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  • Awesome Music: Just like in BFBB, the soundtrack was well received. Now has its own page.
  • Best Boss Ever: The fight against King Neptune. It even has the awesome "Goofy Goober Rock" playing as its background music during the final phase.
  • Catharsis Factor: Admit it. Tossing enemies or objects over incredibly large distances at other enemies and objects with Patrick's upgraded Throw attack is really satisfying. It certainly helps take a bit of the frustration off from That One Level Shell City, Dead Ahead given that the entire level's gimmick is throwing things.
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  • Contested Sequel: Depends on the player's preference between this game's linear action-based gameplay or Battle for Bikini Bottom's open-world collect-a-thon style.
  • Demonic Spiders: The MERVs in Welcome to Planktopolis... Minions. Unlike the ones found in Shell City, Dead Ahead, which are more or less Goddamned Bats because they can only harm you if you get too close, the Planktopolis MERVs are even more dangerous. Not only are they more durable, but they can also fire rockets at you when you're within range of their sights. These rockets can break up into smaller ones and rain down on you from above, exploding on impact so even if they don't hit you directly, their blast wave will if you're too close one of them. The rockets have deceptively large hitboxes which makes reflecting them with your Spin Attack a very risky move without taking a hit yourself, so the only way to safely take out these enemies is with the Sonic Wavenote . To make matters worse, this type of MERV can be encountered as early as the Now That We're Men Combat Arena Challenge, five levels before its initial encounter. Combined with a horde of Foggers and Poppers attacking you at the same time, the inclusion of the MERV makes the challenge into a massive Difficulty Spike. The worst example is at the end of Welcome to Planktopolis... Minions, where a whole swarm of them will fire rockets at you as you're crossing a series of sinking platforms above a lake of lava, which combined with several Poppers attacking you as well, makes the entire area nothing short of mind-shatteringly difficult.
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  • Game-Breaker: SpongeBob's Sonic Wave Guitar. When fully upgraded, it can one-shot most enemies except for the MERV and also gains a lock-on homing attack. However, you only get this move near the end of the game in Welcome to Planktopolis... Minions, and while using it, the camera shifts to the Sonic Wave projectile for five seconds, leaving SpongeBob wide open to enemies with ranged attacks. The Sonic Wave only becomes a true Game Breaker if a cheat code is used to gain all of SpongeBob's and Patrick's moves at the beginning of the game.
  • Genius Bonus: Most of the levels and sidequests get either no-frills or punny names, but how many kids would know what "Three Meter Island" references?
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The earlier version of the MERV encountered in Shell City, Dead Ahead named the "Mini-MERV". They're not as dangerous as their Planktopolis counterparts because they lack the rockets, but they will block your path constantly, and approaching them is not a good idea because of their lasers. They need to be taken out with the Throw attack in order to proceed.
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    • The Flingers. While they're not too terribly difficult to deal with on their own, they can become a nuisance if they're backed up by a mob of enemies, or are found over large platforming segments. The goo they spit out lingers on the ground for a few seconds, affecting your traction if you touch it, and making platforming and combat more cumbersome.
    • The Foggers easily become this in large groups. This is most prominent in the Combat Arena Challenges, especially in the second and third ones where, unlike the usual versions, they unleash their burp attack faster and are more durable.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Much like Battle For Bikini Bottom, this game is loaded with them, as this speedrun shows. It may even be more broken than Battle For Bikini Bottom.
    • In the final boss, a broken plank on the floor behind Krabs leaves you safe from Neptune's attacks.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the ending cutscene, the Narrator ponders a followup to the film. Eleven years later, we got The Spongebob Movie Sponge Out Of Water:
    Narrator: We must stop and wonder, how long until the sequel? It depends on the box office.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One of the very few criticisms of the game is its short length.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • During the level where SpongeBob and Patrick are in the trench of monsters, there are some areas where you have to go into the mouths of wall monsters. There's yellow mucus, stomach acid, villi, and everything.
    • And one instance has SpongeBob sliding down the wall monster's throat using his own tongue like a snowboard.
    • All the garbage (which includes toilets filled with murky, green water) in Shell City, Dead Ahead.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Thanks in no small part to the home console games being based on Battle for Bikini Bottom. While it's a tad bit glitchy due to being rushed to make it in time for the movie, it's still a surprisingly solid platformer. The verdict is out on the GBA and PC versions, however, as they're nowhere near as well-loved as the home console versions.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The PlayStation 3 digital port of this game was plagued with a lot of issues, due to the fact that it was a direct port of the PlayStation 2 version with no proper optimization updates to make it run on next-gen hardware. Issues included blurry graphics, severe audio desynchronization, and button lag that made the gameplay downright unresponsive at times. Overall, it was a very flawed port, and the game was eventually taken down from the PlayStation Store.
