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Backlog: The Embiggening – September, 2017

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By Nelson Schneider - 08/27/17 at 03:10 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! It’s Back to School time, once again! All the cute, little mistakes that resulted from birth control failures are now out of Mom’s and Dad’s hair for the vast majority of their time. And when the little sweeties are at home? They want to hunker down and play some garbage, like ‘Call of Duty’ or “Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.” Really, what’s the point in releasing a bunch of games when the least discerning portion of your audience is pre-occupied with other things? Maybe the parents get some good games to help them forget they have too many (any) children? Nah! Don’t bet on it!

SHOOOOVEL HOOOOOOOO! September is bringing forth the largest single dump of shovelware we’ve had in a long time. As is traditional for September, all of the annual Sports franchises are getting new releases, which accounts for nearly half of the crap. I remember when each console got, like 1 release for any given sport. Yet another reason things seemed so much better in the nostalgic past… Anyway, there are not one, but TWO new basketball games, which I can’t even tell apart. There are also not one, but TWO new soccer games, that look ever-so-slightly different from each other. There’s also a hockey game, because Canada, and a NASCAR game, because rednecks.

Aside from Sports garbage, there’s also a new entry in the licensed comic book Fighting mash-up, “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” (Capcom needs to be careful using words like that. What will the next inevitable sequel be? Infinite+1?), as well as a new ‘Gundam’ licensed Fighting game from Namco. Perhaps the best (read: worst) licensed shovelware title of all is attached to a new ‘LEGO’ game: “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game.” That says ‘quality’ right there! /s

Combining the worst of both worlds, there are two licensed shovelware titles coming in September that are ALSO ports of old games! “Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2” and “LEGO Worlds” are both hitting the Nintendo Switch. Boy, all of that effort by third-parties will certainly net them sales and prove that Nintendo fans will buy third-party games! /s

Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of ports, remasters, and remakes that aren’t explicitly shovel-ready crap! The PortStation and XBONE are both getting ports of “Pharaonic,” a ‘Souls’ inspired 2D piece of trash; Telltale’s “Batman: The Enemy Within;” “Blackguards 2,” which nobody cared about the first time around; and an Indie Compilation featuring two overrated art house pieces, “INSIDE/LIMBO Double Pack.” PortStation owners can enjoy the school horror Visual Novel, “White Day,” as well as grotesque Roguelike, “The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth +,” and “The Girl and the Robot.” Amazingly, MeltedJoystick’s resident PortStation fanboy, Chris, already owns “The Binding of Isaac” on PC and intends to buy “White Day” on PC as well. We have him under observation… Moving on, Nintendo Switch owners can look forward to a rehash of Nintendo’s own ‘Pokemon’-themed Fighting game, “Pokken Tournament DX” as well as a hectic 2D Platforming rehash in Ubisoft’s “Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition.”

The only ‘old-is-new’ game coming in September that actually deserves the remake/remaster/rehash treatment is “Metroid: Samus Returns,” a remake of the Game Boy (Brick) classic, “Metroid 2: The Return of Samus.” I’d like to play a “Metroid 2” remake… but not on a handheld riddled with obnoxious gimmicks… I think I’ll just play the fangame, “Another Metroid 2 Remake” instead, and just pretend that Nintendo did the right thing.

Ech! After all that crap and old news, you’d think there’s barely any room for new stuff in September… but there are a number of both multi-plats and exclusives coming down the pipe. The biggest, most attention-grabbing multi-platform release coming this month is “Destiny 2,” a sequel to the loot-driven MMOFPS that drew a big audience on the PS4. This time around, though, “Destiny 2” will also be hitting PC… via Activision-Blizzard’s annoying client instead of Steam. Meh! Aside from that, all the other multi-plats look like really narrow, niche interests: There’s “Project Cars 2” for those who love cars; “Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2” for the kiddies; “Dishonored: Death of the Outsider” for Stealth fans; non-anime Visual Novel, “Pillars of the Earth,” for those who are into VNs but not anime (somehow?); and the 8th friggin’ sequel in the time-worn ‘Ys’ series of action/barely-RPGs.

