Bubsy - The Atari Times
Step aside Skylar, Bubsy is the new voice in town!
by Christopher J. BeanMay 12, 2008
Bubsy was an outspoken mid-90s flavor of the week bobcat that made his way into the Jaguar game library in 1994. The game was Bubsy: Fractured Furry Tails and while it surpasses the 16-bit versions of Bubsy with nice graphics and good music it still has a number of flaws that take away from the enjoyment factor. With a combination of choppy animation and sloppy controls, this cartridge will more than likely collect dust in your Jaguar game library.
Bubsy: FFT is a classic jump on your enemies while collecting goodies platform game. There are 15 challenging "chapters" in which Bubsy must correct the fairy tails that have gone astray and restore peace to the universe. Unfortunately, completing the game in its entirety can in fact be a long and very tedious process. There is no way to select the level of difficulty which might discourage some players because the levels are tough. The levels themselves engross the player with a slow but precise pace which is a world away from the speediness of Zool 2. Bubsy has no life meter, so one single hit from an enemy will send Bubsy to his grave after a brief animation of death.
Each of the large levels contains many bonus items which don't really add much originality to the formula. Some of these items included are a flashing invincibility t-shirt, extra lives, an item entitled the "Big Ball O' Fun" which awards you a random number of points and the countless number of colorful rotating orbs. The game also includes level markers which act as "half-way" points and are scattered throughout every level. There is no original formula like found in Rayman that will make players want to play this platformer time and time again.
The music in this game is probably the game's most interesting aspect due to the upbeat tempos and nice driving bass lines. Each different world has a different theme song and each one seems to be appropriate for that environment. The sound effects are crisp but nothing to be celebrating over. There is one downfall in the audio department and that's the voice of Bubsy himself. At the beginning of each chapter Bubsy will babble out different phrases which might seem comical the first time but will really get annoying after about the tenth time. It would have been nice for the game programmers to incorporate a volume control for Bubsy's voice!
The sloppy controls in Bubsy: FFT will ultimately test your patience, especially if you're accustomed to the fine-tuned and responsive set-ups of Zool 2 or Rayman. If you really want to dive into this game it might take a while to master the faulty controls. Bubsy has two basic abilities which include a simple jump action and a gliding through the air technique, which can be quite useful at times. This game would have been very enjoyable if the controls were accurate. Instead of preciseness, there seems to be a slight delay when moving around or jumping and this frequently leads to mistakes and lost lives. This alone takes away from the gameplay value in a serious way.
Bubsy: FFT is not a Jag title that shows off any of the system's great attributes. Die-hard platformer fanatics might find this title to be enjoyable due to the challenge factor and quantity of levels. This title is worth taking a shot at for nostalgia purposes but if you're looking for a quality platformer stick with Rayman and Zool 2!
Graphics Score: 85%
Sound & Music Score: 90%
Gameplay Score: 70%
Control Score: 65%
Final Score: 70%
I remember when this game was in development, I had a BBS argument with the developers about them creating "yet another 16-bit looking" platformer for the Jaguar when they could have been working on something more special. Naturally they got defensive and said that Bubsy would be heads and shoulders above the 16-bit Genesis and SNES versions. So when the game was released I looked at it and just laughed. Didn't look like much had changed except maybe the number of colors. I had hoped they would at least add more scrolling in the backgrounds, but I think the SNES version did a better job.
So, needless to say this is another game that made the Jaguar look bad because it didn't do anything the SNES or Genesis couldn't already do.
Youi talked to the developers of the game? Do you remember any names? Trying to see if the Bubsy source code is still out there.
As for me, I think quite a few know I love Bubsy. It is a hard game to learn, well worth it when you do. I got into Bubsy because it was the second game I had for the Jaguar and Cybermorph was just terrible. :D
I think poor Bubsy deserved better. If Atari could have gotten him sooner he'd have made a great Jag mascot. I mean only if he'd been kept exclusive and they'd put more time in the game. The other platforms had their mascots, and if the controls, etc. were better Bubsy would have been a pretty good showpiece if it had launched with the Jag (showing that even in 2D the Jag had it all over the SNES and Genesis).
The only problem is that as a carton character he is not bad and they did a good job of marketing this game he was on the cover of many game magazines as a game of the same quality of Mario/Sonic/Bonk...problem was that the game was to hard for the average player...the one hit and you are dead is rediculous....every platfrom game had a life metter of some sort....but Bubsy chose to not only die but show you a different death style each time.
Also Bubsy needed to be Digital like GEX or Rayman if he was going to stand out.....even if the 16 bit version would of came out cartoony or the same as before and they would of released a digital looking game before GEX/Rayman then he would of been a good defence to all that Jag was not a souped up 16 bit system
When I picked up this game and started to play it it reminded me of a fun game with lots of colorful characters and great music. Its a game for the whole family to play and enjoy, All i wanted to do is complete the levels and goto the next world and see what colorful world was next. I just wish the Jaguar had more of these games in their library.