Nightmare in Christmas Oogie’s Revenge Stats and Records

No stats this time!

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated Review

Spongebob Squarepants is finally back! I gotta say that my experience with the Spongebob franchise as a whole is very light. Seriously I mostly know it from the memes and all but when it comes to sitting down and watching an actual episode I haven’t done much of that. It always looked like fun though and I do like me a good platformer so I had to jump in and have fun here. The gam elives up to the classic platformer formula. It’s perhaps a bit strict about how many Golden Spatulas you have to grab though. Fortunately you only have to get all of them if you’re aiming for the Platinum though because otherwise that would have been bad.

An army of robots is attacking the underwater country so Spongebob is called in to stop them. He is no stranger to crazy situations after all and wants Merman to be proud of him so Spongebob agrees to help. His friends will also be around as back-up support. The villain here seems like it might be Spongebob’s old enemy Mr. Plankton but he can’t prove that yet so for now we jut have to go in there and get as many quality wins as possible. Each robot destroyed is one less than can cause terror and destruction to the many.

The basic gameplay is that of a 3D platforming so you’re running and jumping as you go through the levels. You can attack and ground pound. In addition each character has their own special abilities. Spongebob can grab onto ziplines and so a super jump. Sally can glide and shoot out her lasso and finally Patrick can throw things really far. So the levels use all of their special abilities and have unique obstacles waiting for everyone. The objective of the game is to obtain 75 Golden Spatulas in order to enter the villain base so you get these at the end of every mission given to you by the other characters and others are also scattered around the worlds. Considering that there are 100 total Spatulas, you can see how beating the game actually comes rather close to 100% completing the title. Perhaps that will be enough to get me in here for the platinum at some point but right now I’ve had my fill of collecting.

The level layouts are good and there is a whole lot to do on each world. You never really feel confined and it’s so big that it’s part of why the collectibles are hard to find. At times the camera angles can get a bit wonky but on the whole it’s good. The worlds are all pretty different and stand out so no chance of mixing them up or anything like that. They always have a lot of variety. I will say that you should try to definitely get as many seashells as possible so you can buy lots of Spatulas from Mr. Krabs. Those will all come in handy towards the end of the game.

The boss battles are all fun here. They each have different rules and objectives towards beating them so none of these are copy and pastes. The developers really got to make the most of their creativity here. Meanwhile the animation is definitely sharp. This looks like a solid PS4 game. I won’t say the graphics are out of this world or anything but it’s all very clear and bold which is ultimately the objective. The soundtrack is a little less memorable though and doesn’t have the kinds of tunes you’d hear in Mario or Sonic.

So on a gameplay level this is very strong and I have no issues. The only part of the game that isn’t quite as solid is the story/characters. This is Spongebob of course so it’s more comedic but the characters can be a little annoying. There aren’t many sound clips here so you’re going to be hearing the characters repeat the same lines over and over again. They’re not exactly great lines either so you’ll mostly just be annoyed after a bit. Ultimately they are fun in small doses but I would say that the cast doesn’t hold up quite as well compared to other comedy casts.

Squidward is always good though and I root for the guy to go far. He really tries to stay out of trouble but it always has a way of finding him regardless. There’s not really a lot of crude humor or anything beyond all the underwear jokes so the game doesn’t go that far. I’d like a game that focuses on Merman back in his prime though. Now that would be really good to see.

Some quality of life updates would be fun like being able to warp to a specific point in the world instead of walking over and hopping into boxes. It’s probably something the devs felt just wouldn’t fit into the world I suppose. The game length is pretty reasonable and this should take you a few batches to complete. Throw in the opportunity to earn a Platinum trophy and that just makes the game even longer which is always good. I wouldn’t have minded if they added more racing levels though, they were some of the highlights of the game. It reminded me of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and I always like racing on slides and rail type surfaces.

Overall, Spongebob has a solid game here. It may not be Mario but it’s still pretty good around the board. I’d consider this to be a AAA platformer and the production values check out. Replace the cast with a more intense one and the game would be even better. At the end of the day if you’re a Spongebob fan then you should love this game and if you enjoy platformers then you should like the game regardless. It’s fairly easy to complete but you will need some talent to platinum it since getting the final Spatulas can be intense. There were a few I skipped over like the bowling ball balancing segment which was really intense. I suppose I’ll get to test my limits against that one when I ever get back to this title.

