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MegaDaffy Reviews #6: Bubsy 3D
“What could possibly go wrong?” –Bubsy
[Note: I reference Rosenhacker in numerous times here because this is the first review that I wrote for his site.]
Alright! I made it on to Rosenhacker’s site! This is awesome! I’m now a full-fledged contributor on a website! WOOT! This is a nice site he has here…and it seems like he left me a welcome gift too. I hope it’s a 3DS game or Jet Grind Radio for Dreamcast, how awesome would that be! *unwraps gift to find Bubsy 3D* …Gee, thanks Rosen.
OK. Well, since this is probably what Rosen wants me to review seeing as he seems to like torturing other reviewers (*I saw that review of Tortilla Heaven you made Film Renegado do, I’m watching you*), Let’s get started with what will most likely be the most painful review I’ll ever write…Bubsy 3D.
Bubsy 3D is the fourth game in the Bubsy franchise following the two SNES/Sega Genesis games … and an Atari Jaguar game that I did not know existed until now (Thank you Wikipedia). This game was created and “developed” (if that’s what you want to call this mess) by the now-defunct Accolade and the surprisingly still active (according to a Game Informer replay vid), Eidetic. The story being that Bubsy is trapped on an alien planet and needs to both fight off the aliens that want him exterminated (at least I think that’s what the opening movie says, I didn’t quite understand it) and finds parts to build a rocket so that he can go back home. This is where the “good game” train starts to derail and turn into the “trainwreck that you just can’t stop looking at”. This game was released for the Playstation 1 in 1996.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s discuss the game itself. Holy Crap, is this game crappy! The graphics are a horrible mess of clashing colors with no real discerning textures besides hilltops and free-floating grey platforms, the levels look less like an alien planet and more like the Playstation vomited on a virtual color by the numbers book. The only things that actually look decent are Bubsy himself and the enemies he defeats. The only saving grace about these putrid, putrid graphics is that at least they are actually in 3D (unlike some other games that claim to be in 3D but aren’t). At the same time though, this shouldn’t have been OK to keep in the final release. I mean for PETE SAKES EVEN SUPERMAN 64 HAD BETTER LOOKING GRAPHICS THAN THIS SLOP! (*ahem. Sorry about that.*) Bottom line, it’s 1996. The Playstation AND its competitor the Nintendo 64 had better looking games than this. This was not acceptable and when a guy with relatively low standards for games says this, you can take that to the bank. On a side note, what little animation the game does have in it does look good. Take from that what you will.
Next are the controls. They’re functional, but hard to use seeing as this game was released before the Dual Analog controller was created (meaning you can only control Bubsy with the D-pad). There’s not really a big problem with this except it doesn’t necessarily allow for very precise movements…or show you what’s happening when the less functional camera occasionally moves in the opposite direction of where you are going. An example being how when you jump up, the camera shows what’s below you instead of jumping up and looking forward with you, because apparently this alien planet is also oppositeland. In short, what little options you do have to move Bubsy around (mostly run and jump) are functional. Not broken. Not revolutionary (or good to say the least). Just functional.
Lastly, let’s look at…everything else! Oi. The writing for what Bubsy randomly says in this game is about on the same level of writing as the failed cartoon is, with one “out of nowhere” quote after another (“It slices! It dices!”, or the opening quote on level 1, “so you want to be a video game star?”) The only catchphrases that make sense are the car references during a later driving level (like Bubsy quoting “Born To Be Wild” after jumping into a moving vehicle). Now I know how Andrew “The Artist” Dickman felt during his review of the cartoon (and if you haven’t seen that review here it is: http://www.starfieldcreations.com/?p=648 …and shame on you for not seeing it before.) The music in this game is almost non-existent outside of the menu and the first level; this is because most of the enemies’ sound effects (and the tune that the green aliens hum) drown out the music that was created for the game. However, the menu music isn’t really memorable because it’s just a synthesized mess with an unknown repeated sound making up most of the tune (in my opinion that is). The music of the first level is actually pretty good because I think its funny sound fits the cartoony aspect of this game very well (and seems reminiscent of a Looney Tunes cartoon too). Before we hit the final aspects to look at in this turd that someone left in a CD case and sold to unsuspecting gamers, I’ll make one more note on the camera. Like with the future (and far superior) game, Mega Man Legends, the camera only moves in a straight line with the character and you need to turn the character in order to move the camera around. Unlike Mega Man Legends (a game I wish were playing right now, I’m going to get you for this Rosen) however, the camera doesn’t always focus on what’s ahead of Bubsy and seems to switch viewpoints a lot, especially when you jump and when you get hurt (in which case the camera will whip around to show a dazed Bubsy).
Lastly, let’s briefly look at the level design/objectives and voice work. The level design is….how should I say this….free-roaming? No, there’s boundaries….open-world? No, there’s nothing to see…OH! I KNOW! Crap. The levels are pretty big, much like Bubsy 3D’s competitor Super Mario 64’s levels are, except in this case the fact that the levels are big is also another glaring issue with the game. This is because the game doesn’t tell you what to do and where to go outside of a couple arrows that may or may not point you in the right direction (unlike Mario, which gives you a clear cut objective). This means that you may have to explore the huge levels that consist of “PS1 vomit” graphics and hear out of place catchphrases in order to find the end of the level (or the rocket parts if you want to finish the game completely). The voice work in this game is OK, Lani Minella, who voices the titular character, does a good job making the game’s poor script at least sound snickerworthy. Personally, I’d rather listen to Rob Paulsen’s voice from the cartoon because I think he made a better Bubsy (I can’t believe I just said that). However seeing as she does a better job than whomever briefly voice acted the aliens and enemies in the opening animation, I tolerate her voicework.
So what do I think of the last game in the Bubsy franchise? Well to quote Spazzmaster in his brief review of the Guitar Hero handheld game, “It sucks”. Seriously, there is no real redeeming quality about this game. The music is forgettable, Lani Minella is OK at trying to make the script funny and that’s about it, The controls aren’t great, and the camera either has attention issues, works opposite of your actions or wants to show you what a dazed 3D Bubsy looks like. The graphics outside of the character designs look horrible and the level design somehow works against the game due to the fact that there is no clear-cut objective to the game besides “find point B somewhere in here…and some rocket parts if you can”. This is the game that you wonder if either the Quality Assurance team was on vacation when this was created or if hiring people to test this game was not included in the development budget. Don’t buy this game. Don’t play this game. Pretty much, don’t waste your time with this game period. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to have a chat with my new boss over his welcome gift. Laters! –MegaDaffy
-It’s Bubsy in 3D.
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