COD Modern Warfare Remastered Review | A Classic Reborn

Posted on December 16, 2016 by Erika

While I cut my teeth on the Call of Duty series with Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has held a special place in my heart since I started playing it back in 2010. Six years later, and numerous iterations of the series afterward, Modern Warfare Remastered brings back all those fun memories thanks to Raven Software and Infinity Ward’s efforts. It’s one hell of an experience and it’s a breath of fresh air with boots-on-ground combat when compared to faced paced future or near-future combat they’ve released recently.

Single Player

For people that haven’t played the original game, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare brought the series from it’s World War II roots to current times, giving the player a perspective from multiple soldiers. Starting off as Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish as the FNG in the British SAS for the game’s tutorial, the game’s story progresses quickly from there to infiltrating a tanker to retrieve information. The action just intensifies from there, with each successive mission ratcheting up the tension. After the assassination of the President of an unnamed Middle-Eastern country, the US 1st Force Recon invades the Middle East to search for the assassin, Al-Assad.


One of my big, and few, gripes about the single player campaign is that it’s short. When this game originally came out, first person shooter’s storylines ran about twice as long as this game’s campaign – with a bit of dedication, Modern Warfare can be cleared in roughly six hours. While there are multiple difficulties along with the ability to unlock an arcade mode, MW helped kick off the trend of shorter story games with a longer-term multiplayer plan in returns replayability It became an unfortunate trend with shooters in the years since, and while there are other games that are bucking that trend, Call of Duty’s developers need to rectify this issue with the franchise as a whole.

Regardless, it’s an amazing story to play, though! From going through door-to-door through the middle east trying to find Al-Assad, to sneaking through Pripyat to assassinate the leader of Ultra-nationalist Russians, to even commanding the guns of an AC-130 on an escort mission to advance the story – there is a lot of action on display here. Tying in the story threads of each perspective, Modern Warfare presents like a movie, and with the improved graphics, effects, and sound design, it has never looked or played better than on current-gen console hardware.


While the campaign is on the shorter side, the multiplayer makes up for this by adding to the game’s longevity. With being the game that originally introduced the ability to have your level and weapon/perk progress reset for a new icon, aka “Prestige”- being one of the first games to add RPG elements to an online FPS, Modern Warfare Remastered requires quite a bit of time to go through the level progression numerous times. For Call of Duty fare, all of the game modes from the original are included, such as Team Deathmatch, Free For All, Search & Destroy, and old school Free For All. The remaster also brings fan-favorite game mode Kill Confirmed into the foray, with the addition of Hardpoint and Gun Game from the update that happened on December 13th.

In addition to the game modes added to this updated classic, Modern Warfare Remastered now has all 16 maps from the original base game. As an added bonus, the former PC-exclusive map Christmas Crash was also added in, bringing the current total of playable maps to 17. Game matches are quite fast-paced, with either going through a wide open bog in the middle of a war-zone at night, to the tight spaces of a deserted Russian office. When compared to the original game, the matches are just as I remembered it.


The Create-A-Class system, something completely new at the time of the game’s original release, became one of the bread-and-butter experiences of Call of Duty multiplayer – with its’ inclusion in multiple iterations. The player is given a main firearm, a side arm, tactical grenades, lethal grenades, and three perks to give certain advantages though gameplay. Fancy being quiet and sneaking around? Equip a silencer to your main weapon and use Dead Silence perk to mitigate sound from your footsteps. Wanna be a powerhouse that can take hits and keep going? A high-powered rifle with Juggernaut so you can take more damage!

Another staple in Call of Duty multiplayer feature set that was introduced with this game were Killstreaks. Upon successive kills without dying, a player can “call in” a UAV radar, a targeted airstrike, or even a helicopter to wreak havoc on the enemy team. This was done to give rewards to players that could stay alive and brought a trend of people trying to go for higher killstreaks in games afterward. Being on the receiving end of an enemy helicopter is a big annoyance as ever, so it goes to show that some things never change.

