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Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

April 6, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered
Arguably the best CoD of all-time gets a fresh coat of paint.

As unbelievable as it seems, we’ve reviewed thousands of games over the last decade-plus. In that time, only a handful has ever achieved a perfect score. One of those games was 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, so we were definitely excited to revisit it with the newly released Modern Warfare 2 Remastered (currently only on PlayStation 4 but coming to Xbox One and PC in late April), even if Special Ops and multiplayer were left out.

Obviously the big draw of a remaster is the presentation, and Beenox has done an excellent job of taking Infinity Ward’s classic and updating the graphics. It doesn’t feel cutting edge visually with explosion and fire elements looking a little dated and some of the outdoor sections being pretty sparsely populated. Still, you wouldn’t have much trouble convincing someone unaware of MW2‘s original launch that this was a 2020 title, which is a testament to Beenox’s efforts.

In terms of content, you’re looking at a roughly five-hour campaign. As a story, it’s pretty much a one-note affair. Yeah, you’ll get a couple of the shocking moments and deaths that Infinity Ward was becoming known for, but the character development is mostly nil, and if you don’t have any nostalgic feelings for the likes of Captain Price, Soap and Ghost, there’s no real reason to invest in or care about the characters.

Where Modern Warfare 2‘s campaign always excelled, however, was its action, and even all these years later that part holds up well. Outside of the introductory mission and a few sniper-based sections, you’ll be spending most of those five or so hours trading bullets with a seemingly endless supply of faceless baddies. It’s hard not to get drawn back in as you chase a terrorist through a favela teeming with tangos or drive invading forces from suburban America.

Given how long it’d been since we played the campaign, we were surprised by how much of it we remembered, which speaks to the level design and set pieces. That being said, with Modern Warfare getting a full-blown reboot last fall, MW2 Remastered does feel like its operating in its shadow, so if the 2019 version was your introduction to this timeline, the “sequel” may come across as a step backward. Also, the loss of Special Ops is a blow to the replayability — the multiplayer maps are being integrated into the current Modern Warfare.

OVERALL (3.75/5)

Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is a strong effort for what it is, allowing players to experience the action-heavy campaign with much-improved graphics. Minus the stellar multiplayer, though, it’s unlikely to offer long-term engagement.

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Video Game Review: Nioh 2

March 30, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Nioh 2
If you didn’t play the original, be prepared to endure a learning curve as you sort out how to mix attacking and evasion effectively while keeping an eye on your Ki (read: stamina) meter. Practically every foe you encounter is capable of ending your life if you get too lazy or think a straightforward hack n’ slash approach with topple lesser enemies without incident. Creating that mindset was the first challenge we had to overcome. It would not be the last.
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Video Game Review: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

March 19, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Ori and the Will of the Wisps
While the game puts lots of tools and options at your disposal, they often don’t feel as smoothly implemented as we wanted them to be. Far too often we found ourselves cursing a missed jump or taking damage from an enemy that our melee strikes carried us into. There’s little more annoying than getting stuck on some thorns, unable to leap to safety as you watch your life slip away. We welcome the challenge of smart level design, but uneven controls added more frustration than we would’ve liked.
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Video Game Review: The Yakuza Remastered Collection

March 2, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: The Yakuza Remastered Collection
This was our introduction to the series, having missed the first two games that launched on the PlayStation 2, so it was fun to revisit it. We were blissfully unaware of the controversy of having elements like the massage parlour removed from the U.S. launch, so it was fun to go back and tool around with a more complete version of the game. It’s also the only one of three here to feature Kiryu as the primary protagonist.
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Video Game Review: Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle

February 27, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Many of the games include a “quality up” version alongside the original, which smooths out some of the rough edges, giving the games a cleaner appearance and addressing balancing issues. Unless you’re a die-hard traditionalist we’d recommend playing the former as it does make a noticeable difference.
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