Version Played: Wii Current CEX Price: £2.50 I was – technically – way too old for Spongebob when it first came out; however, I must admit that even the title […]
Version Played: Wii
Current CEX Price: £2.50
I was – technically – way too old for Spongebob when it first came out; however, I must admit that even the title was amusing to me and, to be honest, I’ve never let my age get in the way of me enjoying anything (the same thing could be said for Pokémon, which I discovered in my 20s!).
When I did first see the cartoon, it was hard not to be charmed by the adventures of the optimistic, forever cheerful sponge and his not-very-smart starfish friend, as well as the excellent supporting cast and recurring jokes, visual and verbal, in the show.
There have been a ton of Spongebob games in the 20 years since the cartoon first surfaced; many veer close in tone to the surreal but family friendly humour of the show, but Creature from the Krusty Krab is a little darker. Here, we’re in the dreams of three of the series’ characters – Spongebob himself, starfish buddy Patrick and recurrent antagonist Plankton. The levels are varied in nature and parody B-Movie genres; hot rod racing capers and monster movies, for example.
Character design is exaggerated and, in some cases, nightmarishly grotesque – the earliest levels featuring character design that wouldn’t look out of place in a Robert Crumb comic strip, for example.
Having not played the other versions, I can’t compare them to the Wii port – but what I can tell you is that this game has probably the most frustratingly unresponsive motion controls I’ve ever experienced in a Wii title. I’ve played through a lot of shoddy ports with half-hearted motion controls tacked on, but there are sections here that almost had me flinging the remote into the ocean, where presumably it’d live in a pineapple under the sea.
For example, the platform sections sandwiched between the racing levels at the start of the game require you to wind the remote in a circular motion to lift doors and progress. The motion is shown on screen in order for you to replicate it, but it simply refuses to work, no matter what method you use to rotate the controller: do you spin the controller around? Move it in a circle? Fast? Slow? Nothing works consistently! It’s pure frustration and seems to work completely randomly, when the game feels like it.
Given that these doors are dotted throughout the earliest platform levels, it’s an almost instant no to the question of whether or not this is worth a purchase – and I haven’t even mentioned the floaty feel of the racing levels you’ll first play through. There are some fun parodies of classic B-Movies here with a number of different playstyles, but the unresponsive motion controls actively strip the game of any fun it may have had in the first place.
At a price that’s more expensive than many other, far better Wii games – and despite only being a few quid – I can’t say this is a game I’d recommend, even to ardent fans of Spongebob. There are seven(!) Spongebob games available for Wii – surely there’s a better choice for Spongebob fans than this disastrous port? Perhaps one day I’ll get around to looking at those too. For now, however, I’d urge you to stay away from this one.
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