BurgerTime: World Tour Review (XBLA)

Game Review: BurgerTime: World Tour
Release: November 2, 2011
Genre: Arcade Platformer
Developer: MonkeyPaw Games
Available Platforms: XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, and eventually PC
Players: 1-2 (Online and Locally)
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points, $9.99
ESRB Rating: E For Everyone
Website: Burger Time World Tour Official Site

There are certain games that instantly take you back to your early days of video gaming and BurgerTime is definitely one of those coveted games for me. BurgerTime comes from a time in gaming where abstract graphics had to go a long way and BurgerTime’s simple concept worked perfectly within these constraints. From the music, to the gameplay, to the absolute frustration, BurgerTime: World Tour duplicates most of the original’s feel while adding some Next Gen flavor. The major parts of the BurgerTime experience are still intact but World Tour’s additions only enhance the simple gameplay found in the original iterations of the games.

Just like the original games, BurgerTime: World Tour has you playing Chef Peter Pepper as he platforms around levels to make some of his world-famous burgers while avoiding various food based enemies. You’re still equipped with Peter’s patented stunning Pepper shaker but you’ll also have the ability to pick up power-ups that are strewn throughout the levels. These power ups include ones that will allow you to strike back at your pursuers with a fork, freeze them in their tracks, and even give yourself a few seconds of invulnerability. Another change from the original is the ability to jump over your pursuers, while this may seem like it’d make the game easier, the game mixes things up by having enemies that  have attacks can reach you even while jumping.

Along with new mechanics, the game also offers up an original story that takes you through the four unique ethnic themed worlds that make up the game’s campaign mode. Each world has a specific Chef that you will eventually face off against once you beat the 9 levels that make up their respective  board. Along with the unique bosses there are enemies that are added as you advance in the game that are sometimes themed around whatever specific world you’re visiting.  There are exploding habaneros from Mexico and carrots from the vegetarian based chef based in France. With each new world you’re also faced with increasingly challenging traps, platforming set ups, and enemy setups that you’ll need to contend with while making burgers.

The ability to make different kinds of specialty burgers when using your layers to trap your enemies was a great little feature that added an extra level of fun to the overall game. I also enjoyed that the levels were based around various styles of cuisine which was also a nice addition to what could have been a fairly repetitive game. The inclusion of both a local and online multi-player allows for a great mix of challenging levels with the added stress of competition against other players. It is one thing to tackle the game’s variety of enemies and obstacles while alone but when you also have to fight off other players to complete burgers, it adds tons of opportunity for multiplayer mayhem.

While the addition of  boss fights is welcomed, the fact that the four boss fights are actually only alternating versions of the same two concepts is disconcerting. For better and mostly worse, BurgerTime: World Tour also replicates the absolute frustration that I remember from my misspent youth replaying the same levels ad nauseum as a kid. Just like the original, a lot of the challenge from the levels rely on cheap AI that either overwhelms you or acts in ways that were never duplicated in prior game sessions. The backgrounds of game levels are also way too busy and often resulted in cheap deaths that were based on me not being able to perceive what was going on rather than me failing at the game; this is especially prevalent during the local multi-player sessions that pull out the camera and makes your characters way too small on the screen.

For better or worse, BurgerTime: World Tour perfectly duplicates the absolute frustration I remember from playing the original game when I was younger. Most times, when faced with this type of frustration I would usually put the game down and chalk it up to my finely aged hands but instead I found myself restarting the levels with renewed determination each time. This stubbornness had me throwing up my arms with elation each time I was able to overcome the challenging levels, enemies, and boss fights. Couple that with the fun of challenging friends online and locally, and you have a fun arcade game that emulates the past without seeming outdated.

+Classic arcade gameplay
+Challenging multiplayer
-repetitive boss fights

7 out of 10

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