At Last, The Review You've Been Waiting For! [BurgerTime World Tour Review]

By Jeremy M. Zoss in Reviews
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:00 am
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By Andrew Mellick

Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has struggled with his need for food and his ability to get it. From the ancient days of cave men chucking spears at dinosaurs to today's modern man braving the dreaded grocery store, food and man have always had a tumultuous relationship. Perhaps nobody encapsulated this struggle better than Chef Peter Pepper, whose battle to create quality hamburgers despite the persecution of living pickles, hotdogs, and eggs was well documented in the classic game, BurgerTime. BurgerTime, was a simple concept, where by gamers took control of Chef Pepper and attempted to make burgers by walking across oversized buns, patties, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, all while avoiding the enemy food in his path. If you did get cornered, you could simply pull out the Chef's trusty pepper shaker and incapacitate enemies for a short period of time. It was simple yet addicting gameplay and it made BurgerTime a classic.

Seventeen years later and developer, MonkeyPaw, looks to recreate the magic of the original title, albeit with updated graphics and game play. But do these high-def burgers stack up? Read on to find out.

Graphically, BurgerTime World Tour is a mixed bag. MonkeyPaw created a whole world for Chef Peter Pepper to exist in - it's overly cartoonish and fitting for a game based on evading living hotdogs to make oversized hamburgers. But it all feels generic - the design is bulky and the colors oversaturated, leaving the overall look a mess. With a $10 price tag, I wasn't expecting a graphical juggernaut. But it's never good when the graphics actually inhibit the gameplay, as these simplistic visuals actually make it harder to tell what's going on.

BurgerTime World Tour offers its own take on the classic title. You still walk across oversized toppings making them fall and creating burgers, all while avoiding the edible enemies which patrol each level. However, this time the Chef's got a few extra weapons at his disposal such as spatulas, energy drinks, rockets, and even a winter blast which freezes food foes. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the ability to jump. Yes, the Chef is a full-fledged action platformer now!

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However, it's not as well-done (see what I did there?) as it should be. While your pepper shaker is mapped to the X button, every other special power up is mapped to the B button.  So whatever extra you pick up will knock out what was already stored there. This proves infuriating as the game's frenetic pace requires a meticulous inventory. If you are on a level wrought with spikey death below and a winter blast power just knocked out your rocket, you're on your wayto a frustrating and curse-laden demise.

The game's level design adds another headache. Each level is cylindrical, meaning as you work your way from platform to platform you are really making a big circle. As you run into obstacles, you can head up or down to get around them and work your way back to your intended target. The only problem with this is the level design is too clunky to make any use out of the effect. You're far too busy trying to avoid the obstacle in front of you to try and look across the void at the other side of the map and hatch a scheme for burger domination. The result leaves you circling over and over looking for every errant tomato slice, beef patty, or sesame seed bun you may have missed along the way. It's unintentionally frustrating and makes every new level feel old real quick.

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BurgerTime World Tour is a game of almosts; the level design almost works, the cartoon graphics are almost fun, the secret power-ups are almost cool.  But unfortunately almost doesn't count for much in video games and BurgerTime World Tour will leave you with almost nothing for your hard-earned cash.

The Official Verdict: 2 out of 5

This review is based on an Xbox 360 code provided by the publisher. 

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