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Backlog: The Embiggening – August, 2022

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By Nelson Schneider - 07/31/22 at 04:52 PM CT

The Summer Games Drought has broken after but a single month! Of course, now, much like those poor folk in Kentucky right now, we are forced to deal with an unrelenting and continuous flood of crap. Not only is this flood annoying to deal with as gamers, it’s actually damaging to the hobby and medium as a whole. The Games Industry is repeating the mistakes of the Atari (delenda est) Era, and I still wonder how long it will be before everything comes crashing down again.

We’ve got all three major subvarieties of shovel-ready crap coming in August, and much like the mythological figure of Utnapishtim/Noah, they are coming in pairs (during a Great Flood… of crap). In the Licensed Swill category, we’ve got yet another version of “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” hitting every platform like it was shot out of a blunderbuss, accompanied by a new game about ‘Zorro.’ In the Casual Swill category, we’ve got a mobile-inspired management Sim in “Arcade Paradise” along with a leaderboard Shooter in “Arcadegeddon.” Lastly, in Annualized Swill, we’ve got ‘F1 Manager’ and ‘Madden NFL’ making an appearance.

Next, as evidence that we will never be free from the scourge of ports, remakes, remasters, and other rehashes ever again, we’re getting whole bunch of them dumped on us in August. In a shocking rarity over the past few years, the Nintendo Switch isn’t the primary dumping ground for these things, with the parasite load distributed very evenly across the major players. There are remakes of “Destroy All Humans 2,” “Pac-Man World,” and “Saints Row.” Besides those, there are compilation packages of ‘Fallen Legion’ and ‘NIS Classics’ ( a genuine oxymoron, there). Then there are a handful of regular-old ports heading to greener pastures, with “Zengeon,” “Undernauts” hitting PlayStation and “The Quest for Excalibur” hitting the Switch, and “Surviving the Aftermath” hitting pretty much everything.

With the definitive crap and old crap out of the way, we can turn to look at… the new crap. There are quite a few new multiplatform releases coming in August, but nothing that really looks interesting. There’s a ‘Final Fight’ knock-off in “Final Vendetta.” There’s a Boomer Shooter, “Exophobia.” There’s an Idea Factory RPG sequel in “Dusk Diver 2” (and anyone who loves RPG should have tuned-out at the mere mention of Idea Factory). There’s another crappy RPG sequel, this time from Atlus, to an ancient Sega Saturn ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ spinoff, in “Soul Hackers 2.” There’s a hardcore Hunting Sports game in “Way of the Hunter.” There’s an Arcade-style Racing game in “Classic Racers Elite.” Lastly, there’s a new Sim from Two Point Studios and Sega, in “Two Point Campus.”

Exclusives in August are looking quite pitiful, though not quite so bad as the recent month when we had none. Sony is getting two exclusives – “NHRA: Speed for All” and “Little League World Series Baseball 2022” (which seems to want to be annualized, but hasn’t actually had a release since 2010). Everyone else is getting Jack Squat!

Wow! What a joke! The Summer Game Drought comes to an early end, and there’s not a single title even worth mentioning in the monthly summary, let alone declaring my desire to play.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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