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Backlog: The Embiggening - February, 2013

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By Nelson Schneider - 02/02/13 at 02:20 PM CT

Welcome to another look into the near future. February may be the shortest month of the year, and may immediately follow a somber month of mourning for the past holiday season, but it looks like this February there are plenty of new games being released. Will any of them be worthwhile? I doubt it!

February looks to be a light month for shovelware and licensed trash. Across all consoles and handhelds, there are only two multi-platform licensed games, an “Aliens” tie-in (I guess trying to cash-in on last year’s “Prometheus”? The timing seems off…) and a game based on Cartoon Network’s “Young Justice” series. Other than that, the 3DS is getting an exclusive “Monster High” tie-in, the corpse of the Wii is getting yet another crappy singing game, and the Xbox 360 is getting a “Fist of the North Star” game, based on an obscure anime that Xbox fanboys have probably never even heard of (talk about not knowing your audience).

In the land of non-shovelware multi-platform releases, dark, gritty M-rated shooters are back in full force with “Crysis 3” and “Painkiller: Hell & Damnatin” taking care of the first-person perspective and “Dead Space 3” handling third-person, with “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” rounding out third-person shooting with some stealth, grammar mangling, and an assurance from Konami that ‘Metal Gear’ is absolutely, positively no longer a Sony exclusive franchise. Outside of shooters, the PC and Xbox 360 are getting “Omerta,” a gangster-themed TRPG/Sim, and racing fanatics who own consoles can look forward to a new Motocross game. Overall, there’s not a lot to get excited about here…

February’s exclusives look to be almost entirely dominated by handhelds… and by ‘handhelds,’ I mean the 3DS, as the Vita is only getting a port of “Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2” while the moldering corpse of the PSP is getting a game with lots of untranslated Japanese words in the title that appears to be based on, and in the same franchise as, a samurai-era dating sim… WTF? The 3DS, on the other hand, is getting a new annual ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ game, a new ‘Brain Age’ game, an ‘Etrian Odyssey’ sequel, and Nintendo’s newest ‘Fire Emblem’ title… so, four games, two RPGs, and nothing worth caring about. Outside of handhelds, the Xbox 360 is getting an exclusive compilation of ‘Naughty Bear’ games, the PS3 is getting a brand new sequel in the ‘Sly Cooper’ series, and the WiiU is getting “Rayman Legends.” So, the exclusives are entirely dominated by sequels to B-list-and-lower franchises… well, it IS February…

While February 2013 looks to be ramping up the production of uninteresting sequels, it’s also building up the pressure on mainstream gaming consumers to start buying brainless M-rated shooters early in the year. The most distressing thing about this list of February releases, however, is the lack of WiiU games on it. Nintendo just released their 8th Generation hardware in November 2012, it barely has any exclusives, and now all of the January and February exclusives have been pushed back to vague ‘Q2’ through ‘Q4’ dates. None of February’s multi-platform dreck is even available for the WiiU! Nintendo really needs to get its act together before it finds itself with another Virtual Boy on its hands… The bright side is that I get to save all my money this month.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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Nelson Schneider

Wrote on02/09/13 at 03:01 PM CT

Oh, yeah, Top Hand Rodeo ought to be an Xbox 360 system seller!

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Wrote on02/03/13 at 12:30 PM CT

Also, it looks like Painkiller has been pushed back to April for the console systems, but I added Top Hand Rodeo Tour for the Xbox 360 - and that totally makes up for things, right?

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Wrote on02/03/13 at 11:33 AM CT

I will still get Dead Space 3 at some point, but with all the other games on my radar in the coming months, it's not going to be a "must buy" at this point. I'll wait until it drops in price.

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Wrote on02/03/13 at 12:11 AM CT

Etrian Odyssey isn't for everyone, that's for sure. They've gotten better since the first one, but still definitely an acquired taste.

Likewise with Fire Emblem. I've played 3 of them without losing a character, but it requires the player be a bit... meticulous.

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Nelson Schneider

Wrote on02/02/13 at 02:50 PM CT

I tried Etrian Odyssey 1 and thought it was boring. I've also never been a fan of TRPGs that perma-kill party members.

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Wrote on02/02/13 at 02:24 PM CT

Busy month for Jon:

Crysis 3
Etrian Odyssey 4
Fire Emblem

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