With the remastering comes with numerous additions by Raven Software. These improvements took some of my gripes from the original, like limiting gold camo to specific weapons and questionable connection quality at times, and improved on it considerably. In addition to the ability to have gold camouflage for all firearms, new camos were added such as Regal and Exclusion zone, calling cards and emblems were added as well. Taking a note from the recent Call of Duty games, supply drops were added into the game, which adds in player customization, weapon kits, and melee weapons among, other things. While the additions that were put in with the base game were nice, the continuous updates to multiplayer will extend playability for this game far longer than what just a basic remastering could have done.



With all the previews that were going on before Modern Warfare Remastered was released, I expected a visual and audio overhaul to the game and that was it. Upon being able to play it, I was absolutely floored with how Raven Software went above and beyond with remastering and improving the game, especially the multiplayer component. Overall, the game is as I remember it in terms of gameplay, but the improvements and additions really make the game shine. I hope that with future updates that the maps from the Variety Pack are included, along with some nighttime variants of maps that were cut from the original game during development.

If you’re a huge Call of Duty fan and want to pick this up with Infinite Warfare, then go for it. If you’re just looking to really play this game, then please keep in mind that the Infinite Warfare disc or having the Digital Deluxe Edition is required in order to play this game, and it would be a good idea to wait for the edition you want to go on sale again before purchasing it. There’s a rumour going around that Modern Warfare Remastered will eventually be playable without this requirement, so I’m crossing my fingers. If that does eventually happen, then Remastered is definitely worth the purchase by itself.

For the full Infinite Warfare Multiplayer review, head on over to see what Rae has to say on it.

Modern Warfare Remastered is currently only available with the Infinite Warfare Legacy, Digital Deluxe, and Legacy Pro Editions for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

Activision Publishing provided Broken Joysticks two Legacy Edition copies of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare for our consideration, review, and content creation.


Broken Bootlegs- Kart Fighter

Posted on October 31, 2016 by Erika

Kart Fighter

Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers an all out Mario-themed Famicom Fighter: Kart Fighter!

Like World Heroes 2, Kart Fighter was one of the earlier bootleg fighting games I played when I first started getting into playing bootlegs. Even before I really knew about the bootlegging scene, I could just tell that Kart Fighter was some sort of import knockoff . That said, it’s an interesting game, especially since it was one of those all out fighters where characters from Super Mario Kart could duke it out.Read More


Infinite Warfare Multiplayer Beta Impressions

Posted on October 16, 2016 by Erika

Much to the excitement of many Call of Duty fans, Infinite Warfare is just around the corner. As a treat for those who ordered Infinite Warfare for PS4, players have been given access to try the Infinite Warfare Multiplayer Beta this weekend. While it’s just a limited beta, there’s a decent amount of content, and things to expect when Infinite Warfare is released. In addition to that, Activision announced the multiplayer beta has been extended for another day in case people haven’t had the chance to p, or can’t get enough of Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer!Read More


Before Smash Bros, there was World Heroes 2

Posted on September 8, 2016 by Erika

World Heroes 2 Header

Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers possibly one of my favorite Famicom fighters: World Heroes 2.

During the prime of fighting games in the 90s, there were a few game characters that I wanted to see duke it out on the screen, including Mario and Sonic. Sadly, this wouldn’t be realized to its fullest extent till Super Smash Brothers Brawl. There was one bootleg game that fulfilled some of those fantasies, though. Not to be confused with game that shares the same name released by AES and SNK, World Heroes 2 by Cony Soft pits 12 playable fighters against each other in all it’s bootleg glory!Read More


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 DLC 1-3 Review Recap

Posted on August 30, 2016 by Erika

Black Ops III

With Salvation and Call of Duty XP 2016 around the corner, I’ve finally had the chance to play the other DLC packs for Black Ops 3. After only having Eclipse for quite while, it’s a breath of fresh air into gameplay. In addition to that, it’s quite easier to get into active multiplayer lobbies. Due to how lobby playlists are setup for DLC users, if a player doesn’t have the multiplayer DLC, they wind up in their own playlist and wait for quite a while to get into a match. There have been times that I’ve waited over 10 minutes to get into a multiplayer match because of this limitation, and it’s really frustrating. Players are left with having to wait to get in, try a different gametype they may not want to play, or uninstalling the DLC to make it much easier to get into a game match. One feature from Modern Warfare 3 that I miss is the fact that there was an option to switch the DLC on or off for multiplayer, and it’s something I wish would become a standard feature for games with paid DLC. Hopefully, this will eventually change with future games.Read More


