With a remake, all of this, along with the often questionable level design, could have been corrected. But with SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated aiming to be as faithful to the original as possible, these issues only serve as a reminder of how much better the industry has become at making 3D platformers.
If you want to get the most out of Good Job!, forget trying to get the best score possible and just have a blast wrecking up your dad's company as this commentary on nepotism slowly plays out. That's when the game is at its best. Save those "S" rankings for a second run through.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a pleasant remake of a pair of dungeon crawlers that, as I can see now, are a bit more dated than I originally thought they'd be. There is still a lot to love about this interesting spin on the Pokémon formula, but not enough for me to lose myself in the experience as I did once before.
Honestly, 18 days is far too little time to generate a comprehensive assessment of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is still much I don't know about this game, including how in-game purchases will ultimately be incorporated. But based on what I have been able to experience, it's what I've wanted Animal Crossing to be for many years. While it fumbles its camping-inspired opening, New Horizons makes a nice recovery with a strong focus on player accomplishment, creating a potent sense of achievement in this idyllic piece of escapism.
But even when it's not sounding like an improv group at a Bernie Sanders rally, Heroland is a gem. It's incredibly funny, the characters are some of the most charming I met all year, and its unique take on turn-based battles made a strategist out of me. I just wish I didn't need to do so much grinding to see the game through to the end.
There isn't a strong narrative that strings together this adventure, but the lack of one makes the whole experience a bit more beguiling. If I were subject to an endless series of cut-scenes where characters prattle through the exposition, I wouldn't have walked away from The Touryst as intrigued as I am. Mind you, it's not an amazing experience or something I'm going to remember several months from now like other, more dynamic indie games. But, as a small, self-contained adventure with gorgeous style and a playful sense of freedom, I was more than satisfied when the credits rolled.
On one hand, the online is absolutely broken and embarrassing. On the other, anytime I'm not dealing with that nonsense, I'm having fun with the game. Maybe in a couple of months, when I've min-maxed every Pokémon in the Dex and am just focusing on raids, I'll feel more antagonistic toward the game and its woeful online, but right now, when I'm doing literally anything else in it, I'm having a good time.
But honestly, that's a frustration worth enduring because of how amusing experience this can be. While I wouldn't say the single-player option is an afterthought, it's quite evident The Stretchers is made to be played with another person. Or even a group of people as you gather around the telly to find out which of your friends are really in sync with one another. That's when it's at its best; so grab a friend, split those Joy-Con, and try not to lose your cool when the two of you can't seem to figure out how to mow a lawn together.