SpongeBob BFBB Review

by Mitch W. Sequeira III
Edited by Will Delancy


DISCLAIMER: There will be two versions of this review. A quick to the point article version, and a more in-depth video version.

With the remake of the game only getting closer and closer, no better time than now to review the game licensed games a new name, SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom.

Story

Well it’s a SpongeBob game, so the story isn’t gonna be the most in-depth or amazing story.

Deep in the laboratory of the Chum Bucket, Plankton has created a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000. A machine that make robots that will cause mayhem and destruction at his command. But for some reason the machine has a Do Not Obey setting, and the machine is already set to that. Cutting to the pineapple under the sea, SpongeBob and Patrick are playing a game of Robots and Racehorses. Eventually they get bored of the game, and wish to play with real robots. Patrick then drags out a “magic wishing shell,” and the two “wish” for real robots. Overnight, the robots from the Chum Bucket wreak havoc across the entire town of Bikini Bottom and many other places, including SpongeBob’s house. The next morning, the battle for Bikini Bottom begins.

The story, albeit not the best of stories, matches the tone and pace of the first few seasons of the show perfectly. It’s almost like you’re playing an episode of the show. The story also doesn’t have many plot-holes, the only one I can think of is the creation of the surprise antagonist, Robot Plankton. Overall, the story gets a 7/10.

Gameplay

The game itself is a collect-a-thon similar to Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie, and you have three characters to go through this journey with. SpongeBob, the default and character with the most attacks. Patrick, can do certain things SpongeBob and Sandy can’t do. And Sandy, as previously mentioned. Sandy’s unique feature is she can glide and swing across gaps. Throughout the entire game is 100 Golden Spatulas for you to collect, similar to that of the Power Stars from Super Mario 64.

Winning a Golden Spatula

Some are simply at the end of a level’s pathway. Some are rewarded from doing simple tasks, like bungee jumping. And some make you want to snap your controller in 2. However, there are only three challenges in the whole game that will make you want to do that, and once you figure out how to do them, you can blaze past 2 of them in less than 10 minutes. The game has technically 15 levels with 8 Golden Spatulas to earn (with the exception of boss battles. The difficulty of the game is adaptive. Little to no spikes. The only difficulty spikes are in one level, but I’ll talk about those in the review video.

While not exactly relating to gameplay. The way the game explains certain things… like explaining how your health works.

Health Tutorial

Overall, I mostly wasn’t disappointed.
The gameplay gets a 9/10.

Music

The music sounds like it’s ripped right out of the show. Every song also fits with the area they’re made for. Jellyfish Fields feels bouncy, Rock Bottom sounds ominous, SpongeBob’s Dream sounds like an LSD trip, like the level. I could go on really.
The music gets a 10/10.
Here is a playlist of the entire game’s soundtrack, if you are interested.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLO4jlmGoc6uBGBZpLx37EQAynSRjKpS7c

Overall the game gets a 26/30.
Probably one of the best licensed games I’ve ever played, and that’s saying something as most of them are pretty bad. Battle for Bikini Bottom is what a licensed game should be. A fun experience that matches the spirit and tone of its source material, and I’m not the only one who thinks the same way. Some people’s entire YouTube channels are known because of this game.

Speedrun by SHiFT (Clip 1)
Speedrun by SHiFT (Clip 2)

As to what version I recommend, if you want an easy way to play it, the GameCube version, it’s the version you can find the most, and if you have a Wii and GC controller, you can play it on the Wii. However, if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks, get the original Xbox version. The loading times are shorter, the lighting is better, some “missing” audio clips actually play, and the audio mixer is miles better than the GameCube version. Play this game at least once, you most likely won’t regret it.

If you are interested, here is a more in depth version of the review
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKH8gqonbT0

Undertale Review

By Mitch Sequeira

!!!DISCLAIMER!!! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!

I already reviewed something that you might already know, now how about something you most likely DON’T know. A hidden gem, buried under a mountain of hate. This is a review of the game known as Undertale, created by Toby Fox.

Image result for undertale'

Storyline

Reviewing the story is kind of hard since the story throughout the game can change depending on what you do. So instead I’ll be rating the hidden lore. 

Long ago, there were two races: Humans and monsters. One day, war broke out between the two races. After a long battle, the humans were victorious. They trapped the monsters underground with a magic seal at the top of Mt. Ebott.

