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) Accolade, Retroism
Producer(s) John A.S. Skeel
Cynthia Kirkpatrick
Designer(s) Michael Berlyn
Artist(s) Beckett Gladney
Ken Macklin
Composer(s) Matt Berardo
Series Bubsy
Platform(s) Sega Genesis, Super NES, Microsoft Windows
Release Sega Genesis
Super NES
  • EU: October 28, 1993
  • JP: June 17, 1994
PC
Steam re-release:
  • WW: December 17, 2015[5]
Mode(s) Single-player

Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, known as Bubsy for short, is a platform video game released by Accolade in the early 1990s.[6] It is the first game in the Bubsy series of video games. The game's name 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 yarnballs from alien invaders.[8] The game received a sequel, Bubsy 2, in 1994.[9]

Gameplay[edit]

Bubsy (SNES).png

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.[10] The game plays as a 2D sidescrolling platformer.[6] The player must maneuver Bubsy through the levels, jumping on enemy "Woolies", and collecting stray yarn balls (which earns an extra life if 500 are collected).[11] The game consists of sixteen levels, and Bubsy starts off with nine lives.[12] In general, the game's gameplay has been compared to the Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Sega Genesis era.[13][12][14][15]

Development[edit]

Designer Michael Berlyn had previously designed adventure video games, such as Altered Destiny and Search for the King prior his work on Bubsy.[16] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] He also had difficulty finding a good voice for the main character. After weeks of searching through voice talent tapes, John received a call from Brian Silva who aided trying to find a suitable voice, until John tried speeding up a recording of Brian'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.[20]

In December of 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 picket up, resulting the inclusion of some underground tube ways in the first level.[21]

A group of 20+ people worked on the game.[22] During the programming of the game to the SNES, one of the hazards in the game was a catnip that could drive Bubsy mad. This was replaced by banana peels because of Nintendo's censorship policies.[21] The game was developed and released concurrently for the Genesis and Super NES, with each version looking and sounding almost identical.[11] Approximately two years later, the game was also ported to Windows 95, under the name Super Bubsy.[10] It contained slightly upscaled graphics, and the Bubsy cartoon pilot that was never picked up for further episodes.[13] The Super NES version was made part of Bubsy Two-Fur on Steam in December 2015.

The Super NES version is the only game in the Bubsy series to be released in Japan, under the title Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken. The release was mostly identical, except that Bubsy's voice clips were dubbed in Japanese.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM8/10 (SNES)[23]
GameFan87, 80, 81, 84 (SNES)[25]
80, 84, 82, 88 (Genesis)[26]
Nintendo Power72.5% (SNES)[24]
Video Games & Computer Entertainment7.75/10 (SNES)[27]
SNES N-Force70 (SNES)[28]
Super Play77% (SNES)[29]
Mean Machines80 (Genesis)[30]
Video Games75% (Genesis)[31]
70% (SNES)[32]
PC Games70% (Windows)[33]
Super Juegos89 (Genesis and SNES)[34]
TodoSega92 (Genesis)[35]
Nintendo Accion13/16 (SNES)[36]
Player One86% (Genesis)[37]
Consolemania88 (Genesis)[38]
94 (SNES)[39]
Mega force90% (Genesis)[40]
Consoles+90% (Genesis)[41]
Super Power91 (SNES)[42]
Joypad83% (Genesis)[43]
Awards
PublicationAward
Parents' ChoiceParents' Choice Award
GameFanBest New Character (Bubsy) (1993)
ProGamesBest Game Seal[44]

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.[13][16] Bubsy himself even won Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Most Hype for a Character of 1993".[45] 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."[27] 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."[46] 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.[11] Brazilian magazine ProGames gave the SNES version a happy face with an open mouth (the magazine's maximum rating) on all five categories.[44] German magazine PC Games gave the Windows version 70%[33] GameFan awarded Bubsy "Best New Character" for 1993.[47] The game also won a Parents choice award for being fun but non-violent.[48]

Retrospecively, the game's reception became rather critical. IGN called the game "mediocre", calling it a "pale Sonic imitator" and criticizing the game's floaty, imprecise physics and odd level design.[49] 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".[13]

Promotion[edit]

In January of 1993 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a Bubsy mascot leaped out of a sack to greet spectators.[50]

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.[51]

