from a remaster, after all 17 years have passed since the original launch of Battle for Bikini Bottom.
The story of the campaign is the same, I wont get into much detail for the people that haven't played the original game.
This is still a solid campaign for gamers of any age, with a plot that makes Bikini Bottom more interesting and with characters from all corners of the Spongebob series. All of this makes it an inmersive experience when playing.
Although is meant to be for all ages, the campaign doesn't offer that much for players that are looking for a deep and emotional story with consequences like other recent games such as The Last of Us Part II.
Graphics, lighting, and VFX
Being a remaster, this is the part that should receive more atenttion on this review.
Graphics are completely renovated and some objects have completely new designs. A great example would be the floating tikis, which now looks so much better with their navy blue theme.
Something I really want to highlight is the lightning because Purple Lamb Studios does a great job with it. A proof of that is found inside Squidward's house, where we can see the light coming through the two windows and shows up in a nice way.
LOOK AT THOSE BEAMS - A view inside Squidward's home
Details like this are the ones we should appreciate in games that doesn't focus on having the most realistic graphics ever.
Particles are nothing out of this world. This remaster gave the chance for implementing a more complex particle system when it comes to object destruction. For example, tikis could break up in a lot of pieces when they are destroyed, but the developers preferred not to take risks and stay close to the original for this.
The soundtrack of the original game was one of its best features as it had several unique tracks with great rythm and inline with the series style.
That is why this was a key point for Rehydrated and I'm glad that THQ went for a complete remaster of the soundtrack instead of reusing the old one. Tracks are the same, but they now sound sharper and more alive than before, so this is a positive point for the remaster.
Lack of variety and/or innovation?
Maybe this is an unfair question for the game since it is a remaster, but it is worth taking a look at this side. As I mentioned, the campaign story is basically the same. Those who played the original title can either be excited to play it again or not because they don't want to go through the same scenarios.
This will be up to each person... You can tell there are some minimal changes in several places, like new animations in the boss battle against Sandy's robot, but Purple Lamb and THQ decided to not take any major risk.
Instead, they brought more content throught a new multiplayer mode.
The extra content in Rehydrated comes in the form of a new co-op multiplayer mode, where you have to survive waves of robots with the help of a friend.
The gamemode is pretty easy to understand and can be something interesting to try, but at any moment feels like and addictive experience. The mode has more playable characters than the campaign, but still feels like its lacking variety on this aspect.
CHARACTERS - These are the characters we can use in this gamemode
This is due to the fact that character abilities are limited, they only have vertical and horizontal attacks. This is probably to avoid any crazy guy from leaving the islands flying with Sandy's whip, but in the end this has a negaative impact on the gamemode.
This mode is lineal, so that doesn't help the replayability factor.
Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated fulfill his primary objective which is to bring back a classic for the nostalgic and a new generation of gamers. This is done in a satisfacory way by having updated graphics, doing a great job when translating the game mechanics, and remastering that catchy soundtrack.
Its multiplayer mode may be an extra, but it doesn't add that much to the overall experience of the game and stays as a section of the game which probably most people won't try or only play it once.
RealGaming101 rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated comes out on June 23rd for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.