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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: BurgerTime World Tour (PS3)

It was a bit surprising to see that a developer was taking on an update to the classic BurgerTime. It’s a series that hasn’t been around for a long while, and it’s a series that wasn’t all that great to start with. But that’s exactly what MonkeyPaw have done with BurgetTime World Tour, and they’ve done a respectable job at that.

In the original BurgerTime the idea was to climb up and down ladders and walk over the various components of a burger in order to drop them down on top of one another, and eventually make a complete burger. While you’re doing that you also need to avoid the games enemies, such as the sausage, the fried egg, and the pickle. It’s a very abstract concept but as an arcade game it kind of works.

BurgerTime World Tour has all of that, but that’s just a starting point. Levels are much larger than the single-screen affair of yesteryear, and they’re not nearly as bland. The ladders are still there, but now there’s also moving platforms to jump on, spikes to avoid and floating letters to collect while walking over those buns and beef patties. With the addition of a jump button the game has made a significant deviation from being an arcade experience to becoming a more platforming game, and the variety in level design across the game is truly impressive. BurgerTime World Tour keeps throwing fascinating challenges to the players right through to the end.

The enemies are back, as is the ability to throw pepper in their faces, but the addition of the jump button also means it’s possible to avoid the enemies by soaring over their heads. It takes a strong sense of timing though. The biggest failing of BurgerTime World Tour is its controls. They’re sticky and somewhat unresponsive, meaning it’s quite easy to move too far or two little and as a game that requires a surprising amount of precision this can be frustrating.

Also upping the frustration meter is some of the quirks of the new level design. Moving platforms are a fun idea, but when the levels include enemies that act as homing missiles, waiting for a platform to move into place to jump on it is a luxury that isn’t really there. Because the camera is zoomed fairly close in it’s hard to properly plan out a level to take that into account as well. These are all problems players will encounter in just the first few levels, too, and so the difficulty curve is quite steep.

Persevere with the game though and it really does become charming. The characters are big and colourful, and there’s some amusing cut scenes to break up the level progression. Music is a little generic but inoffensive, and there’s even some multiplayer modes on offer. Unfortunately the online multiplayer already seems dead so the only way to play will be likely through your friends list.

Just as it was back with the original arcade game, BurgerTime World Tour is throwaway entertainment. There’s nothing especially memorable about the game, but aside from some control issues, it’s not a game that’s going to upset either. Good as a weekend filler.

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Review: BurgerTime World Tour (PS3)
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