Welcome back to Fantasy Gaming! In this month’s update, we recap the smash success that is Resident Evil 4 (2023), preview the next few months of gaming greatness, and lament the games we failed to draft. Enjoy!
After a quiet February for Fantasy Gaming, we’re back to recap the month of March. Things are quickly gaining steam—and by the looks of the spring and summer months, the hype train doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
But enough of the cryptic teasers. Let’s dive in.
What’s New in March?
The Resident Evil 4 Remake Puts Team Sam on the Map
Resident Evil 4 kicks ass. We knew it back in 2005, when the game first released on GameCube and PlayStation 2. We knew it again in 2007, when a Wii version breathed new life into the game with pointer and motion controls. And now, in 2023, we know it all over again.
The Resident Evil 4 Remake released for PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in March, and it reminded us all what exceptional action-horror looks like. The game sits on Metacritic with a monumental 93 critic score, making it an early front-runner for Game of the Year.
Resident Evil 4 isn’t the first remake to grace us this year. January brought us a revival of Dead Space, while February marked the release of Metroid Prime Remastered (a game that, despite the name, proved far more than a simple touch-up). And yet, Resident Evil 4 stands tall as the crown jewel of the bunch.
This is a massive win, not just for Capcom, but for Punished Backlog editor Sam Martinelli. The addition of Resident Evil 4 brings his team within range of Team Amanda—and the No. 1 spot.
Brace Yourself. An Avalance of AAA Games Is Coming
2023 already has a hot hand. In three months, we’ve seen Dead Space, Resident Evil 4, and a host of other games that flew under our Fantasy radars (more on that in a bit). And yet, we’re only just getting started. Look no further than the next few months and the gaming greatness still to come.
Here’s a preview of the games on deck:
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (April 28)
- Redfall (May 2)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (May 12)
- System Shock (May 30)
- Street Fighter 6 (June 2)
- Diablo IV (June 6)
- Final Fantasy XVI (June 22)
- Pikmin 4 (July 21)
- Baldur’s Gate 3 (August 31)
- Starfield (September 6)
Get that wallet ready. We’re set to receive a big AAA game (or two, or three) every month through September. If you haven’t cleared out that backlog, do it now before the going gets tough.
In Fantasy terms, the quality of 2023’s gaming lineup suggests we’re in for quite the show. Don’t be surprised if the lead between teams switches faster than a Celtics-Lakers game.
Pour One Out for the Games We Failed To Draft
If you’re eagle-eyed, you’ll notice a few games mentioned above weren’t drafted in our 2023 Fantasy Draft. System Shock and Pikmin 4 were just a few of the casualties in our quest for Fantasy gold.
They’re not alone. In reality, we’ve missed out on quite a few gems this year:
- Hi-Fi Rush* (89 Metacritic)
- Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (87 Metacritic)
- Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo (86 Metacritic)
- Octopath Traveler II (85 Metacritic)
- A Space for the Unbound (85 Metacritic)
*OK—obviously, this one was out of our control. We would’ve needed a crystal ball to anticipate a game like Hi-Fi Rush stealth dropping on Xbox Game Pass. Even then, we likely still would’ve underestimated its greatness.
The others are less forgivable. (Really? I chose Suicide Squad over Octopath Traveler II?) Theatrhythm, in hindsight, is an easy pick for free points—who doesn’t love music-rhythm games (and a Final Fantasy one, at that)? And while smaller hits like Paranormasight are tough to predict, there’s no good reason to punt on a massive IP like Pikmin.
We’ll see how the dust settles come year-end. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not smacking my head against my keyboard as I write this.
Who’s in the Lead?!
Take a look at the updated Fantasy standings:
1. Tears of the Backlog (Team Amanda)
– Total points: 89
– Average per game: 89
2. A Hair Below Cromulent (Team Sam)
– Total points: 173
– Average per game: 86.5
3. 2 Fast 2 Fantasy (Team David)
– Total points: 0
– Average per game: n/a
Thanks for tuning in this month! For more Fantasy content, check out our Fantasy Gaming archives.