41 Reviews liked by Whom
Playing this in short bursts during downtime at work was a really sweet little treat. Logging in at lunchtime and seeing all my fellow home-working pals pop up around the same time with "ONLINE: SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD + BOWSER'S FURY" notifications was a heartwarming bit of parasocial friendship - it's nice to think of a bunch worn-down Microsoft Teams Miners were getting an injection of joy in the form of Mario flapping his stupid happy little legs in the Tanooki Suit to the jaunty tunes of Pounce Bounce Isle.
I think despite the fact we've all come to take the Nintendo Switch for granted, Nintendo themselves are still actively thinking about the docked/handheld interplay of the console - Bowser's Fury has a gameplay loop that works very similar to Breath of the Wild, where you can leave Mario sitting anywhere in the world when you hit the power button and still have a reasonable chance of standing right next to a new adventure or challenge when the screen next comes back on - or at least see (and quickly get to) the next bit of fun on the literal horizon. No loading in and out of a redundant SMB3 menu or watching of 'lets a go!' animations for the thirtieth time - everything in the game zips right by.
Much has been made of the 'continuous world' idea here, and I think Nintendo did a skilful job of making 3D World Mario's toolkit into something briskly mobile without really changing anything about that game's mechanics - it all just seems to be down to very generous and thoughtful placement of that game's power-set. There may be a little too much time spent wearing the propellor box, but those ad-hoc sequences where you come leaping off Plessie at 80mph, transform into a cat to scale the wall you're about to crash into and then shift to a tanooki to take a quick shortcut feel very very very good.
The only complaints I can really make about this are things that are decidedly anti-Mario in ethos - it's aliased to shit and the frames chug like hell during the (very impressive) Furious Bowser sequences (though weirdly these issues are far less pronounced in handheld mode - again suggesting that Nintendo still give a real shit about how handheld players enjoy games on their console), but I feel weirdly... guilty? about pointing out dry technical flaws in a game where Super Mario is running about having the time of his life. I just wanna join him in the fun instead of counting the grains of polygon around his cap.
Super Mario 64 Plus
Aside from the graphics, this is the perfect remake of Mario 64. 60 FPS, you can stay in a level after getting a star, movements from future games, a normal camera... All the little nitpicks I have with the original game are solved here. You can also customise all these things so you can play like the original or with all the new stuff that was added. It's beautiful and I can't recommend it enough.
The Sims Bustin' Out
The Sims Bustin' Out
This game shits on everything that Bioshock accomplishes. In terms of it being a video game that's placed within the Bioshock series, it sits as a total mess and misinterpretation of everything that the original wanted to do. Nothing about this game's spirit or ideology meshes with what players should expect from a Bioshock game. It is a failure on all parts Bioshock, made worse by it's insistence on it's shitty "both sides are bad" ideology. What makes it worse is that the centrist ideology is largely associated with libertarianism, which is exactly what the first game in the series is intended to critique. It came out in a time where this mindset was both unappreciated and insulting, and that hasn't changed in 8 years.
From a gameplay perspective, it's... Fine. It is a game that I can sit down in front of, use Bucking Bronco on a group of enemies, shotgun them out of the air, go "nice, that was cool", and then move on. Some parts shine and are genuinely pretty fun, and if you play this game on it's own apart from it's place in the series, it's enjoyable in it's own right just for some decent gunplay. This reason alone is why I have played the game more than once.
The sci-fi weird plot twist story kind of sucks, but it's mildly enjoyable just to see it unravel.
All in all, it's a mediocre game that's sort of turned into a sinful one by taking a fat fucking dump on the legacy of Bioshock and other immersive sims as a whole.
The Beginner's Guide
Gives off some lovely carefree vibes, while simultaneously portraying the topic of environmental exploitation in one of the most memorable ways I've experienced. On top of that, I love the bouncy physics that gives the platforming a natural feel without coming off as slippery. There might not be much content in a traditional game sense, but it really packs in a good amount of cute and clever moments within the short playtime I had.