SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake
“Whether you’re a SpongeBob fan or just looking to get a new game for your kid, The Cosmic Shake is a solid choice.”
To-notch voice performing
Frame fee drips
Platforming lacks precision
Light on ambition
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake might not wildly innovate or push the bar ahead for 3D platformers, however it confidently creates an approachable SpongeBob SquarePants platformer for gamers of all ages. THQ Nordic and Purple Lamp ship exactly what you’d hope to see in a licensed 3D platformer, from its trustworthy presentation and voice performing to its approachable gameplay.
Cosmic Shake succeeds as a follow-up to SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, providing a hilarious expertise that your children wouldn’t be embarrassed to obtain as a present. Even with some body fee points and platforming that doesn’t circulate as easily because the style greats, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is likely one of the finest licensed children’ video games you’ll be able to decide up proper now.
As seen on TV
Right from the beginning, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake performs out like a traditional episode of the enduring cartoon. SpongeBob and Patrick go to Glove World and purchase magical, wish-granting Mermaid’s Tears from a shady service provider named Kassandra. In typical SpongeBob vogue, it doesn’t take lengthy for that to get out of hand. SpongeBob and Patrick make sufficient needs with the Mermaid’s Tears to destabilize actuality, turning Patrick right into a balloon and trapping their associates throughout a number of totally different “Wishworlds” based mostly on areas in Bikini Bottom.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake succeeds in being humorous by simply sounding like an episode of the present.
This plot feels prefer it may’ve been taken straight from an episode of the present, despite the fact that additionally it is well-suited to a world-based platformer. The writing and voice performing are each on the cash, delivering precisely what a fan would count on from SpongeBob. As at all times, Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke are a delight as SpongeBob and Patrick, although each voice actor right here is on level, bringing the identical power to this sport as they should the TV present for the previous 23 years.
The writing is kind of humorous, with loads of nice jokes applicable for all ages. Kids will get an harmless chuckle out of SpongeBob’s underwear well being bar and different bits of cartoon gross-out imagery. Even if younger gamers appear to be the central viewers right here, the sport even acquired some laughs out of me with some hilarious Patrick quips and callbacks to TV gags like “one eternity later” transition playing cards. Comedy is tough to tug off in video games and sometimes fairly divisive, however SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake succeeds in being humorous by simply sounding like an episode of the present.
In an analogous vein, its visuals succeed by taking a trustworthy method to the supply materials. The present involves life spectacularly in 3D and is much more colourful and vibrant than its predecessor, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom — Rehydrated. Level theming can be excellent, as we see many areas from the present and Battle for Bikini Bottom reimagined with new themes, like Wild West Jellyfish Fields and Halloween Rock Bottom. It’s novel to see brand-new takes on these well-trodden areas, and all the minute particulars, some wonderful sound design, and a catchy soundtrack be sure that every world is memorable.
Unfortunately, the presentation isn’t flawless. I encountered fairly a couple of body fee dips despite the fact that I used to be taking part in the Xbox One model of the sport on the Xbox Series X. Its visuals could be fairly, however these efficiency points make some ranges of the sport much less nice to play. Cutscene-to-gameplay transitions would sometimes jitter, and a few dying animations don’t play correctly. Hopefully, these technical points might be ironed out after launch, simply as they had been with SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom — Rehydrated, however they bitter an in any other case great-looking sport upon launch.
How robust are ya?
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake isn’t designed to be troublesome, and it’s all of the extra enjoyable for that call. Unlike Battle for Bikini Bottom, which lets individuals play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy, Cosmic Shake solely encompasses a playable SpongeBob (Balloon Patrick makes jokes and infrequently finds well being for SpongeBob). That stated, his motion has been vastly expanded to include these different characters’ talents, like Patrick’s highly effective physique slam or Sandy’s swinging powers. The most important additions are a Karate dive kick that works on enemies and sure objects in addition to a stamina-based glide utilizing a Krusty Krab pizza field.
Although I discover it hilarious that the feel and appear of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s glider has entered the mainstream gaming zeitgeist sufficient to the place it’s utilized in a SpongeBob sport, the device is my favourite addition to Cosmic Shake because it opens up motion choices in lots of eventualities. Still, you received’t be gliding too far with this. Even together with his double bounce and glide, SpongeBob isn’t as nimble or fast to manage as Mario, Kirby, or Sonic.
I do want among the talents flowed collectively and had extra affect.
Precise leaping on small platforms not often comes up except you’re monitoring down hidden side-quest collectibles, and the sport options fairly a little bit of fight. While necessary fight sections are sometimes dying knells for 3D platformers, Cosmic Shake’s fights by no means develop into too irritating due to a nifty new dodge roll and enemies’ well-telegraphed assaults. Outside of going again to search for elective collectibles, even the sport’s extra open-ended ranges are comparatively linear in mission design, so it’s uncommon you’ll ever be misplaced or not know what to do subsequent.
Cosmic Shake isn’t difficult — there’s just one boss combat within the sport that can in all probability give some children hassle. Although those that like a bit extra problem of their platformers could be disillusioned, the sport is deliberately designed to be approachable, making it a terrific first platformer for style newcomers and children. That additionally means it’s a pleasant, breezy palette cleanser for individuals who play numerous lengthy, intense video games like me. Still, Cosmic Shake’s controls aren’t as refined because the style’s finest.
I do want among the talents flowed collectively and had extra affect, although. In specific, I discovered it unsatisfying that I may by no means chain the dodge roll right into a bounce. I may have used extra suggestions when SpongeBob’s web hit enemies, and it feels somewhat limiting which you could solely use talents after you encounter their tutorial. Nintendo has nailed easy-to-learn however shockingly intricate character transfer units in video games like Super Mario Odyssey and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is actually not on that stage.
That stated, it’s not making an attempt to be.
Non-AAA licensed video games are usually gambles by way of high quality as a result of they’re making an attempt to attraction to younger children, however SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake manages to try this whereas nonetheless being a stable platformer anybody can get pleasure from. I grew up with the TV present and Battle for Bikini Bottom sport, and Cosmic Shake virtually at all times stored a smile on my face as I explored stunning new takes on Bikini Bottom areas I remembered and laughed to SpongeBob and Patrick’s jokes as I did within the early 2000s.
Especially on platforms like PS4 and Xbox One, the place kid-friendly platformers like Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Super Mario Odyssey aren’t as widespread, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a wonderful selection in case you’re on the lookout for a enjoyable platformer in your children. Even in case you’ll discover a few of its presentation flaws and lack of gameplay ambition as an grownup, it’ll nonetheless be pleasant in case you’ve ever had a bit of affection for SpongeBob’s misadventures.
Digital Trends reviewed the Xbox One model of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake on an Xbox Series X.
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