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Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis

Score: 87%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Blitz Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis is the latest in a long list of Spongebob games. Honestly, it's hard to pin it down to a single genre since it is made up of so many different styles of play. Graphically, I don't think that it is as good as the previous ones. The graphics are similar to Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab, but they're not quite as detailed. The game looks very much like it was supposed to be drawn by a child, but that does fit the Spongebob games well.

The background music isn't overly annoying, but it will get stuck in your head from time to time. The sound effects are quite fun. The ping pong ball gun makes a noise that sounds exactly like it would. Throughout the various levels, you'll play as Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabbs, and even Plankton. All of their voices sound exactly like the cartoon. If they're not done by the same people, it's a perfect imitation.


Gameplay:

Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis tells the story of Spongebob and the gang on a visit to the legendary city of Atlantis. You have 14 levels to get them to Atlantis and out safely. Each level has to be completed before you can go onto the next. You can, however, go back and play any previous level at any time. The game will autosave for you at the end of each level. There really is no way to save in the middle of a level. Most levels don't take too very long to complete though, so it's not that big of a problem. You can pause it at any point to take a break too. The save and load times are very quick. Oh, but don't bother trying to skip the cut scenes, because it won't work.

At the end of the, you're awarded a metal (if you do well enough). Bronze, Silver, or Gold are all awarded based on performance. If you don't get at least bronze, it will tell you how quickly you have to get to receive a bronze. For a bronze, you'll get one coin, a silver will get you two coins and a gold will get you three coins.

These coins are used to buy various items at the shop. There are things such as clothing changes, art work, and mini-games for you to unlock. Unfortunately, you can't browse through them, you just have to buy them in the order that they are presented. Some of these unlockables are variations of the levels, so buying them gives you even more games to play. The mini-games can be played by choosing Arcade from the Main Menu.


Difficulty:

Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis is honestly the easiest of the Spongebob games that I've played. You'll be able to beat the game in under 10 hours without any problems. Now that's not to say that you'll get a gold medal on each level that easily. I received bronze on most of the levels on the first pass.

Since there are a variety of ways that you have to play in Atlantis Squarepantis, you'll probably find some of them much easier than others. Personally, I liked the ones where you use the Wii-mote as a gun to point and shoot at things the best. I found the many levels where you had to press the right button at the right time as they scrolled across the screen got tedious quickly. You couldn't watch anything that was going on in the background at all either. On the levels where you have more than one character walking, for each one you lose, your target area gets bigger, so it gets easier to complete the level.

The puzzle levels can be completed much quicker and easier the second time you run through them because you know exactly where to go. Just remember, you only have to get one of the two characters to the door to complete the level, so don't waste time trying to get them both there.


Game Mechanics:

As I've mentioned, there are several different types of levels in Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis for you to play. First there's the tank driving. On the tank/bus driving levels, you hold the Wii-mote sideways. You'll use the D-pad to steer around the screen and the (2) button to go forward. The (1) button is used to fire the ice cream cannon in the tank or to hop in the bus. Destroy anything you can because many objects drop power-ups such as a time stopper and a rapid fire bucket. Your health will increase as you drive around, so if you're damaged, just run away and avoid their fire. If you do take too much damage, it'll give you the option to shake the Wii-mote and regain your health. Just remember you can only do that a few times, so try to stay healthy.

Then you've got the platform levels. When you play those, you also hold the Wii-mote sideways. You use the D-pad to move around, and the (A) button to switch between the characters. The (1) button performs the character's special action and the (2) button cancels that action.

There are also the levels where you use the Wii-mote as a gun to shoot different objects. In these levels, you point the Wii-mote to aim, use the (A) button to take a photo in the camera levels, the (B) button to throw patties in the camera levels or to fire the ping pongs or to grab treasure, the (1) button to reload, and the down on the D-pad to duck on the level that ducking is available.

On the whole, Atlantis Squarepantis is a shorter game than I expected, but what is there is fun. Since there are so many different kinds of levels, you're guaranteed to find at least one that you'll enjoy. It's easy enough that you won't get frustrated trying to pass anything, but getting gold will provide a decent challenge. If you're not sure about buying, it is definitely worth renting at the very least.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Microsoft Xbox 360 Cars: Mater-National Championship Nintendo DS The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

 
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