Bubsy Review


Dylan Berkowitz, Staff Writer

Imagine this. You’re walking down the street and all of a sudden you get hit by a car. The car hits you with such great force that it actually sends you flying into the nearest building crashing into the window. Sounds pretty bad, right? Now take that and multiply it to about 5,000.

That is the feeling I get when I play Bubsy.

Bubsy In: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind is a platforming game made by the developers Accolade and was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis (the one I own) and Windows in 1993.

The game was designed to be a “rival” to the popular Sonic The Hedgehog in both gameplay and aesthetics. I say “rival” because it was clearly made to cash in the popularity of a snarky animal platforming game. Considering that Bubsy the Bobcat got only three games, it’s easy to assume it failed at that.

Comparing Sonic to Bubsy is like comparing an ad for a McDonalds burger to the actual burger they sell you. The ad looks absolutely amazing and something you need to get as soon as humanly possible while the actual product looks similar, but much less appetizing and you now realize you wasted money on this piece of crap.

The story for this poor excuse of a game goes as follows: an alien race known as the Woolies want all the wool they can get so they can do…something. When they see that Earth has a lot of wool, they decide to steal it all, so they suck it all up with a vacuum causing Bubsy to be sucked into it as well just to be thrown out. Now Bubsy has to get the wool back from the Woolies. That’s at least what I got from the small comic in the manual.

While the story may seem basic enough for a 16-Bit game, my biggest problem is that they don’t explain anything. I mean, they made a mini comic to explain it in the manual, there was clearly some effort there. Other games have done this, sure. In the first Sonic game, Dr. Robotnik wants to steal animals and put them into robots to take over the world and Sonic needs to stop him. Basic enough. I know the villain is an evil doctor, I know why he needs the animals and I know his goals. There’s nothing there that is there for simply being there.

For Bubsy, however, there are too many questions for literally no reason.

Who are the Woolies?

Don’t know.

Why do they want wool?

Don’t know?

What are they planning to do with the wool?

Don’t know.

Why am I playing this game?

Not a single clue.

Even if the story is bad, when it’s all said and done, a good game can almost always make up for it, especially for a game from the 90’s. Unfortunately for this game, it doesn’t. So much is wrong with this game. Bubsy’s running cycle varies from “slow as a snail” to “WHAT THE HECK, SLOW DOWN YOU DUMB BOBCAT!” If you start to get any momentum, he just goes insanely fast. Not to mention that he runs around like he’s skating on ice so you have no control over anything.

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the enemies were so unfair. A game like Sonic works with this going really fast thing because the enemies are designed to be killable by jumping and hitting them at any side with some exceptions here and there, and when Sonic does take damage, you don’t die unless you run out of rings. Bubsy on the other hand can only jump right on top of them and any damage kills him instantly. The worst part about anything in this game is the fact that Bubsy can take fall damage. Yes, in a 2D platforming game, you can take damage by falling from a high altitude, and as I already explained, you can’t take multiple hits before losing a life.

Also, did you know that bobcats can glide? I didn’t either, but according to Bubsy the Bobcat they can.

Don’t get me started on Bubsy as a character. The developers tried so hard to make him enjoyable and funny that it just looks dumb and is so annoying. Sonic was designed with a similar mindset. He’s witty, annoying, sometimes you wanted to slap him in the face, but we all love it (at least in the earlier games) because that attitude gave him a, well, attitude in video games when all you had to go with was “good guy fights bad guy.” Bubsy is simply annoying making bad one liners and worse puns.

Not even the music and graphics, arguably the two best things about the Sega Genesis, are any good. The music is annoying and repetitive and backgrounds and sprites are boring and bland. When you mess up the two best aspects of the system it is on, you know you messed up.

Nothing about this game is any good. It’s barely worth buying even as a joke. Is it the worst game ever? Not even close, but the fact that it’s not the worst makes it even more painful. If a couple of aspects were tweaked and fixed, this could have been a good game, but it’s not.  

We will just have to leave it as what it is: a terrible waste that deserves to be smashed, burnt, thrown away and never seen from again.