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Backlog: The Embiggening – March, 2017

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By Nelson Schneider - 02/19/17 at 04:41 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! Unadilla Bill, Nebraska’s version of the fat woodchuck who predicts the weather, did not see his shadow, thus Wintery weather will be leaving us sooner rather than later. Just in time for a huge glut of March videogame releases! Don’t worry, though. There still aren’t very many reasons to stay inside playing new games rather than doing something less painful.

Shovelware starts us off with “LEGO Worlds,” a new sandbox game based on everyone’s favorite plastic building bricks… and that’s really the most egregious pile to be shoveled. Other shovelware includes an annual release in the ‘MLB: The Show’ baseball franchise and ‘WRC’ rally racing franchise, but purveyors of all things Sport know they have a captive audience that will buy whatever they produce. Aside from those, the only remaining licensed tie-in titles and other garbage all happen to be ports, thanks in large part to Nintendo releasing their new Switch hybrid console/handheld this month. Switch will be getting both “Just Dance 2017” and toy-selling engine, “Skylanders Imaginators.” The PS4, in order to prove that it’s still all about the ports, will be getting a compilation of re-re-re-re-mastered (I think that was the right number of ‘res’) ‘Kingdom Hearts,’ the nauseating ‘Final Fantasy’/Disney mashup that just won’t go away.

Other ports of less shovel-ready, less licensed games include the Switch getting “The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+”… and every other port/remaster going to the king of ports and remasters, the PortStation 4: “Air Conflicts: Secret Wars,” “Danganropa 1-2 Reload,” “Anima: Gate of Memories,” and “Infinifactory.”

Of the legit multi-plats releasing in March, all but one are going to all the PC-likes, leaving peasantbox owners with one all to themselves. Everyone gets “Vikings: Wolves of Midgard,” which looks like a fairly standard Hack ‘n Slash, “This is the Police,” a strange genre-mashup involving aspects of Visual Novels and Sims, yet another ‘Tom Clancy’ game in “Ghost Recon: Wildlands,” a sequel to goblin-centric Stealth in “Styx: Shards of Darkness,” and “Mass Effect: Andromeda,” because EA is totally trustworthy when they tell us that a franchise has ended. PS4 and XBONE owners can revel in the exclusive glory of “Troll & I,” dangling it in PC gamers’ faces that they won’t be able to experience what it’s like to hang out in the woods with a big, hairy, smelly Troll (a story I experienced for 31 years of my real life, so I’m good, thanks).

Exclusives are split almost evenly between Sony and Nintendo this month, with both PC and its bastard, mentally retarded stepchild, Xbox, receiving nothing of note. The PS4 will be getting a new ‘Touhou’ Roguelike (yuck), a new ‘Atelier’ alchemy RPG (yuck), and a sequel to the 7th Gen new IP barely anyone played, ‘Nier’ (yuck). The PS4 and Vita will be sharing joint custody of Visual Novel compilation, “Zero Escape: The Nonary Games,” unnecessary sequel “Toukiden 2,” and what is likely to be a typically terrible NIS TRPG disguised by a snazzy art style, “God Wars: Future Past.” Yuck, yuck, yuck. No, I’m not trying to impersonate Goofy.

Nintendo’s exclusives are all things we knew about already, and weren’t looking forward to them. Switch will be getting a remake (not a remaster, since the original was released in 1993) of “Super Bomberman,” and horrible-looking tech demo, “1, 2, Switch,” while the Switch and WiiU will both get a version of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which I was really, really looking forward to, until I heard about the Season Pass… Last, and definitely least, the 3DS is getting “Mario Sports Superstars.”

The VR tap has been turned off for a second month in a row. I think I see some corrosion starting to form…

Despite the fact that it includes the launch of a new dedicated game machine in the Nintendo Switch AND has a fairly large number of releases slated, March is looking really dismal. I might pick-up both “Vikings: Wolves of Midgard” and “Styx: Shards of Darkness” if they are drastically discounted and somehow the rest of my backlog disappears, but I can’t say I feel at all enthusiastic about the prospect of playing either one of them. “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” was at the top of my interest list for the last two years at E3, but after learning that it’s an incomplete game with Amiibo-walled content AND a nauseating Season Pass that, if I know Nintendo, will NEVER be bundled with the base game, my enthusiasm has diminished to near nothing. If Nintendo dies off after the 9th Gen, they will have killed themselves off trying to copy all of the worst ideas from the Western smartphone and Xbox paradigms.

Backlog Embiggened: +3? or, more likely, +0

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View Chris's Profile


Wrote on02/21/17 at 08:34 PM CT

Technically Mass Effect: Andromeda is a prequel to the the Mass Effect series, and thus EA didn't lie when they said Mass Effect was over - but that doesn't mean they can't return to it in the past (we know how well that worked with the Star Wars prequels...) I'll get it when everything is bundled with it (I can resist).

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