Why We Should Give Bubsy a Chance

Could something paw-sibly go right?

There's a new Bubsy game on the horizon. Yes, it seems like hell has frozen over, pigs have flown, and hats are being eaten across the globe. But where many see a disaster waiting to happen, I see the opportunity for a maligned mascot to have the ultimate comeback story.

Bubsy's past games haven't been great, to say the least. Bubsy 3D, his third game and only prior 3D outing, is often considered one of the worst games of all time. But Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is already showing improvement, and the gaming environment nowadays may be more receptive to the type of game Bubsy wants to be.

Part of why Bubsy's games flopped as badly as they did back when was because Bubsy was always trying to capture the lightning in a bottle of other mascot characters of the time. His two SNES outings were obvious attempts trying to usurp Sonic's throne, and Bubsy 3D was a horrendous take on a N64/PS1-era collectathon. Woolies Strike Back, however, seems to have actually learned something from the sins of the fathers.

Gone is the badly handled Sonic-level speed that caused Bubsy to careen helplessly into danger, as now Bubsy moves at a much more reasonable pace, and the camera actually properly tracks him now, which no doubt will help immensely.

Also gone is the much-maligned fall damage, as we see Bubsy fall down from a great height with no negative repercussions, before getting ready to do battle with some kind of octopus spaceship. He also may even be able to take more than one hit now, as some screenshots show everyone's favorite bobcat wearing a black variation on his classic exclamation point tee, with some kind of forcefireld around him. With just these few changes, Woolies Strike Back already has a leg up on it's predecessors.

If nothing else, Bubsy and the environment look far nicer than in Bubsy 3D. 

The main point I'm trying to make here is that Bubsy's reputation shouldn't prevent people from giving this game a fair shake. The jokes about the Create-A-Character silhouette from Sonic Forces have shown that, regardless of his game's quality, Bubsy has managed to cement himself in the memory of the gaming community, for better or for worse. This time around, I think he's got a better chance to do good by the gaming community, especially with Black Forest Games behind him.

 Gone are the days where Bubsy speeds into enemies faster than the camera can track him. I hope.

As Black Forest showed with the well-reviewed Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, they have the ability to take forgotten knockoff characters and make them new and fun again, and I for one am optimistic that they'll be able to give Bubsy a shot.

The fact that one of the first things announced was that the character would have over 100 one-liners shows that they know to lean in to what made Bubsy as famous, or rather as infamous, as he was. Personally I'd rather be optimistic and hope for this new game to potentially help repair Bubsy's (admittedly deserved) bad rap, than immediately discard it as an inevitable failure. There are a lot of things that could paw-sibly go wrong, that's fur sure. But at least I'm hoping that, for once in Bubsy's career, something goes right.

Published Jun. 12th 2017

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