Black Ops 3 Salvation DLC arrives on PS4 on Sept 6th

Posted on August 27, 2016 by Erika

Black Ops 3 Salvation Header

Zombies: The End of an Era

With the recent announcement of fourth DLC, Black Ops 3 Salvation brings forth the finale of the Origins Zombies storyline. In addition to Zombies, Salvation brings four action-packed multiplayer maps to the table.

To quote Mark Lamia, the Studio Head of Treyarch-

“Without a doubt, this is the most epic season of DLC that we’ve ever created for fans of Multiplayer and Zombies. At this point it goes without saying, that Zombies has been a true labour of love for the studio and I’m proud to say that this will be a defining and epic experience for the fans who have joined us over the last 8 years.”

Revelations, featured in Salvation, is the the long-awaited final chapter in the Origins  Zombies saga.  In  Revelations, we meet up with the  Origins characters after they’ve taken an epic journey through space and time – all of their struggles lead to this very moment. In this, the final chapter of the Zombies experience, Richtofen, Dempsey, Takeo and Nikolai finally come face to face with the mysterious Doctor Monty in The House.  Confronted by an ancient evil, our heroes must fight the zombie horde once more in the final battle to save their immortal souls.Read More


Broken Bootlegs- Mario 4: A Space Odyssey

Posted on August 19, 2016 by Erika

Mario 4 header

Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers one of the more difficult Russian-made Mario games for the Mega Drive- Mario 4: A Space Odyssey (Космическая Одиссея).

After having previously covered a Super Mario World deport for the Famicom, I found somewhat interesting gem that was made for Russian Mega Drive systems. Космическая Одиссея (Kosmicheskaya Odisseya), translated to Mario 4: A Space Odyssey, feels like more of a game that would have been released by one of those awful licensed 8-bit computer system games. Mario 4 is a quite challenge to play due classic issues of bad game physics and awful level design that plague many a bootleg game.

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Obliterating racers in Obliteracers!

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Erika

Obliteracers Titled Hero Art

Having played older kart-based racing games like Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing, and Wacky Wheels, Obliteracers fits right in with the genre. Developed by Space Dust Studios, Obliteracers is a neat little kart racer, that with it’s art style, is most evocative of the Ratchet and Clank universe. Though, not without its faults, Obliteracers is a fun game, and is a good addition to the genre. The game’s premise, at it’s very core, is to win. Expounding on this, the player does this by eliminating other racers. Some races involve getting the most eliminations, others are won by surviving, and some are simple races.

Obliteracers NuVark Clear 03

Even in death, you can still affect the race outcome!

Taking a note from other kart racing games, surviving and winning can be done with the help of various powerups though the various maps. From the standard missile launcher, to the electric shocker, and trip mine bombs, races can get quite hectic. In addition to powerups, karts have the ability to absorb powerups to recover health, which is key to surviving matches. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that any powerup used is fair game to affect anyone in the match. So  that means if the player sets some mines, it can lead to an accidental crash and burn for the same player.

Fortunately, even if your racer does crash and burn, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end. There’s a neat little game mechanic that kicks in for certain game modes after death that allows the player to lock on racers and fire tracer missiles. Tracer missiles can be an immense help in knocking out higher-placed racers. Knocking them out eliminates the chance for them to score any more points in a round of gameplay. Once I figured out how to do this in the earlier part of the career mode, my quest to beat Obliteracers became much easier.

The career mode is very expansive, starting off with the tutorial level, and expanding from there. Placing first though third in races will award up to a three bomb ranking, which determines if a player can advance to the next level or not in career. The career mode is long enough to provide a nice challenge but not end up feeling like a grindy slog. This is a tough balance to strike but Obliteracers has done it well.

