When I first heard about Bacon Club Cheeseburger, I was skeptical to say the least. Developer McDonald's is no stranger to anti-consumer practices, and the critically panned Black Halloween Cheeseburger convinced me that my days of being invested in the Cheeseburger canon were over.
Yet as new information about Bacon Club was released in the days prior to release, it started to look too good to be true. A return to form that we haven't seen since Double Cheeseburger? More meaty content not locked behind a paywall? It seemed as if it was an elaborate hoax, or the precursor to a cruel punchline intended to crush the spirits of Cheeseburger fans.
Yet now that I've experienced Bacon Club Cheeseburger in all its entirety, I can confirm that it delivers on all that it promised, and even a little more too.
The first thing you're going to notice about Bacon Club is how minimalistic its narrative is. It opens up with the text "satisfy your craving," and the player is left with no clear indication of story or character development for the rest of the adventure. Tried as I might, I scoured the meat of the game thoroughly and couldn't find any other story clues, though I was surprised that there was actually a bit of hidden narrative content that can be found by searching the box.
This unorthodox approach to storytelling may seem asinine, but it lends itself well to the overarching thesis that Bacon Club seems to send: the player is the top priority, and you should have it your way. While AAA titles have been struggling to find ways to blend gameplay and story elements without alienating those who are playing strictly for one or the other, Bacon Club leaves the story as an unspoken sidequest that can be pursued by those who are actually interested in unraveling it. In truth, the Bacon Club community has already made great strides in unraveling the many mysteries of the narrative, and those who are intrigued by meta story driven games will likely remember this one alongside titles like Dear Esther and The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo.
This would be meaningless if the core of Bacon Club was not entertaining, but fortunately McDonalds has proven that they are masters of their craft when it comes to Cheeseburger gameplay. Instead of wrapping all the content together in a tightly linear fashion like previous Cheeseburger games, Bacon Club utilizes a sandbox style approach to gameplay by setting the game in an actual box. This may seem bit jarring at first, but this small change gives players freedom in choosing what content they'd like to experience while simultaneously providing a convenient venue to save other pieces of content for later. Some gamers will inevitably complain that this shift in design is an effect of videogame homogenization perpetuated by the likes of Ubisoft and E.A, but those who approach the game with an open mind will be pleasantly surprised by all that Bacon Club has to offer.
And my oh my, does Bacon Club deliver on content. Gamers have long decried McDonalds for withholding the popular Bacon expansion pack behind a paywall in previous Cheeseburger games, but true to its title, Bacon Club ships with both a full featured Cheeseburger and Bacon without needing to shell out any extra cash. Though reviewers are usually not asked to take price into account when reviewing a videogame, I'm going to do it anyway and state that $5.49 for all the content Bacon Club packs is a great deal. The Bacon expansion virtually doubles the amount of meat contained within the game, which is saying a lot given how much content is there to begin with. Though Bacon Club's content may not reach the euphoric heights of other Cheeseburger style games from other developers, there's still an impressive amount of quality for players to sink their teeth into.
That said, Bacon Club still has an edge over the before mentioned competitors by being equally as viable to enjoy both portably and in a home environment. The bite sized nature of the gameplay in Cheeseburger games has always lent itself to excel in this area, and despite all its changes Bacon Club is no different. In fact, a gamer could in theory enjoy Bacon Club while playing another videogame altogether, so gamers can experience the thrill of purchasing a new product while simultaneously working to minimizing their gaming backlog.
As a videogame reviewer, I'm always looking for a paradoxical combination of videogames being an entirely new experience while being something I'm familiar with so I can play and review it quickly, and in this regard Bacon Club met my expectations in spades. Some gamers will inevitably argue whether Cheeseburger games can adequately count as videogames to begin with, but the reality is that Bacon Club is an enjoyable package filled to the brim with content that should appeal to anyone who owns an Xbox or a Nintendo Playstation. To be concise, it's like what would happen if Mass Effect and Skyrim had a illegitimate child with Assassin's Creed and Final Fantasy with slight influences from Braid and Thomas Was Alone also God of War Dark Souls Super Mario Bros Dragonball Z badass shooter FPS shoot 'em up Candy Crush only with epic robots and zombies and crafting. Also it's a Cheeseburger.
