THQ Nordic has revealed 12 minutes of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated pre-alpha gameplay. The game remasters an early 2000s classic.
The original SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom came out in 2003 for the Gamecube, PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game took players through the world of Bikini Bottom to platform their way through multiple challenges. It used the mascot platformer concept, like Mario or Banjo Kazooie, and and applied a SpongeBob coating.
Next year, THQ Nordic will release a remaster of the platformer called SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottoms Rehydrated. The studio showed off 12 minutes of the new game in a video released for Gamescom and it looks breathtakingly gorgeous.
The environments have received more than a fresh coat of paint. The whole game has new animations, new textures, and updated voice acting. The world has more detail, including some very impressive grass, and generally feels more alive while still evoking the feel of the 2003 version.
While the level design seems mostly in keeping with the original, the whole thing has a new level of polish that should make it easy to pick up for both newcomers and fans of the original. In the game, players control SpongeBob, who can slap, spin, jump, and ground pound his way through Bikini Bottom.
The game features open-ended environments to traverse and plenty of things to collect, including Patrick's dirty socks. The gameplay video shows off the Jellyfish Fields location which has SpongeBob fighting against Jellyfish and robots. It all leads to a final battle with the enormous King Jellyfish. Expect a lot of classic SpongeBob humor along the way. Jellyfish Fields looks great, especially when compared with the previous version of the game.
The SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon first came on the air in 1999 and has remained culturally relevant for 20 years. The show still airs new episodes with no end in sight. In the era of game remasters, it makes sense to re-release games starring characters like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot because they don't have a life beyond games. They can only catch a second wind on nostalgia in the game space.
Few other licensed tie-in series could manage to hold such a deep cultural relevance that bridges the gap between nostalgia for older gamers and current appreciation for younger gamers. SpongeBob has a cultural reach that rivals The Simpsons. The humor in the new game holds up just as well as it did in 2003 and the whole vibe of the remaster really exemplifies the show's timeless appeal. Even as recently as last year a modder added Patrick to Dragon Ball FighterZ.
The remaster looks to be coming along well. Hopefully, THQ can make enough graphical and gameplay updates to avoid the mistakes of other recent mascot platforms.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated releases in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.