^ I vaguely
recall something about knocking around police in JSRF.
While there's no direct sense of urgency (unless you are going for characters), the overall flow of JSRF is better. It's smooth and continuous, as opposed to the stop-start flow of JSR. Besides, not every game needs to have a super pressing sense of urgency. Sometimes it's just fun to explore.
Not every game needs a smooth and continuous flow. JSR is an emotional roller coaster, and JSRF a carousel, which is inappropriate for a high-speed platformer. There's discord between its basic mechanics and the way they're framed. JSRF was neutered by lack of challenge.
It seems as though something changed well into development, that testers couldn't locate tags quickly enough, failed repeatedly, and got upset. It would've been a bigger problem than in JSR with the larger environments and faster pace. So instead of making paths clearer, they decided to take out the time limit. They took the easy way out.
All speculation, of course, but it'd be surprising if they'd decided to abandon JSR's basic structure from the get-go, considering JSR's great reception.
To be fair, I do
hate nostalgia goggles. You just need to account for them when discussing old games.
Casual sycophantic "IMMA PLAY [bad new game] AND HAVE FUN, ENJOY UR ELITISM" shit is so much worse.