SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge Review
Are Ya Ready, Kids? NOPE
SpongeBob SquarePants seems like he would be a perfect fit for the gaming world, but so far video games haven’t been kind to him. His first outing, Legend of the Lost Spatula, was a mediocre platformer, as was its follow-up, SuperSponge. He eventually got around to being in a pretty decent game, Battle for Bikini Bottom, but then its spark was stamped out by miscalculations like Lights, Camera, Pants!, Creature from the Krusty Krab and Truth or Square. Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is the biggest miscalculation of them all. It’s a moribund collection of bad ideas and an embarrassment to everyone’s favorite pineapple-dwelling pal.
Plankton is at it again, attempting to steal the secret formula for the Krabby Patty. He manages to destroy the Krusty Krab, which causes the three keys that Mr. Krabs uses to lock the safe containing the recipe to become scattered across Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and Mr. Krabs embark on a quest to retrieve the keys and stop Plankton. It all sounds like something that could very well be an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, but that notion is fleeting when it becomes apparent that Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is a SHOOTER in which characters from the show use GUNS to shoot ROBOTS. Because when I think “SpongeBob SquarePants” it immediately conjures up images of shooting at s*** until it explodes.
I don’t really know what Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is exactly, but I know it’s attempting to be some kind of run and gun third-person shooter. You pick a character and then run around shooting enemies in order to unlock gates until you reach the end of a level. At the end of each level you enter either a small tornado to advance to the next level or a large tornado that leads to a free-falling section…for some reason. After the free-falling sections you must battle bosses that come in the form of either Plankton or his relatives, who are all in huge metal Planktons and each use a different pattern of attacks.
Each of the weapons are ridiculous, with names like the “Pickle Blaster” and “Condiment Shooter”, which both do exactly as their names suggest. Each weapon’s attack power, firing rate and ammunition capacity can be leveled up because every game has to have RPG elements nowadays, even ones based off of famous Nickelodeon cartoons. Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is also kind of a platformer, with some sections requiring precise jumps or containing hazards you must avoid. The game is still primarily a shooter, though. Waves of enemies constantly spawn, sometimes within mere seconds of another wave.
Graphics & Sound
Plankton’s Robotic Revenge looks like it would be right at home on the GameCube, and it would still pale in comparison to the visuals of other games on that console. Every level is composed of what appears to be giant square jawbreakers, with the exception of the Bikini Bottom levels, which look like jawbreakers covered in green carpeting. When characters speak their voices don’t match the movement of their mouths. Stilted animations abound. Characters become stuck on parts of the environments constantly.
The voice acting in Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is some of the worst I’ve ever heard in a game, comparable to that of Ride to Hell: Retribution. The actors playing all the main characters do a poor job of impersonating them, and the actors playing Plankton’s relatives sound as if they’ve never acted in anything else ever. The game’s soundtrack is made up of tracks from the show, but in the game they sound as if they’re being filtered through an oscillating fan. Nickelodeon had nothing to do with any part of the game’s sound design, that’s for sure.
Because of the addition of all the main characters from the show, Plankton’s Robotic Revenge can be experienced cooperatively. Up to four players can join in the torture. All adding more players to the mix accomplishes is making an already extremely easy game less challenging. Plankton’s Robotic Revenge was perhaps designed with a younger audience in mind, so I played through two levels with a 10-year-old boy who described the game as “sucky.” His description is accurate.
My main issue with Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is that it’s just so damn boring. It’s a vomitorium of holding a trigger until enemies are defeated. The same enemies from the first few levels are used throughout the game without any new types being introduced at all. No strategy is ever needed except during the terrible boss battles, which are just crappier variations of the types of bosses from the original Crash Bandicoot and similar games.
I’m not really a stickler for graphics, but I at least want SOMETHING that will catch my eye. Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is a whole lot of nothingness. It was half-assedly thrown together in an attempt to make some money by slapping “SpongeBob SquarePants” on the cover. The problem is that no kid will buy it, and if I were a child and my parents bought it for me I would run away from home. It’s a sickeningly bad game that’s sadly probably sitting on a shelf next to Splinter Cell: Blacklist in some stores and tainting it with its awfulness.
Every copy of SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge deserves to be burned in a furnace along with other contenders for Worst Game of the Decade such as Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, Vampire Rain and Fast & Furious: Showdown. Perhaps one day the right developer will gain access to the SpongeBob license and create another quality product. As a SpongeBob fan I look forward to that day. As a SpongeBob fan I curse Plankton’s Robotic Revenge to the depths of hell. If someone were to one day offer me a choice between eating rat poison or playing it again I would probably jump off a bridge.