Data East’s catalog of arcade classics come together in the retro-inspired Heavy Burger. The sprites and cabinets people will fight through might evoke nostalgia, but does this top-down team based shooter bring something new to the table?
Heavy Burger Review
Those familiar with Burgertime’s protagonist Peter Pepper will see a new side of him in Heavy Burger. This 80s chef now prefers shotguns, pistols, machine guns, and laser rifles, and is willing to take down all those that stand in his way. A team-based game at heart, the top-down action present here uses a twin-stick setup that emphasizes threats from all sides and dodging danger with i-frame rolls. The plodding pace of each character takes some getting used to, and are nothing out of the ordinary, but the controls work as they should.
Players are either placed on the red team or the blue team, and must escort a bag of money to the bank in Bad Dudes. All matches start in the fictional prison arcade cabinet “Heavy Burger,” but navigating to the left and the right of each screen has players jumping to different games. One cabinet might take place on Side Pocket’s classic pool table, while the world of Heavy Barrel is a warzone filled with tanks and enemy fire. Enemies from each world appear as additional threats, and power-ups can be gathered along the way.
It’s a novel take on the shooter formula, and the high amount of polish does these different games justice. Even the sound effects and sprites pay the proper tribute to their source material – you can tell that the development team has sunk countless quarters and hours into each game.
It’s just a shame that when the heat is on, it can be hard to keep up. All characters die in one hit, and with a barrage of rivals, enemies, bullets, and threats, it can be frustrating to be taken down almost instantly. Death is often out of the player’s control, and those holding the money bag will drop it when taken down. Players can respawn an infinite amount of times, but it still gets frustrating when the screen is filled with clutter.
In addition, while each game world featured in Heavy Burger is well made, there just aren’t enough. Players will be able to see the handful cabinets the game features with a couple of playthroughs, and it is not uncommon to play through the same cabinets multiple times. There is still an element of randomness, but when considering Data East’s vast legacy, it comes across as a missed opportunity.
Those going solo can set up a single player game with some bots or take on a number of single player challenges. Divided into three difficulty settings, these challenges offer a specific loadout of stages and opponents. Repetition can quickly set in, and facing multiple opponents at once can come across as unfair. With eight challenges per difficulty level, adept players can polish this content off pretty quickly.
It’s also unfortunate that this game does not have much in the way of replayability. For a mulitplayer-heavy game like this one, online play is noticeably absent. In addition, other than a handful of arcade screens and promo shots, there is not much here to keep completionists coming back.
Heavy Burger’s handful of recreated arcade cabinets, while true to their source material, isn’t varied enough to encourage long-term replayability. What is here has been polished to a shiny sheen, but this shooter could have used a lot more content.
This review of Heavy Burger was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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