Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind
|Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind|
Sega Genesis cover art
|Developer(s)||Accolade, Solid Software|
|Release date(s)||Sega Genesis
|Distribution||16-megabit cartridge, CD-ROM|
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, known as Bubsy for short and Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken (やまねこバブジーの大冒険?) in Japan, is a platform video game released by Accolade in the early 1990s. It is the first game in the Bubsy series of video games. The game's name is a play on words in reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with the game revolving around Bubsy defending the planet's supply of yarnballs from alien invaders. The game received a sequel, Bubsy 2, in 1994.
In the game, enemy aliens called "Woolies" intend to steal Earth's supply of yarnballs, and as Bubsy has the world's largest collection of yarnballs, he has the most at stake, and sets out to stop the Woolies and reclaim the yarnballs. The game plays as a 2D sidescrolling platformer. The player must maneuver Bubsy through the levels, jumping on enemy "Woolies" while collecting stray yarnballs. The game consists of sixteen levels, and Bubsy starts off with nine lives. In general, the game's gameplay has been compared to the Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Sega Genesis era.
Designer Michael Berlyn had previously designed adventure video games, such as Altered Destiny and Search for the King prior his work on Bubsy. Eventually burning out on the genre, he came across the original Sonic the Hedgehog and ended up playing it 14 hours a day, for a whole week, in order to find inspiration to do his own take on it.
The game was developed and released concurrently for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, with each version looking identical, and sounding almost identical, with slightly better sound quality in the Super Nintendo version. Approximately two years later, the game was also ported to Windows 95, under the name Super Bubsy. It contained slightly upscaled graphics, and the Bubsy cartoon pilot that was never picked up for further episodes.
Pre-release anticipation for the game was very high, with the game receiving aggressive marketing regarding the game as the next Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario. Bubsy himself even won Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Most Hype for a Character of 1993". Reviews closer to the game's release were only moderately positive though, with Electronic Gaming Monthly giving it an 8 out of 10, and Nintendo Power giving it a 72.5%. Bubsy won a Parents choice award for being fun but non-violent.
However, the game has received much more negative attention in years after its release. IGN called the game "mediocre", calling it a "pale Sonic imitator" and criticizing the game's floaty, imprecise physics and odd level design. Hardcore Gaming 101 echoed these sentiments, calling it a "Sonic rip-off" and criticizing the game's physics, collision detection and overall level design. They said the levels "...seem to lack structure and cohesion. As a result, stages that should be fun to explore are just monotonous because one part of the stage doesn't look any different from the other. And when they aren't tedious, they're confusing".
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