Thinking back on fond memories of the golden age of arcades, several distinct titles come to mind: Q*Bert, Donkey Kong, Zaxxon, Elevator Attack, Dig Dug, Frogger, Pole Position, and of course, BurgerTime. While a lot of these titles have seen rather significant updates to keep up with modern gaming trends, BurgerTime is almost always forgotten, except by a dwindling number of 30-year long fans.
When you first fire up BurgerTime World Tour, you’ll notice a ton of great nods to the original. The sound effects and music have both been lightly dusted off and represented with a slightly modernized coating to pull at your nostalgia heartstrings.
And the gameplay is nearly identical as well. Burger components are left suspended on floating platforms waiting for old Peter Pepper to run over top of them and create an entire burger masterpiece. All the way, you need to dodge angry anthropomorphic eggs, sausages, and the like. You can avoid them by dousing them with a blast of pepper in the face, stunning them temporarily. Or you can crush them under falling burger pieces. And now, once you stun them, you can pick them up–a la Super Mario Bros. 2–and throw them at one another.
All these methods are merely temporary, because just like in the classic BurgerTime, all the enemies respawn to retain that arcade level of challenge. Peter Pepper has a few new uber power-ups to keep up with the three dimensional rotating map. But for the most part, we kept with the jumping and peppering. (Old habits die hard, I suppose.)
In terms of controls, Peter Pepper is much faster and more nimble this time around. He can jump onto and off of ladders. He can cover very far distances in a single bound, but he still can’t quite jump high enough to regularly clear on screen baddies. Truth be told, the game works fine with an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3 controller, but because of its classic roots, we wanted to play the game with a joystick.
Visually, it’s very bright and colorful, but almost to a distracting degree. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to pick out enemies from the scrolling background, but that issue didn’t come up too much. The cut scenes in between the world maps are reminiscent to N64 days and to mobile phones, so don’t get your hopes up for some grand BurgerTime exposition.
For $10, you got a lot of value. The main campaign will run you anywhere from six to eight hours. And the challenge is there right from the start. But when it comes to the game itself, it doesn’t quite hold up to most current game offerings. If you’ve got a classic arcade itch to scratch and you’ve been a long time BurgerTime fan, then by all means check it out. The game encourages faster times and higher scores; something we’ve all fallen away from. It features some classically refined platform action that’s safe for kids, but for most elder geeks out there, it’s sadly easy to pass up.
We have to applaud Monkeypaw’s efforts for breathing life into a long-forgotten franchise, but try as they might, nothing will ever truly take the place of the original.
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Name: BurgerTime World Tour
Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii
Developed by: MonkeyPaw
Published by: Konami
Release date: November 2011
EG Score: 2 out of 5 / “Don’t Bother”