Sometime after the battle, a child named Chara fell into the mountain. Injured by the fall, she cried out for help. Asriel, son of King Asgore and Queen Toriel, heard her call. He brought Chara back to the castle. Over time, Asriel and Chara became like siblings. The King and Queen treated the girl as their own. The underground was full of hope.

Then… one day… Chara became very ill. She had only one request: To see the flowers from her village. But there was nothing the monsters could do. The next day, she died. Asriel, wracked with grief, absorbed Chara’s soul, and transformed into a being with incredible power. With the human soul, Asriel crossed through barrier made to trap the monsters. He carried her into the sunset, back to the village of humans. Asriel reached the center of the village, and placed her body on a bed of golden flowers. The villagers saw him holding the body, and assumed he killed her. They attacked Asriel with everything they had, he was struck blow after blow. Asriel had the power to destroy them all, but he did not fight back. Clutching his sibling, Asriel smiled, and walked away.

Image result for undertale lore

Wounded, Asriel stumbled home. He entered the castle and collapsed, his dust spread across the garden. The kingdom fell into despair, the humans had once again taken everything from the monsters. Asgore and Toriel had lost two children in one night. The king decided enough was enough. He made a law stating that every human who falls, must DIE. With enough souls, the barrier can be shattered. Asgore migrated to a new castle, one by the barrier. His queen, filled with grief and disappointment, left him. She and her supporters stayed in the ruins of the old castle.

After six more children fell, everyone waited for a seventh. Asgore began to grow impatient and did not want to kill any more innocent children. He made his royal scientist, Alphys, experiment with a power, which human souls have, known as Determination. It was what allowed Asriel to cross the barrier when he fused his own soul with Chara’s. Alphys’ first experiment was the bed of golden flowers that Asriel’s dust was spread across. She injected determination into the first flower that bloomed after his death. At first it seemed like a failure, unknowingly to her, it did work… somewhat. Asriel’s conscience was in the flower, but his soul was not. Because of this, he lacked the concept of mercy and compassion, and became a physical embodiment of pure evil…

The lore is quite sad towards the end, but it is written decently. The story/hidden lore gets a 6/10.

Some gameplay of the ruins

Gameplay

The gameplay is your basic RPG game style. Overhead view, puzzles, exploration, random encounters, the usual. However, Undertale adds a uniqueness to formula. During an enemy encounter, you can either slay them, or give them mercy. This will somewhat change the ending. 

Kill anyone, you get the neutral ending (on your first playthrough, you will get this ending no matter what). Kill no one, you get the pacifist ending. Kill everyone, you get the genocide ending (which is very hard to get). Do the genocide route THEN the pacifist route, and you get the true genocide ending. 

Sans Battle (Genocide Route only)

The way combat works: Your soul (represented by a heart) is in a box, you move your soul to avoid attacks. If you are going for the pacifist route, you try to please your opponent to try to make their name yellow in the battle options. When their name turns yellow, you can spare them. If you are going for the neutral or genocide route, you use the fight button. (It is hard to explain, so finding how this works would be easier if you saw for yourself.)

The difficulty is just right throughout the entire game. You won’t experience any massive difficulty spikes, with a few exceptions. All three exceptions are boss battles, Photoshop Flowey, Undyne the Undying, and Sans. I won’t say anymore than that.

Overall, the gameplay is perfectly fine. It can be very fun if you’re looking to have a good time, and it can offer a challenge if you’re looking for one. The gameplay gets an 8/10.

Asriel Dreemurr Battle (Pacifist Route only)

Music

The music is absolutely amazing (this may be a common opinion in my reviews). It fits the retro style of the game. Some of my favorites are “Bonetrousle”, “Waterfall”, “Another Medium”, “Spider Dance”, “CORE”, “Death by Glamour”, “Your Best Nightmare & Finale”, and the one and only “MEGALOVANIA.” There is not a single song I hate in the soundtrack. The music gets a 10/10.

Overall score

The total is a 24/30. Undertale is quite the experience. This is because every little decision can change the entire game. What I would recommend doing first is the pacifist route. The version I recommend playing? The PC version. This version can have the sound easily modified, and a mod that colors in the battle sprites. However, there are incentives to get the other versions instead. PS4 has a new room and the Nintendo Switch version has a new boss. Both versions are available for digital and physical purchase. The Collector’s Edition has the physical game, the Official Soundtrack with a few extra songs, a story booklet, sheet music, and a heart locket music box. So if you have the money to spare, I say get the game. You won’t regret it.

