My son loves watching SpongeBob Squarepants on the television and so when I saw a wii game featuring the character at boating school it seemed a good idea to buy it for him.
SpongeBob Squarepants boating bash as the name would suggest is predominantly a game in which you need to crash around in boats. The game features a bright and colourful case which tells us that the game is a Nickelodeon product and suitable for children aged three years and over. The game is loaded like any other wii game and to enter it you simply click on the SpongeBob icon in the main wii menu once the disc has had time to load. What I have noticed with this game is it takes a long time to load up and considering other games we have are pretty much instant in loading it does make the slowness of this game all the more noticeable.
When the game does load you are presented with a screen which shows controls on both the wii remote and the nunchuck for play. I have to say there seems to be a lot of information given on this screen and it is a lot to take in and so we decided to take note of the main controls which were to move forward and brake and then decided to blag the rest of it! We need not have worried about this though because after you create a save file you can go in to the drivers test mode where in a series of small challenges you will learn the controls of the game. What I like about driving school is it does give you opportunities to practice driving the boat as well as learning how best to crash in to other boats all without the added pressure of opponents trying to crash in to you and such like! This has been perfect for my son as he can practice and replay levels as much as he wants and will be graded on it by the teacher which he thinks is great! The voiceovers used in the game are typically American and are quite over the top as you move through the training sessions but they are very encouraging I have to say! As you help SpongeBob pass his driving test not only are you developing skills used in the game you can also unlock characters which will become available for use in some of the quick and group play modes.
The aim of quick play and group play is pretty much the same really but you are either playing on your own against the computer or with someone else in the house too. In these sections there are six modes where you may race against the clock or pick up parts for example but the main aim in all of these is to bash in to other boars and to hopefully have the least damage to your boar at the end of it! My son actually really enjoys this section but I do think he drives around a little aimlessly. I personally get bored and annoyed very quickly with the game as it just isn't really fun for me. I do think the courses where you drive around an actual course rather than just a big brawl is more fun for me personally. There is a map in the corner of the screen where it will show where you are on the course and where your opponents are too but it isn't very clear so we both struggle to use it and again just blag it a bit! There are various tracks, boats and characters available in the game but they are not all available in each mini section and so my son does like to discover which characters are where and to experiment with different boats too.
I actually find it ridiculously difficult to control my boat even going forward never mind when I need to reverse whilst using the wii remote and nunchuck but thankfully the game is compatible with the wii wheel which does make it easier to control the boat we find. Despite this it is nowhere near as smooth as Mario Kart though perhaps it is unfair of me to compare it to a well known and established game.
During the driving school cartoon clips of SpongeBob are shown and I have to say that whilst my son doesn't mind them I find them to be really poor. Again I am making comparisons with other wii games we have and I do realise wii's aren't known for their wonderful graphics but I just think these are a bit amateurish and a bit laggy too at times.
As I have played this game and also sat and watched my son play this game I kept thinking that it reminded me of something and then I realised that it was The Simpsons road rage game my ex and I had on the playstation! The main reason I think it reminds me of this game is the amount of time it takes in loading between levels and whilst I would perhaps expect that from an old playstation game I do think that games and consoles have moved on since then and for me it is a real issue. The game play also reminds me of road rage though in that you crash in to things whilst the computer characters say little phrases over and over again!
I am sure you can tell that I am not really a fan of this game. My son will play on it for short periods of time very occasionally but it is not a favourite of his at all and has spent a lot more time on the shelf than it has been played sadly. Whilst we haven't had this game long I know we will end up trading it in for a couple of quid or something because it does seem quite amateurish and the game play quickly becomes boring whether you play in quick play or group play.
Should you be interested in purchasing the game though I can advise it costs around £14.00 online.
Thank you for reading my review!