Sega Genesis cover art
Bubsy 2, stylized as Bubsy II, is a platform video game, the sequel to Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, and the second game in the Bubsy series. It was originally released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, Super NES, and Game Boy, and re-released for Microsoft Windows through Steam on December 17, 2015.
The game plays very similar to the prior game in the series, as a 2D sidescrolling platformer. Unlike the first game where playing through the stages is linear, in Bubsy 2 the player gets to choose stages. The player must still maneuver Bubsy through the level through jumping and gliding, and Bubsy still collects objects, only now they're "orbs" instead of "yarnballs". The game did feature a little more variety than its predecessor. One new feature in the game was the ability to shoot a Nerf gun. A multi-player mode was added as well, where a second player could control one of Bubsy's younger relatives.
The game was developed due to the success of the original title. However, a different, new development team within Accolade was responsible for making the game, without original designer Michael Berlyn's assistance. Like the original, the Genesis and Super NES version are virtually identical, however, the Game Boy version is drastically different, with different level design and only black and white graphics, unless played on a Super Game Boy, which applied very basic coloring.
GamePro gave the SNES version a positive review. While they commented that the new features are initially confusing and that some of the level designs are not as charming or original as those of the first game, they concluded, "Bubsy's personality is still the top draw in Bubsy II, a new kind of adventure that's a definite change of pace for the irascible feline." They were generally complimentary to the Genesis version as well, voicing approval for the multiple paths through each stage, the special items, the new minigames, and the improved controls over the first game. However, they commented that the game is boringly easy for experienced players. IGN conceded that the gameplay had generally been cleaned up, but still felt the game lacked originality, stating "...the game just never quite gelled. Coming in only a year after the original Bubsy meant corner-cutting, which manifested itself in the art direction and enemy design. Too many assets are reused and some of the stages, such as the music levels, are just uninspired." Hardcore Gaming 101 echoed these sentiments, calling the game "Bubsy 2 is definitely an improvement,...but the designers simply cranked the dial up from 'pile of junk' to 'terribly mediocre'."
GamePro thoroughly panned the Game Boy version, saying that none of the character's charming personality is retained in this version, which also suffers from sloppy controls, dull enemies, slow-paced gameplay, and graphics which are poor even by Game Boy standards. Electronic Gaming Monthly, in sharp contrast, commented of the Game Boy version that "Even if you never played [Bubsy] before, this is a good introduction." and scored it a 6 out of 10.
Original Bubsy creator Michael Berlyn, who was not involved in this game of the series, has strongly criticized the game, stating that it "just about killed the franchise" and that "Accolade’s choices about doing Bubsy II in-house with the development team selected was a mistake that pretty much buried him...Bubsy II failed due to mismanagement of the character. It was done by people who, no matter how talented and interested they may have been, had not understood the original vision".
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