BurgerTime World Tour Review (XBLA)

BurgerTime World Tour is the latest title to take an arcade classic from the 80s and bring it to the present, complete with all the usual bells and whistles we would come to expect from a revamped game. BurgerTime itself was released to the arcades in 1982 and featured a hero character by the name of Peter Pepper climbing ladders, avoiding assorted killer foods and eventually creating a burger to complete the screen/level. Flash forward to 2011 and the core of this game remains the same, however it is perhaps arguably more tense.

Right from the get-go Peter Pepper is shown to be chased by an angry looking vegetable as you make your game selection from the main menu. As you step into the game itself, this trend doesn’t stop. Now imagine you are in a 2.5D environment and as you move to the left or right the ‘world’ actually rotates around. Couple this with an Egg enemy that turns bright red as it spots you and charges straight for Mr Pepper. You quickly hop over the Egg’s yolky ‘head’ and push towards a burger bun only to met with three really-ticked-off Sausages. These Sausages mean business, and you can tell that because one is wearing a cowboy hat. They’ve obviously seen you and so has the Egg that is doubling back to charge you again. But hark! Four pepper shakers are in your inventory! What better way to stop an Egg and Sausage assault then to pepper up the situation and witness the sneezing fit stun your foes as you move, smugly, towards the bun. You knock that bun directly down which hit’s a triple stack of meat and thus completing the deluxe hamburger. You have five more to complete.

"Yeah that's right, I'm an egg and I'm called Sonny... fuhgedaboudid!"

Honestly speaking, I found BurgerTime World Tour more frustrating and tense to play then an entire campaign run through Gears of War 3. That may sound a little strong and negative, but it is actually the opposite. Games that were difficult to master back in the arcade ‘hey-day’ were the popular games. Titles like Donkey Kong and Pacman represented the pinnacle of arcade gaming back in the 80s, but my goodness were they frustrating to play. I remember many an occasion in my childhood when I lost 20-40 cents within minutes, and possibly even seconds of dropping that money down the slot. But you know what, that 58 seconds of madness left me with the desire to improve and extend that game time to 2 minutes – quite cocky, I know.

So now we have BurgerTime World Tour and with that a challenging platformer. For the most part, I think it would be safe to say that if you were going into the title you either have an idea of what the game was in it’s original form or you had a nice big juicy burger on the brain with controller in hand and somehow the two connected in downloading this game. Speaking to the former crowd, the game and concept has been updated to feature 3D objects on a carousel-styled game world. Enemies fill out the environment and can be counteracted by using pepper shakers to sprinkle the enemies and stun them. They are then at your leisure to be picked up and thrown away, despatching the enemy, or thrown at another enemy and thereby performing another stun effect. Another interesting use is to run a carried enemy over a piece of an unassembled burger. Peter will promptly pound the enemy into the burger piece which will smack the burger pieces below further for a bonus. But whatever way you decide to deal with your enemies just know that it won’t be long till they respawn and are out to get you once again. Quite frustrating if an enemy spawns directly on top of you.

Further to the enemy situation you will need to traverse the world with the use of ladders, fall away platforms and levitating platforms just to name a few. But perhaps the biggest obstacle I found, was the soundtrack. Yes, if you do in fact remember the music and it’s repetitive nature then be prepared to hear it again, albeit in a 2011 rendition of the musical piece. Repetitive as it is, it certainly gives you that air of an arcade classic and for that I do applaud Monkey Paw in keeping true to the original. But damned if it isn’t just another factor to frustrate and annoy you throughout your play-through. But all of this just feeds back into what they were, perhaps, trying to do with the reinvention of the game. Preserving all the frustrations and annoyances that were present in a game played around the world back in the 80s seems to be a more ambitious route to take rather then loosely basing an FPS on classic source material, just because.

BurgerTime World Tour is probably a game that would be quickly buried in the mountain of downloadable titles, but I suspect those whom had a love for the classic will at least want to check this game out. Those who are interested in putting themself through a challenge that they haven’t felt in quite some time may check this game out for it’s quirkiness. Eitherway, this title played on any difficulty should instill that classic arcade feel within moments of starting out. It’s worth mentioning that the game also features multiplayer modes, however I was unable to test these out as it couldn’t seem to find a game to join in Australia. There is probably a couple huge reasons for that (Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 is out folks!) and one due soley to geographical location. But if you are right there with the single player component the multiplayer aspect may be more of a fun feature to try when you have friends about locally.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.