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Backlog: The Embiggening - November, 2014

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By Nelson Schneider - 11/01/14 at 03:11 PM CT

Welcome to another look into the near future. It’s November! Now that Halloween is in the rear-view mirror, capitalists have no other impediments in their quest to flood the market with the Crap the Came for Christmas. Thanksgiving? What’s that? In America, we’re not thankful for anything… except dupes to whom to sell shovelware!

Shovelware? Yes, there is a bit of it this mont… OH MY GOD IT’S OVERWHELMING!

It seems that some of the shovelware manufacturers – specifically Disney – have started reducing the pellet count in their shotgun blast releases in order to specifically target the vital organs of those most susceptible to buying such crappy licensed garbage. Thus the new “Penguins of Madagascar,” and “Planes: Fire & Rescue” are only targeting Nintendo platforms (what with Nintendo’s unshakable ‘kiddie’ reputation). Likewise, both Disney and 4Kids are bringing their new “Big Hero 6” and “Winx Club” games exclusively to Nintendo handhelds… yes, BOTH the DS and 3DS. Yet other shovelware makers have replaced the shot in their shells with slugs, gracing the 3DS ONLY with a new “Hello Kitty Racing” title and a new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” title.

Other shovelware makers are still perfectly happy to spread their filth willy-nilly. Thus every platform conceivable is getting “LEGO Batman 3.” The ‘more legitimate’ consoles are also getting a new “Adventure Time” game and a new “Digimon” game (Really? Is the “Digimon” anime even getting new episodes anymore?). Ubisoft, being the ultimate hive of scum and villainy that they are, is specifically targeting 8th Gen consoles with “Rabbids Invasion” and “Monopoly: Family Fun Pack.”

In the realm of sport-related shovelware, November is only really looking up for soccer and motocross fans. Whether these poor souls fantasize about kicking balls or telling people how to kick balls, they’re covered. I have no idea what makes “Moto GP 14” different from “MXGP: The Official Motocross Videogame,” but I DO know that any videogame with the word ‘videogame’ in the title is guaranteed to be a vile experience. Of course, there is also a fresh set of ports of last month’s newest annual“WWE” game for the 8th Gen consoles, but ports are ports…

Speaking of ports, the number of them coming this month is nearly as despair-inducing as the amount of shovelware. “Minecraft” is coming to the XBONE and Vita (in a disgusting display of skipping the WiiU for two even bigger joke devices), Sony is porting… err… ‘remastering’ “Akiba’s Strip” for the PS4, “Tropico 5” is coming to the Xbox 360, ALL OF TEH “HALOEZ” are coming to the XBONE, “Watch Dogs” is coming to WiiU, “The Walking Dead: Season Two” is coming to Vita, and the 3DS is getting both “Tetris” and remakes of “Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire.” At the same time, “The Wolf Among Us,” “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor,” “Grand Theft Auto 5,” and “Rocksmith 2014” are migrating to various new platforms.

With all of the guaranteed crap and ports flowing in November, it’s surprising that there’s any room for legitimate releases. However, there are quite a few multi-platform games coming up that look great… provided you like generic shooter sequels or Ubisoft’s attempt at the Stealth genre. The newest ‘Call of Duty’ entry will be dropping in November, with surprisingly little fanfare (Dare I hope that the entire online-multiplayer-generic-military-shooter craze is petering out?!); along with “FarCry 4,” which apparently features Hipster Gordon Ramsay as the villain; and a third-person take on the ‘Dead Island’ franchise. Ubisoft apparently wants all of its bases covered with ‘Assassin’s Creed,’ as the 8th Gen platforms (and PC) are getting “Assassin’s Creed: Unity,” while the old 7th Gen platforms (minus the Wii) are getting “Assassin’s Creed: Rogue.” Those title choices almost make it seem like a ham-fisted attempt at fostering hostility between the two hardware generations. Despite all that mediocrity and crap, one bright spot in November’s releases is the third ‘Dragon Age’ game, “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” Of course, the brightness of this spot is up for debate. ‘Dragon Age’ has been a half-baked franchise at best, an example of what happens to great developers (like Bioware once was) when EA buys them at worst.

What about exclusives? Well, things are looking… interesting in November, to say the least. PC is getting a new simulator, this time featuring construction as its theme… and that’s it. Sony, on the other hand, will be gracing the PS3 and PS4 with “LittleBigPlanet 3,” and disgracing the PS3 and Vita with a new ‘Hatsune Miku’ diva game. Microsoft is still failing hard with a single Kinect exclusive (by Ubisoft, no less) – “Shape Up” – to show for the month. Nintendo is looking a bit brighter than it has in a while. The WiiU is finally getting the REAL 8th Gen ‘Smash Bros.’ game (for which the 3DS version serves as a complement), Sega is bringing a new multiplayer take on ‘Sonic’ to both the WiiU and 3Ds with “Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric” and “Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal,” and a Metroid-vania inspired sequel to the Game Boy Color’s slutty genie franchise is coming to WiiUWare as “Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse.” The 3DS is also getting a new ‘Harvest Moon’ game and a new ‘Persona’ game, proving once again that, yes, there are RPGs on handhelds, but, no, they are not good.

I kind of feel like I want to give “Dragon Age: Inquisition” a shot, but I will not buy any EA games on PC because of Origin, and my overwhelming disappointment with the series up to this point has me gunshy. I will definitely be picking up the PS3 version of “LittleBigPlanet 3,” and grabbing the WiiU takes on ‘Smash Bros.’ and ‘Sonic Boom’ for some local multiplayer. If “Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse” stays WiiUWare exclusive, I might be forced to buy my first non-DLC from the Wii Shop, but with the way digital releases go, there is still plenty of time for it to hit Steam down the road.

Backlog Embiggened: +4

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Chris

Wrote on11/07/14 at 07:57 PM CT

Any game that let's me ultimately kill Hipster Gordon Ramsay is a win in my book. Plus, you get to ride an elephant (and kill things with it). Far Cry 4 winz teh internet cats! Or some such thing the cool kids are saying these days.

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