Even Game Pass Knows It’s Backlog Season

Even Game Pass Knows It’s Backlog Season
Now's the last chance to play one of the best Final Fantasy games. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

It’s that time of year again, when the release cadence cools down a bit, giving you time to make your way through your backlog from the spring (or the fall). Game Pass, for the moment, isn’t adding too much to the top, and is in fact removing quite a bit from the bottom. Here’s everything coming to Microsoft’s games-on-demand service in the coming weeks. It’s not a whole lot.

May 3

  • Loot River (Cloud, Console, PC)

May 5

  • Trek to Yomi (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Citizen Sleeper (Cloud, Console, PC)

May 10

  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • This War of Mine: Final Cut (Cloud, Console, PC)

May 12

  • NHL 22, via EA Play (Console)

That’s not to say there’s literally nothing here, just that it’s absent some of the must-play blockbusters that players may have grown accustomed to. Still, some games are worth checking out. Trek to Yomi is a new side-scrolling action game, inspired by the work of legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, about a samurai on a quest for revenge. (Get out of here with your Ghost of Tsushima Demake jokes.) Loot River is basically Tetris + Dark Souls, which sounds impossible to put down. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has a neat wrinkle: The characters you meet in the RPG can become your companions in the sequel, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, planned for release some time next year.

In the meantime, Game Pass is losing a ton of terrific games, including one of the best Final Fantasy entries. On May 10, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Definitive Edition goes away. That’s followed, on May 15, by all of these:

  • Enter The Gungeon (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (Console PC)
  • Remnant: From the Ashes (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Steep (Cloud Console)
  • The Catch: Carp and Coarse (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • The Wild at Heart (Cloud, Console, PC)

I am, personally, bereft here. Enter the Gungeon, of course, is a roguelike staple, practically comfort food at this point. Steep’s disappearance is softened by the presence of Shredders on Game Pass, but it means we lose Ubisoft’s open-world game’s skiing. The Wild at Heart, which some call Wes Anderson’s Pikmin, is one of those under-the-radar gems I recommend to anyone who will let me rave for a few minutes. And a friend was telling me about Remnant: From the Ashes literally last night, how I should check it out and possibly play co-op with him. I even said, “Screw it, sure.”

And then there’s Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD. Square Enix’s legendary series has had a curious relationship with Game Pass. In 2019, Microsoft announced a bunch of Final Fantasy games would come to the service some time in 2020. By January 2021, most of those games hadn’t become available. The series has started popping up through 2022, but it seems they tend to only stick around for a year at most (insert joke about how that’s enough time to finish mayyyybe half a game). Last August, Final Fantasy VII left the service. Just this February, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age did too. Now it’s Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD’s turn. At this rate, if you ever wanted to check out Final Fantasy XIII-2, the most underrated game in the series, you’d best start soon.

 

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