13 Reviews liked by FluffyWolfy

is it the weakest of them all? well, yes but this is such an amazing game and a good experience. very well written and its nice to see steph again

999 was worth a playthrough but after a while it became a chore to go back and replay things. The story is good but not enough to make me 100%. The other games seem to make things more complicated story-wise.

This game is hilariously bad that it's charming. There's some things done right but for the most part it's just... exhausting to get through.
I will say though, the pod scene is the funniest thing to come out of this game it made me cry for a good 10 minutes just because of how stupid and out of left field it was.

Initially this game made me very happy. I felt that Ryuji and Tama were charming additions to the cast and seeing Mizuki all grown up was awesome.
Unfortunately, this game's insistence on being a spoiler-free sequel kills it for me. The events of AI: The Somnium Files are so transformative for so many of its characters and seeing all of them essentially reset to square one frustrates me to no end, especially since I came into this directly off the back of AITSF.
Maybe one day I'll power through to the end and see if there was anything else in there worth seeing but for now this game just makes me kind of sad and disappointed.

So, Spongebob is back with a new game, and despite having not watched the show in a long while, I still kept some tabs on it here and there and even preordered it. I mean, it's THE Millennial and Gen Z icon after all, how could I not! But wait, something's off here. A strictly linear structure, forgoing the open-ended ethos? Prominent utilizations of gimmicks and minigame segments? A downscaled focus on optional knick-knacks, usually centering the maguffins on one item? Why, this isn't quite the (spiritual) successor to BfBB as I was led to believe, instead this is taking cues from the far, far inferior descendants Movie Game and Creature From The Krusty Krab! Oh, the hu-manatee! I kid, it's not that bad, but it could stand to be a little better.
Spongebob's doing a solo venture this time around, and he controls pretty adequately thankfully. Jumping and attacking is just as good as ever, turning's a little heavier than before but I got used to it, and ground pounding has never felt more satisfying and cartoony, and he has a new dodge ability that's quick to pull off and covers decent distance. That said, however, some of his returning and new moves are a little odd. The karate kick is pretty slick, having a nice flow and feel to it... when activated properly. When you press its button a little too early or a little too close to something, he sorta slowly glides across the way to it, which while not awful can be pretty annoying. The swing though, sucks shit, it's automated and super exaggerated about it, and turning is sluggish as hell. I've never come to regret seeing when a section uses it, but I sigh anyway since it could've been much better. You can use the Reef Blower to suck things up and fire it back at objects and enemies, and it's certainly a thing that exists considering you unlock it right at the final level. Tangentially, there's an unusual centering of combat here, with enemies having health bars capping out at about four, even the Duplicatotron/Spawner equivalent having them, and it's just as tedious as you'd expect with a limited attacking pool at your disposal even compared to BfBB and Movie Game due to only having the pounds, circling attack, a bubble move that'll trap enemies and can stun them once it pops, and a karate kick for the smaller foes. Even with ways to mitigate the waiting periods, I groaned each time I got placed onto a combat room spontaneously appearing with jolted pacing between it and the platforming. What helps to alleviate some of these woes is that the core of it is indeed surprisingly pretty well done. I dunno, while these levels have some spotty pacing and attributes attached from all I've said, I can't deny I had some fun just going through them when all the pieces clicked in, due to the feel again being adequate all around and how they're established just being fun to explore and complete. I mean, this game's Kelp Forest level is actually the best one unlike in BfBB, that's insane!
I mentioned the gimmicks and minigames, and speaking seriously here I gotta give props for how they wanted to implement them. How it works is that each world showcases them as its own little slice, that then gets transferred over onto the Bikini Bottom hub for one reason or another, and perhaps even for a quick segment in a later world. In Western Jellyfish Fields you can use a seahorse once obtaining the license to do so, in Prehistoric Kelp Forest you roll around on a rock to traverse past the lava below, Pirate-riddled Goo Lagoon has you hoisting up flags and utilizing the swings in order to go around and attain rep, etc. etc. I guess I'm a bit of a weirdo and don't entirely bemoan these sorts of things in 3D Platformers - you can blame Sonic and Sly Cooper for that - but I'll still call them out if they're not handled properly, which is unfortunately a bit of a case here. Controlling the seahorse doesn't have the best sense of weight and momentum, some of these minigames amount to simple button mashing like the flag hoists mentioned earlier, and listen, I know this is a kid-centric game and all, but when puzzles can have the solution written either scarcely tucked away (I destroyed the tikis in front of this for instance) or in plain sight, I gotta question the level of trust and forethought put on display. To its credit, I don't think these slumps are that frequent, and there were legit some shakeups I found pretty interesting and cool, like in Downtown Bikini Bottom playing around with movie stardom and filmmaking or the more whimsical approaches found in Medieval Sulfur Fields.
