Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (GameCube) Review

By Adam Riley 23.11.2006 7

Unlike older cartoons from the Nickelodeon catalogue of children's favourites, such as Ren & Stimpy and Doug, Spongebob Squarepants has had his yellow mug plastered across so many videogames it is actually hard to keep track of them all. However, due to the great success of the many ventures, there seems to be no stopping the sponge from wreaking havoc across the Industry. Now veteran UK developer Blitz Games is on the case, though, can the Oliver Twins work their magic on this new adventure?

The world of Bikini Bottom is where you will normally find Spongebob and his two cohorts, Plankton and Patrick. This time round, though, things are definitely different from the norm as they embark on an adventure based on their dreams...And this definitely has an impact on the game's appearance, with levels changing drastically in style the more you play. The graphics on the whole are definitely impressive, given the setting, changing from decent, colourful 3D to a cel-shaded effect that gives the game a feel of a comic book. Unfortunately the sound aspect is rather redundant, with the music just fading away into total insignificance and the voice acting becoming highly annoying after just a short time thanks to certain phrases on constant repeat.

Screenshot for Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab on GameCube

But the game itself proves to be more than sturdy, in a Ratchet & Clank / Jak & Daxter sort of way. It is basically a platform game with the necessary ‘extra’ elements thrown in to try and make it stand out from the crowd. Therefore, no matter what character you have to play as, the controls are practically the same – charge/run, jump, attack, butt-slam the ground and use a special move. That is not to say they do not serve their purpose well enough, because they do. It is just that you have seen it all many times before…and probably slightly better executed, or perhaps more ‘fun’ is a better way of putting it, since the game does not specifically have any real problems.

Screenshot for Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab on GameCube

Yet whilst it does not do anything wrong, it fails to lift itself above the rest of the platform fare. The player must charge around levels collecting various special coins, working towards fulfilling whatever objectives have been doled out to them...most of which are related to finding some other object, be it an engine part, someone's clothes, or other such 'hilarious' things. Sadly, the humour that is associated with the TV show is more than lacking in Creature from the Krusty Krab, it is devoid of any charisma, charm or chucklesome moments altogether. And to add to the annoyance of being hand-led through the various platform sections, there are pointless breaks between sections to give you not only an overview of the next area, but a quick zoom-in on all the objects you have to collect, hit or move.

Anyway, so what else is there on offer? Well, as mentioned earlier there are the breaks from the run-of-the-mill platform antics, such as Spongebob's monotonous driving at the beginning of the game, which has no sense of speed and a cheating computer opponent. There are plenty more of these side-games, like flying and shooting sections, so the variety keeps things from dropping below the 'solid game' marker. Whether this will actually appeal to anyone over the age of 10-12 years old, though, is a different matter entirely. It may sound like I am being overly negative about Krusty Krab, but in all fairness Blitz has done a fine job of making a 3D platform game for children. It is just a shame that it falls short of being special enough to excite.

Screenshot for Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab on GameCube

The game consists of nine levels in total, and considering the ease that you can fly through them, it certainly will not take too long for a veteran gamer to watch the credits roll. In fact, even younger gamers probably will find they do not have too much trouble, considering the game holds you by the hand all the way through. Ever think you are unsure about what to do next? Never fear, because the game either talks to you or brings up text on the screen to not so much hint at the next task, but actually tell you exactly what needs doing. It kind of spoils the whole experience, which is a shame because the core gameplay is tighter than you would imagine. At least there are mini-games and extras to unlock to help get more value for money...

Screenshot for Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Blitz Games has tried its hardest to take an awkward franchise and shoe-horn it into a 3D platform romp for younger children. And for what it is worth, the team has done a fine job of doing just that. However, the generic feel throughout leaves a sour taste for anyone that has played through multiple identikit platformers over the years. Good, but not quite good enough.

Developer

Blitz

Publisher

THQ

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Wow good score there...for a THQ game.

Shame...previews said this was quite a good game...

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

I get the feeling most of the effort is going into the Wii version, which does indeed look like much more fun.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Oh yeah the good previews were for the Wii version...


fingers crossed then.

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

There's DS and GBA versions of this as well. Whether I or someone else on the team will have the 'pleasure' of playing those as well is yet to be seen...!

I've heard lots of good reports about the Wii version and actually have an interview with the Olivers coming soon(ish). I'm hoping they resurrect Dizzy for Wii :-D

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

sounds good a score of 6 isnt bad..

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

I wavered so much between 6 and 7, but because of the mood I was in at the time it got the former. Think of it more as a 6.5 or 6.6, something like that :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

The Wii version looks awesome, I would imagine it destroys the Gamecube version with it's quality looking minigames and stuff.

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