Despite being relatively new on the PC front, the first Bubsy game enjoyed mass appeal on the original Super Nintendo system. It had all the characteristics of a good platformer: accurate controls, fun and unique characters, a wacky subplot, and great level design. In fact, the only real downside to the original Bubsy game was that it was too easy to beat.
I’m tired of Running
For the PC version, developer Choice Provisions and Accolade have chosen to make Bubsy a hybrid of an action adventure game with a focus on endless running where your character is constantly moving forward.
This design choice is questionable as it may turn off players who are used to playing Bubsy as a traditional side-scrolling platformer. But for the mainstream audience who have never played the franchise before, they may actually find it perfectly fun and balanced; which is probably the target group the developers were aiming for anyways.
Another change to the game is the improvement in the level of difficulty. Because the game is a runner, the challenge ramps up as you advance further into the game. While this doesn’t add to the overall experience it doesn’t detract from the gameplay either. The downside, however, is that with most runner type games there is no real reason to replay it again once you’ve reached the end, unless you want to beat your time.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Notwithstanding these changes to the core design, those familiar with the franchise will be happy to know that our feline friend hasn’t deviated too much from his original form. Bubsy can still run, jump, climb and with the multiple unique play mechanics, you can choose to play with up to four different characters to ride and shoot enemies with.
Still the coolest cat in the business
What has kept Bubsy relevant after all these years, is the impressive design of the environments. Every level is bustling with colorful backdrops and charming character caricature. Despite the graphical simplicities, there’s a lot of variety to be seen and will have you playing just to see what the next level looks like.
While Bubsy: Paws on Fire! may disappoint those looking for a true platforming game, it still delivers an enjoyable gaming experience. And when you consider the fact that retro revival characters are making a comeback, the game is certainly a welcome addition. Bubsy may not be for everyone, but you will definitely find something here to like if you just give it a chance.