Review by GGAGAHC
"Finally Plankton And Mr Krabbs Can Duke It Out!!!!!"
Spongebob Squarepants: Lights, Camera, Pants! is an effort of Nickelodeon to try and make even more money off of their Spongebob franchise. One can't blame them because every other new show that comes out is generally crap. Spongebob, however, has earned himself a spot in one of the best of Nickelodeon. Anyway, Lights, Camera, Pants (which I will now refer to as LCP) is a generally good game. Let's evaluate it more closely, shall we?
The story is....well...it's a party game so I'm going to cut it some slack. Party games, after all, have no story whatsoever and they can get away with it. The story however goes like this. This shark guy is making a movie and is having try outs in Bikini Bottom for the villian of the movie (it's a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy movie, as you'd expect). So, the folks of Bikini Bottom that we all have learned to love are out to prove themselves worthy of playing that part. There. That's the story. You either like it or you hate it. At least it's reasonable of a story. If it were something like "The town of Bikini Bottom is under attack and now you must play through various mini-games to beat the villian!" then I would puke. So, I suppose the story doesn't get any better than this. Sides, like I already said, it's a party game so story shouldn't be a concern of your's, am I right?
Blech. For a PS2 game, you'd think the graphics would be better. It's a cartoony game so the graphics are more...cartoony. But nonetheless, there's no excuse for how bad the graphics are. I mean, c'mon. It's a PS2!! Use what it offers!! I just don't like the graphics. There's lots of clippings here and there and the characters' mouths move very, very oddly. But it's nice and bright and far away, everything looks pretty good. it's just when it gets close up that you have to go o_o - "wtf?"
Ooh yay! The sounds are nice at best. They did manage to get some of the same voice actors for a lot of the characters (that or people who sound A LOT like the original voice actors). However, there were some characters who just don't quite sound the way they should (like Plankton's wife, the computer). The music is almost unnoticeable. But the voices are nicely done (back to the voices). You'll get the occasional comments here and there from the characters while you play and they do get annoying but on the plus side, most of them sound good so you're getting annoyed by the original voice actors, not by some copy-cat. Squilliam's voice will make you puke though. >_<
The controls vary from mini-game to mini-game. It's not confusing at all. Before each mini-game, you get instructions of what buttons to press and how to play so once you get into it, you should know exactly what buttons do what. Of course, they're all simple and usually only require like 2 different face buttons (aside from the analog stick, of course). Don't worry. The control system won't have you throwing your controller out the window.
Ah, the only thing that really matters in a party game. After all, sound and story are all irrelevant. Controls are usually almost always simple. And graphics is something some people really care about and other's don't. But gameplay...yes, everyone cares about gameplay. A game wouldn't be any fun if the gameplay stunk. LCP's gameplay is subpar. It's ok sometimes, it's really good other times, and it's awful at other, other times.
The basis of LCP is there are certain categories of mini-games. Inside these categories are (usually) 3 mini-games that revolve around the theme of the category. Confused? Ok, let's use an example. So one of the categories revolves around Waitering. Hmm...waiters work at restaurants, right? And which restaurant is famous in Bikini Bottom (to us viewers, that is)? The Krusty Krabb, of course! The three mini-games in this category of Waitering therefore revolves around the Krusty Krabb. You have patty flipping, package delivering (sorta), and order making. Then there's another category that revolves around Mrs. Puff's Boating School. So you've got mini-games where you race in boats, knock each other off on "bikes," and do tricks on "bikes." I think by now you get the point.
It's very easy to choose favorites in LCP because there are some categories that you'll like and other's that you'll hate. I personally hate the Jellyfishing category but I love the Squilliam category. With that said, a lot of the mini-games are very mediocre. Lets take patty flipping, for example. Basically, what you do is you have to flip the patties to your teammate while catching the patties that your teammate flips to you. It's basically, move, X, move, X, move, X. It gets harder every minute (a lot of the mini-games are 3 minutes long, IIRC). It gets boring, sometimes. There are those few games that are very enjoyable. However, remember that LCP IS a party game. The point of party games are to play with 3 other people and have a good time, shouting and screaming and laughing. A lot of the games are sorta boring so you just go through them and it's not too much activity going on between the players. It's sorta just like, "Ok, we're playing. Whee." Then there are those that make people jump and shout. However, there are only a few of those.
Basically, LCP fails as an enjoyable party game. When I was playing with my cousin against 2 computers, I was focused more on beating the computers than having some friendly competition between my cousin and I. THat's not what party games are supposed to do.
Of course, because this game is separated by categories, it's your call on whether it's fun or not. I do find some mini-games enjoyable. But most of them are just mediocre.
I only played through the Bronze Story Mode so the computers generally sucked. Difficulty varies between real players because some gamers suck and other's don't. Most of the mini-games are very simple and aren't too difficult at all so it comes down to who can do better than who. Umm...overall, I suppose LCP isn't a very difficult game. It is, after all, targeted towards the younger audience.
LONG LOADING TIMES!!!!! The good thing about it's loading is that before each mini-game, while it loads, there are the instructions of how to play so you can start immediately and know what to do once the loading ends. On the other hand, though, the loading times are way too frequent. There is a lot of loading going on in LCP and it becomes a pain eventually. If you can survive the loading, then it's not too bad. Oh, and just as a small spoiler, the ending movie has lots of loading. It's the ending, dammit! Why does it have to load every minute or so?? </rant>
You'll find, also, that a lot of the mini-games are ripoffs of other things you might've seen in games or other party games (*ahem* Mario Party *ahem*).
Buy or Rent:
As with every game ever made, you should rent it and see if you like it enough to buy. THat's really all I can say.
LCP is a good game but it's very mediocre. You'll enjoy it but you won't LOVE it so much that you just HAVE to play it day and night. It was a good idea, imo, to put Spongebob characters in party game but they failed at making it memorable. Still, LCP is a nice game and if you're obsessive about Spongebob, go ahead and give it a shot. You may like it a lot.
*On a side note, Mario Party is still the best party game ever.*
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/30/05
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