Video Game Review: Sonic Adventure

By Mitch W. Sequeira III

DISCLAIMER:  This review contains spoilers, and one gameplay element will not be talked about in this review.

The Sonic movie is currently on its way. Although the movie is trash, it is going to be a big moment for the Blue Blur. But since that isn’t out at the time of this review, why not review one of Sonic the Hedgehog’s other big moments. The game that give him his true jump to the 3rd Dimension. That game is Sonic Adventure, and this is my thoughts on it, and whether or not I recommend it.

The Story

The six playable characters all have their own stories that sometimes cross paths. Sonic’s story is your standard “Eggman does bad things, go stop him.” However, this time around Sega spiced things up with the addition a new villain/minion to Eggman. The water creature named, Chaos, considered a God of Destruction. As well as the discovery of a lost echidna tribe, more on that later.

Tails’ story involves the two tailed fox trying to stop Eggman alongside Sonic; however, the two temporarily go their separate ways. During the times when Tails is on his own, he slowly realizes he needs to fight his battles and not run away from them when Sonic is not there. In Knuckles’ story, an ancient power source known as the Master Emerald, is SHATTERED! During his search for the emerald shards, it is revealed he is a decedent and the last of an ancient echidna tribe who were all wiped out. More on that later.

Amy Rose’s story is about her finding a young bird who lost his family and how she helps him find it. Her story is also very similar to Tails’ story. Big’s story is about him trying to retrieve his pet frog, named Froggy, who had swallowed a piece of Chaos. The final of the main six stories is E-102 Gamma. Gamma is a robot created by Dr. Eggman. His story is about him realizing he was created for malicious intent. He realizes this due to some convincing by Amy Rose, and when he finds out his power source, a mother bird, he then goes on a quest to destroy the other E-100 units, including himself. All of the stories lead to a Final Story when Sonic has a 1 on 1 with Chaos at full power.

The Gameplay 

Each character has their own gameplay style. Sonic’s is just his days on the Sega Genesis, standard platforming with a bit of fast action thrown in there. All of Sonic’s stages are either complete or mostly complete versions of the stages, not mere segments like most of the characters. He also has the highest stage count, 10 out of 11. Tails’ gameplay is similar to Sonic’s. However instead of simply reaching the goal, you race either Sonic or Eggman in a segment of a longer stage.

Knuckles’ gameplay involves “treasure” hunting. All of his levels, like most of the characters, are segments of longer stages. The goal of these levels is hunting for three shards of the Master Emerald, which is somewhat easy to do. You have an emerald detector, you can track any shard in any order, and the range of the detector is pretty massive. Whether they are on land, in the air, or even underground, the radar WILL be useful.

Amy is similar to Sonic, her levels are in segments, but gets at least one segment and pathway exclusive to her. She is also one of three characters who goes through the stage, Hot Shelter, which Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, do not go through. Big’s gameplay is easily the WORST. His stages always have a pool or lake. What you do in the body of water, is fish for his dear friend, Froggy. But be careful, if your fishing line breaks, you lose a life. E-102 Gamma is a shoot em up. Blow up badniks to extended your timer. All but two of his stages end with a boss battle (said boss is a fellow E-100 unit).

The Music

The soundtrack for Sonic Adventure is filled with all sorts of genres. Rock n’ roll, jazz, funk, metal, hip hop hard rock, tribal, synth, and sometimes the genres collide with each other. Some of my personal favorites are, “Blue Azure World”, “Dilapidated Way”, “Theme of Dr. Eggman”, “Skydeck a Go! Go!”, “Red Hot Skull”, “Tricky Maze”, ”It Doesn’t Matter.” I could go on, but I recommend giving the entire soundtrack a listen. If you are interested, there are a few versions of the OST you can buy. Digi Log Conversion, 20th Anniversary Edition, as well as the iTunes version. If you want just the vocal tracks, get Songs with Attitude.

Review Score

Now to actually rate the game. Disclaimer:  the way I rate, is the way rate things in my scrapped review series on YouTube. I rate the story, gameplay, and music, each out  of 10. Then I add it all up to make a total rating of x amount of points/30 The story when told as one, is a mess. The stories when told individually aren’t that bad, but not good enough to warrant a good rating. The story gets a 5/10. The gameplay, although a little too segmented, is MOSTLY good. It’s fun to roll around at the speed of sound as Sonic and Tails. Finding Master Emerald shards as Knuckles is mostly fun. Amy may be slow but still a good time. Big is just bad. Gamma was surprisingly fun for me, as someone who doesn’t like shooters or shoot’em ups. The gameplay gets a 7/10. The music is simply awesome in every meaning of the word. It fits in every single level, boss, hub world, and though the character themes may be cheesy, they fit with them. The music gets 8/10. So in total, the full game gets a 20/30.