While I was still learning how to do things in the earlier career missions, I had my first 8-player match and it was hectic. The first few races with 8 players, I had quite a bit of a difficult time keeping track of my racer. After some practice I was able to keep track of my racer. My advice to new players is: it got easier, just keep going. That said, it can still be difficult to keep track of all what’s going on in races due to all the mayhem going on. The game is supposed to be hectic, intense, and full of mayhem, and it does it quite well. This is not a bad thing, as the mayhem makes the game feel fast, fresh, and intense.

When matches do get very hectic, and it happens often, it is hard to keep track of things. This can lead to frustration. Possibly adding to the frustration is another game design choice the game camera. The game camera focuses on the lead racer, which can cause trouble for some racers. Karts that are way behind can disappear from the screen for that aforementioned reason. Once the kart is left behind, it’s an instant death. I found in a few places the camera was extra punishing. A couple of  times that I got slightly stuck on some of the race scenery, I was unable to catch up soon enough to do any good. The camera is designed to be like it is, but it has been a small source of frustration for me while playing though some of the races.

Obliteracers NuVark SunsetStripThe races themselves are a good mix of short and sweet, and longer more intense races that drag on longer. With some of the higher point requirements of some of the career matches, it gets a tad repetitive. More than once I found myself wondering how much longer will it would be until the race is ended. This repetition extends a bit into online as well, unfortunately.

Overall, I think this game is designed for playing with other people, and that shows through in some of the frustrations that I felt in career mode. Without the friendly trash talking, or playing with friends, races get dull and don’t hold the same excitement for me as they would otherwise. It’s still a fun game to play, but it’s better suited for playing in bursts for these reasons.

As mentioned earlier, the game’s art style looks like it could easily fit in with the Ratchet and Clank series. From the racer designs, to carts, and race track designs, the game looks great. While races can get cramped when there’s eight or more players, I never felt too crowded. The race tracks don’t usually obstruct the field of view for the camera, and when they do its only for a brief moment.

The sound and music quality is quite on par with the rest of the game. They both fit in, but the music is a bit forgettable, unfortunately. I would have liked something a bit more hectic to go with my mayhem. I also found the controls for this game to feel a bit stiff. I think this may have added to my frustration a few times when I got stuck on scenery. Aside from stiff directional control, kart response to jumping, and using weapons is pretty solid.

Overall, this is a fun game to play. While Obliteracers doesn’t have the grab and keep playing quality of a Diddy Kong Racing or a Mario Cart with out other players. It is good to play in bursts. The career mode has quite a bit of content to clear though, and that adds a bit to replayability. Playing though with friends is a must in order to get some intense and fun matches out of Obliteracers. Even with it’s bit of issues, it’s still an enjoyable game. This is definitely a game to get if you’re a fan of kart racing games. In addition to that, this game gives an opportunity for console owners to see what kart racing games are like, as games of this genre is a bit scarce for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Obliteracers is now out for PS4 and Steam, and is coming soon for Xbox One.


A Challenger appears! Retro-Bit Generations coming soon

Posted on July 30, 2016 by Erika

RetroBit Generations
RetroBit Generations Console

it looks so shiny!

Now that Nintendo and Sega is releasing retro gaming systems, Retro-Bit is releasing the Retro-Bit Generations this fall. Unveiled the 2016 E3 Expo by Innex Inc, Retro-Bit Generations is a plug-n-play console with purportedly over 100 games packed in. Collaborating with companies like Capcom, Data East, Jaleco, and Irem, the Retro-Bit Generations will have titles like Ghosts’N Goblins, Gun Smoke, Captain Commando, and Knights of the Round. While the system is paired with good games, what is the system without two USB six button controllers that resembles what the Sega Genesis used back in the day? I’m surprised that Retro-Bit didn’t go with more a SNES/SFC controller look, but the controllers look snazzy enough. In addition to that, not only AV ports will be included, but HDMI ports as well! Also included is an SD card slot for saving games and transferring archived game progressed to other consoles. The Retro-Bit Generation console promises to be a serious contender for the upcoming NES Classic and Sega Mega Drive Classic game consoles.Read More


Broken Bootlegs- Command and Conquer beta

Posted on July 17, 2016 by Erika

Command & Conquer Beta Title

Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers something that could have really interesting: a Command and Conquer beta for the Sega Genesis!

