As I sifted through my dire collection of reviewing mistakes, one stood out more than others. It was an old and messy review for Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind.
Here it said:
“Warning: Not for the short tempered!! The Golden Vortex 9/10”
Now essentially, what I did there was take a flawed platform game and, for some unknown reason, possibly due to an affectionate retrospective flashback, gave it a score that it really did not deserve.
Released during the “mascot” era, when Sonic the Hedgehog had shook the word, this game, like many other Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo platformers attempted to counteract this by creating a cookie-cutter animal mascot and placing him in a rather average platform game. Let’s have a look at the criteria and template for a 16-bit mascot.
1. Limited clothing. Check
2. Runs very fast. Check
3. Jumps on enemies to kill them Check
4. Attempts to have an “attitude” Check
5. Collects a ridiculous amount of the same item Check
Does this remind you of anyone in particular?
Yes, Bubsy incorporates all of these elements into its spectrum; however, it does so without the grace and elegance of a Sonic game. It also doesn’t do itself any favours by making some fundamental gameplay mistakes in the process. Let’s start in the first stage, mistakenly titled Cheese Wheels of Doom, despite the fact that enemies don’t use cheese wheels as weapons until level 3! Whoops!
Of course, the first few levels of the game HAVE to be set in woods or a forest, that’s an unwritten rule. You’ll soon notice something is astray when Bubsy starts running at speed that would probably leave Sonic in the dust. Unfortunately, this is isn’t very good. If you run too fast, and you will run fast, you’ll increase your chances of running slap-bang into an enemy or, heaven forefend, a wall!. As this game operates a strict one hit policy, you’ll be sent back to the beginning of the level in record time.
It’s not just this that’s the problem though, the fact that lots of things can kill Bubsy rather instantly, without you even realising they can until it’s too late. One minute, you’ll be running at reasonably fast pace and die, or you’ll fall off a rather low ledge and be killed. Also, the levels are littered with rather strange orange aliens called the “Woolies”. These creeps use their phenomenal lungs to blow Bubsy away, which is a nightmare. Imagine jumping over a pit, only to get blown back by some orange bastard so you fall down the hole! There’s nothing that you can even do to counter this attack except to pray that you don’t land in or on something hostile. Thankfully though, Bubsy can glide across areas, despite it being anatomically impossible. Using the glide, you can allow yourself to slowly drift from large drops so you don’t have to DIE horribly.
These flaws are wrist-cuttingly bad, although, they don’t exactly smear the potential of what could have been a good game. Bubsy doesn’t have anything about it that’s remarkably special aside from its extensive use of animation and rather pleasant and colourful cartoon graphics. To give the game credit, it does this tremendously well. Bubsy himself has numerous amusing death sequences (don’t worry; you’ll see ALL of them.) but the fact that the developers spent so much time doing this is slightly ironic. It’s as if they knew that you were going to die all of the time, so they simply decided to make it a less painful experience for you.
Me: “Rats, I died. All because that enemy blew me into the spikes! Damn, why didn’t you give me a defence against that or some extra hits so I didn’t have to die?”
Developer: “....yeah, well. LOOK! HE HIT THE SPIKES AND THEN DEFLATED LIKE A BALLOON! IS THAT FUNNY OR WHAT?!”
This does suck tremendously, but the characters and backgrounds are so well done and vividly animated that will help you overcome the fact that most of the things in this game are done rather horribly. However, its extensive use of voice sampling, despite all of the speech in the game being tremendously painful one liners is rather commendable for a Genesis game. At the start of each stage, Bubsy will crack a “joke”, however when this is coupled with the fact that you’ll be dying rather frequently and hearing this “joke” on numerous occasions really saturates any humour that the “joke” had. At least it wasn’t as bad as Awesome Possum (A clone of this game!), where the main protagonist blurts out gibberish for no reason at all.
Man, I really don’t know what the developers were thinking when they made this. Actually, that’s a lie; I know fine well what they were thinking about. It was something along the lines of “Yeah, let’s rip off Sonic as much as we can because he’s all the rage right now!”
Well, they did that…
Community review by goldenvortex (March 07, 2007)
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