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Backlog: The Embiggening – February, 2019

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By Nelson Schneider - 02/03/19 at 07:46 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! After getting off on the wrong port… err… foot, 2019 is still chugging along. Let’s see what February, the month for lovers, holds in store for us to love. Or hate.

After multiple months without licensed garbage, annual sports releases, or super-casual fluff, the shovelware has come home to roost. Fortunately, the numbers aren’t great enough to require more than one shovel, though they’re all roughly the same type of licensed trash: A tie in for Monster Energy Drink, a tie-in for the new ‘LEGO Movie,’ a manga ‘Jump’ magazine tie-in, a tie-in for the final ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ movie (with a mindbogglingly Engrish title), and a third entry in the ‘Yo-kai Watch’ anime tie-in.

In ports and remasters, unsurprisingly, the Nintendo Switch is still in possession of a commanding lead this month (no that that’s a good thing). Switch will be getting a lot of old crap, including “Rad Rogers,” “Aragami” “V-Rally 4,” “The Book of Unwritten Tales 2,” “Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron,” “Riot: Civil Unrest,” and “Steins;Gate,” the latter three of which it will be sharing with the old King of Ports. Said hoary, old king will also be getting a few new old things to itself: “8-Bit Invaders,” “8-Bit Hordes,” and the overdue release of the remaster of ancient Arcade moth-bait, “Penguin Wars” (which the Switch has had for a year already).

That’s honestly quite a low parasite payload for a month to bear, so unsurprisingly, there are a lot of actual, honest-to-goodness NEW, legit multi-platform releases coming that people might actually want to play. While I’m brandishing my shovel at both “Spike Volleyball” and “Pro Fishing Simulator,” they aren’t annual releases… yet. People who like vehicles and racing can look forward to “Dirt Rally 2.0” and “Trials Rising.” People who like Indie games can look forward to Rogue-lite Trash, “RemiLore” and TRPG, “Wargroove” (which has the Nintendo fanboys soiling their pants so hard, you’d think it was a Switch exclusive). Fans of low-budget, but not quite Indie games can look forward to Adventure title, “The Occupation” and an eye-catching Japanese sidescroller, “The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince,” which looks mildly interesting, until you see that the developer is NIS. Finally, Shooter fans can pick and choose between a new non-numbered ‘Far Cry’ title, BioWare’s new Massively-Multiplayer Online Third-Person Shooter (with mech-suits), “Anthem,” and the recently-delisted-from-Steam post-apocalyptic Russian Sandbox, “Metro: Exodus.”

February’s exclusives make me feel like Oprah. YOU get an exclusive, and YOU get an exclusive, and YOU get and exclusive! Everyone’s getting an exclusive! PC is getting the latest sequel in the venerable ‘Anno’ Sim franchise. Sony is getting “God Eater 3,” Idea Factory trash (and punctuation salad), “Death end re;Quest,” and Visual Novel, “Code: Realize – Wintertide Miracles.” Microsoft (YES, Microsoft!) is getting “Crackdown 3.” And Nintendo is getting “Etrian Odyssey: Nexus”… on the 3DS’s corpse instead of the Switch. *shrug* What are ya gonna do?!

VR got completely shut-out in February, with nothing to show. Maybe the upcoming headset revisions will jolt some life back into the platform.

This month is peppered with dangerous possibilities. While I’d like to give “The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince” the benefit of the doubt, it’s a NIS game, so I just can’t. Likewise, “Wargroove” caught my eye at E3 a while back, but it’s by Chucklefish, who crushed my soul with “Wanderlust: Rebirth,” which makes me extremely hesitant to try their subsequent projects.

Really, the only games from February, 2019 that I absolutely intend to play are two Shooters: “Anthem” and “Metro: Exodus.” “Anthem” seems like the type of open-world mech-based Action game I’ve been itching for (the fact that it’s an MMO is a bit of a mixed blessing, as it has coop, but also an expiration date). And the fact that “Metro: Exodus” will be far less linear than its predecessors and will feature gobs of weapon customization has had me psyched about it since it was announced. Of course, “Metro: Exodus’” developers pulling dirty tricks and removing the game from Steam in favor of a year of Epic Store exclusivity, plus the fact that the game does indeed have a Season Pass means I won’t be buying it soon or for anywhere near full price. And with “Anthem,” as an online-only experience to play with the rest of the MJ Crew, it’s the type of thing we’d typically snag off Origin once it hits $20-$30 during a big sale. So, while the backlog will grow slightly this month, it will be a long-delayed growth.

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