Despite dying many, many, many times in it, I loved BurgerTime growing up. The NES version was a regular part of my gaming diet, and was definitely my most-used Game Genie game ever as a result of it being so challenging. The simple gameplay consisting of trying to assemble a burger piece-by-piece while also dealing with enemies like evil eggs and hot dogs with a pepper shaker was equal parts ridiculous and addictive. You’d build a burger ¾ of the way only to die, so you HAD to try again because you were so close.
The same core gameplay is here - you still move over burger parts to form one giant burger on the ground. However, it’s has been updated in some tremendous ways. The environments are now cylinders instead of single screens and stand out instantly as a result. The original’s slow pace has been sped up with running, the addition of new enemies (including bosses), platforming, and a slew of power-ups that can work for or against you if you aren’t careful. There are more perils and challenges than ever before - only now, it’s more of a fair fight.
Instead of just having pepper to defend yourself, you also have new power-ups, including an awesome swinging spatula attack, drinks to speed up, and even a rocket pack to fly up to the highest point in a stage and send a bun down to Earth. Ideally, it does that - it could also send you into spikes, or right into enemies if you aren‘t careful. Apparently, burger-making is a serious business because large spikes have been placed out in the world to prevent them from being crafted.
Jumping has been added, which really changes the gameplay because no other entry in the series has allowed it. As a result, you can do a lot more in World Tour than ever before. Beyond just jumping to avoid enemies, you’ll have to do it to leap on platforms to get to other platforms on another part of the stage or reach far-off burger parts. There are even sections that pay homage to Donkey Kong as you jump over barrels to get to the next area. The platforming elements add a lot of variety to the game, and the controls are very responsive. If they weren’t, the whole game would be rendered largely unplayable because everything you do requires responsiveness.
It may seem like all of the additions to the gameplay make things easier, and in a sense they do, but they also add their own challenges and the game as a whole is still pretty tough. It still relies on a lot of trial and error to beat each level, and I like that. There’s still some frustration that sets in, and it’s great because it never gets TOO frustrating. The worst you’ll do is turn it off and then come back with a fresh, clear mind and topple the stage that troubled you. There’s an easy mode that you can either choose in the options menu or have the game recommend after you die a lot that gives you more lives. That might not seem like much, but if you don’t run out of lives, you’ll keep your real-time burger progress, and getting a game over starts that stage over from scratch. To prevent you from relying on it, the developers made it so your scores won’t be recorded on easy mode. This strikes a perfect balance because it allows you to beat the game on easy mode, but encouraging repeated playthroughs if you want the bragging rights that come with a high score.
There’s also a nice multi-player mode as well where you and either an off or online rival square off to see who can make the most burgers in a set time limit. You can choose between normal stages or those that require rockets to get around, and can damage your rival just like a traditional enemy. So if you want to squash a friend who owes you $50 underneath a giant meat patty, you can. I found online play to be a breeze, with no lag at all, and offline play is great as well, but hurt by the split-screen and constantly-moving cylindrical stages causing some confusion. It’s a minor issue, but still a noteworthy one.
Visually, BurgerTime World Tour is full of bright colors and is pretty good-looking overall. The cylindrical stages look great, with the environments reflecting their various themes really well, and the cartoonish character models look good. As a nice surprise, you can play as characters outside of just Peter Pepper. Any bosses you beat become playable, and you can even use your 360’s Avatar in the game in both single and multi-player. The soundtrack is limited, but the remixed version of the original theme song is good. The sound effects are also fine, but nothing about the audio really stands out much - it’s perfectly fine stuff that fits the game, but doesn’t stick with you afterwards.
BurgerTime World Tour is an incredible revamp of the original’s gameplay. It takes everything good about it and improves upon it, while adding a lot of gameplay variety and a very replayable multi-player game. Anyone who liked the original should get this, and even those like myself who were frustrated by it should try it out because it’s a lot more forgiving than the first, while also giving you the option to make it harder if you find it to be too easy. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, and for $10, it’s an easy recommendation to buy ASAP.