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SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom (DS) artwork

SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom (DS) review


"Globs tries to be Kim Possible meets The Lost Vikings, with inconsistent results."



SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom is for kids. It’s important that we establish that. While it’s true that the leading man, SpongeBob SquarePants himself, is adored by both the young and the not-so-young – the rest of the ten-character ensemble definitely caters specifically to the Nickelodeon set. After all, do you know who Danny Phantom is? Thought not.

Our criteria for gaming expectations adjusted accordingly, and we’re all set to do something about those blasted “Globs of Doom.” Globs looks and plays (mostly) like any other children’s franchise-based romp to make the trip to the GameBoy Advance or DS to date; it’s colourful, if basic, side-scrolling fare that employs the use of trademark gadgets recognizable to fans in order to spice things up and necessitate a modicum of problem-solving to earn progress. That’s the formula. Sadly, Kim Possible 2 for the GBA, did it better years ago with inferior hardware.

So Kim’s throne is not in trouble. And it’s not for want of trying – ironically, in its attempt to stray from the cutesy adventure blueprint, Globs of Doom manages to do what it sets out to do: etch out the shallow relief of a personality, but in so doing, manages also to provide less fun than we’re used to the blueprint providing. I applaud the developers for inserting their gameplay-altering twist to standard 2D platforming procedure, but in avoiding ho-hum, we arrive in the welcoming arms of tedium instead.

The twist is this: rather than control one of the ten characters of the cast one at a time toward completing the game, Globs of Doom has you use two characters at a time over five missions that take place in genuine locales (Bikini Bottom and the like). In close observation of standard action-game law, each mission has three stages and a boss to round things out. But in a bid to make things even more interesting, we’ve got a good guy paired up with a bad guy to tackle each mission. For fans of any of the shows, the resulting rapport between characters is probably a notable addition; for me, the in-between level banter couldn’t move along quickly enough.

Anyway, the idea of working in tandem to take on each level is all well and good, but it’s the way in which you must co-operate with each other that leaves much to be desired. Globs tries to be Kim Possible meets The Lost Vikings, with inconsistent results. Most often the two characters in your employ will start off together and have to move rightwards together. There are signs posted at regular intervals with arrows pointing up or down or forward, with one of the character’s faces on it, so that you know who the game means to go where. As in The Lost Vikings, each character will have a different skill set; (SpongeBob can blow bubbles and ride them into the ether, Jimmy Neutron can fly) so that your hero will gain access to some area that your villain cannot, and will hit a switch to clear the way for the villain. Your hero will meet an impasse, and you’ll switch to your villain, who will gain exclusive access to further foraging and unlock the way for the hero to keep going, and so on.

Unfortunately, the stop-and-start of the switching is constant (accordingly, so is the annoying exclamation the characters yell out each time they’re chosen), and rather irritating for an older, more experienced player. This isn’t the measured planning and deliberate character changing and placement we enjoyed in The Lost Vikings because Glob’s puzzles are fairly transparent, and so the frequent flip-flopping to keep things moving is simply tedious. For younger gamers, for whom I realize the game was intended, it seems to me that the switching might get confusing and a bit frustrating, as kids may lose their way, creating a “Wait, who do I use now? Where is Beautiful Gorgeous on the map?” sort of disorientation.

This is why I said that the spin on mundane platformer convention may have done more harm than good. Still, I’m glad they tried – the good guy, bad guy character swapping keeps SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom from being just another kiddy side-scroller, keeps it from feeling ‘me-too’ and gives it a genuine identity in a sea of similar games. That still won’t likely be enough to garner a replay by most players, but fans who just want to see their heroes in action will be happy enough that this star-studded cast was let loose in a decent game that tried a little something different.

Rating: 6/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (November 19, 2008)

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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

Hahaha. I can't believe you actually reviewed this game. I'd say you were forced into it, but that's just my opinion.

In all seriousness, though, I think it's good you did. I mean, I guess someone has to, even if it's not someone the game was intended for. And it makes the site more well-rounded.

At any rate, I admit to being confused about the title at the start. I was thinking this would be some random SpongeBob game with some random extra (like a minigame or something) thrown in just to keep things interesting.

Still, it's nothing I'd want to play, but it's interesting that the developers are trying new(ish) things on a younger audience.