[The Search Engine Optimization in your last paragraph is still inadequate. Please resubmit this review to me after revising and don't do something stupid like post it with all my comments included. -Ed]
Confession: I wrote the title of this blog as a silly excuse to jump on the anti-badger bandwagon after the not-quite-stellar Q&A session that recently happened. However, after rereading all the badger-related posts and perhaps realizing that a blog with just a title would probably get fail-blogged, I realized an important question needed to be answered.
Who the hell is The Badger?
I don't mean that in a literal sense. There's a few intriguing clues in The Badger's words that might lead an internet sleuth in one or many directions, but that's the opposite of the point I'm trying to make here. Rather, I think we're seeing a kind of fascinating phenomenon unfolding that may or may not be what has been intended from the start.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think there's at least some merit to some of what The Badger has said thus far on Destructoid, even if it hasn't been elegantly conveyed. We can also ascertain that The Badger probably is at least a little privy to what he/she/it/they are talking about thus far, even without any clarified credentials. Yet beyond that, this persona that has taken on a public stage on Destructoid technically isn't inherently different than you, me, or any random commenter talking about videogame culture in a way that anyone outside of videogame culture wouldn't care about. The Badger is, by their own admittance, "shit posting" under the mask of anonymity that technically doesn't give them any more credit than a 4channer who claims his uncle works at Nintendo. Technically speaking, The Badger is nobody.
Yet even if The Badger was someone, would it even matter? Check this out; some of you may know this already, but I'm actually a game designer. Look at all these videogames I've designed using the highly advanced RPG Maker engine:
So tack that onto all of my blogs. Don't agree with my views on Final Fantasy? Well sorry son, I'm a game designer, and I'm a front page Destructoid writer, so I guess that makes my opinions more valuable than yours. Obviously that's not how conversations work, because otherwise Phil Fish wouldn't get even a 10th of the hate that he does now. A person's alleged background is only a framework for what's truly important: the quality of that person's words. No amount of expertise in a subject qualifies you to be a dick unless specifically being a dick is going to accomplish something that couldn't be done without being a dick, and that's something that's rather hard to quantifiably prove.
What's interesting here is that The Badger seems to show contempt for everyone. Commenters are nerds, Journalists are nerds, everyone's a "garbage fucker." If The Badger had even a little concern for what any of us thought of The Badger, they probably would not have made blatant jabs at community fan favorite Brittany Vincent. The Badger is the anti-Destructoid; In a tight-nit community that values an intimate staff and jokes about sexing each other just about every other hour, The Badger is an anonymous and strange mass of negativity that will speak to us but will under no circumstances want to be among us. To The Badger, the world is shit, and The Badger seems to believe their posts will perhaps make it less shit. Or something.
To an extent, there is value of a voice that runs as a counterpoint to the culture of Destructoid's Gardevoir fantasies and shutting up in order to just play videogames. Perhaps the plan from the start was to create a character that everyone would find reason to hate, regardless of ideology. As ShadeOfLight has observed, it's entirely possible that The Badger could just be a staff member screwing with us and we'd be none the wiser. I don't neccesarily believe that's the case, but obviously it's been effective, considering that the page views are allegedly higher than normal and all this nonsense has propelled me to write a dissertation on the subject. But in the end, the internet doesn't need another "shit poster." In case it hasn't been obvious, the internet is full of shit posters, and the last thing we need is another one. Until I see the snitnami dowse the shit flames in its shitiness, I will stand opposed. We need more people who can clean up the shit, not make more of it.
That said, ask me anything. I'm just another community member in the grand scheme of things, but at least some of you know my name and have chatted with me before. If The Badger is both anybody and nobody, then take heart that I'm at least somebody and will at some point remember you are a human being when I respond to you. Perhaps the world is shit, and perhaps I'm just an idiot among idiots acting like an idiot so some other idiots can feel less like an idiot.