    • While it's nowhere near as bad as the PlayStation 3 port, the Nintendo GameCube version is notable for having inconsistent framerates that can go from 60 fps on one stage to 30 fps on another, many missing visual effects and background details, and far more bugs than the other versions.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Some people try to do a "No Upgrades Run", where they attempt to play through the game with no upgrades at all. The game is already Nintendo Hard, but trying to beat it with no upgrades makes it Harder Than Hard.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The infamous slideshow-esque cutscenes that transition some levels. This is due to their abuse of Windows Movie Maker transitions, the incredibly stilted dialogue and narration, and a few of them (most notably the last cutscene) having either oddly drawn versions of the characters or stock images of the characters. Thankfully, these cutscenes are comedic, so the tone they were going for isn't ruined, but it's still bizarre seeing them alongside the fully animated in-game cutscenes. note 
  • That One Boss:
    • Even by Final Boss standards, the fight against King Neptune can be aggravatingly difficult. For starters, he cannot be harmed directly, and any attack attempts will be blocked and knocked away, even at close range. The only way to damage him is to flip each table around the Krusty Krab II, and then hide behind the frozen Mr. Krabs to redirect his laser attack back at him, stunning him for an opportunity to lay a hit on him with the Sonic Wave. The difficulty increases exponentially for every third of his health lost. In the second phase, he changes his attack pattern into an area-of-effect energy beam that's even more difficult to jump over than his previous flamethrower attack, and in the final phase he breaks the floor and calls for two Flinger enemies to help him out. The last leg of this fight will really test your skills and patience to the breaking point.
    • For the GBA version, the Cyclops is this. Not only do you need to pay attention to the rising thermometer on the side of the screen, which will result in instant death if it gets too high, but you also need to watch for his grab-attack, which can easily kill you instantly (you can wiggle out of it, but it will cost you a lot of time). You must constantly Ground Pound the fire alarm switch to keep the thermometer down while trying to avoid his hands and waiting for an opportunity to attack his head, which is damn near impossible thanks to the Ground Pound leaving you vulnerable to being caught by his hands.
  • That One Level:
    • Shell City, Dead Ahead is considered to be a wake-up call for many players. Located near the game's half-way mark, it requires the player to master Patrick at his fullest in one of the most lengthy and wide-open levels in the whole game. The level heavily features some complex platforming segments which sometimes requires some very risky jumps to cross over large gaps.note  Some segments even involve picking up objects and throwing them to solve puzzles, with some of them putting you in waves of enemies that need to be exploited for this. There's one section where you need to carry a Throw Fruit or Steel Safe across a slippery surface with steam erupting from the cracks, which is far harder than it sounds. It doesn't help that the MERV enemies make their debut in this level and require the player to use ranged attacks to beat them. Keep in mind that Patrick's move set is mostly close-range attacks, and his one ranged attack involves getting closer to take them out. If his throwing ability isn't upgraded to cover a great distance, this level will be a pain to beat.
    • Then there's Welcome to Planktopolis... Minions. One of the last levels before the final boss, this level is an absolute nightmare. It is filled to the brim with spike traps, electrical beams, and lava pits at every corner, and the enemies encountered in this level will definitely give you a hard time. The enemies range from waves of elite Foggers swarming you to the aforementioned MERV enemies that now fire missiles that break up into smaller ones. The platforming segments require some intensive skill to pass through, and mastering SpongeBob's wall jump ability is critical for beating this level, as you'll encounter many wall-jumping segments. Finally, there's Plankton's Riddle: a puzzle located very late in the level that will put your survival skills to the ultimate test. Unless you're a long-time player who knows what to do, each wrong button pressed will bring you closer to death by raising the lava level, destroying certain platforms, and adding even more MERV enemies to face.
    • Many of the optional bonus levels that consist of Patrick jumping on platforms while being timed, rolling SpongeBob as a ball to the end of complicated platforms, or fighting groups of enemies at the same time. The ones you find later on in the game are especially hard, some people even rage quitting after losing the level many times.
    • In the GBA version, the levels of World 5: Shell City feature a frustrating mechanic that makes even the standard time limit look like nothing. In those levels, there's a thermometer on the side of the screen that is constantly rising, and the only way to keep it down is to Ground Pound each fire alarm switch you find. If you fail to activate even one of these switches, the thermometer will get too high and instantly kill SpongeBob and Patrick. It doesn't help that these levels are filled with obstacles that can slow you down, ranging from spikes to falling hooks, so these levels have you in a constant and strict speed run that must be near flawless to beat. It also doesn't help that the boss of this world also runs on this same mechanic.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • The Macho Time Challenge in Rock Slide can be a real pain to beat if you don't know how to exploit shortcuts efficiently. Being the longest slide track in the game combined with a short 4:10 time limit, You need to know which shortcuts to use as some will bypass large sections of the slide entirely.
    • The third and final Sonic Wave Challenge in Shell City, Dead Ahead. Unlike the previous two challenges where the rings follow a linear path back to the beginning of the level, the rings here instead loop around a wide open area, meaning you'll never know where they will pop up. This is made even more difficult by the fact that some rings require you to make some aggravatingly sharp turns with the hard-to-steer controls of the Sonic Wave. Not helping is the fact that the challenge is very long, so if you miss a ring, you'll have to go through the whole course all over again. Oh, and don't be fooled when you reach the target thinking you can just hit it by the side, because you'll need to make one more final loop before you can actually hit it to finish the challenge.
    • The third and final Bungee Challenge in Welcome to Planktopolis... Minions. Let's just say that you will not get out of this one without taking a lot of damage and dying a lot, even when upgraded to maximum health. The intersecting paths of the targets that you need to hit and the electrical beams that you need to avoid makes it very easy to mess up and get electrocuted, so timing is absolutely crucial here (especially during the last segment).
    • Pretty much all of the ring challenges in the driving levels, thanks to both the very loose driving mechanics and the very short time that the rings are available.
    • Finding all the hidden treasure chests is very hard due to many of them either being hidden in cryptic places or requiring the player to perform highly specific tasks unprompted. Special mention goes to the one in Three Thousand Miles to Shell City where you have to destroy a group of crates in a specific order, and the one in Shell City, Dead Ahead where you just have to know to hit three toasters hidden in the scenery of the level.

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