Overall 7/10

Cuphead Review

Cuphead is one of those games that made a lot of waves when it first came out. This was known as the ultimate platformer with a high level of difficulty. You don’t see too many crazy hard platformers like this nowadays and Cuphead lives up to the hype. It is very difficult and some of the bosses will take a whole lot of tries but the game is so well designed that it’s never frustrating. It’s always difficult in a fair way where you know that you can defeat the opponent eventually and the levels aren’t very long so you don’t mind retrying over and over again.

The game starts off with Mugman and Cuphead getting a little too overconfident and making a deal with the devil. If they win the game then they’ll get rich but if they lose then he will claim their souls. Naturally they lose so all hope is lost but the devil gives them a deal. If they steal the souls of a bunch of people who escaped then they can get theirs back but an elder warns the heroes not to be fooled a second time. So instead they will get the souls and then try to defeat the devil, but do they have the power to pull this off?

One thing that stands out about this game is that it’s basically a big boss rush. You constantly go up against all of these absolutely massive bosses and you have to defeat them before they defeat you. There are no health upgrades or levels to grind. You have to use pure talent to try and overcome the boss. The only thing you can switch up are your weapons and much like a Mega Man game you will find that some weapons are best for different circumstances. None will deal extra elemental damage but the way they work is different.

For example you have the homing gun which is really weak but will go after an opponent anywhere. So if you are confident in your dodging skills you should use this one. It will prolong every fight but you can focus completely on dodging while holding down the shoot button since it won’t matter what direction you’re facing. I used this one for a pair of bosses because it was handy. Then you have the shotgun spreader which does a ton of damage but it super short range. I liked using that one as my sub weapon near the end so when the boss would gloat or stop moving I would run in and start blasting.

I didn’t use the rest of the weapons though. For the vast majority of the game I stuck with the normal peashooter because it’s really a terrific balanced weapon. It’s like using a Mega Buster in Mega Man and gets the job done. Additionally I think it’s the best for practicing your fundamentals because you have to fight carefully in order to use it well. I would say to usually use the first round or two to just focus on learning the enemy attack patterns and then after that you can really go in and start playing aggressively. You just don’t want to do that at the start because you’ll be taking damage like crazy that way.

As I said the levels are short though and they’re a lot of fun. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you go through the bosses and learn how to get around their attacks. There is also a parry system to block but I never got too good on that one so I really focused on dodging instead. For me at least that seemed to be a better approach. There are also a few normal platformer levels which are always fun to play through. They were never as difficult as the boss battles but they still had their own challenges to be sure. The enemies all keep on respawning there so you have to do your best to work around them.

The graphics here are really solid. The game is bright and colorful as it goes for that very retro appeal. The cutscenes are also drawn like a very old Disney cartoon. If this gets a sequel I’d like to see more fully animated cutscenes but the game really focused the attention on gameplay and that’s never a bad move. The soundtrack is also really fun. I like the little intro quotes from the narrator at the beginning of each boss battle and the characters have great intro animations as well. There are a lot of small touches like that which help to take the game to the next level.

The physical version of the game even brought the DLC along with it so that was cool. It’s pretty short but more content is always a good thing. I don’t think I’ll be getting the Platinum for this game though. You’d have to S rank every boss which sounds incredibly difficult. I didn’t get a single S rank after all so I was quite far from that. It does help the overall replay value of the game though. It’s not the longest title out there but the sheer difficulty should extend the playtime. I consider myself to be a master of bullet hell and platforming games and even I had to retry some bosses a significant amount of times. So don’t worry about trying to blast through the game and just enjoy each attempt. Failing and trying to improve are part of what makes the game so much fun after all.

Overall, Cuphead is a great game. I definitely had a lot of fun with it and I’d really be up for a sequel at some point. There’s a whole lot more that you can do with the Cuphead mythos after all and nobody else has really jumped on the idea of a platformer game that focuses on bosses so Cuphead can still grab that as its main gimmick. Who doesn’t like boss fights right? I’m sure it’s difficult to create so many unique ones like this one did but it worked perfectly. I definitely recommend playing through this one 100%. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Overall 8/10

Kao The Kangaroo Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 trophies 8/16
Game Complete 75%
Characters 21/24
Treasures 17/17
Moveset 8/8

