Gamers have become accustomed to the HD craze of this generation by now. More specifically, it’s no surprise when another arcade classic is brought to light in terms of a re-release. Such is one of the very reasons the Xbox Live Arcade was created. However it’s re-imaginings of our favorite arcade classics that really stand out, such as the newly released BurgerTime World Tour.
For those too young to remember, (which…I guess would actually include me,) BurgerTime was an arcade game that saw players guide a small, portly chef as he walked across various burger components in order to…well…make burgers. Players had to do this while dodging oddly demonic-looking food, which I can only assume want to eat the chef in a display of cliched irony. You couldn’t do anything but avoid the angry, edible monsters, and you finished the level by assembling all the burgers on that level.
Well, BurgerTime World Tour is basically that, except the chef isn’t portly anymore, he can actually fight back, and you can actually see what’s going on this time.
Oh, and it’s also not nearly as fun as it was almost 30 years ago.
You see, it was much easier to come up with wild subjects for games in the arcade era because arcades were the infancy of the video game. We could have a short Italian guy trying to rescue his girlfriend from a barrel-throwing gorilla in a construction site. There could be a strange yellow disc being haunted by four incredibly slow ghosts. You can’t come up with something like making giant burgers while being chased by angry-looking food because no one will take you seriously nowadays.
To be fair, BurgerTime World Tour has clearly been brought to an evolution of the original game. You can now jump over enemies instead of just awkwardly walking away from them. You now have weapons at your disposal like slapping them with a spatula to take them out or blowing pepper at them to temporarily stun them. However, much of this seems more like a natural addition rather than something that should be touted as a feature.
The game left me with two distinct feelings. Hunger and apathy. One of which should be self-explanatory.
The entire time while playing BurgerTime World Tour, I had the distinct desire to quit playing and go play something better out of my twenty-five game backlog. Not because World Tour is bad per se, but because there was absolutely nothing compelling about it. There’s no real story to get hooked on, I’m not a leaderboard junkie, and the gameplay wasn’t addictive or groundbreaking. The game just exists, and I happened to be the less-than-enthusiastic person on the other side of the controller.
Not to mention that the entire time I was really trying to give the game a chance, something went and ruined my forced excitement. On only the third level I started off normally. I went up a few levels and went to jump over a pickle, only to have the pickle jump up and take one of my lives. Okay, I didn’t know they jump. That’s okay, as it’s part of learning enemy abilities. I restart at the beginning of the level, (which was actually much further and much more annoying than it sounds,) I take a different route to drop down a different burger component, go to jump over a hot dog that was chasing me, managed to clear it, and died anyway. This happened four more times.
This is usually the part where I’d go “Why am I playing this?” while dropping the controller in frustration and putting on a different game.
BurgerTime World Tour is a fantastic idea which ultimately fell short of perfect execution. I applaud the effort to make more arcade games more modernized, but I think that a game should be made a bit more complex in the process. We aren’t simple gamers anymore. A game that attracted our kind thirty years ago isn’t nearly as awesome in this day where we can save the world from a more serious danger than homicidal vegetables. Unless you’re one of the six die-hard BurgerTime fans in the world, you can probably skip this one.
This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game, which was provided to us for review purposes.