There's also criticisms I can't quite articulate well here, cause they can easily be lobbied onto BfBB and Movie Game. The abundant uses of voice lines? I mean, that's bad, but I also grew up with Spongebob exclaiming how sometimes pushing a simple button is the most satisfying (push, push, push push) in BfBB or Patrick talking about pain trains in Movie Game, so yea. References? I mean, this whole game is supposed to be a throwback, so it makes sense, plus it isn't the first Spongebob game to do such a thing. Lackluster boss fights? Yea, cause Robo-Sandy, Robo-Patrick, Dennis, and Flying Dutchman were such exhilarating foes. I suppose one frame I can pitch, excluding bosses, is that the frequency of them can be a bit much. Simply doing a glide has a high chance of Spongebob doing the Krusty Krab Pizza line, falling off a ledge has him talking about what a great friend Patrick is ad nauseum, I got sick of this and I'd like to think my patience for these things is pretty high. BfBB had just under three seasons worth of material to work off of when it released on Oct. 29th 2003, something its Rehydrated remake mostly stuck with outside a couple of meme stuff in illustrations and idle animations, and more specific instances had manually triggered Easter Eggs like the Rock Bottom bus, which CS also does. Alongside this, it has triple the amount to work under, yet not only does it pull from that same set, it outright showcases them more like with Fred "My Leg" Fish, Tom The CHOCOLATE Enthusiast, or even one minigame instance where the whole point is doing The Popular Meme Animations numerous times in a button mashing minigame, five separate times. It's jarring cause they can indeed do more lowkey inferences to the source or even put them under a new spin, like reusing Prawn as a boss Flying Dutchman has to face to get his groove back, or plastering the set of DBB with Handsome Squidward and Master Udon on the walls. A better balancing of this sort of thing was in order for sure, but hey, I got some laughs.
The biggest issue though, is the visual oddities and quirks. BfBB Rehydrated got some flack for this as well, and much like that game, I haven't gotten anything too nasty but I still faced hiccups regardless. Spongebob's body and wand disappearing, cutscenes jarringly stopping all of a sudden without my input, tikis sometimes floating when they should be falling down, weird boundary detection causing me to get hit, cutscenes not having any sort of sound or music cue making them feel weirdly empty, frankly rather befuddled over what's happening here considering they had nowhere near the same predicament as Rehydrated, a game that suffered from being shoved out the door despite its planned movie tie-in deal not coming through from Sponge On The Run's delayed premiere. It's understandable this is a budgeted release, which is why the standard cutscene animation reuse and more compact feel doesn't bother me so much, but that line of reasoning can only underline a game's woes for so long. The DLC practice is also a legitimate scam, from preordering or now paying 10 additional bucks, you get seven additional costumes to wear despite the fact they have no real difference in utility, the world-specific one takes up all the showcasing, and one of them is just outright the same thing as something already available. Considering how easy it is to stack up on jellies and doubloons, I sincerely have no real clue as to why these are separated from the pack, especially since if I recall, these were shown in trailers!
Honestly, the only reason I'm not too bitter is because at the end of the day, I'm way past the age demographic this is appealing to, even in their attempts to try and do so considering BfBB's popularity, but more importantly its a case that can rarely be replicated in the modern age. That game's quality and sheen was, if I may be so bold, a bit of a lightning in a bottle; it's not at all the first good licensed game, hell it could be argued it wasn't the first good one in the 6th Gen line, but it was one of the more faithful outings due to its usage of the source material concocting for a great experience fan or otherwise, as well as its shockingly intact polish and physicality, which landed itself as a mainstay for speedrunning enthusiasts. While you can expect that sort of thing for more high-maintenance studios such as Insomniac, that's not quite the case for AA-tier calibers like Purple Lamp. Don't get me wrong, I am not excusing these technical issues and my confusing state over them still remain, I'm just saying that I wasn't expecting the same level that came before irregardless of the fact. If kids are gonna grow up with this game, I'm genuinely thankful its at least a commendable effort, and not the shlock I had to face following up such as Movie Game and CfKK to reiterate, Truth Or Square, and especially Atlantis Squarepantis. Funny how people got mad over an IGN employee giving it a 5/10 though, like come on lol there's other type of people to get mad over if you wanna do so.

I wish it was better but it was still pretty good; I love the graphics and generally path of the story, but shit got boring sometimes

This came out of nowhere as a cheap and easy way to hit 15 completions this month, so the last thing I expected was for it to genuinely improve my mood. Very sweet and entertaining look at something that should only be trivialised in the way that it is here. I like it :)

Unfortunately, despite being a streamlined entry into the 3D Platforming space, it's still very frustrating for an autistic gamer, and the controls just do not flow as smooth as they should.
The environments and tech are all really well done, though, and it's a must-grab for hardcore spongebob fans.
Only completed 3 worlds before I shelved it.

