SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
|a game by||THQ|
|Platforms:||XBox, PC, Playstation 2, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||SpongeBob Games, 2020 Movies|
When you ask most kids and adults what the most popular children’s cartoon on the planet has been for the last couple of decades, there’s a strong chance they’ll say Spongebob Squarepants Lights Camera Pants. It’s hard not to like the overly optimistic and quirky character shaped like your household sponge. It’s something about those eyes, those darn eyes!
Regardless if you’re a fan of the show, there’s a strong chance you know someone who is. That is why over the years, Nickelodeon has tried their best to release a plethora of SpongeBob content. After all, there’s always a strong chance a SpongeBob video game is the first game a parent will choose when at the store. Does Lights, Camera, Pants! hold up as a video game and not just as a cash grab for fans of the series? Let’s dive into the sea and head to Bikini Bottom to find out.
Another Day in Bikini Bottom
As soon as you enter the game, you’ll be greeted with the official SpongeBob SquarePants theme. It’s as catchy as always, so I’m glad it was managed to be added in some manner. However, that’s about as memorable as the music gets. Luckily, the rest of the audio makes up for this. Sound effects are crisp and match the actions that is occurring. During the wonderful cutscenes in the story mode, you’ll be graced with the same voice actors that voice the characters within the show.
Speaking of the cutscenes, they are home to some of the best cartoon graphics of the era it was released in. In all honesty, it felt like watching a slower version of SpongeBob, but SpongeBob, nonetheless. If you enjoy the humor and overall look of the cartoon, you will feel right at home here.
And… Pants! I Mean… Action!
With a name like Lights Camera Pants, you might be confused as to what this game could even be about. It sure sounds like a SpongeBob episode, I’ll give it that. Well, that’s sort of what the game is. It’s your chance to take part in a original story, which is pretty neat considering they could have gone the easy route and recycled previous episodes.
In this story, the producers of The New Adventures of Mermaidman and Barnacleboy are filming a new episode in Bikini Bottom. They need new actors to fill the roles in their scenes, so SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and others attempt to audition for the part. If they nail the audition for that scene, they’ll be casted in that part. At the end of all the scenes, you’ll get to watch the entire episode in its entirety. This ends up providing a high level of replayability as you’ll want to win with different characters to see their spin on the scene. Since the voice acting and graphics are great, it’s fun to watch characters like Plankton or Mr. Crab try to act their way into a show.
What’s the Depth in These Waters?
While auditioning, the wacky citizens of Bikini Bottom will be asked to partake in mini games. That’s right, Lights Camera Pants! is a party game in the vein of Mario Party. These mini games are short and sweet, just like in Nintendo’s original party game, but I really enjoyed them. The mini-games will try and match the theme of the current scene or stage you’re in. For instance, the first stage is Krusty Krab. That means the mini games are focused on what you would be doing in a restaurant: flipping burgers, waiting tables, and cleaning up messes. In Mrs. Puff’s Boating school scene, you’ll be fighting to stay in the middle of a circular platform with no edge, riding BMX bikes on the water, and racing boats (on the land for some odd reason).
These games are, for the most part, pretty fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the rhythm mini games that had you matching buttons as they came across your screen. Each character is given a solo and a time to shine, so you really feel like you’re rocking. On the flipside, you have lazy attempts at a mini-game such as rock-paper-scissors. No special spin for that one, it’s just plain-old rock-paper-scissors.
They could have done without that one and a few others, but I have a feeling that THQ Studio Australia was hoping to just fill out the game as much as they could. You end up having a total of around 30 mini-games, which is far less than you would find in a Mario Party game.
When the curtain falls on Lights Camera Pants, you’ll find that it’s actually one of the better SpongeBob SquarePants video games. It has up to 4–player tournament mode and a solo story experience for those playing without friends, so there is something for everyone. The small number of mini-games and overall quality of them aren’t on par with the genre’s juggernaut Mario Party, but they do the job and will certainly give you and your friends at least a few hours of fun.
- Graphics are what you’d expect from a SpongeBob episode
- Original voice actors provide excellent voice-overs in the cutscenes
- Both solo and multiplayer (up to 4) modes
- Some mini-games are boring
- The total number of mini-games is a bit lacking for a party game