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Backlog: The Embiggening – March, 2023

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By Nelson Schneider - 02/24/23 at 11:38 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! Winter and the last dregs of 2022 are officially behind us, once again, as Spring spoings into our lives, bringing with it superstitious Paschal holidays, seasonal allergies, crazy weather, and probably a whole bunch of terrible videogame releases. Let’s check on that last one…

We’re starting off Fiscal Year 2023 with corporate publishers pushing shovelware in all three major categories. In the Licensed Swill category, we’ve got “Peppa Pig: World Adventures” and “DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Chaos.” In the 2Cazul2Liv category, we’ve got the cringe-inducing “Parents vs. Kids” mini-game slop. And in the ‘We Release This Every Year Because You’re Dumb Enough to Keep Buying It’ category, there’s “EA Sports PGA Tour,” “WWE 2K23,” and “Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 6.” Yes, that’s actually the title!

Moving on to old crap pretending to be new crap we’ve got… OH HELL, WHY ARE THERE SOOOOO MANY! EFFing A, there are more ports, remakes, remasters, and otherwise rehashed games than ANYTHING ELSE coming in March. Oh, what a disaster… let’s start picking through this mess by pointing out that, as has been a trend for the last 5 years at least, the Nintendo Switch is the favored dumping group for these titles… I’d have though the Steam Deck’s existence would have cooled publishers’ desire to port their crap to a portable, but I guess not. Switch is getting “Norn9: Var Commons” (a PlayStation Vita game), “Horror Tales: The Wine,” “Train Life,” “Gunbrick: Reloaded” (an iOS game), “Sword of the Necromancer,” “Lost Words: Beyond the Page,” “Record of Agarest War,” “Little Witch Nobeta,” and “Moero Chronicle Hyper” all to itself in March (after other platforms have had their way with these games for… often years, even decades). The Switch will also be sharing “Demon Gaze EXTRA” (which is funnier if you swap the middle word for its English homonym), “Alice Gear Aegis CS” (another iOS game), “Cult of the Lamb,” “Eldest Souls,” “Blade Assault,” and “Chef Life” with at least one other new recipient. In non-Switch-related ports, the PS5 is getting “Aztech: Forgotten Gods”… from the Switch (gotcha!), Sony is finally pushing retail copies of “Trek to Yomi,” “Resident Evil 4” is being rehashed for the umpteenth time, Ubisoft is pushing “Anno 1800” to consoles for the first time (let’s hope they came up with a great controller interface and UI scheme), and both “Asterigios: Curse of the Stars” and “Transport Fever 2” are hitting consoles at retail.

Eugh… I need to rinse and spit with my brain after processing that cluster of crap.

Moving onto actual new games, we’ve got… a surprisingly healthy-sized slate of multi-plats… with an even more surprising number of games that Chris copypasta’d into the database as “RPGs.” Hmmm… well, starting off, it’s not promising, with “Atelier Ryza 3” and “Legend of Heroes: Trails of Azure” keeping lame IPs going for way longer than they should. “Mato Anomolies” is a new IP that seems to be a confusing mix of Gilded Age and Neo Futurism… so, a setting that’s a fusion of ‘BioShock’ and ‘Cyberpunk’ but with a turn-based RPG under the hood… intriguing. Then there’s the only game of the month I am and have been excited about, which is the ‘Suikoden’ spiritual successor, “Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes,” which will be make-or-break for its Indie development team. Adjacent to RPGs, there’s a new Adventure game in “Windstorm: An Unexpected Arrival,” which is, apparently, a super-low-budget Eurojank game about girls riding horses. Then things go horribly wrong with not one, but TWO new EFFing Soulslikes to pollute the world with their unsellable stink: “Clash: Artifacts of Chaos” and “Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.” PLEASE, DEVELOPERS, STOP DOING THIS!

Exclusives are pretty much non-existent. There is one, though. It’s a Switch game… and it’s apparently a prequel in the ‘Bayonetta’ series that Nintendo bought when they acquired Platinum Games: “Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.” Yeah, no thanks.

I’d just like to reiterate that any game developer who decides to make a Soulslike should buy one of Palmer Luckey’s ‘special’ VR headsets. Aside from that bit of world-weary wisdom, I’m looking forward to “Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes,” as I have been jonesing for a new ‘Suikoden’ game for well over a decade. I would say that I’m really looking forward to it, but I just finished playing its prologue, “Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising,” and was substantially unimpressed. “Mato Anomolies” also has some potential, but it just looks too weird and idiosyncratic to be a must-play.

Backlog Embiggened: +1

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