7,2/10 🍹
We are all used to the fact that indie projects often have incredibly interesting concepts, but suffer from a lack of funding and game design experience to build interesting gameplay, alas, but the Backfirewall is no exception. After passing the demo, it may seem that this is an exciting dynamic adventure in the spirit of Stanley Parable, but for some reason the devs filled the center of the game with "rooms with a list of tasks", I thought that there would always be something unexpected and new, that this is just a walker with elements, but in fact, in terms of genre, it`s - a puzzle, between story sections, you repeatedly find yourself in large rooms in which you need to solve several rebuses, talk with key characters, look for easter eggs, to break another mechanism and go further, and.. not to say it’s bad, but it’s too simple, too the same, it breaks the flow of the story, it’s not interesting, you need to either move something, or change colors, or rearrange something, good that in every location there is a "character-duck", which can give detailed hints for any difficulty + there will be some miserable stealth, but there is very little of it, and after the 1st section, the devs themselves are already starting to joke about it.
That is, just don’t expect anything from the game, and be prepared for the fact that this is a “puzzle”, then you might get more excited, expecting something incredible - I got mixed emotions, but after the last level, I still stayed, in in general, with positive ones, since the last hour of the game finally returns to the "correct" path "of the scripted hallway story walking simulator, and even has a touching ending, and a decent soundtrack.. The game was made by only a few people, I don't understand why they it was so stretched out, I completed it for about 7 hours!! Seven!! If they took an hour from the demo, an hour from the ending, and put the other 5 more dynamically, without these stupid rooms with tasks, it would have been less work, and the game would have been much more addictive, the humor here is also not particularly unique, and it certainly is not enough for 7 hours, devs could spend more time on a script and make some philosophical parallels with our reality, but instead this there are several endings in the game, a lot of voice actors, a lot of achievements, "findable" items to be able to replay the game 100 times :)
Okay, I already scold quite a lot, this is still one of the most interesting projects of 2023, where else will you play as an update program inside a smartphone that is trying to survive? The visual is simple, but tasteful, there are humorous moments well borrowed from Stanley Parable, and a large number of achievements, content, "replay value" for only 13$ - for you, on the contrary, it can be a plus, and yes, there is a prolonged middle with mediocre gameplay, but by the end, the game has been "corrected", you won't regret it anyway.
Subscribe on my Steam Curators page: https://store.steampowered.com/curator/41977550/
Все мы уже привыкли, что инди-проекты зачастую имеют невероятно интересные концепции, но страдают от нехватки финансирования и геймдизайнерского опыта для построения интересного геймплея, увы, но бэкфайрволл не стала исключением. После прохождения демки вам может показаться, что это увлекательное динамичное приключение в духе Стенли Парабл, но разработчики зачем-то заполнили центр игры "комнатами со списком заданий", я то думал, что всегда будет что-то неожиданное и новое, что это просто сюжетная бродилка с элементами, но по сути, по жанру - это головоломка, между сюжетными секциями, вы раз за разом попадаете в большие комнаты, в которых вам надо решить несколько ребусов, поговорить с ключевыми персонажами, поискать пасхалки, чтобы сломать очередной механизм и пройти дальше, и.. не сказать, что это прям плохо, но это слишком просто, по сюжету одинаково, ломает динамику повествования, это неинтересно, там надо либо что-то передвинуть, либо поменять цвета, либо что-то переставить, благо в каждой локации есть "персонаж-уточка", которая даст развёрнутые подсказки на любую трудность+ещё будет немного убогого стелса, но его прям совсем мало, и после 1-ой же секции над ним уже начинают шутить сами разрабы.
То есть, просто ничего не ждите от игры, и будьте готовы к тому, что это "головоломка", тогда вам может больше зайдёт, ожидая чего-то невероятного, я же получил смешанные эмоции, но после последнего уровня, всё же остался, в целом, с положительными, так как последний час игры наконец-то возвращается на "правильный "путь" заскриптованного коридорного сюжетного симулятора ходьбы, и даже имеет трогательную концовку, и достойный саундтрек.. Игру же делало всего несколько человек, я не понимаю, зачем они так всё это растянули, я проходил её около 7 часов!! Семи!! Если бы они взяли час из демо-версии, час из концовки, и остальные 5 скомпоновали подинамичнее, без этих дурацких комнат с заданиями, получилось бы и работы меньше, и игра бы затягивала гораздо лучше, юмор тут тоже не блещет какой-то прям уникальностью, и его уж точно не хватает на 7 мать его часов, можно было потратить время на большую проработку сценария и сделать какие-то философские параллели с нашей реальностью, зато вместо этого в игре несколько концовок, куча актёров озвучки, куча достижений, "находибильных" предметов, чтобы вы могли это всё 100 раз перепроходить :)
Ну ладно, довольно много я уже ругаю, это всё равно один из самых интересных проектов 2023 года, где вы ещё поиграете за программу обновления внутри смартфона, которая пытается выжить? Визуал простенький, но со вкусом, есть неплохо заимстовованные из Stanley Parable юморные моменты, а большое количество достижений, контента, "реиграбельности" за 500 рублей - для вас наоборот могут быть плюсом, и да, тут затянутая середина с посредственным геймплеем, но к концу игра исправляется, вы, в любом случае, не пожалеете.

i was very confused, but I'm sure beneath that confusion is a legitimately fun game I just never got there

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