Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind

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Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind
Bubsy 1 cover.png
Sega Genesis cover art
Developer(s)Accolade
Publisher(s)
Producer(s)John A.S. Skeel
Cynthia Kirkpatrick
Designer(s)Michael Berlyn
Artist(s)Beckett Gladney
Ken Macklin
Composer(s)Matt Berardo
SeriesBubsy
Platform(s)Super NES, Sega Genesis, Microsoft Windows
ReleaseSuper NES
  • NA: May 1993[1]
  • EU: October 28, 1993
  • AU: 1993
  • BR: December 1, 1993
  • JP: June 17, 1994
Sega Genesis
PC
Mode(s)Single-player

Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind,[a] often shortened to Bubsy, is a platform video game released by Accolade in the early 1990s.[6] It is the first entry in the Bubsy series of video games. The game's title is a play on words in reference to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind,[7] with the game revolving around Bubsy defending the planet's supply of yarn balls from alien invaders.[8]

The game was ported to the Microsoft Windows in 1995 under the title Super Bubsy. A sequel, Bubsy 2, was released in 1994.[9]

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of the first level

In the game, enemy aliens called "Woolies" intend to steal Earth's supply of yarn balls. Since Bubsy has the world's largest collection of yarn balls, he has the most at stake and sets out to stop the Woolies and reclaim the yarn balls.[8] The game plays as a 2D sidescrolling platformer.[6] The player must maneuver Bubsy through the levels, jumping on Woolies, and collecting stray yarn balls (which earns the player an extra life if 500 are collected).[10] The game consists of sixteen levels, and Bubsy starts off with nine lives.[11] In general, the game's gameplay has been compared to the Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Sega Genesis era.[12][11][13][14]

Development[edit]

Designer Michael Berlyn had previously designed adventure video games, such as Altered Destiny and Les Manley in: Search for the King, prior to his work on Bubsy.[15] 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.[15] Development of the game began in 1991. Earlier sketches show Bubsy wearing shoes which were omitted in the final design. The Genesis version, which was the first one being worked on, was to be released in late 1992 but Accolade's legal troubles with Sega caused the game to be delayed.[16] After artists Beckett Gladney and Ken Macklin constructed the backgrounds and character animations respectively on a PC program, a group named Solid Software went on to program them for the SNES.[17]

Director John Skeel said in an interview that they want to create a game as fast as Sonic and as deep as Mario. They also planned the game to be easy to play but hard to master.[18] He also had difficulty finding a good voice for the main character. After weeks of searching through voice talent tapes, Skeel received a call from Brian Silva who aided trying to find a suitable voice, until Skeel tried speeding up a recording of Silva's voice, which took inspiration from Looney Tunes characters like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, and added to the end result of Bubsy's design. Bubsy's catchphrase was derived from the development team's quip.[19]

In December 1992, some children who reside near Accolade's office in San Jose, California, were invited to have pizza, soda, and to test play the game. The children were also asked to comment on the game's aspects. Their suggestion to add more secret paths was picked up, resulting in the inclusion of some underground tube ways in the first level.[20]

A group of 20+ people worked on the game.[21] During the programming of the game to the SNES, one of the hazards in the game was catnip that could drive Bubsy mad. This was replaced with banana peels because of Nintendo's censorship policies.[20] The game was developed and released concurrently for the Super NES and Genesis, with each version looking and sounding almost identical.[10]

Promotion[edit]

Bubsy Mascot at CES

In January 1993 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a Bubsy mascot leaped out of a sack to greet spectators.[22]

Months after the game's release, a lottery was put up by Accolade and GamePro. Winners of the lottery would win a 6-day trip to tourist locations in California, receive $500 in cash, and meet the game's developers. Other prizes include a Bubsy plush and shirt.[23]

In Spain, a contest of drawing Bubsy fanart was put up where the winners would receive a cap, a hairpin, a shirt, a cup, and a rain coat.[24]

Re-releases[edit]

The Super NES version was released in Japan under the title Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken. The release was mostly identical, except that Bubsy's voice clips and most of the in-game text were dubbed in Japanese.

