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Backlog: The Embiggening – January, 2017

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By Nelson Schneider - 01/01/17 at 03:55 PM CT

Happy 2017, dear MeltedJoystick readers and staff! And welcome back to another look into the near future! The dismal months of 2016 are in the past. Baby New Year has once again aged into Father Time, providing us – and, more importantly, the games industry – a chance for a symbolic fresh start. Will things improve in the coming year? I certainly hope so!

2017 is kicking off with a fresh dose of ‘high-quality’ shovelware. By that, I mean that the games are still based on licensed IPs, but they generally have a stronger reputation than shlock based on Burger King or Doritos. There’s a new ‘Digimon’ RPG (I’m really surprised that IP is still running, but if ‘Pokemon’ can do it…), a new game based on the ‘Fate’ anime/manga series, and an HD port of the last game in the Disney mash-up series, ‘Kingdom Hearts.’

That ‘Kingdom Hearts’ port isn’t alone, however. Square-Enix is starting out 2017 with a compilation of the episodic first season of their newest ‘Hitman’… thing. Additionally, “ABZU” and “Moto Racer 4” are hitting the PC-like consoles, while “Dragon Quest 8” and “Runbow” are getting ported over to 3DS.

Only one legit multi-plat is ringing in 2017: “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” has Chris’ dry cleaner on emergency standby, as there will be soiled pants over that game. He can’t stop talking about the demo.

Exclusives aren’t looking particularly strong for the start of the year. PC is getting “Urban Empire” (but also a ton of unpredictable surprises, which is why Steam is still so good despite its recent overflow of garbage), PS4 is getting ‘Yakuza’ prequel, “Yakuza 0,” along with a new (terrible) ‘Tales’ RPG, “Tales of Berseria,” and a sequel to “Gravity Rush.” Microsoft has… NOTHING. Nintendo has… NOTHING…

Speaking of NOTHING, that’s what’s coming for VR owners who probably just got their fancy new headsets for the Winter Holidays. Hopefully they can scrape by with the older tech demos while the Industry frantically slaps-together something else for VR users to play.

Ugh. Another year, and we’re starting off with the same old crap. If it wasn’t for the constant deluge of Indie games hitting Steam, I’d have gotten rid of my backlog completely by now. Hopefully when (if) the Switch launches in 2 months, it has a strong initial lineup. And hopefully Microsoft starts to improve its Xbox/Windows crossover program to be better than the horrible and much-maligned Games for Windows LIVE! system that the Windows Store replaced.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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