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Backlog: The Embiggening – January, 2016

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By Nelson Schneider - 01/01/16 at 12:50 PM CT

Happy New Year, 2016, dear readers! As the 4th full year of the 8th Generation kicks off, we are all left with a feeling of awe and wonder – that this new year could bring us anything. Unfortunately, with the “AAA”-ification of the game’s industry, we all know what we can expect, and it’s not ‘anything,’ it’s ‘more of the same.’

January is typically a light release month, and this year is no exception. We’re only getting a handful of new releases (that have been announced ahead of time!). There’s one piece of shovelware, a Marvel Comics and LEGO mashup, “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers,” presumably to tie-into the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War” movie.

There are two repackagings of older games coming this month. The formerly digital-only “Life is Strange” is getting a physical release, while some old ‘Resident Evil’ games are getting compiled and remastered on the PortStation 4 and XBONE.

There aren’t any significant multi-plat releases upcoming… or any, for that matter. Instead PS4 owners are getting one exclusive, 3DS owners are getting two, and everyone else is getting bupkis.

And what are these glorious exclusives, you ask? Well, the PS4 is getting another random J-Fighter with a nonsensical name, “Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel” and the 3DS is getting a $40 smartphone game in “Final Fantasy Explorers” and crossover between the ‘Mario & Luigi’ RPG universe and the ‘Paper Mario’ RPG universe in “Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam,” which promises do drag both spinoffs down the path to ruin that “Super Paper Mario” forged.

Nothing for me this month. If Nintendo made it easy to play 3DS games on the WiiU, I might have picked up “Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam” just to see how far ‘Mario’ RPGs can fall, but they didn’t so I won’t. The trailers for “Final Fantasy Explorers” also make it look like complete trash. So when all of these sequels in RPG franchises I used to love come to a handheld platform I have no interest in owning, I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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