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Backlog: The Embiggening – August, 2018

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By Nelson Schneider - 07/28/18 at 04:02 PM CT

Happy birthday to me, once again, as August rolls in. Usually July and August are the worst months of the year for new game releases, colloquially known as the Summer Game Drought. Like last month, publishers are flooding release channels with ports to fool us into thinking the drought isn’t as bad as it has been in past years, but they aren’t fooling me.

Shovelware starts us off with a friggin’ ‘Naruto’ game. Does anyone still watch that crap anime? Anyway, there are plenty of annual Sports releases, including motorsport “F1 2018” (when 2018 is already half over) and two different kinds of Ball played with Feet: “Pro Evolution Soccer 2019” and “Madden NFL 19” (the latter of which is returning to PC for the first time in years).

Once again the Nintendo Switch is leading the way with more ports and remasters than you can shake a stick at: “Victor Vran,” “Monster Hunter Generations,” “Tennis World Tour,” and detestable Roguelike “Dead Cells” (which it is sharing with the PortStation). The one port the Switch ISN’T getting is the only one worth a damn: “Divinity: Original Sin 2” is hitting the XBONE and PS4. The PS4 is also getting “Fire Pro Wrestling World” from PC, while the rotting corpse of the 3DS is getting a compilation of micro-game banality in “WarioWare Gold.” And let’s not forget that both of the mediocre Dreamcast Action/Sandbox games in the ‘Shemnue’ series are being remastered and compiled for everything (except the Switch).

As for legit multi-plat releases, it almost appears as though the PS4 and Switch are in a class by themselves, with shared releases of 2D J-Fighter “Blade Strangers,” “Little Dragon’s Café,” and “All-Star Fruit Racing” (technically on the borderline between shovelware and legit, but meh). The Big 3 Platforms that typically share everything are getting a couple of shooters: “Strange Brigade” is a team-oriented TPS that the MJ Crew might give a second look if it proves to be drastically different from “Vermintide” and “Left4Dead;” while “Mothergunship” is a FPS that contains the amount of weapon customization I love, but, unfortunately, the amount of Bullet Hell that I hate. Perhaps the biggest multi-plat release for August is “We Happy Few,” the former Indie darling that was later bought-out by Gearbox and had microtransaction/season pass nonsense added. Personally, I always thought it looked stupid. Finally, every platform is getting “Overcooked! 2,” an inane Party game.

Exclusives? Not during the Summer! Oh, wait, I guess there is one. The PS4 is getting a sequel to “Yakuza Kiwami.” Whoop-dee-doo.

Shovelware, ports, and crap do not a release schedule full of delights make. The MJ Crew is doubtful about “Strange Brigade,” but we haven’t written it off completely. However, there isn’t a single… err… single-player game on the list that I actually want to play.

Backlog Embiggened: +0 (probably)

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