In 1995, ATI Technologies ported the game to Windows 95, under the name Super Bubsy.[5][8] It contained completely redrawn graphics, and, if the player collects all 20 hidden TVs, this unlocks the Bubsy cartoon pilot that was never picked up for further episodes.[12]

The Super NES version was also re-released on Steam via emulation on December 17, 2015, as part of the Bubsy Two-Fur, a two games compilation which also includes the Super NES version of Bubsy 2.[25]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM8/10 (SNES)[26]
GameFan87, 80, 81, 84 (SNES)[28]
80, 84, 82, 88 (Genesis)[29]
Nintendo Power72.5% (SNES)[27]
Video Games & Computer Entertainment7.8/10 (SNES)[30]
SNES N-Force70 (SNES)[31]
Super Play77% (SNES)[32]
Mean Machines80 (Genesis)[33]
Video Games75% (Genesis)[34]
70% (SNES)[35]
PC Games70% (Windows)[36]
Super Juegos89 (Genesis and SNES)[37]
TodoSega92 (Genesis)[38]
Nintendo Acción13/16 (SNES)[39]
Player One86% (Genesis)[40]
85% (SNES)[41]
Consolemania88 (Genesis)[42]
94 (SNES)[43]
Mega Force90% (Genesis)[44]
Consoles+90% (Genesis)[45]
Super Power91 (SNES)[46]
Joypad83% (Genesis)[47]
ProGames5/5 (SNES)[48]
Game Power91 (SNES)[49]
91 (Genesis)[50]
Computer+Videogiochi90 (SNES)[51]
80 (Genesis)[52]
Hobby Consolas91 (SNES)[53]
91 (Genesis)[54]
Sega Pro81% (Genesis)[55]
Play Time88% (SNES)[56]
Gamers2[b] (Genesis)[57]
Aktueller Software Markt10/12 (Genesis)[58]
Power Play [de]74% (SNES)[59]
K901/1000 (SNES and Genesis)[60]
Ação Games13/16 (Genesis)[61]
Supergame4/5 (Genesis)[62]
Sega Force Mega84 (Genesis)[63]
Banzzai86% (SNES)[64]
Awards
PublicationAward
Parents' ChoiceParents' Choice Award
GameFanBest New Character (Bubsy) (1993)
ProGamesBest Game Seal[65]
TodoSegaTodoSega Recomendado Seal[66]
Game PowerPower Game Seal (Genesis)[50]
Power Game Seal (SNES)[67]
Computer+VideogiochiCVG Hit Seal (SNES)[68]

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.[12][15] Bubsy himself even won Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Most Hype for a Character of 1993".[69] Andy Eddy highly praised the game's nonlinear level designs in VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, but criticized that Bubsy suffers from uncontrollable momentum. He also complained that the backgrounds often don't move enough to give the player a frame of reference when taking big leaps, and concluded, "Bubsy's flaws don't kill it, because there's loads of fun in there, but they do bring it down a notch or two."[30] GamePro's Feline Groovy also considered the nonlinear levels to be a high point and the controls a low point, elaborating that "When [Bubsy] runs, he tends to keep on running, even when you're not pressing the control pad. This is an intentional feature of the controls, but it'll cost you a few lives and a lot of frustration until you get the hang of it, especially on the extra tiny levels." However, she praised the graphics and judged Bubsy to have more personality than Sonic the Hedgehog thanks to his charming animations and voice clips. She gave the game the maximum 5 out of 5 in every category except control, deeming it "a must for any gamer's library."[70] GamePro gave the Genesis version 5 out of 5 in graphics and FunFactor, 4 out of 5 in sound, and 4.5 out of 5 in control.[10] Brazilian magazine ProGames gave the SNES version a happy face with an open mouth (the magazine's maximum rating) on all five categories.[48] German magazine PC Games gave the Windows version 70%[36] GameFan awarded Bubsy "Best New Character" for 1993.[71] The game also won a Parents choice award for being fun but non-violent.[72] Electronic Games listed the Genesis version as one of the platform's best action games,[73] and the SNES version as one of the best SNES games.[74]

