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Backlog: The Embiggening – June, 2016

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By Nelson Schneider - 05/28/16 at 08:45 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! It looks like the eternal cycle is becoming a bit unpredictable, as June – traditionally the start of the 3-month-long Summer Game Drought – actually has a lot of release dates on the calendar. Of course, we already know half of them will be remasters or ports, and the rest will be crap, so let’s just get on with it.

Only two bits of shovelware will be sullying toy store shelves in June: First, the LEGO adaptation of “Star Wars 7.” Chris would love that. The other is an annual motocross release. You know a franchise has devolved into shovelware when it gets annual releases, but if you aren’t sure, the fact that “MXGP2: The Official Motocross Videogame” is a videogame that contains the word ‘videogame’ in the title should clue you in. Chris would NOT love that.

Let me check my watch here… yup, it’s still the 8th Generation and the gaming industry still hasn’t imploded in a Second Crash just yet, so we’re getting a whole bunch of ports and remasters. For ports, the PS4 is getting “Tropico 5” and “Toki Tori 2+” (despite the fact that developer Two Tribes recently folded). The WiiU is getting “Terraria” and “The Book of Unwritten Tales 2” (both delayed from previous slated releases). Both the XBONE and the WiiU are getting “Minecraft”-related shenanigans. Lastly, both the PS4 and XBONE are getting former PC exclusives “Prison Architect” and “7 Days to Die.” Only one remaster is coming in June, and it’s coming to all three Sony platforms… but at least it’s a remaster of an actual good game: “Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir.”

With all those ports, there isn’t a lot of room for legit multi-plat releases… so there aren’t very many. A first-person platforming sequel in “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst” and a cut-rate “Shadowrun” knock-off in “The Technomancer” (by Spiders and Focus Home, of all outfits) will be joining the potential appearance of “Mighty No. 9” (but I still think the spiritual successor to ‘Mega Man’ has a lower chance of being spotted in the wild than Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster). Lastly, the 3DS and Vita are sharing custody of a new Visual Novel, “Zero Time Dilemma.”

There are a few more exclusives this month than last month. PC is getting Adventure title “Remnants of a Beautiful Day” (for those few people who still play Adventure games, apparently). The PS4 is getting another ‘Atelier’ item-hoarding RPG (or IHJRPG, in moron parlance), “Star Ocean 5,” and “Paragon,” a cynical attempt by Sony to cash-in on the endlessly revolting ‘e-sports’/MOBA market. The PS4 and Vita will be sharing another NIS (read: crap) TRPG in “Grand Kingdom” and the PS3 and PS4 will be sharing the latest entry in the ‘Guilty Gear’ 2D Fighting franchise. Oh, sorry, I mean 2D J-Fighting. Gotta keep those genres split! The XBONE will be receiving “Assetto Corsa,” which is apparently about racing expensive Italian cars (so I guess it should be classified as I-Racing). The WiiU is getting a predictable ‘Mario and Sonic at the Olympics’ title for the 2016 Rio games, as well as the impossibly stupid mash-up of ‘Fire Emblem’ and ‘Shin Megami Tensei,’ in “Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.” God dammit! There is a fracking hashtag in a game’s title now? Really?! And the game itself is about using musical pop-idols to fight evil? There are not enough *faces* and not enough *palms*. Oh, and there’a s new ‘Kirby’ game coming to the 3DS… that looks like every other handheld ‘Kirby’ game.

Gamers everywhere are no-doubt racing out to bask in the droplets of unexpected rain at the beginning of the industry’s traditional seasonal drought. Unfortunately for those gamers, the fluid pouring down upon their parched lips isn’t water.

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