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SNES Game Review 42: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind

Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, or just Bubsy for short  (Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken to our Japanese friends)  is a platform video game released by Accolade in the early 1990s.
The designer Michael Berlyn apparently came upon Sonic the Hedgehog and loved it so much that he began to play it for 14 hours a day in order to find out what made it a good game in the hopes that he could leach the best bits of it out and regurgitate them into his own game, apparently he did this for a week, now that might sound like a lot of hedgehog loving, its a wonder no one called the RSPCA.

The game was developed and released for the Super Nintendo and the Megadrive, with each version basically the same  (The musics a little nicer on the SNES and that’s all really) Just like Battletoads Bubsy actually managed to gain enough attention to get a cartoon pilot made that didnt go on to a series.
 So even with a quick look at the game you can see the sonic Connection so why the long name Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind? Basically to spoof the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, You see the plot of the game is that Bubsy the bobcat must defend the wool of planet earth against alien invaders. I feel stupid writing this in a review I cant believe someone actually wrote it as a plot to a game and then had it released with this plot and name like they were happy with there work.
A lot of complaints have been brought up about Bubsy over the years the fact that its to fast and things literally jump right in front of you causing the game tom be slowed down a lot by death after death. Then there is the fact that Bubsy’s powers were kind of supposed to be based on a cats and yet he seems to be able to fly, well fly is maybe a strong word to paraphrase buzz light year he ”falls with style”.
What is often forgotten is that Pre-release anticipation for busby was very high, the game received incredibly aggressive marketing, Bubsy was pushed as being the next big thing it was said that it would rival the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario. Bubsy won Electronic Gaming Monthly’s Most Hype for a Character award in 1993. The hype didn’t disappear instantly with its release either it even managed to achieve some decent reviews Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it an 8 out of 10. Sure it did get some lower scores but the real backlash against the game seemed to happen much latter, it was like the polar opposite of a film like for example the rocky horror picture show which had reasonable success but over the years has become more and more loved growing to an absolute cult classic. Bubsy seems to have become more and more hated.
So I suppose the obvious question is do I hate Bubsy and do I hate his game?  The game has a sence of humour each level is introduced by some sort of play-on-words spoken by Bubsy in a typical cartoon voice: “what could possibly go wrong?”, or “did I mention I don’t like heights?” yes some of it comes of as a little bit cheesy but its a good chucklesome kind of cheesy.
My main complaint with Bubsy’s main complaint is one I have already touch on he far too easy to kill. You can be killed by the slightest touch of a n enemy  or you’ll run straight into an obstacle before you even really get chance to see it, yes this is  frustrating but I dont believe that this small thing is a complete game breaker. You get a lot of lives and bubsys gliding ability can keep him up above a lot of trouble. I have to admit though that the speed in this game does not work as well as sonic, bubsy needed a move like sonic’s spin so that he could just roll into a ball or something and batter anything that ran in to him. If you only had to worry about the pitfalls and not the enemies while running/ rolling like this then it would help a lot.
Visually, I really like the game its bright, I find its sprites to be pleasant and detailed. Bubsy’s animation is great but its like to much attention was paid to him, the enemies and some of the other visual elements dont seem to quiet live up to his quality.
In answer to the question, I kind of like Bubsy but I do see his game as being just above average, its a 6 out of 10, it was over hyped back in the day and some people fell for this hype but then it seems to be part of an almost never ending back lash that paints it as far worse than it is. I think the truth lies in the middle
The game is not brilliant but it is not awful either, its one to go for if you have exhausted all of the more popular platformers on the Snes and you still haven’t had enough. I would however first advice that you consider getting a megadrive and sampling some of the better platformers it has to offer first.
If you want Bubsy for the Snes with a bit of effort you should be able to find a Pal cart for around £7, but if you own both a SNES and a megadrive I would tell you to actually go for the Megadrive version you can get the cart for as little as £3.50 including postage.