Level Stats

Hopalloo Island 75%
Walt’s Dojo 86%
The Dark Forest 87%
Terror’s Lair 100%
The Lava Caves 92%
The Hungry Jungle 75%
The Durian Valley 83%
River Track 82%
Monkey Park 67%
The Jungle Throne 100%
The Frozen Mountains 36%
The Frosty Canyon 75%
The Icy Slopes 69%
The Hot Springs 65%
Temple of Spirits 100%
The Isle of Eternity 20%
The Sparkly Funfair 63%
The Crystal Caverns 67%
The Eternal Chambers 100%

Kao The Kangaroo Review

I always enjoy myself a good platformer. It has to be the safest genre out there aside from fighting games in that you know you’ll always have a good time here. It’s a very non risky gameplay style because whether it’s high budget or cheap you’ll be having some fun. Now this one may not be AAA but it was good. The game could be a little glitchy but at the end of the day I had a good time. It’s a short game but one that makes the most of each hour.

The game revolves around a kangaroo named Kao who was having a good time in the village but unfortunately his father and sister have both vanished. His mom pleads with him to stay but Kao has to learn what happened to them. He finds a pair of gloves with incredible magic power and decides that he will save the world and reunite his family. He is warned by a wise old man that the gloves may corrupt him and even turn Kao evil but he isn’t worried. Kao knows that he is strong of heart and can accomplish anything.

So the game has 4 worlds and each one has 3 levels and then a boss. You should have the game completed within a few hours max so it’s not very long but the levels are well designed. I had a fun time playing through them and I may even go back for the Platinum at some point. You can run, jump, and punch so all the basic controls are here. You can also wield elements to solve puzzles and of course take down enemies. I would have liked to have seen more elements but it was probably hard to fit too much in before the game was ending.

Now I mentioned that the game is glitchy. For the most part I don’t really care about glitches much as long as they don’t really impact the game. Sonic 2006, Frontiers, and Pokemon Scarlet are all known as games with glitches but they never impacted the gameplay so I wouldn’t really take note of them. The only reason why I note it for Kao is because I had to redo an entire level due to a glitch at one point. Basically the game doesn’t freeze time while you are talking to someone so I got attacked by minions before I could finish the cutscene. As a result the guy didn’t give me the gem and I couldn’t talk to him again so I had to restart.

Then other times the audio would cut out and you would get these loud static noises so I had to really lower the volume on the TV. These things are pretty noticeable so I would say the game could have used some more time on the debugging phase. Fortunately these are still rare in the end so they won’t really hold the score back either. At the end of the day I would have liked the game to have been longer but it still delivered on giving me a fun adventure which is all that I can ask for. As long as I can have fun then that means that the game did something right.

The story may not be the most original out there but it works out. Kao’s sister is one of those tough characters with a lot of personality so I can appreciate that. The old guy is very wise with all of his teachings so he’s about what you would expect as well. Kao’s father looks bad since he couldn’t master the gloves and got wrecked so easily but I’m sure he’s a good guy. The main villain is super forgettable though so you won’t be afraid of him or anything. I liked the gloves though, he made for a fun side kick.

There are a lot of elements here that would lend themselves over to a sequel really well. I can’t say that I’d be there day 1 or anything like that but I would definitely have a good time with a sequel and would buy it at some point. There isn’t a lot of replay value here though. I suppose you can go for the Platinum trophy which involves getting all of the collectibles. This should take you a few extra hours I’d say but even then not a whole lot of them. You’ll be done with this in a flash

The graphics look good. The character models are on point and I do think that they put a good amount of effort into the backgrounds. It’s a game that visually holds its own at all points. Then the soundtrack is also good. I’d give a special shoutout to the voices though. I loved Kao’s accent and he had this gimmick of overaccentuating the accent on every other word. It made for fun listening and it also makes the character more memorable. He’s not afraid to take risks and go after the villain so I’d give him some good props there. He won’t be winning any awards but he’s better than characters like Crash and Knack.

Overall, Kao The Kangaroo is a fun game that I could recommend to gamers of all ages. It’s a fun platformer that is very simple and straight forward. So you can just appreciate the levels as you jump around and get to the end of the game. I’d have appreciated a few more hours of content to really make this one last but at the very least you can’t say that they wanted to pad things out. The game does what it wants and then just ends after that. No dragging things out or just going on to keep going on and I can respect that.

Overall 7/10

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Update

I’ve finally achieved the Platinum trophy in this one! Always fun to finally get up to 100% and safely take another game off the list. This was a solid game all around and hopefully they make another one soon.