But at the very least, I can take comfort in the fact that I'm not acting like an awful person.
So ask me anything.
How does one write an intro for a blog about something as shameful and private as their fetishes?
Seriously, someone tell me please.
When it comes to Persona girls, some guys like Chie for her legs, Yukiko for her laughing fits, Yukari for her OUTSTANDING B-B-B-BOOOOOW AND ARROW, etc. Then there are some people who like Persona girls who look like they might kill them in their sleep. I belong to neither of these groups but I like Elizabeth anyway.
Elizabeth's theme song in Persona 4 Arena is a final boss song from Persona 3, also she wants to turn the Velvet Room into a nightclub. Best girl.
Out of all the people that I have felt attraction towards over the course of my lifetime, 100% of them have been human. I've talked with my doctor about this, asking questions like why I was never confused by the likes of Knuckles the Echidna or Rainbow Dash, but he just told me that he wasn't my doctor and asked if I'd like to pay for my groceries with cash or credit.
Someday, I will find the reason why I have this shameful orientation.
3: Hitting the damage cap
The most exciting part of hitting the damage cap in an RPG isn't the moment of climax, but rather, the anticipation leading up to it. All the careful preparation, shouting buffs and debuffs when necessary, trying not to unleash too early while surviving a passionate onslaught, all leading to that one incredible moment that leaves me breathlessly whispering one phrase:
4: Using Jigglypuff in Smash Bros.
Jifflypuff is a joke character who traditionally hangs around the bottom tier of any given Smash Bros. game, but you know what they say about tiers: tiers are for quetotal amateurs.
It's one thing for someone to lose a game in Smash Bros., but losing to someone playing as Jigglypuff results in a loss of self worth, the questioning of the existence of God, and an erection that lasts longer than four hours. I actually didn't know what to put for that last point so I just drew a Cards Against Humanities card and tossed it in.
5: Seeing Occams and Wrenchfarm some guy named Nic Rowen on the front page of Destructoid
I've been tempted to try to word some heartfelt congratulations to these two for their newfound promotions on Destructoid, but I said to myself "How can I intensify this sentiment and also make it kind of creepy at the same time?"
6: Battle themes
The battle theme is the quintessential genre of music. In fact, some people don't know this, but all music is secretly a battle theme. Don't believe me? Well, J-Pop is a battle theme, American Pop is a battle theme, Classical Music is a battle theme, Jazz is a battle theme, and even Deep Purple's Ian Gillian is a battle theme.
Yes, Ian Gillian is a battle theme. I used all of those words exactly the way I meant to.
Oh, and even that super sad song used as Aeris' theme is a battle theme after she gets a sword through the back. Warning: This article contains spoilers.
7: Receiving death threats for my controversial views on Final Fantasy XIII
I have to admit, I totally baited people on this one by not only occasionally criticizing Final Fantasy XIII, but also saying things like "I think it's bad but I enjoy it anyway," "I can see why people like it," and writing a blog that says lots of good things about Final Fantasy XIII. It's good to see that this hard work has paid off, as one look at my blog history shows that my main motivation for writing blogs is to intentionally make people upset.
8: Jokes that I get but feel kind of ashamed to admit I get so I just kind of chuckle to myself but try not to draw too much attention to it
Believe it or not, this list has taken a while to write. In fact, as I wrote the above, two years worth of thoughts made a glopping noise as my words flowed endlessly onto the page.
9: Key changes
This actually wasn't my original pick for number 9, but while writing this I was listening to the theme song from Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and the key change near the end happened so suddenly that it scared the shit out of me. Perfectly valid reason to add it to my fetishes list.
Never mind that I apparently just claimed that key changes to me are like Slender Man to creepy pasta fans.
10: Pretending to have poor knowledge of what a fetish is as a thinly veiled excuse to participate in a meme and make a list about arbitrary bullshit
This is what happens when I keep trying to break my blogging hiatus and I can only ever write up to the intro.