Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 35

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (Eurocom/THQ, 2003)

A platforming game starring knockoff Zidane Tribal and set in Egypt as described by the 5th person down the chain in a game of telephone. Surely it wouldn't have been that hard for the devs to do 10 minutes of research and find a city name that actually makes sense to house the "Blade of Osiris" instead of Uruk. The game reviewed okay and has been ported to Steam and Switch in recent years, but I will not be playing more.


Spider-Man (Treyarch/Actvision, 2002)

It opens with what is possibly the most apathetic introductory voice over in the history of video games, and then tosses you right in at what seems to be the halfway point of the movie. From there, you crawl over everyone's walls and you're swinging all over town. Unlike the sequel, you can't survive falls from any height or jump particularly high, and don't even think about comparing the swing mechanics to Insomniac's spidey game. This was a game that had clear flaws even back then, but after almost two decades and several much better games in the same universe, it's really only worthwhile to completionists now.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 (Treyarch/Activision, 2004)

Spidey's second outing was one of the first big open world games and perfected the swinging mechanics that were still more or less in use even for the PS4 game. But I still wouldn't particularly recommend going back to it, because as is almost always the case with the first big game in a genre, newer and bigger games have gone further with the idea. This game's New York City feels dead and doesn't have much to do, and while I certainly don't miss the dozens of ridiculous backpacks in Insomniac's New York, that one does at least feel more like a real city.

Spirits & Spells

Spirits & Spells (Kalisto Entertainment + Wanadoo Edition/Dreamcatcher Interactive, 2003)

A platformer starring two kids who get trapped in the land of the dead after running away from the Bogeyman on Halloween. It didn't review well at all, but it has a charmingly stupid sense of humor and has been completely forgotten, so I want to give it a chance. This was the last game Kalisto ever made, and they'd go down in a mess of accounting scandals a few years later. Wanadoo were bought out by Microids soon after this game and were presumably condemned to making hidden object games forever.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (Heavy Iron Studios/THQ, 2003)

This is canonically the best of the SpongeBob games, although at the time of writing this blurb I haven't played a few of them and can't officially say that myself. I played the remake earlier this year and enjoyed it, although I wouldn't call it essential unless you're a big fan of either SpongeBob or this particular style of PS2-era collectathon. That said, I think the original is actually the best version of it, because the remake added repetitive voice lines so annoying that I started playing in other languages for variety and the original honestly still looks quite good anyway. Plus, it has a cool mod that you can read about thanks to our own DZ.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab

SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (Blitz Games/THQ, 2006)

This is one of the SpongeBob games I had never played, and I don't think I missed much. It's a racing/flying/platforming/"rampaging" game depending on what level you're playing, but none of them are anything special and the game is full of incredibly low-res assets that look awful on screen. They also used some strange gritty art for SpongeBob in friends in this first level that looks more gross than anything else.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!

SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (THQ Australia/THQ, 2005)

It wouldn't be a licensed GCN franchise without a Mario Party clone, so here it is. It also features a lot of low-res assets and graphics that are inexplicably worse than the earlier BFBB. Really, the most interesting thing about it is that the PC game of the same name is actually completely different: it's a point-and-click that reviewed much better, although still only mediocre at best. I played some of that game at some point in the past, but I've forgotten it so thoroughly that even the genre was news to me.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman