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Backlog: The Embiggening – January, 2019

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By Nelson Schneider - 01/05/19 at 06:41 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! 2018 is officially over and done, and its mixed-bag of offerings need no longer haunt us as we plunge ever-bold into the future… except for those of us who still have 2018 games in our Backlogs and Wishlists! Let’s take a look and see how the “AAA” corporate gaming industry and the Indie rip-off artists plan to usher in 2019.

TWO MONTHS IN A ROW? Without shovelware? It’s an incredibly unlikely occurrence, but here we are! After ending the year with no licensed garbage, annual releases, or super-casual non-games, we get to begin the new year the same way. But don’t get too excited…

…because the ports, remakes, remasters, repackages, and other euphemisms for “pretending old stuff is new” are just as overwhelming as they’ve been for the last few entire YEARS, with no less than 15/22 January releases falling into this category. The Nintendo Switch is maintaining it’s (un)healthy influx of ports, but the one Nintendo game that really should have been ported to the Switch, “Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story,” is instead being ported from the DS to the 3DS… post-mortemly… or perhaps we should say port-mortemly! The actual Switch ports for this month include: “Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy” (a 6th Gen game!), “N.E.R.O.,” “The Raven Remastered” (gotta love ports of remasters), “New Super Mario Bros. U,” “My Little Riding Champion,” “Mecho Wars,” “Catastronauts,” and “Tales of Vesperia” (which it is sharing with the PS4 and XBONE). Meanwhile, the PS4 and XBONE will also be participating in some 6th Gen nostalgia-flogging with both “Resident Evil 2” and “Onimusha: Warlords,” plus a physical release of a niche PC game, “The Council.” The PS4 will maintain its grip on the title of Vice King of Ports, with releases of “Song of Memories,” “Trails of Cold Steel,” and “Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal,” the latter of which was supposed to be a multi-plat release with PC, but was ultimately delayed on PS4 for the sake of censorship.

With all that portage, there’s not a whole lot of room left for anything else. Thus the legit multi-plat releases (things that aren’t shovelware and aren’t OLD) are thin on the ground. There are three, two of which are sequels: One, the 7th entry in the ‘Ace Combat’ airplane combat series, the other, the 3rd entry in the “why did Disney and Square do this to us” pseudo-RPG series, ‘Kingdom Hearts.’ And for some reason, Square-Enix thought it would be a good idea to suddenly start releasing ‘Kingdom Hearts’ into the Xbox ecosystem, despite the incompatibility between twee tween nonsense mashups and Xbox fans, plus the fact that the series has traditionally been a PlayStation-first IP, with maybe a handheld Nintendo port somewhere down the line. The mind boggles! Lastly, there’s a new IP, “Genesis Alpha One,” which is a mashup of all of the worst trends in the history of gaming.

There are also a whopping three exclusives dropping in January. One, “Tropico 6,” will only remain exclusive to PC until August before getting ported around. The other two, however, are both exclusive to the Switch, so it’s likely they’ll either stay that way, or won’t get ported to anything besides the Switch U: “Travis Strikes again: No More Heroes” and “Fitness Boxing.”

VR fans don’t have much to look forward to. Anyone who was desperate to play “Smash Hit Plunder” during their holiday break will be pleased/disappointed to know that its release was pushed back a month. Other than that, there’s nothing new.


It looks like 2019 is starting off with a moist plop instead of a bang, thanks to the continued proliferation of port nonsense. I guess that’s good for me, my Backlog, and my Wishlist, because I don’t have to add anything to either of them!

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