Conversely, IGN, in a retrospective review, called the game "mediocre", calling it a "pale Sonic imitator" and criticizing the game's floaty, imprecise physics and odd level design, but praised the character design inspired by classic cartoons.[14] Hardcore Gaming 101, also in retrospect, called it a "Sonic rip-off" and criticized 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".[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Bubsy the Bobcat's Great Adventure (やまねこバブジーの大冒険, Yamaneko Babujī no Daibōken)
  2. ^ The magazine Gamers uses a reversed number rating system. In this case, 1 is the highest, and 6 is the lowest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nintendo staff. "Super NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Sega Force Mega Vol.2 No.3 pg. 43". Sega Retro. October 1993. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. ^ "GamePro #49 pg. 60". Sega Retro. August 1993. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Super Bubsy Release Information for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  5. ^ a b "Super Bubsy (1995) Windows release dates". MobyGames. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  6. ^ a b "Accolade returns with new Bubsy game". MCV. NewBay Media. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-06-13. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Video_Games_1993-03_Markt_Technik_DE/Video_Games_1993-03_Markt__Technik_DE#page/n11/mode/2up
  8. ^ a b c "Super Bubsy". IGN. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  9. ^ "Bubsy II". IGN. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  10. ^ a b c https://archive.org/stream/GamePro_Issue_049_August_1993#page/n61/mode/2up
  11. ^ a b Rodger Swan (2007-03-26). "Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". Sega-16.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  12. ^ a b c d Kalata, Kurt (2017-09-25). "Bubsy: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  13. ^ Buchanan, Levi (June 9, 2008). "Poll Results: Mascots with 'Tude". IGN. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  14. ^ a b Buchanan, Levi (November 7, 2008). "What Hath Sonic Wrought?, Vol. 1". IGN. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  15. ^ a b c "News - Playing Catch-Up: Bubsy's Michael Berlyn". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  16. ^ Quan, Slasher (July 1992). "Bubsy: A Bobcat in the Making". GamePro. p. 54 and 55.
  17. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:GamePro_US_037.pdf&page=66
  18. ^ "ENTREVISTA CON JOHN SKEEL, director estadounidense del proyecto". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). February 1993. p. 17.
  19. ^ "Bubsy Gets his Voice". Nintendo Power. No. 56. Nintendo. January 1994. p. 84.
  20. ^ a b https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3AGamePro_US_041.pdf&page=221
  21. ^ https://archive.org/stream/HobbyConsolas019/Hobby_Consolas_019#page/n141
  22. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3AGamePro_US_040.pdf&page=200
  23. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamePro_Issue_047_June_1993#page/n45/mode/2up
  24. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:HobbyConsolas_ES_024.pdf&page=145
  25. ^ "Bubsy has arrived on Steam!". Steam. Valve. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  26. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly Review". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  27. ^ "Nintendo Power Review". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  28. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue06May1993#page/n19/mode/2up
  29. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue10September1993#page/n13/mode/2up
  30. ^ a b Eddy, Andy (May 1993). "Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". VideoGames & Computer Entertainment. No. 52. L.F.P., Inc. p. 41.
  31. ^ https://archive.org/stream/snes-nforce-magazine-03/SNESForce_03_Sep_1993#page/n51/mode/2up
