‘Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre’ Review: Candy-Themed Cult Classic Is Back
Picture this: you, a professional masked wrestler, is kidnapped one fateful day in a grocery store via being sucked into the world of gummy bears. They imprison you, forcing you to wrestle for their amusement until you breakout. Now imagine this happened a second time. With an imaginative force inspired by LSD trips, Juicy Beast brings back the 5-year-old game with a sequel, Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre. And you know what? It stayed faithful for once. Bravo, Juicy Beast, you give me hope.
This hope is named Burrito Bison, a masked wrestler with a specialty: he has rocket tights. No, don’t worry, it gets weirder. You see, instead of rocketing himself up into the air, Bison focuses on using his ability to launch himself out of the wrestling ring and shooting himself downwards several times to crush the candy by-standers in order to steal their money. He uses this money, stay with me here, to buy oil, springs and stronger rockets so he can steal more money for more upgrades. Don’t worry, it sounded just as ridiculous to me as it did to you. That being said, there’s so much more.
The object of the game is to beat the boss in the ring, fly far, break through walls, and eventually bust out of the candy world. However, once you defeat the first boss and break through the wall, you are met with another playable character, Pineapple Spank (don’t ask), who launches herself into one specific enemy, usually the one holding a power-up. Spank, along with El Pollo, who flies for a few seconds before hitting the ground, allows you to play the game differently and keeps things fresh.
However, considering how fresh it feels in the beginning, it’s a shame how quickly it becomes stale. The pinatas you grab advance you through everything at a normal pace and unlocking power-ups keeps changing how the game is played, but all the power-up minigames are what they are, not the actual game. After two hours, you’re certain to hit a wall (literally), as you will have unlocked every power-up and the ones you can unlock take two more attempts than what feels necessary. At this point it’s not a game, it’s work. The upgrades give you a false sense of accomplishment, as what you really want isn’t to get the upgrade, but to BEAT THE FRIGGIN GAME.
Speaking of which, I’ve invested at least eight hours into this game. There isn’t any end in sight. Initially, this provided me with a much-needed hope because, hey, I loved this game when it felt new and fresh to me. What feels like a century later, if I see a masked wrestler or a piece of candy: I’m triggered. If you actually DO beat the game, you win guacamole and salsa recipes. I’m ultra triggered.
As I remove muscly men and candy from my safe space, I’m forced to come to the realization that this game isn’t the best, but it’s certainly not bad. Launcha Libre might not have been a necessary sequel, but it improved on all the aspects of the original, with the same, if not improved, art style. If I were you, I’d download this free game off the app store and try it out for an hour or so. Don’t intend to beat the game, but enjoy it. The Mexican, candy-themed cult classic is back, and despite how it makes you feel like you took a pill, it’s not a bad trip.
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