|Developer: Blitz Games||Publisher: THQ|
|Release Date: November 19, 2006||Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox|
SpongeBob SquarePants has become quite the phenomenon both in the cartoon and video game world. THQ has raked in millions with the license ever since Battle for Bikini Bottom in 2003. What has always surprised me is the quality of these games. Though clearly geared towards young people and far from the level of a Mario, Ratchet and Clank or Sly Cooper, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krust Krab is a competent and entertaining platformer. For a series that THQ could just as easily blow off and still make a killing, it’s nice to see effort put into it.
The gameplay is mostly of the platforming variety that you are used to by now in a SpongeBob video game. You will play as both SpongeBob and Patrick at different parts of the game. Each character has their own unique attacks, though they inflict the same damage, as well as a double jump and grapple. All of this is done using the Wiimote and nunchuk combination. You control your character with the analog stick, jump with A, do a basic attack with Z and a more powerful stun attack pushing the nunchuk down. Holding down B and moving the Wiimote cursor, you can control the direction of the camera angle. Everything works great on the Wii, but the nunchuk attack can be unresponsive.
Each level in SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is played out in a dream and has a theme to it. SpongeBob is a racer that needs to find car parts and Patrick is Starfishman. As SpongeBob and Patrick you will do basic platforming from one level to the next. Kill a few enemies, open a door with a slam attack, collect an item and move on. There are a few “puzzles”, but THQ for whatever reason literally solves them for you by showing arrows to where things should go, as to take away the whole point of the puzzle.
One of my biggest complaints in SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is that the levels are overly linear and the enemies lack any variety, whatsoever. When playing as SpongeBob, you will fight an awesome variety of enemy characters….two in all. If that isn’t laughable enough, when you play as Patrick, all of the enemies from SpongeBob’s levels are recycled. They may have a different appearance, but they employ the same combat moves.
To mix up this drying paint, THQ included SpongeBob racing levels. I don’t see a problem with a kart racing level in a platformer, its done all the time, but they went about it the wrong way. First of all, I don’t believe there’s a way to lose the race. I didn’t test this, but I’m convinced that it’s impossible as I’ve seen my 7 year old step-brother beat it slamming into everything on the track. Second, there’s no variety in race tracks. Finally, it isn’t even clear who you are racing against as they aren’t usually visible on the screen and nothing indicates what place you are. They show you which lap you are on and how much time you have before time expires (I assume this is the only way you can lose). Aside from racing, you will also get a chance to fly as SpongeBob using the Wiimote to simulate aircraft controls and rampage through Bikini Bottom as a 50 foot Plankton.
As far as graphics go, they look appropriate for the type of game that it is. The cell-shading is similar to that of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it doesn’t push the Wii’s hardware to its limits. That said, it looks like a cartoon world, SpongeBob and Patrick both are animated nicely and the levels are well thought out. In terms of sound, they use the voice-actors from the show, which is always a plus. Some parts can be humorous, but a lot of lines get repeated at times.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is not Super Mario Galaxy. This is a second tier game that most people probably overlooked on launch day in favor of Twilight Princess, Red Steel, Rayman and Trauma Center. That’s a shame too, because Creature from the Krusty Krab is really the only recommendable platformer on Wii right now. If you are a fan of SpongeBob or just platforming in general, I would suggest giving Creature from the Krusty Krab a rental.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||7|
|Written by Kyle||Review Guide|