It’s time to greet the return of Bubsy! I admit that I never got to play the original games back in the day but this one looked fun enough. Plus, it was the only game where I could make the most out of my Amazon mobile app. I’m definitely glad that I didn’t get it for full price since it’s only around 1 hour long, probably even less than that. It is a fun game and the sad part is that the gameplay is actually completely on point. What ends up hurting it is really just the length.
The plot starts with Bubsy’s favorite yarn getting kidnapped by some aliens. He decides that it’s up to him to get it back and gives chase. You then fight through 15 levels of platforming and boss fights as you make it to the end and get the yarn back. It’s a pretty low key plot when you think about it. There are only two real cutscenes, an intro and an ending. After that it’s just about making your way through the levels.
Each level is around 2 minutes long. You can glide and double jump which means that you are able to enter Kirby levels of cheese here. You can just glide past everyone and you’re set. You rarely have to ever stop so just go full speed through it all. Bubsy is really overpowered but to make it fair you also die in one hit to anything. The main advice I can give you is simply don’t get hit. Even if you do, there are checkpoints every 5 seconds and you get 10 lives per level. The odds of you actually getting a game over are incredibly slim. So it’s fair to let you know that this game’s difficulty level is at rock bottom. There are no challenges to be had here, it’s just about enjoying the game.
In that sense it’s very much like Snoopy. For the record, this game is better than Snoopy. Both games are at a similar length, but the gameplay is smoother here. The levels are very high so you have a lot of freedom to run and jump. Too much freedom probably but the landscapes do look nice. Jumping on the enemies is always the way to damage them so the game doesn’t make you learn much. If the game was longer this would be an easy 7. With a hype plot/cool characters it would be an easy 8. Alas, smooth gameplay isn’t enough to reach the big leagues, especially when you’re only 1 hour long.
While the gameplay is very fast, the title does force you to slow down quite a lot when the boss fights occur. That’s because the bosses are only vurlnable after they do a combo of attacks and the villains aren’t in any kind of hurry. As a result you just keep dodging and dodging until you can counter. These opponents are easily longer than the level and the 4 bosses that you face are likely longer than the 11 normal platforming levels in the game. Food for thought. The bosses are long, but not difficult though so you’ll mow em down.
Even for 10 bucks this doesn’t feel like it has a lot of value. For replay value you can go back and try to collect all of the gems/beat every level without dying. I’ll give the game credit for not making this mandatory, but I just don’t see myself going back and doing all of that. It just doesn’t seem worth it but it’s nice for people who are huge fans I guess. It’ll make the length at least a little more reasonable.
The graphics are really good though. It looks like a PS4 game. Granted, the game goes for a very simple look intentionally so it’s hard for it not to look great. With few character models to come up with, they can work on making them all sparkle. Unfortunately the soundtrack isn’t quite up to snuff. The tunes are very generic and I heard the complete OST after completing the game. It just won’t do anything for you and will be forgotten almost instantly. It’s a shame but not every game puts a lot of effort into this area.
As for Bubsy himself, he’s a reasonable character I suppose. He definitely does talk a lot throughout each level but since recording time was limited prepare to hear the same phrases over and over again. It can be fun in an ironic way I suppose. There are also references to other series like Mario and Sonic during the levels which is nice to see. At the end Bubsy hints that a sequel could come out someday. I’d probably get it, but like this one I’d wait til I could get it for a good price. Especially if it’s this short.
Overall, Bubsy is technically a pretty fun game. If you just want a fun experience and don’t care about the length then go for it. However, I can’t really recommend it all that much because of how short it is. You’d be better off getting one of the Mario games instead as those are fun and long. It’ll be interesting to see how this one compares to Yooka Laylee since that’s another modern revisit to the old era. This one seems like it would win in gameplay but if that one wins in everything else then either way Bubsy is doomed. If only Bubsy had invested more time into coming up with cutscenes to pad the length.