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Backlog: The Embiggening – June, 2018

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By Nelson Schneider - 05/27/18 at 03:04 PM CT

June is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to take a look at what our friendly Uncles in the videogame industry have planned for our Summer fun. This month looks a bit more evenly spread amongst the categories than last month… but the single biggest group of games being released to kick off the Season of Freedom for kids (or not, it seems that kids today are more firmly guided into thousands of hours of extracurriculars rather than being left to their own devices like we on the MJ Crew were) still begins with a ‘p’ and ends with ‘orts and remasters.’

Three bits of shovelware are poking their weed-like heads above ground in June: A new ‘Gundam’ breaker game creatively titled “New Gundam Breaker” (based on the mecha anime), “LEGO The Incredibles” (based on the Disney CG superhero movie, and released conveniently as a tie-in for the upcoming sequel), and “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn” (based on stupid memes and an aging ex-baller who apparently isn’t raking in enough income advertising car insurance and Gold Bond crotch powder).

Ports are rapidly becoming the New Shovelware, in my eyes. Nintendo is leading the way again this month, as after years of ignoring the Japanese toy company’s hardware, Western third-parties are now tripping over their own dicks to port old games to the Switch. These Switch ports include: “Ys 8,” “Wolfenstein 2” (which, nauseatingly, doesn’t even fit on the cartridge and requires a download to even play the physical version), “Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy” (a port of a compilation of remasters… OH GAWD!), “Hunting Simulator,” “BrawlOut,” “MineCraft,” “Yonder,” “Birthdays the Beginning” (sneakily under the title “Happy Birthdays”), and “Steamworld Dig 2,” which the Switch is sharing with the old king of ports. One game, however, is flowing in the opposite direction, with a port FROM the Switch: “Super Bomberman R” (and we know the ‘R’ stands for ‘remaster’). The XBONE is also getting some port of some crappy RTS sequel that I’ve talked about before and has been delayed multiple times: “Sudden Strike 4.”

With all of those ports, one would think it would be hard to find room for new games in the release schedule… and apparently it is, as at least some of the legit multi-platform releases coming in June were supposed to have come in prior months, but got delayed. PC and consoles will be sharing the vast majority of these, including vehicular sandbox, “The Crew 2;” Pinball/Action/Adventure (okay?), “Yoku’s Island Express;” traditional SHMUP, “Tempest 4000;” a massive, open-world take on the Hack ‘n Slash sub-genre in the ‘Warhammer: 40K’ universe, “Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr;” some sort of Victorian vampire Action/Adventure, “Vampyr;” and stereotypical J-Fighter sequel, “BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.” Then there are two titles PC gamers will be denied (and I doubt they’ll care too much): NIS RPG, “The Lost Child,” which will be hitting Switch and PS4; and Kart-inspired Racer, “Onrush,” which will be hitting PS4 and XBONE.

Surprisingly, there’s still more room in the June release schedule for exclusives, though they’re more dismal and homogenous than would be desired. PC is getting Strategy title “Spyhack,” while Sony has nailed-down a sequel in the long-in-the-tooth ‘Nobunaga’s Ambition’ Strategy series for the PS4 and three weird Visual Novels for the Vita: “Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk,” “Muv-Luv,” and its sequel, “Muv-Luv Alternative.” Nintendo has two lame first-party offerings: another ‘Mario Tennis and the Switch/3DS Puzzler, “Sushi Striker.” Microsoft, on the other hand, has NOTHING – just as nature intended.

VR fans are SOL again this month… unless they’re PLAYSTATION VR fans, in which case, they’re getting a physical release of the cute “Redwall”-esque mouse-powered Adventure, “Moss.”

Bleh. IF “Moss” wasn’t a VR-exclusive and IF “Moss” wasn’t a PlayStation exclusive, I’d be interested in playing it. But because it IS both of those things, the hardware commitment is just too much for me. Aside from that, the only game releasing in June that I’d even consider buying is “Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor – Martyr.” I’m not a huge fan of ‘Warhammer 40K’ (I really only enjoy the Orks), but it might be an okay coop game for the whole crew. Good thing my backlog already has a hundred other things in it!

Backlog Embiggened: +1

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Wrote on05/31/18 at 02:46 PM CT

Bloodstained: Curse of the moon came out and is worth playing. It's a retro-style prequel to the Kickstarter funded Bloodstained game coming out later this year. It's quite similar to Castlevania III.

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