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Backlog: The Embiggening – July, 2019

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By Nelson Schneider - 07/01/19 at 12:28 AM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! With July comes the traditional Summer Game Drought. Just when all the cute, little kiddies thought they’d have all the time in the world to veg-out with some mindless fragging and forget everything they learned the previous year in school, the game publishers always shut off the flow valve, dropping the deluge of game releases down to a trickle. This month we’ve got 20 titles baring down on us… let’s see how many are crap!

Only three piles of shovelware are coming in July. Two are based on Japanese anime: “Kill la Kill: The Game FA,” and “Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle.” The last is based on an American animated property: “Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3,” and is also conveniently a port!

When you read the intro paragraph, did you stop to wonder how the Corporate Games Industry could push out 20, yes TWENTY, double-digits, games in a Drought month? If so, clearly you haven’t been paying attention at all! More than half of July’s total releases are old things being disguised as new things, and perhaps the most egregiously old and grasping title is the port of “James Pond 2” hitting the Switch (it was originally a Genesis game, which got rehashed on the Game Boy Advance AND the DS). If you HAVE been paying attention, you’d also know what’s coming next: A veritable mongoloid horde of overpriced, ‘b-but portable!’ titles hitting Nintendo’s early 9th Gen contender. We’ve got “Raiden 5,” “Constructor Plus,” “Cities: Skylines,” “Enter the Gungeon,” “God Eater 3,” and “Red Faction: Guerrilla” all hitting the Switch, as bait for those who just can’t stop themselves from double-dipping. The Switch is also getting “Mutant Year Zero,” “Horizon Chase Turbo,” and “WILL: A Wonderful World” ports, but is sharing them with the PlayStation 4. Lastly, both Steam and PS4 are getting a never-before-released-outside-Japan remaster of a PlayStation 3 Visual Novel, “Date-A-Live,” which is still a rehash, even though it’s technically new to Westerners.

Out of only 6 games that aren’t crap or old, two are available on more than one platform. “Wolfenstein: Youngblood” is a FPS sequel in the rebooted (and no-longer-egregiously-terrible) primogenitor of the FPS genre, while “Dragon Quest Builders 2” is a 2-player follow-up to Square-Enix’s previous successful endeavor of infusing “Minecraft” with something resembling an actual point. I haven’t gotten into the new ‘Wolfensteins,’ largely because WWII is a repugnant setting, regardless of how many sci-fi trappings it’s dressed-up in, but I did enjoy the original “Dragon Quest Builders” quite a bit on Switch.

That leaves room for 4 exclusives! How many platforms are there? PC + PS4 + XBONE + Switch = 4, therefore, each platform should get one, right? WRONG. The Switch is the only platform getting exclusives, and they’re real doozies for the most part. There’s a sequel in the super-niche waifus + TRPG first-party series, ‘Fire Emblem,’ which I’ve never gotten into due to not particularly loving the overused anime tropes and really not loving the series’ traditional permadeath. Then there’s third-party efforts, “Senran Kagura: Peach Ball,” which looks to combine Pinball and anime boobs somehow; and lazily-untranslated “Umihara Kawase Fresh!” an incomprehensibly Japanese… city building game? I think?

Lastly, VR is getting an exclusive all to itself (I’m counting VR as a platform, not PCVR and PSVR, here): “Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot.” It’s pretty embarrassing when the oft-mocked VR is getting an exclusive while (normal) PC, (normal) PlayStation, and (abnormal) Xbox aren’t…

What a surprise, another bad month! If “Dragon Quest Builders 2” had 3-player coop, the Crew would definitely run out and snag a copy to play on local coop Friday (and help blow the dust off my Switch), but it’s only 2-player. I’ll still be picking it up eventually, and maybe even try to rope Chris OR Nick into playing it with me.

Backlog Embiggened: +1

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