It may not be the best Sonic game out there, but I cannot deny the impact it has had on the franchise. But now, which version do I recommend? There is the Dreamcast version, DX for GameCube, DX for PC, and DX for Xbox 360, PS3, and Steam. Well, I recommend you get the Steam version and equip the BetterSADX mod. It is the easiest way you can get the better visuals from the Dreamcast version, as well as some bug fixes AND the ability to play it in HD with widescreen. Now then, if you got the money to spare, why don’t you go have yourself a Sonic Adventure? Who knows, you might want to play it more than once.

eSports at MCHS

By Elijah Habert

eSports is a competitive group McDonald County has recently added that is built around those passionate about gaming and is available to any student at MCHS. With just a small fee, anyone can join and participate in any event and competition the group participates in.  Although our school is fairly new to the eSports scene, we already have tons of games and are open to adding more in the future. eSports is enjoyed by many after school and involves many vastly different games and opportunities for each individual. 

One of the many games that you can compete in.

In eSports, you can play your favorite games and learn how to play competitively, with a team, and what you need to practice to perfect your skills. Sampson Boles and Cade Smith are two of this year’s new members that play Fortnite together as a duo team.

“I get to compete at a high level but also enjoy playing video games with my homie. ” Cade Smith said. “We join a public squads match as a duo and just push everybody. Playing aggressively is everything when it comes to getting better.”

According to Cade and Sampson, they try to practice at least a few days a week, and practice from home. For anyone else interested in joining, Sampson says go for it.

Have you ever heard of this game?

“If you play videogames at home, you might as well join.” Sampson said. “You can practice at home, but the perks of joining are competing against other schools and even scholarship opportunities.”

eSports is a group anyone can join and enjoy because it’s so personal. Each member of the group has their own experience custom to what they enjoy and where their talents are for the most personal experience. Anyone interested in the group can talk to Mr. Douglas or any eSports member for information and upcoming events.

The Resurgence of Minecraft

By Elijah Habert

Minecraft is a game that dates back all the way to 2011, when most of us high schoolers were still in early grade school. It’s basically a massive sandbox game where you can explore and build anything you could ever imagine.

Minecraft was huge from the start, anyone and everyone could let their creativity be free with the only limitation being themself. There are also many ways anyone can play with tons of friends, with little limitations.

“The best thing about minecraft is that you can play with your homies even if you don’t have an Xbox. The compatibility of all devices is a really great feature.”

Cade Smith

With high school and the stress it can bring, sometimes all you need to relax is to stimulate your creativity and talk to your friends. Everyone I’ve talked to mentioned how coming back to the game has had nothing but positive effects on them and their mood.

“With so many other games creating stress such as Fortnite, I decided to switch over to Minecraft because it is a fun and relaxing game where I can blow off some steam.”

Sampson Boles

Many people have forgotten how great Minecraft is until recently, but nobody has forgotten the many memories that Minecraft has brought with it over the years.

eSports Q&A with JJ

By Cooper Lowery

How did this club start up?

(J.J. Richards) – This club started up last year, and I know that it started because of Jacob Cooper. He was a senior last year, and he was looking for another teacher to sponsor it with Douglas. (My dad) Mr.Richards came last year, so they’ve been working together with eSports.

This is JJ

What is League of Legends?

League of Legends is a free to play Moba, which means it is a top down view were each game is a round. Throughout the round, you get stronger, and when you finally lose or win, it resets back from where you were before.

Is playing with the team fun?

Playing with the team on League of legends is better than playing by yourself.

Through the first Two years of this club, how has the team evolved?

I feel like we got some more people who are on the varsity team who want to become better players. They weren’t stuck at the mindset of “I’m the best”, and this is the best that I can be, and the best I’m going to be forever.” Instead, we got people that say “I’m not that good, but I can get better.” And they have gotten better.

What role do you play most in League of Legends?

I play bottom lane AD Carry, which means that I am the one that is suppose to build attack damage and suppose to carry the game, but due to recent updates, it’s been pretty hard to carry as an ADC.

Do you play other games besides League of Legends?

Yes, I play Minecraft and a lot of Monster Hunter World, which is another co-op game and requires a lot of communication between the people playing.