Oh, and I do know who Danny Phantom is..... but... I really shouldn't. >____>
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Masters posted November 19, 2008:

At the risk of aging myself, I've got to say that even my nephew (who knows all the characters) found this game a bit tedious.

Did you mean to say that the beginning of the review confused you?
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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

I don't think so. Maybe. I'd just gone in with the impression, by reading the title, that it'd be some sort of conglommeration like I described above. So I was thinking you'd talk about that in the review, but when I saw you just talk about the Globs of Doom thing, I figured that was just the game in its entirety and the title is severely misleading.
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Masters posted November 19, 2008:

I actually have no idea what you're talking about.
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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

Haha. Then don't worry about it.
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Masters posted November 19, 2008:

Well it sounded like a criticism, so I was trying to see if I saw what you were finding fault with, but I don't even understand.

Edit: Doesn't the title indicate SpongeBob has a team of Nicktoon clowns along with him? And don't I make mention of that as well in the first paragraph? Are you just tired?
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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

Hm... Well, I read the paragraph again and got what you were saying. I think when I read it initially, I was thinking the game would be something else. Like, I was thinking there'd be a Spongebob game where you're just playing as him and doing whatever you're meant to do, but also there'd be a bonus game with it. Kind of like the Mario/Duck Hunt compilation to give a rough example. However, I only ever thought this in the first place because the title of the game seemed ambiguous, especially the word "featuring". I thought that "featuring" meant it would be two separate games - one Spongebob alone and one involving the other Nicktoons. I did not realize at the time of reading that "featuring" meant SpongeBob including the Nicktoons as one single game. Thus I had gone into the review with preconceived notions of what I would find, and after misreading the intro and not finding what I was expecting right away, I became confused only to realize my mistake as I continued reading the review.

Haha. Somehow I doubt this made things any clearer. Sorry; I have a really long-winded way of explaining things sometimes. Either way, what I'm trying to say is, yes; the confusion is entirely my fault, not yours. It's resolved and you have nothing to worry about.
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Masters posted November 19, 2008:

I understand now what you're saying. Lewis gets "great review!" while I get criticisms based on comprehension issues you have with titles -- nice. =T Why am I writing for this site again?
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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

=/ That's not it at all... I told you this thing was my fault, and I don't think I really intended it as a criticism at all so much as a means of expressing how silly I am sometimes.

And anyway, the rest of the review was good. All of it really now that I cleared myself up. I really didn't intend this topic to go into this much depth about one niggly thing, anyway. Really I made it to say I read it and found it interesting, if odd (though I don't mean that in a bad way), that you'd review a game like this in the first place.

Sorry for not saying everything I perhaps should have. =/ Usually I leave some form of praise, but I really only intended this to be a discussion.

This is why I don't make feedback topics. >_>

Also, you don't like Lewis's reviews?
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Masters posted November 19, 2008:

I hear you -- no worries. And sure, I like Lewis's reviews. I even made a feedback topic for a few of them which he ignored, as far as I know.
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wolfqueen001 posted November 19, 2008:

Alright, cool. I was worried I'd offended you or something. =/

Anyway, haha. He didn't ignore them. He just took forever responding to that one FEAR topic you made.
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Lewis posted November 24, 2008:

Bloody hell. I felt the urge to scream "ZOMBIES ARE BETTER THAN SPUNGES!" into this thread for no real reason, but having read it, I feel I should probably say some proper things.

Trust me, Masters, I've had far worse criticism from WQ. She's a harsh lady - but she knows her onions. In this case, it's sort of irrelevant, since her comment was absolutely nothing to do with your writing anyway. Big misunderstanding. Big hug to make up. There you go.

"Why do I write for this site again?" - I don't know. Why do you? Probably because you're decent with words 'n' stuff and you enjoy it. And because it's got a strong community with very little bickering, so I wouldn't get too wound up about one tiny thing that - again - wasn't even relevant to your work in the first place.

As far as not responding to comments, well, I can only apologise if I've missed any. I always try to respond to feedback where I can, but occasionally I may miss stuff if the forum's particularly busy. If there's nothing to say beyond "thanks," though, I may just think it and forget to write it.

With regards to the FEAR review, I think that was the one that went live during the time when my computer was sobbing into a repair shop, and the thread was gone off the 'recent' window long before I got the PC back. I did reply in the end, when trawling through old posts, but it was a fair while after.
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Lewis posted November 24, 2008:

Oh,


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