SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
These days I notice little from a Sunday morning. Usually I’m laying, like most, in bed with a healthy dose of headache and am recuperating from a decent night out. But not so long ago I would get up very early to end the week with my favorite friend… Samson. But times have changed, Samson no longer has the same hand up his butt and is no longer the hippest animal in child land. Put aside by lepricauns, deformeds with a TV in their belly, lesbian singers, talking sponges and such. Especially the talking sponge is the number one hit at the moment, and that’s why we see him enter the world of games. Today we look at one of those, titled SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab.
Some time ago I already expressed my concerns about the youth of these days and the way television was raping these young minds. After playing this Spongebob title I have to confess: the situation is worse than I thought. We start this game by getting into bed with our sponge. Here things already go wrong for the first time when we get sucked into his dream.
What we get to see here is truly alarming. As first mission we need to finish a circuit in some sort of rocket sponge kart. Do we not always try to teach our kids to be careful in traffic? No, our sponge friend tells us, let’s go!
Since the whole game plays in a dream, the textures look a bit blurry. Honestly, it feels more like Spongebob has taken a ton of underwater mushrooms than that he’s asleep. The experiences after five minutes in this game aren’t encouraging, eventhough Spongebob doesn’t play that bad. But hammering pedophilia, traffic aggression and drugs (in such a short timespan) in our little ones’ throat? It’s a disgrace!
I admit, this game is meant for the youngest amongst us that don’t stop to think at such images. Also parents tend to think we’re talking about a harmless cartoon character. But that’s exactly where the dangers is, this easily influenced generation plays and enjoys this game completely. Meanwhile they’re getting filled with subliminal messages about sex, drugs and destruction. If we would have had Gert put a cigarette in his mouth while laying a line and making a ride on Samson, how would we have turned out to be?
The danger isn’t in games like GTA, Bully or Postal where violence is clearly pictured as violence. It’s the kiddy games like Spongebob where violence is hidden in a subtle manner below bright colors and child friendly characters that are the cause of violence amongst gamers.
Where I get irritated with cartoons on Flemish TV is these horrible dubbed voices. Why would we dub these? If it’s a show for kids up to 3 years I would understand but for the rest? It teaches our kids a foreign language and makes them read better through the subtitles.
Next to that, the cartoon can be seen in its original form without being filled with unsynchronised mouths and getting rid of word play. Luckily this doesn’t happen too often over here, but with our southern neighbours, the French, it’s a disaster. Sadly enough, this also has been done with this game: Spongebob sounds like a 14-year old that’s going through puberty including the first hairs. There’s no possibility for an English speaking sponge with subtitles, a sad miss.
That being said, the gameplay is kept simple since you’ll never encounter more than 2-button combos. Except for the bad road behaviour of the spongekart, there’s nothing to complain about except that things feel quite repetitive.
Graphically everything looks atmospheric, but after some time playing you’ll get bored with all the trippyness. Nonetheless it creates the right atmosphere and gives sometimes a little extra to the game. The puzzles are all quite simplistic, shuffly a couple of blocks and jump around a bit and that’s it. Sadly enough the solution to the puzzle always gets shown on the screen first, eventhough they’re quite easy.
Don’t be misguided by the score, this is certainly not a good game for gamers like yourself. But Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Crusty Crab has a whole different target audience. It would be foolish to tear down this game because of its simplicity. For its genre this is a decent title and there are far worse titles you can give your younger brother/sister. When looking for a good way to keep the little buggers quiet, Spongebob is the man. You’ll have to bear with the dubbed sponge though (unless you buy it in the UK or US, ed.)