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THQ announces a bunch of Nickelodeon stuff, for good reason

THQ has announced that their longtime Nickelodeon licensing agreement has resulted in $1 billion in sales and 50 million games sold. That goes a long way towards explaining why they think it's a good idea to release a game based on The Naked Brothers Band (though we would have preferred the Naked Brothers' producers' other show).

The press release went on to announce 5 more Nickelodeon-based projects. Many of the games are Wii/PS2/DS multiplatform, but Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants and Back at the Barnyard: Slop Bucket Games are DS-exclusive, and the DS is getting a different Tak game from the other platforms. Score. The new announcements include:
  • The Naked Brothers Band: The Videogame
  • Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Tak Mojo Mistake
  • SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom
  • Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno

Drawn to Life: SpongeBob Video Pants

It's a credit to the original Drawn to Life's concept and quality that we're still interested in the follow-up despite 5th Cell's absence and its attached license -- SpongeBob SquarePants.

IGN previewed the customizable platformer, and while it doesn't revolutionize the draw-your-adventure formula, it's a "polished, Nickelodeon-ized" take on it. We've never played any games from Alton, the developer taking the reins from 5th Cell, so we'll have to try Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition ourselves before developing an opinion with any firmness to it.

Word has it, a two-player versus mode will be included, so look forward to pitting grotesquely phallic avatars against crude renditions of cartoon characters -- Donatello, Heathcliff, skies the limit!

See also: DS Fanboy Review: Drawn to Life

DS Daily: Drawn to License

Having had a day or so to absorb the news (oh man, that was totally unintentional, but we're leaving it) of a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed version of Drawn to Life, we're somewhat less negative about it and more ... conflicted.

Basically, we don't know if we should feel bad for the original game or happy for the license. Being based on a good game means that SpongeBob SquarePants Drawn to Life has at least an outside chance of not being terrible, which puts it immediately ahead of just about every other licensed game for kids. However, the converse is also true: being stuck with some random license may sink what was great about DTL.

Of course, there's also the separate issue of the game being passed off to another developer. We're pretty sure that doesn't bode well.

A new Drawn to Life, but ...

How can you tell that Drawn to Life was a success? Publisher THQ is making full use of the IP, with a new licensed spinoff ... Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants. It's a Drawn to Life game, developed by a company called Altron and not 5th Cell, set in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, featuring a story in which lazy sea creatures SpongeBob and Patrick are captured by the pencil-drawn SpongeBob clone DoodleBob. The player creates a hero in order to rescue the pair and defeat DoodleBob.

We don't know what to say. We thought we'd be happy to hear about more Drawn to Life, especially one with a two-player mode, but we didn't expect this. Doesn't putting the game in an established setting kind of defeat the create-it-yourself appeal of Drawn to Life?

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