SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake Evaluation (Swap)

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Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

A couple of years in the past, Purple Lamp Studios launched SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Backside Rehydrated, a strong revival of a 3D platforming traditional from many years previous. Gross sales for that remaster had been evidently sturdy sufficient to justify improvement of an all-new sequel, as SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake was introduced somewhat over a 12 months later. Constructed from the bottom up for contemporary {hardware}, this new launch carries on the spirit of the unique whereas integrating many new concepts and designs of its personal. Although The Cosmic Shake isn’t precisely a recreation that reinvents the 3D platforming wheel, it gives an pleasing and pleasant expertise that no fan of this nostalgic style will wish to miss.

The Cosmic Shake picks up with SpongeBob and Patrick assembly a mysterious mermaid named Kassandra who gives them a bottle of mermaid tears for them to make use of as bubble cleaning soap. The tears have magical properties and legend has it that they’ve the power to grant needs, however issues get out of hand when SpongeBob and Patrick overuse them and tear aside the multiverse. Because of their mistake, Bikini Backside has turn out to be drenched in cosmic jelly and overrun by unusual jelly creatures, whereas all of SpongeBob and Patrick’s mates have been scattered throughout the varied Wishworlds that opened portals throughout city. The 2 thus got down to restore the harm and accumulate jelly for Kassandra, who completely doesn’t have ulterior motives.

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Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

The story isn’t something distinctive, nevertheless it does a unbelievable job of emulating the texture and humor of a typical SpongeBob episode, particularly one from the primary three seasons. References and in-jokes abound and can be appreciated by followers of the present, although even newcomers will nonetheless discover a lot to like within the goofy and irreverent humor on show right here. SpongeBob and Patrick’s banter and commentary as they discover the worlds assist to fill the silence effectively, and all of the characters (even minor ones like Fred or the chocolate man) being voiced by their unique voice actors helps so as to add that additional contact of authenticity.

Gameplay in The Cosmic Shake follows typical 3D platforming recreation design, tasking you with exploring huge playgrounds, beating up baddies, and choosing up a complete lot of collectibles alongside the best way. In contrast to its predecessor (which had three playable characters) you solely play as SpongeBob right here, however he learns new methods as you progress. One degree might train you the best way to grapple and swing between fish hooks, whereas one other unlocks a brand new bubble surfboard that you should use to glide set distances. Plus, there are occasional easy minigames tossed in to interrupt issues up even additional, tasking you with issues like cooking Krabby Patties or outdrinking Sandy in a saloon.

Even past obstacles targeted on SpongeBob’s increasing moveset, every degree introduces some enjoyable, unique gimmicks to combine up the motion. For instance, one degree options a number of stealth sections the place it is advisable to sneak round enemies and scare them, whereas one other has a number of auto-scrolling platforming and fight sections as you ‘act’ in a karate film. You by no means enterprise too removed from the core 3D platforming, however we appreciated the gameplay selection on provide right here, because it offers every Wishworld its personal really feel whereas new talents offer you cause to revisit earlier ranges to ferret out collectibles you couldn’t attain earlier than.

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Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

Degree design feels prefer it strikes a great steadiness between one thing extra targeted like Demon Turf and one thing overstuffed with collectibles like Donkey Kong 64. Every Wishworld has a central quest and a transparent path so that you can observe, whereas there are myriad rabbit trails and non-obligatory aspect paths you’ll be able to discover alongside the best way to seek out additional goodies. For instance, characters again in Bikini Backside (the hub world) will usually hand out aspect quests asking you to gather issues for them, like pennies for Mr. Krabs or ‘Good Noodles’ stickers for Mrs. Puff, and these additional collectibles are normally stashed away in laborious to achieve locations throughout a number of Wishworlds. The central paths normally don’t require an excessive amount of technical ability to beat, however the non-obligatory content material for the aspect quests can function some properly difficult gauntlets that push your reflexes somewhat tougher.

Alongside the best way, you’ll come throughout every kind of jelly monsters standing in your manner, and although it isn’t precisely a central focus of the gameplay, the fight strikes a pleasant steadiness between being partaking with out stealing the highlight. Strikes like a dodge roll and a Sonic-like homing assault give SpongeBob a variety of mobility in fight, whereas new enemy varieties are launched with every new Wishworld to introduce extra selection to brawls. For example, one enemy sort can spawn different foes and takes just a few hits to destroy, whereas one other one normally hangs again in a hard-to-reach spot and helps its allies from afar with cowl fireplace from a tartar sauce gun. Now and again, you’ll get locked in an enviornment the place you must overcome a short brawl with jelly monsters to proceed, and we appreciated how these bought more and more dynamic as SpongeBob’s new talents and new enemy varieties had been launched.

No matter whether or not you might be platforming or combating, cosmic jelly and doubloons are two of the primary collectibles you’ll be grabbing throughout the Wishworlds and are instantly tied to The Cosmic Shake’s beauty financial system. Cosmic jelly is in every single place and acts as the primary foreign money for getting new outfits, whereas doubloons are rarer and are normally discovered on the finish of robust platforming sections, however unlock new costume tiers in case you can seize sufficient of them. Costumes are pulled from throughout the sequence’ historical past and don’t have any operate past appears to be like, however we actually appreciated that amassing jelly isn’t one thing you simply do for the sake of it. Accumulating all of the costumes will take you about so long as it takes to finish the entire recreation, that means that there’s all the time one thing else worthwhile to be working in direction of.

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Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

Visually, The Cosmic Shake is a transparent step up from the Battle for Bikini Backside remaster, which was already fairly a handsome tackle the platforming traditional. Character animation feels a lot much less stiff than it did within the unique, permitting for cutscenes that convey much more expression as characters react to occasions. In the meantime, the worlds are way more expansive than earlier than and make use of a deeper coloration palette, giving every one a pointy and distinctive look that units it aside.

The one downside right here is that the beefed-up visuals appear to have include some efficiency points. Although we didn’t observe any progression-breaking bugs like within the launch model of Battle for Bikini Backside, we did see that the body charge tends to take a success when issues get too busy on display screen, and there are graphical hiccups like how the fog that encircles an enviornment struggle simply pops into existence with no fade in. The Cosmic Shake is a bit tough across the edges, then, however we’d say that these points solely quantity to minor irritations quite than one thing that actively hampers the gameplay expertise.

Total, The Cosmic Shake seems like an exceptionally well-paced and constant recreation all over. There’s all the time one other collectible or costume that’s simply past your attain and issues actually begin to open up as soon as you have cleared the primary quests for just a few worlds and have a variety of choices for backtracking or additional progressing the story. On the identical time, it by no means seems like there’s an excessive amount of padding or busy work to filter out right here—this can be a recreation that gives up a variety of selection, nevertheless it doesn’t overstay its welcome. We hope that Purple Lamp Studios will get the chance to proceed its work with SpongeBob, because it’s fairly clear that the builders poured rather a lot into making this the very best SpongeBob platformer but.


SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is a triumphant and various 3D platformer that no fan of the sequence or the style will wish to miss. It’s not the sport that’ll change your thoughts if 3D collectathon-style video games aren’t your factor, nevertheless it demonstrates at each step that it’s not just a few half-hearted cash-in. Centered degree design, a number of gameplay selection, tight controls, and an enthralling forged voiced by the unique voice artists all mix to make this top-of-the-line SpongeBob video games but. Although it’s often let down by efficiency points, we’d nonetheless give this one a powerful suggestion to anybody who likes a 3D platformer and a Krabby Patty.

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