Bubsy 3D Review

  • Developer: Eidetic
  • Publisher: Accolade
  • Platform: PlayStation
  • Release Date: 25 November 1996
  • MSRP: n/a

Getting Started

Should I even bother giving this game a proper introduction?  It sucks end of story.  Well, I must write something so here we go.  Bubsy is another one of those mascot platformers that dominated the early 90s gaming scene.  With the explosive popularity of Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, came a metric tonne of cheap imitators.  This is where Bubsy comes in.  Bubsy seems to be a rip off Sonic.  He’s a bobcat with 90s attitude!  And by that, I mean he’s utterly obnoxious and won’t shut the hell up.  Accolade tried really hard to make Bubsy a multimedia franchise.  It didn’t happen.  A Bubsy cartoon pilot was produced and not picked up.  The games themselves received lukewarm reception.  Bubsy was unable to survive the transition to 3D (until somehow reviving in 2017).  Bubsy 3D was released and was a total flop.  This game has been universally panned and has appeared on numerous worst games lists.  Me being a masochist, I needed to experience it firsthand.  Within minutes the game gave me a headache.  Time to let the cat out of the bag and explain Bubsy’s notoriety.

Story

Was there a story?  I checked out during the first FMV cutscene.  Something about the enemies from the first game wanting revenge on Bubsy, so they strand him on some planet.  I didn’t care enough to pay attention.  Bubsy as a character is the worst thing ever.  They try way too hard to make him “funny.”  He never shuts up and constantly spouts one-liners and cat puns.  Several minutes of playing and you’ll want to mute it.  The gist of it is Bubsy 3D has no story.  Its just a stupid game with one of the most annoying characters in video game history.

Gameplay

Where to begin with this game.  Let’s start with what it does right.  All done!  That’s right, it does nothing right.  Bubsy 3D fails on all accounts.  Nothing about Bubsy 3D is fun.  Don’t play it.  Don’t even look at it.  Nothing to see here.

bubsy 3d first world.png
Look at this! Are you kidding me?

When you start up the game and enter the first level, you will notice how hideous this game looks.  I know this is early 3D graphics, but damn is it ugly.  The levels are so bland you won’t even know where you are.  If it weren’t for the arrows you wouldn’t know where to go.  It doesn’t convey effectively what you can and cannot touch.  Some things are items that help you.  Other things kill you.  Touching anything is suicidal.  Anything could be a potential landmine.  Platforms are just gray polygons.  Its difficult to tell how faraway a platform is.  Benign looking obstacles damage you.  The awful and bland level design leads to such horrendous conveyance.

Another thing you’ll notice is the ass controls.  Since this was before the DualShock controller, you must use the directional buttons to move.  Crash Bandicoot managed to pull this off and came out the same year.  Bubsy 3D on the other hand, couldn’t grasp the basics of control.  Bubsy controls like a tank.  You must constantly stop and turn.  Going from point A to point B is absurdly difficult.  Not to mention how close the camera is to Bubsy.  You can’t control the camera, so you’ll be damaged many times by things you couldn’t see.  Jumping is anxiety inducing as you will not know where Bubsy will land.  Bubsy 3D is difficult and frustrating due to poor design.  It wasn’t intended to be hard.

bubsy

The main collectible is atoms.  They are placed throughout the level with no thought.  You can use atoms to throw at enemies.  Its your only mode of attack and it’s not recommended to do.  You can’t throw atoms you’ve already collected.  Instead, you must stand in front of one, hold down square, then let go to fire.  You can’t move around to aim so you most likely miss the mark.  If you miss, it will bounce back and hit you.  Why would anyone think it would recoil?  Its just needlessly frustrating.  Oh yeah, if you hold down too long it explodes and kills you.  Fuck this game hard.

bubsy ugly

Everything about Bubsy 3D is frustrating.  There is no fun to be had here, not even ironically.  Bubsy’s constant one-liners and puns make the experience even more painful.  When he makes a joke about your skill its infuriating.  Its not my fault that the game is incompetently designed.  Every time he opens his mouth I want to smash my fist into the screen.  Nothing about the gameplay is redeemable.  Bubsy 3D’s reputation is well earned.  You will be left in a catatonic state.  Right meow I’m tossing the disk out the window.  It’s a lost paws.

Graphics

As I’ve already said, this game is hideous and ugly as sin.  You might get cataracts by looking at it.  It looks like an alpha build, not a finished product.  Even for 1996 this is gross.  Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, and Resident Evil all came out in 1996 and blow Bubsy 3D out of the water.  The game looks like it came out in 1993 on the Atari Jaguar.  The color scheme is puke, piss, and snot.  Landscapes are flat and look exactly the same.  I never want to look at this game again.

bubsy vs mario 64

Sound

Bubsy 3D doesn’t have music, but rather a collection of sounds intended to irritate the listener.  The music is eardrum splittingly awful.  I’d rather listen to a cat scratching a window while someone blows an airhorn in my ear.  The less said about the voice acting the better.  Bubsy doesn’t shut up and will annoy within seconds.  If you have to play this game, make sure to turn the sound off.

Final Thoughts

: I thought I knew what a bad game was, then I played Bubsy 3D.  This game was a last dash attempt by accolade to prevent Bubsy from fading into obscurity.  In a way it worked.  Bubsy later came into attention through YouTube.  Jontron and SomecallmeJohnny did videos making fun of the Bubsy series.  Bubsy became a meme and later revived in 2017.  Some things are better off left dead.  Anyway, Bubsy 3D is an example of how difficult the transition to 3D was.  Clearly, not everyone was able to make the jump.  Accolade and company missed the platform.  Bubsy 3D deserves its place as one of the worst games ever.  So why did a new Bubsy game come out last year?  Who asked for this?

1/10

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2 Comments

  1. Ah, you’ve been checking out bad games too, huh? This one’s a real winner; there are pre-alpha builds that look more finished than Bubsy 3D. Like Ninjabread Man, it had absolutely no business being on store shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

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