Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nerdicus Genesis Review #39: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind

Title : Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind

Publisher : Accolade

Developer : Accolade

Genre : Platformer

Players :  1 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$10

When you think about mascots, you always tend to turn to Mario, or Sonic the Hedgehog, and with good reason. They're absolutely bloody famous with dozens of games under their belt. But, I tell you, if there was one other mascot that had a chance of striking it big, it was probably Bubsy. Bubsy...the Bobcat.

Here we go again, another anthropomorphic mascot attempt, and this time it's by Accolade. And what's with everyone's obsession with cats? Are they basically the easiest to turn into cartoon characters? Not to mention, they always look the damn same. Now, I'm assuming he's Bubsy the Bobcat. That would make sense, right? He's got those pointy ears, and stubby tail so I'll stick with that answer. I'm sure it says it somewhere in the game, but whatever.
In terms of the box art, I have to admit as a kid I would be reeled in immediately. Especially with those witty tag lines. Come on, CLAWS encounters of the FURRED kind. HA! You probably did laugh a bit that. And with a story line that involves you preventing Earth from losing it's supply of yarn balls from an alien invasion of creatures called Woolies, well...only Bubsy can offer that sort of humor.

The thing that really separates Bubsy from the rest of the "new mascot" crowd was one simple fact. The games were actually good. I kid you not! Bubsy games, were HIGHLY entertaining. They weren't fantastic, they were just plain old good. As long as we're not talking about that 3D satan-incarnate game on the playstation...ughh..

How about it, folks? Ready to rescue some yarn and slip and slide across grassy terrain?

I'll warn you in advance, I'll probably be complaining a lot about this game. Playing it now after around 20 years makes me realize how many problems this game does have compared to the platforming Gods of this generation. Still, the game IS fun, so just deal with it as I vent these issues out. This is a review after all.

If you compare this to any game, it's closest relative is probably Sonic the Hedgehog. As in Sonic the Hedgehog, you are just controlling Bubsy across various levels and collecting balls of yarn (instead of those famous gold coins) all while avoiding enemies and dealing with highly irritating platforming elements. Well, that's what you pay for when you get a platformer, so stop complaining!

The game has the same quick movements as Sonic, but it sure doesn't work as well. Bubsy seems to slide all over the place, even when the ground isn't made of ice. It's like he always has to skid to a stop. Wonky controls don't normally work, and they're a tad sketchy in Bubsy and take a bit of getting used to. Combine that with some weird camera angles, and you've got two problems that annoy you, but you'll get used to.

There is something strangely satisfying about landing on those creepy woolies though. Every time you kill them, you end up going into some strange "swirling cat fight vortex" which always brought forth a chuckle.

Visually, Bubsy is one of the most eye-please games out for the 16-bit systems at the time. It's vibrant, the animations are fluid, and the artwork is fantastic. It really does feel like I'm watching one of those early 90's cat cartoons.

Add some epic soundtracks into the mix, and the game just soars. The music is insanely catchy, and the sound effects seem like they are pulled from a Hanna Barbara Yogi Bear episode. 

When all is sad and done however, I think Bubsy really falters with the gameplay.

The levels are uninspired, and are really repetitious (besides some visual changes). The challenge remains constant throughout the game, and doesn't really become all too difficult. In a way, the game feels a bit "half-finished." It was a good attempt, and a good game, but it really could have been something better.

Still, don't let that deter you from giving Bubsy a shot. He's a pretty damn cool mascot with some bad-ass attitude.You don't find that very often.

Just look at that smug face...

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!



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