Retro-Active!: Bubsy

A company by the name of ‘Accolade’ was founded in 1984. Accolade developed games for most home-computer consoles, like the Commodore 64, Apple II, and the PC. However, these kinds of consoles and games were being overtaken by a new medium of video games, the home video game console. Nintendo and Sega were rising up the charts and usurping the thrones once held by computer consoles.

Back then, game companies were trying whatever they could to create an iconic mascot for their companies, something that could possibly compete with the likes of Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog. Companies were doing whatever they could to show that their mascots were just as good, if not, better than Mario or Sonic. Accolade knew they needed to get in on the action, so they attempted a new mascot to compete with the plumber and hedgehog.

Bubsy the Bobcat was the final product. He was, in short, a sassy bobcat donning a white T-shirt with a red exclamation mark on it. If you ask me, it seems like they came up with the design concept in about fifteen minutes, but it is kind of easy to remember. Mario is red, Sonic is blue, Bubsy is white or tan or whatever.

His first game, Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, was released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis in 1992, and a later port was made for the PC in 1995 under the title Super Bubsy. The game focused on a race of creatures called ‘Woolies’ who plan to steal Earth’s yarn supply. Bubsy has the largest collection of yarn in the world, and is the most at stake from these ‘devestating’ creatures. He plans to save the Earth’s yarn supply and stops the Woolies from their reign of terror.

The game has an interesting style of gameplay. The music will speed up as Bubsy hits certain spots, such as a bouncy platform or a speed boost, or if he reaches a certain speed. Bubsy can also jump incredible heights and glide down from gently.

If many of you are around Youtube as often as I am, you probably have seen JonTron’s video review of the entire Bubsy series. If not, go watch it now, as he does a wonderful job showing off the game and how it controls. He tends to point out the negative sides and parts of games. I love him, and I love that video, but I don’t exactly give a shit, alright?

Most of what he says is true. Bubsy does go too fast, the camera is a bit too close, and the fact that he dies with little hits kinda sucks. The levels are designed awkwardly, and the controls aren’t the most responsive. But I personally feel that if the developers changed some things for the future games, Bubsy could’ve very much been a good mascot.

As a character, Bubsy doesn’t have much of a personality. He’s really silly and enjoys puns, which is clearly shown in the later games with quotes such as ‘Accolade, games with PURRsonality’, “Remember, I am a trained PURRfessional!”, and so on. His character really isn’t that exciting, but neither is Mario’s or Sonic’s when you think about it. Mario and Sonic games rarely have any sort of character development, and if they do, the development will revolve around side characters. So not having much of a personality is normal for mascot characters.

Bubsy’s second main game was simply titled ‘Bubsy II’. This game is about a new attraction on Earth called the Amazatorium, a historical theme park. However, the park has a technology that allows it to steal actual historic events from the past. It’s up to Bubsy to stop the owner.

This game throws in a few new concepts. Firstly, it allows for two players to play, and they can play as Bubsy’s nephew or niece to help or hurt Bubsy. Secondly, the player can also use a weapon, a nerf-like gun, for Bubsy to shoot at enemies. There are other items the player can buy for extra lives or bonus games.

Bubsy’s 3rd main adventure is Bubsy 3D for the Playstation. Bubsy is in a 3-D environment this time, and has to find his rocket ship pieces to get home, as he is stranded on the Woolie’s planet, Rayon. This game is known around as one of the worst games ever made. With awful graphics and visuals, obnoxious music and sounds, and terrible controls, I have to agree with them.

Accolade went out of business in 1999, and Bubsy went with them. It’s sad, really; if they had taken a little more time with the games and worked out the kinks and bugs with the earlier Bubsy, they possibly could have had a good mascot on their hands. Other people may say it’s a terrible series, but I believe that Bubsy had a good chance.

Logan Hewitt

Logan Hewitt is a junior in high school who has recently started writing game reviews. In his spare time, he plays a large amount of retro games and records gameplay footage to Youtube.

Leave a Reply