I’ve played a few RTS games over the years, and love the heck out of em. Myth 2, and the Age of Empires series immediately comes to mind, but there’s one series that I have yet to play: Command and Conquer. While this beta is in a very incomplete state, it can give players a small look of how the original game plays. Developed with the Tomsoft MegaDrive SDK, Command and Conquer was an attempt to backport the original DOS game to the Genesis. The reasons why development stopped are currently unknown, and is probably lost to time.Read More


Grand Kingdom (PS Vita) Review

Posted on July 3, 2016 by Erika

Grand Kingdom Logo

NIS America has released some of my more favorite strategy RPGs over the years with the Disgaea series, and now Grand Kingdom is one of those potential games. Instead of bogging down a player that wants to get into the game quickly with a long, sprawling story, it’s pretty straightforward. The player is the leader of a band of mercenaries and contracts out services to the highest bidder. When put like that, it doesn’t sound too intimidating of a game. The backstory consists of the land of Uldain being in turmoil due to four warring kingdoms, and mercenaries are trying to take advantage of it to get rich or die trying.Read More


Broken Bootlegs- Harry Potter MD

Posted on June 30, 2016 by Erika

Harry Potter MD

Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers one of the Harry Potter games for the Mega Drive.

First off, I want to say , to possibly my family’s shock and horror, I’ve really never had any exposure to Harry Potter whatsoever when I was growing up. Save for this exception, I have yet to read nor see the series to this day. During my search of Mega Drive games more than a decade ago, I found a Harry Potter game, and thought to myself that this game might be a pirate or a bootleg. After starting up the game, I was greeted with the title Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, which made me think it was possibly a German release. Unfortunately, it was followed by a bunch of Cryllic text,  so I honestly have no idea where this game came from. Off to a great start already, I delved into the game.

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Review: Score Rush Extended

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Erika

Score Rush Extended Logo 11 with kanji

Simplicity, thy name is Score Rush Extended. For those not familiar with Xona Games‘ previous Xbox LIVE Indie Games entry, Score Rush, Score Rush Extended is a 2D wide-screen bullet hell shmup that while it’s simplistic, it’s fun as heck to play. A lot of shmups I’ve played over the years usually kept getting more and more things added to them to try to keep them unique with their own flair, like upgradable attacks, defenses, various art styles, and so on. While this can keep players playing the game, or back in my day, feeding arcade machines quarters, bullet hell shmups can get overtly complicated. Score Rush Extended does the opposite and keeps overall gameplay quite simple with gameplay, design, art style, and music.

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Broken Bootlegs- Rockman X3

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Erika

Rockman X3 title card

Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers a fun, but somewhat unfinished MegaDrive game, Rockman X3

While many of us are familiar with X and his escapades in destroying Sigma, only to have to destroy him again in the following game, the Mega Man X series (known originally as Rockman X in Japan), has seen many a release across various platforms. While having played several of the Mega Man and X series for the SNES and Playstation, I noticed that Sega’s 16-bit system didn’t get much love, with only The Wily Wars being released, and even then, it was only available for the Sega Channel in the US. With Rockman X3 receiving multiple ports for systems like SNES, PS1, and Saturn, the Genesis never saw an official release, so it was bootleggers to the rescue!Read More


Broken Bootlegs- King of Fighters Genesis/MD

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Erika

King of Fighters 99

Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s entry brings one of the more well-known fighting game series to the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive: King of Fighters!

While on a neverending quest to find fighting games to play some years back, I eventually started exploring outside of the realm of Capcom and rediscovered SNK since I played Samurai Showdown IV back when it was new. From Art of Fighting, to Fatal Fury, to King of Fighters, I fell in love with the older KOF games, with ’98 being one of my favorites from that group. As I didn’t have regular access to arcade hardware, I looked to seeing what ports were out there at the time, and my only options were to get it for the PS1 or Dreamcast, neither of which I had about a decade ago. Low and behold, I found three games for the Sega Genesis- King of Fighters ’98, King of Fighters ’99, and King of Fighters 2000. While they’re bootlegs, they provide an interesting take on the King of Fighters series as a whole.Read More


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