As for exclusives… wow, I am almost at a loss for words. PC is getting “Total War: Warhammer 2,” because apparently that was a good combination of IPs, as well as Indie game, “The Climber.” Not much to get excited about unless you love ‘Total War’ and ‘Warhammer.’ Yet Chris still spends all of his time entering Steam games… that’s the App Store mentality, for you.

Sony fans can look forward to “Knack 2,” because the first game was a dismal failure, which is an incredibly clear signal to make MORE of it (/s); an exclusive (likely temporarily) ‘Senran Kagura’ shooter, “Peach Beach Splash;” GUST RPG (read: CRAP), “Blue Reflection;” maybe “Summon Night 6” (after about 6 delays); and a couple of (delayed) Visual Novels that are shared between the PS4 and Vita: “Danganropa V3” and “Utawarerumono,” with lovely, barely-pronounceable titles. Some deranged Japanese devs/pubs are still trying to keep the Vita alive on its own, with exclusive access to Roguelike “Mary Skelter: Nightmares” and Beat ‘em Up “Drive Girls.” Two generations ago I used to be able to look as PlayStation release lists and pick-out numerous interesting titles I wanted to play… now… I… just… WHAT HAPPENED?!

Expecting Microsoft exclusives? GTFO! We don’t serve your kind here! And neither does Microsoft! And take your Nintendo fanboys with you too! They only get a crappy (er) 3DS ‘Monster Hunter’ spinoff, “Monster Hunter Stories,” because the narratives in grind-centric, super clunky Action games (that frequently fool idiots into thinking they’re RPGs) are always amazing. /s

VR owners… well, PLAYSTATION VR owners, can look forward to… something… in September. “VR Karts” will bring a much-needed Kart racer to Sony’s 4th console. I haven’t been too excited by the stationary-environment VR games we see constantly in order to ward off motion sickness, so an honest-to-goodness Driving title seems like just what the doctor ordered. Too bad it’s a PORT from SteamVR and was originally released 2 years ago! The fact that it’s by a no-name developer/publisher team and nobody talks about the Steam version is worrisome.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!” I shout, standing atop a remote, lonely cliff, gazing out across a desolate landscape that is simultaneously barren and choked with pollution. Yet my cries of despair go unanswered…

I almost wore out my “s” key tying sarcasm tags…

I’d kind of like to play the “Metroid 2” remake, “Metroid: Samus Returns,” but not on the gimmicky, damned 3DS. Why didn’t Nintendo develop this game for the Switch? It’s not like it needs 2 screens or 3D – The original didn’t have either of those! Instead of being yet another reason to buy a Switch, that game is just another, “Oh well, Nintendo doesn’t want my money,” moment. Other than that, I’m sure Chris will try to rope the MJ Crew into playing “Destiny 2” with him as some point, despite the fact that none of us are enthusiastic about playing another MMO. He’ll also have to buy it on, because none of the rest of us own PC-like PeasantBoxen. Maybe once he gets his new PC in February he’ll become more pesty about it.

Backlog Embiggened: +0 (maybe +1)

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Nelson Schneider

Wrote on08/30/17 at 12:13 AM CT

I don't like the vertically stacked screen arrangement. I don't like touchscreen nonsense when there are perfectly good buttons attached to the hardware. I don't like the fact that both screens put together are only the size of a cell phone.

Nearly every DS game I played, even in beloved franchises, came across a mediocre. I am well aware of the 2DS, but I still have no interest in a DS with slightly more horsepower. Unless it's some garbage mobile timewaster, I want my games on the big screen. The entire purpose of the Switch is supposed to be uniting Nintendo's handhelds and consoles in perfect harmony (like the Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player did), but they're doing it completely wrong.

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Wrote on08/28/17 at 02:58 PM CT

I think Metroid: Samus Returns is going to be awesome. I don't understand why you hate the 3DS so much. First, I think 2 screens will work great with Metroid. One screen is obviously going to be dedicated to the map. Won't it be great to not have to hit pause all the dang time to see the map? Also, they've come out with New 2DS's that eliminate the 3D feature all together. You know that right?

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