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Backlog: The Embiggening – June, 2022

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By Nelson Schneider - 05/29/22 at 05:28 PM CT

June is nearly upon us, once again. And with the coming of the Summer season, we must all prepare ourselves mentally for the withering despair of the annual Summer Games Drought, in which the corporate troglodytes of the Games Industry refuse to release very many games during the three months of the year when the biggest proportion of the videogaming audience has significantly decreased amounts of responsibility and obligations and overwhelming amounts of free time – you know, school kids, and, increasingly, their Gen-X and Millennial teachers, who grew up with the NES. Well, it looks like this year, the Drought hasn’t arrived, just yet. There are gobs and gobs of ‘new’ releases coming in June, and it’s up to me to tell you, dear readers, which ones are worth getting out of bed for.

Not much shovelware is coming in June, which is good news. We’ve got all three major categories represented, though. In the category of “Licensed Swill,” we’ve got “MX vs. ATV Legends,” which was supposed to be released earlier in the year. In the category of “This Comes Out Every Year, WHY? Please Stop!” we’ve got “Tour de France 2022,” which might not come out every year in the U.S.A., but any game with a date tacked onto the title is just begging to be put in this category. Lastly, in the “2 Cazul 2 Live” category, we’ve got a Party game in the descriptively-titled “Squish,” and, really, aren’t all Party games shovelware? (The answer is, “yes.”)

With that light burden of shovelware, can we hope that the burden of ports, remakes, remasters, and other rehashes will be light as well? NOPE! There are still a ton of those clogging up the release schedule. At the very least, we can delight in the fact that Nintendo fanboys will need to change their diapers when they learn that, for the first time in years, the Switch isn’t the primary dumping ground for old things pretending to be new. Sure, the Switch is still getting “Demon Slayer,” a remake of “The House of the Dead,” a compilation of Capcom Fighting games, a Roguelike SHMUP in “Gearshifters,” a 2D ‘Tomb Raider’ knock-off in “Treasures of the Aegean,” an expanded remake of “AI: The Somnium Files,” and the re-imagined sequel “Hero Must Die. Again,” but only ONE of those isn’t also being ported to non-Switch platforms (because that one is already on all the non-Switch platforms). Sony is getting a number of other crappy ports on their platforms, including “Zengeon” hitting the PS4, a complete edition of “Disgaea 6” hitting both current PlayStations, and “Deliver Us the Moon” hitting PS5. Lastly, there’s a remake of “Spellforce” hitting everything except the Switch and PS5… so it’s only a matter of time.

Multi-platform new releases are looking pretty dismal for June. That is, unless you love Survival Horror, since between “Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel” and “The Quarry,” it’s the only genre represented. We know Chris loves Survival Horror, but just look at his reviews for the genre, and you’ll see that even he has standards, and I doubt either of these titles will meet them.

Shockingly, the majority of new releases for June are coming in the form of platform exclusives. It’s been many years since exclusives were more than a drip-drop here-and-there. Unfortunately, in spite of moderately improved numbers for the coming month, the quality still looks to be crap. Sony’s god “DNF Duel” lined-up for both its platforms, which is a Korean Fighting game (I guess a K-Fighter using stupid genre nomenclature) spin-off of a Live Service/MMO Beat ‘em Up called “Dungeon Fighter Online.” Ew. Then the PS4 is getting “Song of Horror,” yet another Survival Horror game, while the PS5 is getting “Crazy Chicken Xtreme,” which just sounds like a beautiful trainwreck in title alone. Nintendo, on the other hand, is getting “Horgihugh and Friends,” another Cute ‘em Up (read: SHMUP with kawaii character designs) to go with the one the Switch got last month, another Tecmo-Koei collaboration to turn a Nintendo franchise into musou in “Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes,” and a ‘Mario Strikers’ Soccer sequel. And, naturally, in spite of owning – or attempting to buy – every game studio in the world, Microsoft has jack squat… yet, somehow, I’m already enjoying Microsoft’s June exclusives more than anyone else’s…

Trash, trash, trash, trash. Junk, junk, junk, junk. Poop, crap, dung, excrement. June is going to be one of those “quantity over quality” months where the numbers might make things look slightly rosy. However, the Summer Games Drought is upon us, nonetheless, as there’s nothing new worth playing.

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