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Backlog: The Embiggening – February, 2018

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By Nelson Schneider - 01/27/18 at 03:07 PM CT

“Feb-yoo-wary, Feb-yoo-wary,
Shortest month of all the year!
Feb-yoo-wary, Feb-yoo-wary,
Feb-yoo-wary’s here!”

Or so went the refrain of the banal children’s song I was taught in first or second grade when learning about the months of the year. Yep, February is the shortest month, but that just means that the “AAA” Corporate Games Industry has less time to cram more crap down our throats. And ports. Oh, god… the ports…

Once again, we get the privilege of sampling all three varieties of shovelware this month. In the licensed IP category, we’ve got a Beat ‘em Up based on the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ anime and manga, as well as a new ‘Sword Art Online’ title based on the light novel series. In the so-casual-it-hurts category, Sony is gracing us with the ‘Wii______’-grade “3D Mini Golf” and “3D Billiards.” And in the shameless commercial tie-in to ‘professional’ sporting events, we’ve got the delightfully-titled “Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame” and the third in what looks to be a new annual EA Sports franchise, “UFC 3.”

Ports and remasters are exploding this month, thanks to the continued deluge of immigrants heading toward the unsullied pastures of the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is looking to steal the rehash crown from the PortStation 4, with ports of “Payday 2,” “Dragon Quest Builders,” “Overcooked,” “Bayonetta 2,” “Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (remake),” and “Portal Knights.” Sony isn’t sitting idly by, though, as the PS4 will be getting “Shadow of the Colossus Remastered,” “Shiny,” and the VR-optional “Don’t Knock Twice.” In addition, PC, PS4, and Vita (ugh) will be sharing custody of “Secret of Mana Remastered,” while the PS4 and XBONE share custody of the 2011 unnecessary sequel, “de Blob 2.” And as a footnote, the 3DS is apparently getting a remastered/complete edition of the DS RPG, “Radiant Historia.”

With all that portage and shoveling, is there room for anything new? Yes… a little. There are 5 legit multi-platform releases coming in February, in a variety of genres… unfortunately, they all look like crap. There’s a generic off-road racing game, “Gravel,” a spinoff in Kojima’s love-it-or-hate-it series, “Metal Gear Survive,” a most-likely-horrible NIS RPG, “The Longest 5 Minutes,” a clunky first-person melee Action game, “Kingdom Come: Deliverance,” and Survival Horror “Past Cure.”

Exclusives are really suffering under the weight of the portage this month. There’s one. ONE exclusive! And it’s another PS4 J-Fighter with a Romanjii punctuation-salad title, “Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]” (why do you hate the Roman alphabet, Japan?).

VR? Nope! Just that one VR-optional port. It’s too bad, as Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headsets are really cheap on Amazon (around $200), which would make snapping up some killer VR exclusives much more palatable. Oh well!

Wow. After all is said and done, I’ll be backlogging two games this month: One a remake and one a port, which is pretty sad. I’ll grab “Dragon Quest Builders” on Switch (since Square Enix seems incapable of porting it to Steam), and someone on the Crew will buy the “Secret of Mana” remaster so we can couch-coop it. I never liked “Secret of Mana” on the SNES, so it had better not be me!

Backlog Embiggened: +1 (+1 more for coop)

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Nelson Schneider

Wrote on02/03/18 at 10:56 PM CT

Should musou games be classified as shovelware? They poop one out every damned year with no effort and they're all the same. Too bad "Chinese History" isn't a licensed IP...

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View Chris's Profile


Wrote on01/28/18 at 11:11 AM CT

Oh, hey - there's also a new Dynasty Warriors game (number 9 in fact), that slipped under my radar, but it's there, not that is will change your embiggened status cause I know you're not a musu fan.

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