Legacy[edit]

A sequel to Bubsy was released in 1994 for the SNES, Sega Genesis and Game Boy, titled Bubsy II.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind Tech Info". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  2. ^ Super NES Games List
  3. ^ "Super Bubsy Release Information for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  4. ^ "Super Bubsy (1995) Windows release dates". MobyGames. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  5. ^ "Steam Greenlight :: BUBSY Two-Fur".
  6. ^ a b "Accolade returns with new Bubsy game". MCV. NewBay Media. 9 June 2017. 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. ^ "Super Bubsy PC at IGN". Pc.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  9. ^ "Bubsy 2 Sega Genesis at IGN". Cheats.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  10. ^ a b "Super Bubsy - PC - IGN". Pc.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  11. ^ a b c https://archive.org/stream/GamePro_Issue_049_August_1993#page/n61/mode/2up
  12. ^ a b Rodger Swan (2007-03-26). "Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". Sega-16.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  13. ^ a b c d "Bubsy". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  14. ^ "Poll Results: Mascots with 'Tude - Retro News at IGN". Retro.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  15. ^ "What Hath Sonic Wrought?, Vol. 1 - Retro Feature at IGN". Retro.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  16. ^ a b c "News - Playing Catch-Up: Bubsy's Michael Berlyn". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  17. ^ Quan, Slasher (July 1992). "Bubsy: A Bobcat in the Making". GamePro. p. 54 and 55.
  18. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:GamePro_US_037.pdf&page=66
  19. ^ https://archive.org/stream/HobbyConsolas017/Hobby_Consolas_017#page/n15
  20. ^ "Bubsy Gets his Voice". Nintendo Power. No. 56. Nintendo. January 1994. p. 84.
  21. ^ a b https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3AGamePro_US_041.pdf&page=221
  22. ^ https://archive.org/stream/HobbyConsolas019/Hobby_Consolas_019#page/n141
  23. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly Review". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  24. ^ "Nintendo Power Review". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  25. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue06May1993#page/n19/mode/2up
  26. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue10September1993#page/n13/mode/2up
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ https://archive.org/stream/snes-nforce-magazine-03/SNESForce_03_Sep_1993#page/n51/mode/2up
  29. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Superplay_Issue_10_1993-08_Future_Publishing_GB#page/n49/mode/2up
  30. ^ https://archive.org/stream/mean-machines-sega-magazine-11/MMSega_11_Sep_1993#page/n75/mode/2up
  31. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Video_Games_1993-11_Markt_Technik_DE/Video_Games_1993-11_Markt__Technik_DE#page/n121/mode/2up
  32. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Video_Games_1993-09_Markt_Technik_DE/Video_Games_1993-09_Markt__Technik_DE#page/n85
  33. ^ a b Wagner, Harald (October 1997). "Super Bubsy: Katzenjammer". PC Games Magazine (in German). p. 184.
  34. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Superjuegos_017#page/n65
  35. ^ https://archive.org/stream/TodoSega_06#page/n27
  36. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Nintendo_Accion_011#page/n47
  37. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=32&num=1893&album=oui
  38. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Consolemania-023#page/n87
  39. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Consolemania-021#page/n53
  40. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=40&num=2286&album=oui
  41. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=51&num=6894&album=oui
  42. ^ http://download.abandonware.org/magazines/Super%20Power/superpower_numero12/SuPow%20n%B012%20%28%E9t%E9%201993%29%20-%20Page%20147%20.jpg
  43. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=84&num=1789&album=oui
  44. ^ a b https://archive.org/stream/ProGames_Ano_1_No._1_199x_Editorial_Escala_BR_pt#page/n13
  45. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994.
  46. ^ "Super NES Pro Review: Bubsy: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind". GamePro. No. 56. IDG. May 1993. pp. 78–79.
  47. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume2Issue02/GamefanVolume2Issue02February1994#page/n57/mode/2up
  48. ^ "Accolade Presents Super Bubsy for Windows 95; Popular Video Game Character Jumps to Windows. - Free Online Library".
  49. ^ "IGN Retro Feature". Retro.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  50. ^ https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3AGamePro_US_040.pdf&page=200
  51. ^ https://archive.org/stream/GamePro_Issue_047_June_1993#page/n45/mode/2up

External links[edit]