Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nerdicus Genesis Review #37: Bubba 'N' Stix

Title : Bubba 'N' Stix

Publisher : Tengen

Developer : Core Design

Genre : Platformer

Players :  1 Player

Release Date : 1994

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $4-$7

Yeah, so this game happened. I'm not sure why, but it did. Apparently Bubblicious bubble gum was trying to target their young market by creating video games based around bubble gum. YUP! That sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. It's like those video games staring the McDonalds franchise characters.

I'm sorry, but I don't want to play games that involve characters based upon a product line. It always seems like I'm being forced fed propaganda, and that's pretty much exactly what's going on. You can't expect me to believe that games like this are actually good? It's as if the development team is given some money by the corporation, and told to create a game in a few months, pump it out, and hopefully we'll see a rise in sales.

Playing video games does not make me want to chew bubble gum. I hate gum. it's disgusting.
BUT, I shall look past the fact that Bubblicious sponsored this game, and look at it as a platformer. After all, this game was apparently created without Bubblicious in mind, so there was a legitimate attempt at a game here. So I shall give it the benefit of the doubt.

However, when you're talking about platformer games involving a red neck and a stick, well, I don't have high hopes.

Bubba N Stix is sort of like a Boy and His Blob, but this time you have a stick and you don't need to use jelly beans.The stick is your main weapon, which you can use to thwack enemies over the head, but that's not all. You can also fling the stick at enemies to knock 'em out from afar. Fear not, for this stick either is magnetically drawn back to your body, or this hick has the force. It always comes back to you.

The stick isn't just for attacking though. You can use the stick as a pole vault to cover greater distances across gaps, or you can use it as a stepping stool or ladder to get to higher points in the game. It's not bad, and at least the stick provides some sort of puzzle solving elements to an otherwise traditional platformer.

Still....it's a damn stick. And your character is in overalls...I don't get it......

The many uses of the stick, is where the game actually gets interesting. The game heavily relies on puzzle solving rather than defeating enemies, and you'll have to determine when and how to use your stick to solve these puzzles. For instance, you'll have to hit a number of switches in order, so you'll have to toss your stick in a way that it hits one, then flings down to hit the other. Or you need to fling your stick to hit an enemy, that kills another enemy in order to create a stepping stone. It's actually quite innovative....surprisingly enough.

Levels get progressively more difficult in terms of puzzles, but unfortunately the enemies that are wandering around don't provide any real challenge. They just seem to inconvenience you most of the time, unless they are needed to solve a portion of the puzzle. There are also no bosses, except for one, which is always a disappointment in platformers. I love me some bosses.

Let's talk a little bit about the good of this game. Visually it reminds me of an updated version of Commander Keene. (man, I loved that game). That, and a little bit of Earthworm Jim. It's just bizarre. No other way to put it. But it works. The audio is a bit meh.....for some reason Genesis music and sound effects were always jarring to me in most games. Always sounded like bad PC speakers.

Gameplay, while somewhat entertaining, is a tad bit repetitive. The puzzles are the same for the most part, but just adding a bit more complexity with each one. instead of hitting one switch, you have to hit two. instead of one pit, you gotta jump two. Nothing more than that. The game is actually quite short too, and you can probably beat it in a half hour.

Ultimately, it comes down to that Bubba N Stix is just a WEIRD starring cast for a video game. I can't fathom who they were thinking of targetting. Ah well...it's just another platformer that gets lost in the grand scheme of things.

Still..as basic as it is - it's decent...JUST DECENT.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!



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