< Part One
03 March 2012
113 missions completed out of 120.
94 upgrades purchased out of a possible 98.
6 out of 8 Achievements.
By the end of the primary mode, I was ready to quit. I did quit. I closed my browser, I walked away from my computer, and I was unsatisfied, and nothing had changed between the time when I'd started playing and the time when I quit except for the numbers on my watch. That might sound spiteful or harsh, but I got exactly what I'd been seeking: Low-impact distraction and maybe some fodder for a snotty Internet essay.
But then I went further. Instead of stopping when I'd had enough, I pushed forward. I intended to finish.
I didn't, obviously. You've already read the numbers, and it's clear that I stopped just short of my goal. There's nothing blocking me. I could finish. Play five minutes of the game and tell me you couldn't finish. It's not a question of challenge. Of course I could finish.
I choose to stop. After hours and hours, with success plainly in sight, I said no. I didn't even feel that surge of pride that usually precedes an admission of defeat; the adrenal response that spits out a mouthful of teeth and blood, and shouts, "I've come this far! This isn't over yet!"
I quit, and that was the end of it.
I'm passing straight past what should be the story. I played Burrito Bison Revenge for hundreds of rounds, a huge portion of which lasted five minutes, ten minutes, or even longer, and I don't have one story to regale. Not an instance of tension, drama, excitement, surprise, or challenge. Nothing.
The machinations that hooked me in the early rounds dutifully kept up their side of the bargain. I would end one turn and start the next without a sliver of hesitation, sort of like a compulsive gambler, minus the ups and downs.
Is it fair to fault the game for any of this? Like I said, I reached a point where I'd gotten everything out of it that I wanted, and my experience only soured after I acted against my desires and instincts. I should have quit. That's on me. I wasn't tricked. I didn't invest any money in this. No one made me do continue.
If you approach Burrito Bison Revenge with the right mindset, then it will be fine. FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE.
Let me pull back the curtain a little.
When I sat down to write this critique, I intended to play against expectations, and end positively. It's not as fun as you might think to tear into little games from little development teams. I sincerely wanted smiles all around by the time I reached this paragraph. I wanted to say that bland and derivative and inoffensive as Burrito Bison Revenge may be, it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and isn't that lovely? A+, 10/10, would buy from again, Editor's Choice, go play it!
I swear to you, that's what I thought I wanted to say. I thought I'd circle back to that easy Pringles metaphor I so carefully set up with these heavy, hammy fists of mine, and say that in moderation, games like this are as much a part of a healthy diet and happy life as occasional indulging in greasy snacks.
That's all I wanted to say, and I stand buy those sentiments. There's not a thing that's wrong with Burrito Bison Revenge. It's fine, and this time I don't mean that derisively. Sometimes I want to play a dumb, meaningless diversion. That's where I wanted to end.
But as I kept writing, my desire to get to a feel-good ending was overcome by mounting woe. There's a place for shallow games, but what about the people who make them? There's not one element in the
whole game I would call bad, and that means the developers are competent at best, or skillful and talented at worst. Yes, I typed that correctly.
The time and effort that goes into making any video game is absurd. Why should skillful, talented people spend their lives making fine? I can't fault the individuals at Juicy Beast for what they've made, but I won't praise an industry that would ask good people to waste their abilities.
If titles that let you throw ungulate wrestlers at gummy bears on rocket ships don't appeal to you, Burrito Bison Revenge isn't going to change your mind, but fans of the genre will find [adult swim] games' latest tour-de-force is chock-full of enough unlockable Achievements and hilarious goodies to keep you playing late into the night. Don't bother to rent it - this one is a BUY, SON! (Bison.)
Platinum Choice Award
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