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Backlog: The Embiggening – May, 2018

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By Nelson Schneider - 04/29/18 at 03:14 PM CT

Summer’s just around the corner, and with folks graduating from various institutions of education in droves during the month of May, there will be high demand for a videogame-based escape as they find it impossible to secure employment and begin paying-off their soul-crushing debt. The videogame industry hears the pleas of the downtrodden, and has a whopping 27 game releases slated for the month-before-Summer, perhaps in the hopes of shutting us up about ‘game drought’ as June and July roll in. Unfortunately for us, there are even more ports and remasters than usual. Seriously. This is BAD… there are soooo many ports it’s hard to wrap my head around it.

Mercifully, there’s only one piece of licensed IP flotsam floating around this month. “Conan Exiles” is based on the once-popular Conan the Barbarian pulp novels. I’ve been wanting to get into the Conan IP for some time, but find the extant volume of written work overwhelming, so I’ve been hoping for a videogame to shortcut it for me (much like how “Baldur’s Gate” shortcut a LOT of Forgotten Realms material into an easily-digestible story). “Conan Exiles” has been in Steam Early Access for a FRIGGIN’ LONG TIME, and we on the MJ Crew have had our eyes on it… but we recently put in on our ‘Poop’ list due to the fact that it’s just a mindless resource-grinding Survival game with no actual Conan story material baked in. It does have tits and dongs, though!

EFFFFFFF! Why are there so many ports?! You’d think that all of the games have been ported to all of the platforms already, with the rate at which ports and remasters hit the market… but you’d be wrong, sadly. Out of the 27 games being released in May, 19 are rehashes! As per the usual, lately, we can lay the blame for this preponderance of ports and remasters firmly at the feet of the Nintendo Switch, which is receiving both a glut of ‘Nindies’ – “Brawlout,” “Yonder,” “Shantae: Half-Genie Hero,” “The Legend of Kay,” “Fallen Legion,” “Owlboy” (shared with PS4), and “Steamworld Dig 2” (also shared with PS4) – and a slug of Industrial games with some variable number of “As” in their publisher’s descriptions – “Harvest Moon: Light of Hope” (shared with PS4), “Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection” and “Scat Souls Remastered” (both shared with PS4/XBONE), not to mention the compilation of COMPILATIONS that is “Mega Man Legacy Collection + Mega Man Legacy Collection 2.” Even Nintendo itself is getting in on the portage, with the Switch getting a couple mediocre WiiU games – “Hyrule Warriors” and “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.” There are still a handful of ports that don’t have anything to do with Nintendo’s new hardware, but mostly just exist to prove that the good old PortStation is still doing its thing: “Everspace,” “Dragon’s Crown Pro,” and “Megadimension Neptunia VIIR” are all PS4 exclusive ports (mostly keeping things in Sony’s incestuous ‘family’), while the “Sega Genesis Collection” will be hitting both PS4 and XBONE. Then there’s some remaster of some ‘MegaTen’ game hitting a dead handheld for reasons, and a port of “Sudden Strike 4” from PC to XBONE.

Legit (non-shovelware, non-port) multi-platform releases are looking particularly dismal for May. There are only two titles coming: A no-budget Survival Horror thing called “Agony” and an even-less-budget tennis game, “Tennis World Tour,” which couldn’t, apparently, even snag one of the Williams sisters for the cover art.

Exclusives are looking quite a bit better (except VR), as every platform is getting at least something all to itself… at least for a while. PC is leading strong with cRPG sequel, “Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire,” which I’m definitely going to get, eventually. PS4 is doing what Sony fans apparently want, with Cinematic Game, “Detroit: Become Human” on PS4 and Visual Novel (and Word Salad) “7’scarlet” on Vita (I really can’t believe the Vita is still getting releases). The XBONE has A game, which is better than the nothing it’s had lately, in “State of Decay 2.” Lastly, the WiiU Switch is getting delayed infinite running sequel “Runner3.”

While there are a handful of decent/good games being ported around in May, I don’t care about the new platforms they’re hitting at all. The only new release hitting my Wish List – and, eventually, my backlog – is the “Pillars of Eternity” sequel, but not until it’s done getting expansions and is all-inclusive.

Backlog Embiggened: +1

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