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Backlog: The Embiggening – September, 2021

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By Nelson Schneider - 08/29/21 at 04:48 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! The Drought That Never Happened is officially over, and as Fall comes upon us, we can look forward to the annual Autumn Games Flood, in which publishers poop out all the content they should have released gradually over the Summer, now that most of the target audience is back in school and doesn’t have as much time to play games. We’ve got a huge Flood coming in September, so let’s just get right to seining through the septic tank, on the off chance there’s something good to be found.

Lots of shovelware is coming in September, with a whopping 10 titles that can be dismissed immediately due to their pedigree. And we’ve got all three major categories of garbage represented, to boot! First, there are licensed games based on ‘Hot Wheels’ toy cars, ‘Agatha Christie’ novels (as if the ancient women who read those have a significant crossover with videogaming…), ‘Dragon Ball Z,’ and ‘The Addams Family’ (the recent terrible CGI version, not the black & white TV classic). Next, there’s the ‘too Casual to live’ category, represented by “Knockout Home Fitness,” “Fantasy Friends: Under the Sea,” “WarioWare: Get It Together!” (I really wish Nintendo would release a new ‘Wario’ platformer instead of this microgame trash), and “Colors Live.” Note that every game in that category is Wii Switch exclusive. Lastly, there are also two annualized releases, in Racing, with “WRC 10” and in Basketball, with “NBA 2K22.” I swear Epic just gave away “NBA 2K21”…

If there’s that much shovelware, I shudder to think of how many ports, remasters, remakes, and rehashes there will be in September. Let me count… Ugh! Lucky Number 13! Once again, the Nintendo Switch is getting dumped on, with “Ultimate Chicken Horse,” “Sea of Solitude,” “Doki Doki Literature Club,” “Ni no Kuni 2,” a ‘DOOM’ compilation, and a remaster of “G-Darius” (that last one shared with the PS4). The Switch will also be sharing – with every other platform – a remaster of The Best ‘Sonic’ Game, “Sonic Colors.” Non-Switch ports include “Open Country,” “Ghostrunner” (Switch already has it), “Port Royale 4” (Switch already has it, too), super-cute platformer “Hoa” (Switch also already has it), and “RiMS Racing” (Switch will be getting it next month). Oh, and Sony is giving PS5 owners with no taste (read: all of them) the chance to re-buy “Death Stranding” in slightly-higher-definition, or something.

With all that crap and old crap, how is it possible for there to be any actual NEW releases in September?! It’s the Autumn Games Flood, that’s how! There are a stunning 17 upcoming multi-platform releases across a ridiculously wide range of genres and subgenres. There’s a new sequel in the long-running Taiwanese ‘Dragon Quest’ knock-off, “Xuan-Yuan Sword 7,” which I was excited about until I played “Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament.” Now I’m decidedly unexcited about this series being localized in the West. There’s a banal truck-driving Sim called… “Truck Driver.” “The Riftbreaker” is the type of Tower Defense/Hack ‘n Slash hybrid the MJ Crew has enjoyed in the past… but it’s single-player, so nope. There’s a banal farming Sim called… “Real Farm Sim.” There’s the finale (YAY!) in the Roguelike (BOO!) ‘Mary Skelter’ franchise. Sega’s got a new Criminal Underworld Sandbox called “Lost Judgment” that totally isn’t ‘Yakuza,’ except it is. There’s a… really janky-looking (and cartoony) firefighting Sim called “Embr: Uber Firefighters.” There’s an also-really-janky-looking Kiwi-birds-sorting-mail Sim (why?) called “KeyWe” (which was supposed to release last month). There’s low-budget Stealth sequel, “Aragami 2.” There’s a new EFFING GOD DAMNED Soulslike, “Tails of Iron.” There’s another attempt by Sony & friends (some of whom, like Bethesda, have become enemies during the game’s long development) to make Roguelikes into big-budget Cinematic games instead of Indie Trash, in “Deathloop.” There’s a new friggin’ ‘Tales of’ RPG, because, of course there will always be more of those. There’s a ‘Life is Strange’ sequel that looks to pander to the Woke even harder than “The Last of Us 2.” There’s delayed-from-last-month Halloween-themed Rural Life Sim, “Monster Harvest.” New Survival-Horror title, “The Medium,” will finally make its debut, now that all the hype has died. There’s a non-annual Boxing release in “Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions.” And lastly, there’s “Kitaria Fables,” which has nothing to do with Caramon’s and Raistlin’s half-sister, but is yet another Rural Life Sim (read: ‘Harvest Moon’ knock-off), only this time featuring anthropomorphic cats and more adventurous gameplay. If that last one had coop, the MJ Crew would probably give it a look, but it doesn’t, so meh.

After all that, is there possibly any room in the release schedule for exclusives?! YES! Nintendo and Sony are still trying desperately to hold-onto that old business model, even though the writing is on the wall. Nintendo’s getting Visual Novel, “Olympia Soiree” and Arcade Racing sequel, “Cruis’s Blast” for the Switch – both third-party games! Meanwhile, Sony is also getting two third-party exclusives, both Adventure games by no-name publisher, Perpetual: “Where the Heart Leads” and “Apsulov: End of Gods.” Golly-gee-whiz, I sure wish I had a PlayStation to play those. -_-

The only game coming in the explosion of initial Autumn Games Flood releases I’m even mildly interested in is “Sonic Colors: Ultimate,” since it is a really good platformer, and the version I have is the SD, waggle-fied original Wii release. I’m not in a particularly big hurry to double-dip, though, since I can upscale the Wii version in the Dolphin Emulator, and I have at least two other allegedly-good ‘Sonic’ games sitting in my backlog that I should get to before I consider rebuying one.

Backlog Embiggened: +0 (because replaying games you’ve already played doesn’t count – LOOPHOLE!)

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