GC

North America

SpongeBob Squarepants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman

by Ryan Jones - April 23, 2003, 8:12 pm PDT

6.5

Search for booty... in Bikini Bottom!

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If your answer was Billy, then you are way off. SpongeBob SquarePants stars in this GameCube adventure, Revenge of the Flying Dutchman. SpongeBob, your favorite yellow sponge, is here in a scary tale that involves everyone from Bikini Bottom: Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabbs, Gary and Plankton. SpongeBob releases the ghostly pirate, the Flying Dutchman, who puts a curse on SpongeBob. SpongeBob then has to travel all over Bikini Bottom to find the pirate’s lost treasure or else SpongeBob and all of his friends will become pirates on the Dutchman’s ghostly crew. (Honestly, who would want to stop their friends from becoming pirates?)

The game starts you off at SpongeBob’s pineapple home, after a well-synced cut-scene with voiceovers by the actors from the TV show. It is recommended to read the manual before playing to identify all of SpongeBob’s moves, as they are not explained during gameplay. The entirety of SpongeBob’s house is rendered in 3D. This game renders the cartoon accurately, and every detail from the show can be seen. Unfortunately in open areas, and even in some not so open areas, the framerate slows down to a crawl to render the scene. This can be incredibly obnoxious at times. I have no understanding why this should happen since most of the scenery is simple with a low polygon count. The camera has little control, and acts as an actual cameraman following SpongeBob. Hence, you cannot see through objects, which makes jumping across platforms near walls difficult. Depth perception is hard to judge in this platforming game. There is little to let you know if you’ve made it to a platform, and even in some two-dimensional levels, it is difficult to jump to a pipe in the foreground or background.

The game presents you with levels and eight simple challenges you have to complete. The goals can be as easy as catching ten jellyfish or as difficult as delivering Krabby Patties all over downtown Bikini Bottom. The tasks are creative and mimic the antics from the show. In addition to these tasks, you can collect the letters in SpongeBob’s name for additional game surprises. The game includes costumes for SpongeBob to change into that give him specific powers. He has a Jellyfish Catching outfit to collect jellyfish, a Mermaid Man costume which allows him to throw projectiles at enemies, and many other humorous costumes.

The sound is fun at first and fits well with the SpongeBob levels. As the game progresses, the sounds do not change unless you change costumes, and even then, the same one-minute loop is played over and over until you change SpongeBob’s costume. You will soon pick favorite costumes, solely for the music. The voice actors are from the TV show so there are no complaints to be had there.

Overall, the game is amusing and well worth it if you love SpongeBob SquarePants and enjoy a run-around-collecting-items type of game. This is a typical platformer aimed at the same demographic as the show. The game is great for children, hence the infinite lives given, and the objectives are always identified on the pause menu. SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman is a nice transition from the cartoon to the 3D world.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6.5 7 6.5 5.5 6 6.5
Graphics
6.5

While the models and the environments are well done, there is no apparent reason for the game to take such a steep drop in framerate. SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman has simple animation, and the poor camera can make exploring Bikini Bottom quite frustrating.

Sound
7

These catchy tunes give the game a good feel and merge well with the environments, but when the same loop of sound plays repeatedly or restarts every time SpongeBob changes areas in a given level, it becomes repetitive and obnoxious. You will find yourself choosing certain costumes just to listen to the music associated with them.

Control
6.5

As stated before, you will want to read the manual to figure out all of SpongeBob’s moves, which can help you reach normally inaccessible areas of levels. Judging depth when trying to jump from platform to platform is difficult and you will find yourself climbing to the top of structures repeatedly until you can judge it correctly. Practice makes perfect!

Gameplay
5.5

This single player game has its merits, but aside from running around Bikini Bottom, collecting items and completing goals, there is nothing to write home about. It is fun to interact with characters from the TV show, but there could be more things to do in this game and more of the environment to interact with. The camera has bad control. It never seems to be in the position you want it to be in. It behaves as if a person is carrying a camera following SpongeBob and cannot go through walls to get the proper vantage point.

Lastability
6

Once you’ve played the game through, unless you are a big fan of SpongeBob SquarePants, you will probably just put this one on the shelf. The game gives you infinite lives, so losing comes down to failing level objectives and having to try them again. The antics in the level challenges reflect aspects of the show that will make you want to watch your favorite SpongeBob SquarePants episodes. Whether watching the show makes you want to play the game again is up in the air.

Final
6.5

This game has everything you could want if you are a huge SpongeBob fan, but the gameplay and graphics are far from perfect. The music is good, but can get annoying with time. The game stems directly from the television show which keeps it enjoyable, but sadly lacks the physical humor and punch lines that only a cartoon can deliver.

Summary

Pros
  • A well done rendering of Bikini Bottom
  • Many gags and events taken directly from the TV show
  • Voice actors are from the show.
Cons
  • Camera cannot go through walls, making it hard to navigate.
  • Framerate drops unexpectedly and noticeably.
  • Goals are repetitive.
  • Music is repetitive.
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Action
Developer THQ
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: SpongeBob Squarepants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
Release Nov 21, 2002
PublisherTHQ
RatingEveryone
eu: SpongeBob Squarepants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
Release Mar 14, 2003
PublisherTHQ
Rating3+
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