  32. ^ Davies, Johnathan (August 1993). "BUBSY". Superplay. Future Publishing. p. 50.
  33. ^ "BUBSY: IN CLAWS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FURRED KIND". Mean Machines. September 1993. p. 77.
  34. ^ "Abenteuer im Wollkorb: Bubsy". Video Games (in German). November 1993. p. 124.
  35. ^ "Haarig: Bubsy". Video Games (in German). September 1993. p. 88.
  36. ^ a b Wagner, Harald (October 1997). "Super Bubsy: Katzenjammer". PC Games Magazine (in German). p. 184.
  37. ^ Greppi, Antonio (September 1993). "BUBSY THE BOBCAT: Maullidos con estrella". Super Juegos (in Spanish). p. 67.
  38. ^ "BUBSY: El Gato Más Vacilón". TodoSega (in Spanish). September 1993. p. 29.
  39. ^ "BUBSY THE BOBCAT". Nintendo Acción (in Spanish). October 1993. p. 49.
  40. ^ Ja, Ben (September 1993). "Bubsy". Player One (in French). p. 109.
  41. ^ http://download.abandonware.org/magazines/Player%20One/playerone_numero034/Player%20One%20n%C2%B034%20%28Septembre%201993%29%20-%20Page%20143.jpeg
  42. ^ Antonini, Christian (October 1993). "BUBSY In: CLAWS ENCOUNTERS of the FURRED KIND". Consolemania (in Italian). p. 89.
  43. ^ Alex (July–August 1993). "BUBSY In: Clawed Encounters of the Furred Kind". Consolemania (in Italian). p. 54.
  44. ^ "BUBSY". Mega force (in French). September 1993. p. 124.
  45. ^ "BUBSY". Consoles+ (in French). September 1993. p. 117.
  46. ^ Larry (August 1993). "BUBSY". Super Power (in French). p. 147.
  47. ^ "BUBSY IN CLAWS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FURRED KIND". Joypad (in French). September 1993. p. 55.
  48. ^ a b "BUBSY". ProGames (in Portuguese). c. 1993. p. 15.
  49. ^ Fury, Red (July–August 1993). "BUBSY: CLAWS ENCOUNTERS of the FURRED KIND". Game Power (in Italian). p. 37.
  50. ^ a b Fury, Red (September 1993). "BUBSY". Game Power (in Italian). p. 51.
  51. ^ "BUBSY THE BOBCAT". Computer+Videochi (in Italian). July 1993. p. 106.
  52. ^ "BUBSY THE BOBCAT: CLAWS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FURRED KIND". Computer+Videochi (in Italian). October 1993. p. 108.
  53. ^ https://archive.org/details/HobbyConsolas025/page/n103
  54. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:HobbyConsolas_ES_024.pdf&page=55
  55. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:SegaPro_DE_12.pdf&page=61
  56. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:PlayTime_DE_1993-08.pdf&page=86
  57. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:Gamers_DE_1993-06.pdf&page=43
  58. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:ASM_DE_1993-09.pdf&page=42
  59. ^ https://archive.org/details/powerplaymagazine-1993-09/page/n103
  60. ^ Toniutti, Tiziano (December 1993). "BUBSY THE BOBCAT: Claw Encounters of the Furred Kind". K (in Italian). p. 129.
  61. ^ https://archive.org/stream/acao_games_50/acao_games_42#page/n27/mode/2up
  62. ^ https://archive.org/details/supergame_9/supergame_26/page/n13/mode/2up
  63. ^ https://archive.org/details/SEGAForceMega/SEGA%20Force%20Mega%2003/page/n39/mode/2up
  64. ^ https://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=46&num=2719&album=oui
  65. ^ "BUBSY". ProGames (in Portuguese). c. 1993. p. 14.
  66. ^ "BUBSY: El Gato Más Vacilón". TodoSega (in Spanish). September 1993. p. 26.
  67. ^ Fury, Red (July–August 1993). "BUBSY: CLAWS ENCOUNTERS of the FURRED KIND". Game Power (in Italian). p. 35.
  68. ^ "BUBSY THE BOBCAT". Computer+Videochi (in Italian). July 1993. p. 104.
  69. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  70. ^ "Super NES Pro Review: Bubsy: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". GamePro. No. 56. IDG. May 1993. pp. 78–79.
  71. ^ "GAMEFAN'S 2ND ANNUAL MEGAWARDS". Gamefan. January 1994. p. 58.
  72. ^ "Accolade Presents Super Bubsy for Windows 95; Popular Video Game Character Jumps to Windows. - Free Online Library".
  73. ^ https://archive.org/details/Electronic-Games-1994-03/page/n37
  74. ^ Editors of Electronic Games (May 1994). "State of the Art Report: SNES". Electronic Games. p. 58.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]