The funkified whimsy behind SpongeBob SquarePants elevated it from standard cartoon status into a pop culture phenomenon. It sits right next to The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on that shelf of screwy cartoons with enough personality and charm to warrant mass production of toys, movies and all the paraphernalia that marketing mavens could conjure.
Only problem being, that videogames based on popular cartoons usually suck. It's a sad fact gamers have come to realize by enduring hours of platform mediocrity, poor game mechanics and shoddy attempts at humor.
Occasionally, game developers craft a game based on some insanely popular license and it doesn't suck. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, based closely on the theatrical release of the same name, is such a non-sucky title. Yes, it's a platformer.
And yes, you collect things and jump over spikes and lava. You can even unlock show-centric extras. But this is where the similarities end. By focusing on what makes the show entertaining, namely, oddly grown-up humor and marrying it with solid action, developer Heavy Iron delivers a fun dive into the oceanic depths.
The game follows the movie very closely (enough to have THQ warn us on spoiling the ending), so expect to see all the characters and locations from flick. The plot revolves around the dim-witted duo (SpongeBob and Patrick) as they try to thwart the maniacal Plankton from ruling the world.