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Backlog: The Embiggening – July, 2018

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By Nelson Schneider - 06/30/18 at 02:32 PM CT

The annual Summer Game Drought is upon us as July closes in. As has become a trend in recent years, publishers have taken the opportunity to shower us with shovelware and ports in an attempt to fool us into thinking the drought is less severe that it is. Instead of a downpour of watery diarrhea, however, we’re getting a light sprinkle, as the numbers are drastically lower than they have been recently.

Shovelware is back in full-force after largely disappearing for a good long while. New games based on the latest ‘Jurassic Park’ movie, the latest ‘Hotel Transylvania’ movie, and the thankfully-canceled/ended ‘Adventure Time’ cable cartoon are going to land like so many steaming cat turds in a sandpile.

After the cat got done with our Summer Sandbox, a pack of wild dogs moved in and had their way with the place, spraying, ports, remasters, and reboots over every available surface. Once again, the Switch is proving itself to be the new king of rehashed crap, with a reboot of the ancient “Flashback,” a remaster of detestable loli Roguelike “Touhou Genso Wanderer,” and ports of “Hunting Simulator,” “Go Vacation,” and “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker” (the latter of which will also be porting over to the corpse of the 3DS, because Nintendo just won’t let that thing rest in peace). Each of the other guys gets their very own port to love and cherish, with PS4 getting “Train Sim World” from PC/XBONE and XBONE getting “No Man’s Sky” from PC/PS4. Oh, and Sony’s necromantically-animated handheld is getting a couple of ‘Muv-Luv’ Visual Novels. There are still MORE rehashes waiting in the wings, but these are shared between multiple platforms, with Switch/XBONE getting a bunch of old ‘Mega Man X’ games in a compilation of compilations, Switch/PS4 getting Mr. Belvedere Simulator “Hello Neighbor,” PS4/XBONE getting a compilation of all three ‘Banner Saga’ TRPGs, and EVERYONE getting a remaster of the PS3’s “Shining Resonance.”

With all of that rehashery of old stuff, there’s still surprisingly room for a handful (4, actually) of legitimate multi-plat releases. PS/PS4/XBONE are all sharing “Fortnite” knock-off “Earthfall,” off-road Racer “MXGP Pro,” and the third SHMUP in a truly venerable series dating back to the early ‘80s “Tempest 4000.” Aside from those, Switch and PS4 will be sharing “Flipping Death,” a bizarre side-scrolling Adventure where a dead girl possesses objects in the living world to help the living and the dead solve their problems. Okay.

Any exclusives? No? OH, WAIT! There is ONE exclusive coming in July, and it’s one of the few games I’ve really been looking forward to since it was first revealed: “Octopath Traveler,” the latest possibly-not-horrible RPG from Square Enix, exclusively for Switch. I knew there was a reason I hadn’t buried it next to the WiiU…

July will be a fairly light month for releases, and it’s completely overwhelmed by ports and shovelware. This trend is really rustling my jimmies! The one and only game I care about on the release slate is “Octopath Traveler,” but I’ll have to sit around and wait for the price to become reasonable, which takes until Hell freezes over for Switch games.

Backlog Embiggened: +1

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