Review: Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back (PS4)

Review: Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (957.7 MB)
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: UFO Interactive Games / Accolade
Developer: Black Forest Games
Original MSRP: $29.99/$39.99 (US), €29.99 (EU), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Before I get into the main part of the Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back review I want to inform you of the Bubsy history.

The anthropomorphic bobcat became Accolade’s mascot because, at the time, everyone wanted in on the Mario and Sonic craze.

In 1993 the first Bubsy game arrived on the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and then later on the PC. A few gaming sites gave it top marks but many critics and fans since went on to complain about the imprecise physics, level design, and collision detection.

Some say the sequel was a better game, if a little boring and easy. Most say that the third and fourth installments were disappointing at best and they also suffered from poor collision detection and awkward controls.

Over twenty years went by and no one ever thought Bubsy would return, but to my surprise, he’s back!

Gameplay:
The first thing that struck me about Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is the awkward control scheme. There’s the obligatory jump button and a glide button, but for some maddening reason, they are not the same button. Then we have an annoying pounce move that flies over the heads of an enemy on the same platform as the bobcat.

There is no way to cancel the pounce and so I would often watch in despair as the somersaulting cat went flying by the enemy and into the unknown, usually to his death or a platform far below.

Bubsy can stomp on the heads of the boring and repetitive enemies known as the Woollies and this is where the other main problem arises. The collision detection is frustrating and problematic. The game would be stupidly easy if it weren’t for the tiny hitboxes.

As far as I can tell there are only two enemies that even notice Bubsy’s existence. Both are easy to avoid and one of them prefers flowers anyway and doesn’t care about the cat once they find some nectar. The bosses are annoying and dumb once I figured out their patterns. I only lost a few lives because of the problems mentioned above.

The levels are very linear and monotonous but at least some attempt was made to make the backgrounds look nice. There are plenty of hidden walls that Bubsy can destroy with his annoying pounce move, although hidden is not the best description, a-very-obvious-different-colored-wall sounds more fitting.

Plenty of wool can be found throughout the levels along with some t-shirts that add to Bubsy’s nine-lives. There are also some keys that unlock a wool filled area at the end of each level. Nothing exciting, no real collectibles, just the same old thing repeated in every one of the fifteen-or-so levels.

I did complete the game, which took about an hour and a half, only because I kept trying to collect all of the wool. I could have blasted through the game much quicker as there was no real reason to collect the other stuff since it doesn’t unlock anything or give the cat greater powers.

Visuals:
It looks as if the effort dissipates rather quickly once the first area is over. The animations in Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back are simple and even Bubsy himself moves in a very dated way. Water and fire effects look bland and I have seen better on some mobile apps.

3D would have been a nice inclusion in this game and there’s even a couple of instances that would have benefitted from the visual experience. That being said, it probably would have made the collision detection even worse.

Audio:
I am happy to see the inclusion of a verbal-diarrhea slider for the chatty bobcat. On the normal setting the large feline waffles on incessantly. With the Verbosity Slider (actual name, I kid you not) in the Pause menu his repetitious prattling can be turned up even higher, for the sadistic gamers, or all the way off for the rest of us.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only but does feature Friend and Global Leaderboards.

Conclusion:
Bubsy should not have bothered striking back, instead, he should have found a dark corner to curl up in and sleep for a long time. The price is very high for the amount of content, especially considering the lack of replayability.

I wouldn’t bother with Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back unless you are a glutton for banality. At least it manages to capture many things from the previous games, it just so happens to be the poor collision detection and awkward controls.

Score:
4.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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