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SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom (PlayStation 2) artwork

SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom (PlayStation 2) review

"It‘s not perfect, but Globs of Doom provides a well-crafted, fun experience for younger players. Older gamers may find small portions of the game enjoyable, but will likely find that the main game’s lean gameplay wears thin quickly."

Unlike many licensed offerings, Spongebob’s virtual adventures have generally been fairly good. SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom keeps that trend alive with a team-based affair that teams two Nicktoons characters from the Spongebob Squarepants, Danny Phantom, Invader Zim, Tak and the Power of Juju, and Jimmy Neutron franchises at a time (with ten being playable throughout the game) to battle the Morphoids and their leader, Globulous Maxiumous, who destroyed their worlds with mutating blobs of goo.

The gameplay resembles the X-Men Legends series and blends traditional beat ’em up action with some platforming and puzzles thrown in for good measure. Most of the time, you and one other character roam through the Nicktoons’ home areas while pummeling swarms of enemies in the process. You’re given a few tools at your disposal to do this, including a basic punch, a combo, a jumping slam attack, and a character-specific weapon of choice that can be combined with your partner‘s weapon for a team-specific attack. Each function works well thanks to responsive controls that ensure you’ll do what you want when you want to do it. Switching between the characters is also a breeze, requiring only the press of the d-pad. Also my pleasant surprise, the non-playable character is actually useful and regularly attacks enemies. It’s a welcome change from the usual team-based game that sees the player-controlled character do everything while the AI partner stands around and gets beaten to a pulp.

Puzzles are present, but never complex, making them ideal for younger players who won’t get frustrated by them. However, the more plentiful platforming sections are hurt by the inability to move the camera and the barely-visible shadows cast by your character, which make it tougher than it should be to accurately judge distances for both jumps and attacks. You’ll fall to your doom many times as a result, and that’s something that likely will frustrate younger players. However, it isn’t something that completely cripples the game since you’re able to continue as many times as you need from wherever you left off.

Unfortunately, while Globs of Doom is well-crafted in many ways, it falls into the same trap as other licensed fare meant for kids because it provides an enjoyable experience for younger players, but is too simplistic for most older gamers to enjoy for an extended period of time. No matter how much you try to mix things up with jumping slam and weapon attacks, the game’s lack of depth becomes apparent. Most of your time spent with the game will be spent attacking the same handful of enemies, and after about an hour of play, you’ll have seen just about everything the gameplay has to offer you. It’s a shame that’s the case, because it ends up making the game feel very monotonous.

Small breaks in the tedium can be found in behind-the-back coin collecting areas at the start of each level, which are an absolute blast to play, and wind up being the highlight of the game after you’ve tired of the mostly one-dimensional gameplay offered up. While they’re incredibly brief, these sections are also very addictive, with the key appeal for me being to try and constantly top my previous coin totals.

Visually, Globs of Doom is a treat for the eyes. Its character models look fantastic, and retain a surprisingly high level of detail even when viewed in close-ups. Each character is also animated fairly smoothly, and despite having so many different characters, they all feature completely different move and attack animations. Given how many licensed games recycle animation as much as possible, this was another pleasant surprise. The environments aren’t quite as impressive as the characters, as they usually feature bland-looking backgrounds, with far more attention paid to the foreground. However, they are usually quite colorful, and closely resemble the original Nicktoons worlds that they’re based on, so they‘re at least accurate.

Fans of the franchises featured in Globs of Doom will by happy to know that their original voice actors were used, leading to an increased level of authenticity. While the cast wasn’t given a whole lot to work with given the barren plot, the dialog is still fairly amusing thanks to the cast’s skill. Unfortunately, their one-liners during levels get old quickly. Otherwise though, the voice work is solid. However, the music is a bit of a weak point for the audio. It seems to be made for this game and not stuff made for the shows, and while it does still fit the stages, it's not very catchy, and is mostly forgettable.

Despite its lack of depth, Globs of Doom is actually fairly replayable because you can run through any part of it you like after beating that portion of the game. So if you find a boss battle you really love and want to try again, you can do so. I found that the coin collecting sections held up well upon replaying, as did the first boss battle, where you’re armed with just a grill and a supply of “krabby” patties.

It‘s not perfect, but Globs of Doom provides a well-crafted, fun experience for younger players. Older gamers may find small portions of the game enjoyable, but will likely find that the main game’s lean gameplay wears thin quickly. In spite of its flaws, I think that it's a fine pickup for a younger player, since they probably aren’t going to notice the lack of depth, will be happy to re-try sections to advance the story, and will get a big kick out of being able to play as so many Nicktoons characters.

jpeeples's avatar
Freelance review by Jeremy Peeples (December 03, 2008)

Jeremy Peeples has been writing about games since 2000. GameFAQs was his first stop, and that led to a writing gig on Game2Extreme, then VGPub. In 2005, he was brought aboard Hardcore Gamer Magazine, and has been a regular Youtuber since 2006.

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Lewis posted December 05, 2008:

Vampire-hunters are better than sponges.


Anyway, good review, n' that.
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jpeeples posted December 05, 2008:

Thanks. I reworked it a lot before getting it where I felt comfortable with submitting it, and it seems like all that time was well-spent.

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