They do mostly stick to the same formula, sadly, with AWE throwing in a couple of new light-based elements I would have liked to have seen more of, especially in combat(!), but once again both of them managed to compel me all the way through; mostly out of sheer curiosity and love of the world and its enigmas. I would really like to see more of this universe in the future and I think Remedy could get super creative with regards to upping the ante around the action. There’s the potential for a total game changer here and, after all, there are plenty more doors to discover in the Motel *wink wink*.
It's fair to say Battle for Bikini Bottom was hardly a revelation back in 2003 and it's definitely not one now, even with the cult popularity the original has gained due to the speedrunning community.