The PlayStation 2 era had many great games. Lots are remembered and cherished today such as Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X, Sly Cooper, and many others. But what about those hidden gems on the system? Granted, this game was multiplatform, I played it on the PlayStation 2 in my childhood, so that’s the version I’ll be covering.
Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom debuted on the PS2 on October 31st, 2003. This was the squishy sponge’s first time appearing on the PS2, and boy is it a great game! Battle for Bikini Bottom was developed by Heavy Iron Studios, (AWE Games for PC) Heavy Iron Studios have also developed games such as Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights and Disney Infinity.
The objective in Battle for Bikini Bottom is to stop evil genius Plankton’s robots from invading Bikini Bottom. However, even Plankton himself is overtaken by his own robots, as when he created them he had the switch on the machine set to “Disobey.” Spongebob then travels throughout different areas of Bikini Bottom, finding golden spatulas (similar to Banjo Kazooie’s jiggies) reuniting with his friends, battling robots, bringing down giant evil robot versions of his friends, and ultimately saving the day.
How does it hold up today?
Now let’s talk a bit about how Battle for Bikini Bottom holds up today. At the time of writing this, it’s currently almost 12 years old, so I’ll cut it some slack. The pause menu is actually pretty decent. It lets you warp to different areas, tells you what objectives you have, and looks pleasing to the eye. The options menu is okay, it’s not the greatest and it’s not the worst. You can change the sound between stereo and mono, turn vibration on and off, change the music volume, and change the sound effects volume. The game does have autosave, and you can also manually save whenever you want on the pause menu.
The controls are very nice and well done. Every character feels easy to move around, not slippery, and the jump is a great height. Every character has unique moves, and the game definitely benefits from that. Patrick can pick up and throw things, Sandy can use a rope as a grapple and deal with robots at a longer range, and Spongebob can form into a ball and roll around, just to name a few things. It feels very modern to play.
One major complaint I have about the game is the voice acting. Many of the voice actors from the show did not appear in Battle for Bikini Bottom. It may not sound like a big deal, but growing up with those characters and hearing their voices all these years really locks it that way in your mind. I’m not too sure why they didn’t use all of the voice actors, but I suppose Spongebob was a fairly new show at the time.
At the end of the day, I still like and enjoy this game though. It’s not going to make my best games of all-time list, but it certainly isn’t bad. It’s good for if you have a few bucks and are looking for some small laughs and some easy platforming and hack-slash gameplay. Overall it’s an enjoyable experience and you should try it out.