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.