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We married someone in Animal Crossing this week on Speedrun

Also, we dug into the evolution of Naughty Dog, and how The Last of Us Part 2 feels like a regression.

Graphic grid featuring five stills from various vide games plus a portrait of Speedrun host, Jimmy Mondal Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon
Mike Mahardy leads game criticism and curation at Polygon as senior editor, reviews. He has been covering entertainment professionally for more than 10 years.

We’ve attended talk shows. We’ve created Keanu Reeves. We’ve tracked down cut scenes from the ‘90s and coached newcomers in the intricacies of tactical shooters. But this week marked a first for us: We married a couple in Animal Crossing: New Horizons while they were stuck abroad in Amsterdam.

Okay, no, there was no marriage license, so the ceremony wasn’t totally legit. But we did get our host Jimmy ordained. And the couple did write their own vows for the occasion. So in the grand sweep of Speedrun’s first two months, I feel comfortable telling you that we joined a couple together in holy matrimony on the island of Oasis Bay on June 11, 2020.

It was a cheerful note before today’s grim turn. The Last of Us Part 2 reviews went up, and as Maddy Myers made clear in her review: that game is dark. It’s also violent. It’s also a regression, in many ways, for the developer that’s made some of today’s most lauded narrative adventures. I myself finished the game a few days ago, and while I found the violence to be crucial to several unexpected character arcs, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Naughty Dog was figuring things out on the fly. Do I like the game? Yes. I think it’s great. Is it Naughty Dog’s best? Not by a long shot.

Regardless, as one of 2020’s biggest releases, it’s a fitting game to commemorate our 50th episode. We also took the chance to dig into PlayStation’s history, waxing poetic about the PS2’s library (it is the best one, after all), and highlighting the mistakes Sony has made with each platform. Side note: Has anyone figured out what, exactly, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is yet?

Anyway. For the next two weeks, Speedrun will be going dark. We’re reformatting the show to better allow for more critical takes, in-depth investigations, and creative gameplay challenges, and 50 episodes seemed like the best time to do so. We’re excited to show you what’s next, and we hope you’ll join us for it.

In the meantime, get to work on those 1,000 games you just bought.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.