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Backlog: The Embiggening – June, 2024

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By Nelson Schneider - 05/26/24 at 03:25 PM CT

Welcome back to another look into the near future! As June approaches, it’s time for us to prepare, once again, for the annual Summer Games Drought. Of course, an industry that still primarily caters to young people (or the young at heart) has always reduced new releases to a trickle when said target audience has the most free time and said target audience’s parents are most feverishly on the hunt for something to keep the target audience placated and out of trouble. The more things change, the more they remain the same, and the more our Corporate Overlords make unpopular decisions for the sake of profit margins, the more they ignore opportunities to make popular decisions and shake-up age-old paradigms. *sigh* Let’s look at the crap coming in June…

There’s shovelware, with two of the three categories represented. In the Licensed Swill category, we have two dinosaur-themed games based on ‘Gigantosaurus’ and ‘Jurassic Park,’ as well as a game based on ‘The Smurfs,’ the latter of which continuously amazes me. ‘Smurfs’ hasn’t been relevant since the ‘80s, yet it occasionally pops up in odd places. Is it popular overseas? More likely, the corporate owner is required to leverage the IP every decade or so to keep it from going into the public domain.

The other shovel-ready category being represented in June is Casual Trash, exemplified by by “Richman 11,” a ‘Monopoly’ knock-off that is apparently the 11th entry in a series I’ve literally never heard of before. Then there’s “Pool Party,” which launched as a Steam timed exclusive last month, and it now available for peasants with peasant taste to buy.

Moving on to old crap masquerading as new crap, we can see that, even during Drought season, the flow barely slows down. The Nintendo Switch – that perennial dumping ground for ports, frequently poor ports that are the definitively worst version of said games – is leading the pack, once again, with ports of “SANABI,” “Have a Nice Death,” an HD remaster of “Luigi’s Mansion 2,” a collection of ‘Monster Hunter Stories,’ as well as shared ports of “Outer Wilds,” “My Life: Pet Vet,” “Battle of Rebels,” and “King of Fighters 13.” The PlayStation 5 is showing that it’s no slouch in peddling old stuff as well, with ports of “Pneumata,” “As Dusk Falls,” and “Pocket Bravery,” with extra attention going to the PlayStation VR2 headset, with “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2” and the incredibly-appropriate-for-Sony “Hubris” coming over from SteamVR. Lastly, PlayStation and Xbox are sharing “ARK: Survival Ascended.” So, yeah, it’s a month full of stuff that didn’t really deserve a second chance.

Are there any new games coming in June? Yeah, but the Drought is looking pretty severe! In legitimate, new multi-platform releases, we’ve got a whopping 2 games: “One Last Breath” is a bleak, drab, and bland-looking 2D Platformer, while “Tsukihime: A Piece of Blue Glass Moon” is a Visual Novel… so nothing to get excited about there.

In a rare event, we actually have more exclusives coming in June than multi-plats… by one… and the quality is just as good! Sony’s PlayStation VR2 is getting an all-new Tower Defense title in “Captain Toonhead vs. the Punks from Outer Space”… which sounds like something straight out of terrible ‘90s-era marketing. Meanwhile, the Switch is getting TWICE AS MANY exclusives… in “Radiant Tale: Fanfare!” a Visual Novel, and “Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble,” which should probably have a colon (:) in there, but is ultimately just another sequel in a long-in-the-tooth niche series that nobody cares about anymore.

So, for the first month of the Summer Games Drought, it looks like we got a whopping 5 legit releases… and all of them are CRAP! Time to spend the Summer season working on our backlogs and Backlog Ablutions!

Backlog Embiggened: +0

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