AGH Jaguar Review: BUBSY

by Atari

Webster says games are synonymous with fun. But Webster never played Bubsy for the Jaguar. The endearing qualities that made epic 2-D platformers like Sonic and Mario so playable on the SNES and Genesis are wholly absent here. The only area where it measures up is in humor and colorful graphics (albeit by 16-bit standards.)

In Bubsy In: Fractured Furry Tales, the fairy tales have gotten messed up. Bubsy's job is to protect the world's children from these silly stories and tangled-up tales and save the Mother Goose. As with numerous other side-scrolling platformers, you must guide your character (in this case a Cat) and try to find the exit for each level. Along with way, you'll attend a twisted tea party, climb a giant beanstock, go 20,000 leagues under the sea and even meet Hansel and Gretel. You'll also have to contend with such baddies as the bell-bottom clad giant, pesky vultures, pie throwing machines and punk flamingos. Sounds fun right?

Platform fans may enjoy this title as anyone familiar with hordes of other side-scrollers can immediately pick up the Jaguar pad and begin playing. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking or out of the ordinary with respect to gameplay: You'll no doubt get a sense of deja vu. In fact, it's nearly identical to the much-hyped and overrated Bubsy game which first debuted on the SNES and Genesis a few years back. What it means is that you'll get the same long (too long in our minds) levels, frustrating controls and slightly slower gameplay than found in run of the mill platformers. Most of the levels require a fair amount of thinking to find (and get to) the exit. It's not a simple run-and-jump game but rather you will be asked to flip switches and navigate your world instead of merely blasting through each level at breakneck speeds.

Flaws in Bubsy abound. For starters, control is sloppy, a BIG no-no in a game which requires precision in movement. It's downright frustrating when you're convinced that Bubsy got killed not due to player error but as a result of poor response (which will often be the case). And although you'd think that a game which contains 15 LONG levels would provide for excellent play and replay value, the fact that enemy placement is always the same, meaning that most players won't come back to this game after completing it the first time around. It's also questionable whether Bubsy will endear itself to younger gamers which it's primarily targeting itself at. Sure, the plethora of comical death scenes are funny, but the high level of difficulty may make it hard for them to enjoy.

For Jaguar owners dying for a platformer, Rayman is by far the better game. Its balanced gameplay and modest difficulty level make it a well-rounded platformer, and it also screams "Next Generation" with its outstanding graphics and CD-quality sound.

Title Bubsy In Fractured Furry Tales
Publisher Atari
System Atari Jaguar
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Gameplay 4
Overall 4
Reviewer Keita Iida

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