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Backlog: The Embiggening – April, 2020

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By Nelson Schneider - 03/29/20 at 06:01 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future. Thanks to the disgusting eating habits of our brothers and sisters in China, the world is on lockdown as we attempt to ride-out the spread of the COVID-19 plague. For gamers, staying inside and never glimpsing the light of day is standard operating procedure, but the effect the coronavirus is having on the companies that develop and publish the games we dedicate our lives to is far more dire, with numerous pending delays. But modern games are a commodity that can be purchased digitally, thus removing the requirement of contact with a store clerk or other shoppers, and as more and more people are forced to adopt the gamer lifestyle, the demand will only increase.

How unfortunate, then, that the only thing worse than the continuing community spread of COVID-19 in April is the slated schedule of videogame releases.

It’s a new month, and of course, there will be shovelware. The quantity of it is rather light, though… but that’s little consolation when the overall April release schedule is so threadbare. We’ve got a licensed ‘Predator’ game that also happens to be a Team Shooter, so that’ll be trash. Then there’s an annual release in the ‘Moto GP’ motorcycle Racing series that will be different from the previous year’s ‘Moto GP’ by exactly 0.00001%!

It’s a new month and, even more surely, there will be a gigantic, stupid, overwhelming number of ports, remasters, remakes, rehashes and otherwise-named old things being sold as though they were new things. Maintaining its position at the head of the portage-pack is the Nintendo Switch with a sizable 5 ports to its name: “Railway Empire,” “Ministry of Broadcast,” and a peculiarly-renamed rehash of “Bust-a-Move 4” called “Bubble Bobble 4 Friends.” The Switch’s other two ports for April will be shared with other platforms: “Deliver Us the Moon,” and the long-awaited official release of “Seiken Densetsu 3” (known my MeltedJoystick’s Nick as “Say-aken D’shi’tsu 3”) under the title “Trials of Mana” (and using the new engine from the “Secret of Mana” remake that nobody liked – good job, Square Enix!). The Switch will NOT be getting ports of “Resident Evil 3” (hitting XBONE/PS4/PC), “Daymare: 1998” (hitting PS4), or the cleverly-titled first episode of the now-episodic “Final Fantasy 7 Remake” (hitting PS4). And nothing of value was lost.

With most of the releases in April already covered under the umbrellas of “crap” or “old crap,” we finally come to legitimate, new multi-platform releases. There are three… and none of them are worth raising an eyebrow. There’s an off-road, cold-weather Racing game called “Snowrunner,” published by Focus Home (so you know it’s got to be good janky Euro-trash). There’s a janky, physics-based, furniture-moving-themed, multi-player Puzzle game called “Moving Out.” Lastly, there’s a NIS-published disaster-movie-cum-videogame called “Disaster Report 4,” which is apparently the 4th such disaster, and which was supposed to release on the PlayStation 3, but was delayed for… an entire hardware generation. Yikes!

Finally, we come to April’s exclusive. Yes. Singular. One exclusive… and it’s for the PlayStation 4! What glorious thing has Sony secured for its desperately thirsty fanboys to lord over the heads of all other gamers? Well… it’s a sequel in the long-running ‘Sakura Wars’ series of Sega-developed Tactical RPGs… but it’s not a TRPG… it’s a Beat ‘em Up. *flips coffee table*

Some months are better worse than others, and as far as April 2020 goes, there’s absolutely nothing I care about. My Backlog will go on a diet and still somehow gain numbers, because that’s just what happens.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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