When THQ was brought back from the dead as THQ Nordic they started by remastering classic titles in their catalogues. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was among those titles. Most of these titles resembled the original content to a fault, and felt of their generation with modern graphics. Since then THQ Nordic has faithfully remastered most of these games and now they are onto making brand new sequels. What is yet to be determined is the quality of the new games, so far we got a middling Saint’s Row, a lack lustre Destroy All Humans multiplayer game. So how does SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake fair?
SpongeBob SquarePants is back with another grand adventure. This time after buying wish-granting mermaid’s tears SpongeBob grants the town wishes. Of course SpongeBob’s do good attitude goes wrong and Bikini Bottom is sent into peril as a cosmic shake pulls the place apart, sending them throughout different universes. To repair Bikini Bottom and bring back together the universe SpongeBob must jump into each of these cosmic breaks and set things right. There are seven worlds to explore throughout these cosmic breaks from the popular Jellyfish Fields (with a Wild West theme), to Rock Bottom (with a Halloween theme).
The Cosmic Shake starts off as a slog. Those first couple of hours including the first world you visit are mediocre at best. SpongeBob can only jump in the first section of the game, and is only given a simple attack in the first world. This piecemeal approach works great from the second world, but the beginning needed more thrills. Once you get the Karate Kick in the second world the gameplay becomes a joy, and with every world after your move-sets just get even better. The story is fun and brings the platforming altogether more than most platformers do.
There is effectively twenty years between The Cosmic Shake and Battle for Bikini Bottom, however there is not twenty years of refinement in the gameplay. The Cosmic Shake is a much more enjoyable experience than Battle for Bikini Bottom partly due to the refinements. Battle for Bikini Bottom was a PlayStation 2 game and is as you would imagine a PlayStation 2 game to be. You are never lost in The Cosmic Shake as the main path is always clearly shown, whereas Battle for Bikini Bottom would have me back and forth looking for my objective. The combat feels great and flows well in The Cosmic Shake, yet the hitboxes felt unfair in Battle for Bikini Bottom. The results are all positive and as a AA feeling platform it sits well amongst it’s comparable competitors and above Battle for Bikini Bottom.
Overall, The Cosmic Shake has a nice constant progression that fails in the beginning and triumphs in the end. Each world feels well designed with replay value to find all the collectables. As far as games that are made with children in mind this one is near the top. A lot of care is given to creating an authentic SpongeBob SquarePants story that fans will appreciate. If we get more of these every couple of years I’ll be there enjoying my platforming fill.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows.
Check out my review of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated here.