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Backlog: The Embiggening – February, 2020

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By Nelson Schneider - 02/02/20 at 02:30 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future. February is, thankfully, the shortest month of the year. It also signals the last official month of the Winter season here at MeltedJoystick. Not only can we look forward to breaking free from the grasp of the Winter doldrums, we can be grateful that another month of crap releases will fly by in the blink of an eye.

It’s another month, and of course there’s shovelware. There’s a new J-Fighting game coming based on the “One Punch Man” anime. There are also two officially licensed Game of the Game takes on vehicular mayhem, with a port of the latest ‘Monster Jam’ monster truck driving sequel to the Switch, and another ‘Monster Energy Supercross’ motorcycle/dirtbike game. Lastly, we’ve got “Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019.” This game is not yet an annualized sequel like ‘Madden Football,’ so why is it considered shovelware? Well, first of all, it has the name of a dried-up, washed-up old football ape attached to it for name recognition, and second, it has the year it was made in the title, implying that it wants to be an annualized series, if only the mouthbreathing Sports videogame audience will give it the attention and sales it deserves the publisher desires. (It definitely won’t get there as a PlayStation exclusive!)

It seems the modern Games Industry just can’t go a single month without ports being the dominant portion of the release schedule. We’ve got gobs more old things masquerading as new things coming in February, and it’s a toss-up as to whether the Nintendo Switch or the PlayStation 4 are the biggest losers of the month. Switch is getting “Metro Redux,” “Rune Factory 4,” “Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold,” and “Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha/Bravo;” PS4 is getting “AO Tennis 2” and “Romance of the Three Kingdoms 14;” and they’re both getting a double-pack of “Galak-Z/Skulls of the Shogun,” “Darksiders Genesis,” “Two-Point Hospital,” and a compilation of old-ass ‘Mega Man Zero’ and ‘Mega Man ZX’ ROMs. (Some of those are shared with the XBONE too.) Lastly, the PS4 and XBONE will be sharing ports of “The Unicorn Princess” (A guaranteed best seller on Xbox, amirite?) and a double-pack of “Bayonetta/Vanquish” from Platinum games.

Legitimate new multi-platform releases are, likewise, as tepid as they’ve been since ports took over the scene. We’ve got four coming in February, and boy, are they doozies. There’s “Soccer: Tactics and Glory” for the ball-chasing crowd, an ‘Under Night’ J-Fighter with a bunch of word-salad in the title for weeaboos, a fourth ‘Zombie Army’ game for those who haven’t gotten over the stupid zombie fad yet (*looks at Chris*), and “DCL – The Game,” which is not a typo of ‘DLC,’ but a drone-flying Vehicle Simulator (and also the only one of these multi-plats I’d personally touch with a 10-foot pole).

Exclusives are also sparse, and, unsurprisingly, divided solely between the PS4 and Switch. PS4 is getting “Real Heroes Firefighter,” perhaps to inspire kids toward achievable heroism instead of fantastical/science-fictional heroism, and the long-time-coming release of “Dreams,” the 3D follow-up to Media Molecule’s excellent ‘LittleBigPlanet’ series. Switch, on the other hand, is getting J-Fighter “Granblue Fantasy Versus” and Visual Novel “Code:Realize – Guardian of Rebirth.”

Chris and I are going to give “Dreams” a shot at one point or another, despite the fact that everything I’ve seen about the game recently looks like a bunch of uninspired, thoughtless worship of ‘90s DOS games. But, hey, it’s either that or nothing for February!

Backlog Embiggened: +1 (somewhat unenthusiastically)

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dbarry_22

Wrote on02/06/20 at 03:39 PM CT

So you consider the console release of Darksiders Genesis this month as an "old thing masquerading a new thing" just because the PC version came out last December (2 months ago)?

Wow.

I think the standards you have for a game to be a true multi-platform release are unreasonably high.

Since the Switch version of Bloodstained came out a week after the PS4 and PC versions, do you consider that as a port as well?

Just....wow.

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