Is there a future (after 2 years) for this club?

I feel like technology and eSports is becoming a bigger thing, and as it becomes bigger and better, so will this club.

Do you see yourself going to college to play for a college team?

Yes, I do see myself going there, but for now I don’t have a college in mind. I heard that MSU has an eSports club, but it’s not competitive as of this year.

Out of 10, how much do you like League of Legends?

It really depends on the game. There are games where I just want to uninstall the game, and then there are some games where I’m like 5 seconds later queuing up again. It’s a game that rides a lot on emotion and how you’re feeling that day and like where your energy level is at. if you’re playing by yourself, it’s not that fun. You’re just getting mad at yourself. If you’re playing with friends, you can be angry at each other and mess around a bit. It just makes the game fun.


How does being on the team make you feel?

It’s been a great time with them, and I’m going to miss these guys when I graduate.


Top 5 Games of 2018

By Brandon Howell

2018 is over, and I want to look back and rank the 5 best games from the year.

Most of the games released this year were pretty good, minus some.

I’ll start at number 5, with that being the worst of the best and number 1 being the best of the best.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion.

5.  Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 was a big deal when it released, since Ubisoft took a gap year since the last Far Cry game. So to say the least, it had very high expectations from the company. When it did release, many people praised the game for its creativity, but it was lacking in the story. One of the main complaints was the ending, which was very weak compared to the rest of the game. It did make up for this with all the DLC that added a lot of different and unique stories.

4. A Way Out

A Way Out was kind of a dark horse this year, many thought it would be a good game due to the unique style to the game. With only being able to play with your friend, it was a breath of fresh air.

3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was one of the quieter games released this year, with no BIG expectations coming from the company, but it came out as one of the best games this year in terms of open world and story.

2. God of War

God of War was pretty much picked right from the beginning to win Game of the Year, and to what was considered very controversial, it did. It’s rival, Red Dead Redemption 2, won out in every other category, just missing the Game of the Year spot.

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption, In my humble opinion, should have won GOTY, thus making it #1 on my list. In terms of story and gameplay, it was great with new and refreshing style of gameplay compared to other games this year. In terms of graphics, I still believe it to be one of the nicest looking games of the year, if not all time.

Red Dead Online Review

By Brandon Howell

Red Dead Redemption 2 released on October 26th, 2018. About a month after release, they announced Red Dead Online. It was expected to release on the 27th, and it did.

Rockstar Games has already received high approval for the recent addition to the game. Although it has been getting these good reviews, is it really good as critics have been saying it is? I am here to tell you.

I started to play on Friday, with my expectations being set very high. From the beginning, the character creation is not as good as you would think, with most characters looking very unusual. It’s not bad really, but it’s not good either. It could be improved a lot when the full online mode releases.

Since this is online, the story is lacking compared to the single player. Most missions follow the same principal, going from point A to get something from point B. With that being said, most of the missions start to just feel like a grind.

One of the fun parts of this game is the showdowns. It’s basically the actual multiplayer part of the game, where you go against other players. These game modes include:

  • Shootout and Team Shootout – Basically as the name implies.
  • Hostile Territory – This is just a big game of control the points, like A, B, C, D, and E.
  • Last one Standing – This is simply a battle royale; everyone knows what that is.
  • Most Wanted – This is a free for all, where your rank changes on how many kills you’ve earned.
  • Name Your Weapon – This is another free for fall, it can also be played on a team. You basically have a few different weapons and each one you have nets you a different amount of points based on the ease or difficulty of how hard it is to use.

Another crucial part of online is the money. You can’t do anything without it. although some of the missions pay quite a bit of money, the economy is fundamentally broken. Many things cost a lot, such as cans of food being around $1.00-1.75 when you get only about $5.00-10.00 from missions and showdowns. Even with the economy broken, there is still a few ways to make some good bank.

  • Hunting – Specifically you should be hunting cougars, since perfect pelts and carcasses sell for $18.50 all together
  • Treasure – Since this is limited, it’s not as a reliable source of income, but when you do get it, it gives you a nice sum. Most chests carry about $100.00

Since the game is still considered a Beta, meaning it’s still in the ” testing” phase. This means when the full game releases the character you created could be deleted, forcing everyone to restart.

Score: 3/5

On a scale of 1 being the worst and 5 being the best I’ll give Red Dead Online a score of 3/5. I think it’s a good game, but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be put into it to get it to where it needs to be.