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Backlog: The Embiggening – September, 2022

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By Nelson Schneider - 08/27/22 at 06:43 PM CT

Well, Summer’s officially over. Naturally, the Games Industry, which seems incapable of learning anything from its mistakes, is continuing the tradition of christening the start of the new school year – during which most of their customers suddenly go from having TONS of free time to play new videogames, to have NO time – with an absolutely gigantic release schedule packed so full of titles that the tabs for them scroll waaaaay off the edge of my browser window. With this many games packed into one month, there’s GOT to be something that’ll catch my eye, as it glimmers within the steaming cesspool of… everything else.

We’ve got a wide variety of shovelware coming in September, and some of it might actually sell! In licensed swill, we’ve got a new LEGO game – a casual brawler this time, because, apparently, WB’s release of (and success with) “Multiversus” finally woke everyone else up to the fact that ripping off ‘Smash Bros.’ is easy money… provided you have solid IP rights. But I can’t say “LEGO Brawls” has my attention at all. Next, the acclaimed ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ game by Tribute Games, “Shredder’s Revenge” is getting ported around and physically released so more people can play it. Then, there’s a remake of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle” being released, because nothing’s better than a low-effort port of a low-effort licensed game.

In the 2Cazul2Live category, we’ve got “Splatoon 3” from Nintendo, since they can’t stop wasting development time and talent on PvP garbage, now. There’s also “Bunny Park,” which seems to be taking the Virtual Pet genre to a new low. Then there’s “DEEEER Simulator,” which is apparently trying to become the next “Goat Simulator.” And, of course, there’s a Rhythm Game coming… but it’s not one of the big ones, it’s “Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival” by Bamco.

Lastly, we’ve got two predictable annualized titles coming – and they’re both Sports: “FIFA 23” and “NBA2K23.”

Is the flood of old stuff being repackaged and sold as ‘new’ slowing down at all? NOPE! In September, we’re slated to see 21 games finding new homes on different platforms. Also, after but a momentary reprieve, the Nintendo Switch is getting the lion’s share of this stuff dumped on it: “8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife Adventure,” the original “Bayonetta,” “Alchemic Cutie,” a compilation of ‘Life is Strange,’ “Road Redemption,” “Trash Sailors,” and “They Always Run” are hitting the Switch, along with “Let’s Build a Zoo,” “Lemon Cake,” “Blade Assault,” “Severed Steel,” “XIII,” “White Day: A Labyrinth Named School,” and ‘Pokemon’ knock-off “Temtem,” hitting the Switch and others. Owlcat’s second terrible Pathfinder tabletop adaptation “Wrath of the Righteous,” “BioMutant,” and “The Ascent” are moving from PC to the rest of the Big Boy Consoles (but not the Switch, which is for babbys /s), and even Microsoft is allowing “Psychonauts 2” to hit the PlayStation 4, alongside its physical release on Xbox. The PlayStation 5’s position as King of Ports has been so thoroughly destroyed by Nintendo at this point that getting ports of “Inertial Drift,” “Slaycation Paradise,” and YET ANOTHER RE-RE-RE-RELEASE of “The Last of Us” is hardly enough to make me bat an eye.

Whew! Even with all of that old crap, there’s still plenty of new crap to consider… and shockingly, some of it looks like it might not be crap! But let’s get the crap out of the way first. There’s a dirtbike racing game in “World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing.” There’s (yet another) ‘Harvest Moon’ knock-off in “Life in Willowdale: Farm Adventures.” Falcom is assaulting us with yet another unnecessary ‘Legend of Heroes’ RPG spinoff in “Trails from Zero.” There’s a Skating Sim called “Sessions.” There’s an ‘Atelier’ knock-off in “Potion Permit.” There’s another deplorable Soulslike with the on-the-nose title of “Soulstice.” There’s an arcade (not Arcade) management Sim in “Arcade Paradise” (which I recall seeing months ago, but it must’ve been delayed). There’s a WWI FPS called “Isonso.” And there’s an Adventure game that takes great liberties with a legendary composer’s life, in “Mozart Requiem” (which I also recall seeing months ago).

Now we can move onto the good (I hope!) stuff! We’re getting “Airoheart,” a “Link to the Past” knock-off that looks so authentic it’s triggering my sympathetic nervous responses. Then, Square-Enix are gifting us with two new efforts at not being a complete disaster: A brand new Tactical RPG called “The DioField Chronicle” and a sequel-I-never-thought-would-happen, “Valkyrie Elysium,” a follow up in the ‘Valkyrie Profile’ series. Lastly, Spiders, the Eurojank developer that somehow made “Greedfall” is releasing a new game set during an alt-history version of the French Revolution… with androids, in “Steelrising.”

Are there any exclusives coming in September? Yes! Are there any exclusives worth getting excited about coming in September? Noooooooo. Sony’s got “Trek to Yomi” and “Puzzle Bobble: Vacation Odyssey” incoming, along with the official physical console release of “Stray.” Meanwhile, Nintendo’s got “Amnesia: Memories” and its companion game, “Amnesia: Later x Crowd,” along with a “Piofiore” follow-up… so unless you like Japanese Visual Novels, it’s a sad time to be Switch exclusive.

I’m more excited about new releases than I’ve been ALL DAMNED YEAR! “Airoheart” looks like a great ‘Zelda’ spiritual successor that’s unafraid to acknowledge that the series high point was on the SNES and GBA. I know Square-Enix will probably EFF everything up, somehow, but “The DioField Chronicle” and “Valkyrie Elysium” both have me rooting for the troubled former RPG titan again (the pessimist in me wishes to advise you, readers, to look for my 1/5 reviews sometime in 2024). Lastly, I suppose it’s too much to hope for lightning to strike twice, but I really hope “Steelrising” compares favorably to “Greedfall” and that the Soulslike tags applied to it on Steam are the work of mouthbreathing retards.

Backlog Embiggened: +4

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