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Backlog: The Embiggening – November, 2023

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By Nelson Schneider - 10/29/23 at 01:39 AM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! November is the Month of Gratitude, hosting the United States’ version of the Thanksgiving holiday, in which people look back at the previous year (or more) and take the time to reflect upon what they’re truly grateful for. In my case, those things are the other members of the MJ Crew, my fur babies (Barkley and Mao), and my forward-thinking, dearly-departed parents.

What I am NOT grateful for, however, is the absolute STATE of the Games Industry, where every month is flooded with trash releases, trash ports, censorship, and ideological bickering to the point that I’d like to watch the entire thing burn to the ground. Let the handful of people and businesses who are in it because they value it instead of trying to wring value from it rebuild from the ground up, and give us release schedules filled with a smaller number of meaningful titles that will all garner attention instead of drowning us in crap and seeing which particularly buoyant turds float to the surface.

Well, let’s get the shovels ready and start digging through the septic tank. November is bringing us Licensed Crap, Casual Crap, and Annualized Crap, with the first of those outnumbering the rest by a significant margin. We’ve got licensed games based on Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” ‘Naruto,’ “Bluey” (which is an insult to Blue Heelers everywhere), “Survivor,” “Grendizer” (if you remember that particular anime, you are both a super weeb and super old), Nickelodeon cartoons, “Jumanji,” Dreamworks movies, ‘RoboCop,’ “The Smurfs,” “Dino Ranch,” World Racing, L.O.L. Surprise dolls, and ‘Harry Potter,’ with the latter also having the dubious honor of being a port aimed at the Nintendo Switch. Then there are a handful of Super Casual nonsense titles, including a Nintendo first-party effort, “WarioWare: Move It!” and a Switch third-party exclusive, “Fashion Dreamer.” Then there’s “Let’s Sing 2024,” which is both casual crap AND an annualized title, which contrasts strongly with the OTHER annualized title dropping in November, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”

Now, let’s move onto the part of the article where we suffocate beneath the massive mountain of OLD stuff constantly being dumped on the Nintendo Switch! It’s been like this for years, and will likely remain like this even after the next Nintendo console is released in a year or three. Anyway, there’s a remake of the classic ‘90s Squaresoft collaboration, “Super Mario RPG,” an enhanced port in “New Super Lucky’s Tale,” “Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong,” “Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity,” a remake of “Star Ocean: The Second Story,” “Formula Retro Racing: World Tour,” “Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures,” “Paperman,” “Spells & Secrets,” “Smile for Me,” “Harvest Days: My Dream Farm,” “Vernal Edge,” and “PlateUp!,” with the latter… NINE titles also going to non-Switch platforms simultaneously. The old Port Kings as PlayStation aren’t far behind, though, with “Tetris Effect,” “Deep Rock Galactic,” “Jagged Alliance 3,” “Eternights,” and “Teardown” all hitting the PlayStation 5 (and maybe a few of those are hitting Xbox too, but who really cares?).

Once again, with all the crap and old crap out of the way, we can finally move onto new releases! In multi-platform titles, we’ve a diverse lineup. There’s “Guns & Spurs 2,” a knock-off of the ‘Red Dead’ series that started life as a mobile title… and apparently “Guns & Spurs 1” doesn’t actually exist. There’s a TRPG ‘Persona’ spinoff in “Persona 5 Tactica,” but no matter how much Tactica there is in there, it’s still got all that ‘Persona.’ There’s a rather novel-looking cooperative Rhythm game in “Super Crazy Rhythm Castle” that the MJ Crew will definitely NOT put on the list of coop games to play together. “Air Twister” is a new Rail Shooter in an era where Shooters have evolved way beyond the archetype. “Wildshade: Unicorn Champions” is a horse-based Racing title… that started life as a mobile game. “Pickleball Smash” seems to want to be the next “WiiSports – Tennis.” “The Invincible” is a medium-budget Adventure game that looked mildly interesting at E3 a couple years ago, but I’d still be hard-pressed to bother with it. Lastly, “My Time at Sandrock” is the sequel to “My Time at Portia,” which was supposed to release last month, and is so far off my radar that I haven’t even played the original game, in spite of getting it for free a while back. So… yeah, nothing to get excited about in that batch.

Finally we come to exclusives, those coveted system-sellers that console fanboys have always used to justify their purchases… and it doesn’t look like there’s any justification for November’s batch. PlayStation is getting “Quantum Error,” a generic FPS which is the second of two games produced by a small-potatoes developer called Teamkill. PlayStation is also getting “Silent Swan,” along with PC… but we give Xbox credit for exclusives when they’re launched simultaneously on PC, so let’s throw Sony this… dreary Walking Simulator Adventure-shaped bone. Nintendo has twice as many exclusives hitting the Switch in November… but… urgh… There’s a Visual Novel with a slightly-less-retarded-than-usual title, “Virche Evermore – ErroR: Salvation;” “Kraken Odyssey,” a cute 3D Platformer starring a cartoon octopus; a new IP Party game with an astoundingly-retarded title in “PUI PUI Molcar Let’s! Molcar Party!” (Please, Japan, STOP!); and… another Visual Novel, this one by Idea Factory, with the long-winded title of “My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! – Pirates of the Disturbance”… which leaves me feeling very disturbed, indeed.

Blarg! What a month! It’s been a while since ABSOLUTELY JACK SQUAT BUPKUS that interests me was released, but there it is. At least my backlog won’t get any bigger.

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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