Stupid Attempts at Video Game Characters is a feature in which we take a critically harsh eye to the characters vying for the forefront of the video game industry, societal marketability, and more. Some of these figures may have succeeded; many of them failed in hilarious ways. In other words? We’re going to be a bit of a dick towards the industry’s most moronic attempts at selling us a character, and specifically, the characters themselves. Please, enjoy!
It would be ignorant of me to rattle off the long-winded historical context that surrounds the infamous video game character that is Bubsy, at least with any heir of decency. Countless gamers have critiqued Accolade’s furry fiend, labeling him as nothing short of an over-produced marketing ploy that starred in some pretty terrible games. Those people are right in their judgement, and me attempting to seriously convey the story of Bubsy isn’t going to do anything relevant to what’s already been discussed for years.
Instead, I’m going to write about what a piece of shit Bubsy is, and what exactly makes the moronic mascot a figure of such simultaneous humor and hatred in the industry. Sure, me telling you that Bubsy is a fucking scourge isn’t going to be very insightful or relevant to anything either, but it’s going to be way more fun.
First of all, the very conception of Bubsy consisted of a boardroom full of apathetically homely men deciding what kind of character would most attract little children that fell just before the line of a guy with a beat-up van and free chocolate ice cream. Instead of creating a game that was, you know, fun, the team behind Bubsy had a very streamlined process to follow:
- Create a marketable character that falls somewhere between old Looney Tunes characters and the totally radical attitude that existed in the 90′s
- Spend 94% of the game series’ budget on advertising, varying from magazine covers to sickening commercials to a goddamned cartoon
- Take a few minutes figuring out how to make the game not completely unplayable
…And that was about it. If you’ve ever actually played a Bubsy game, you’ll know that the developers largely failed on that final goal. The first few weren’t really that godawful, but compared to the Sonics and Marios of the time, that’s about the same as saying explosive, bloody diarrhea isn’t really that godawful, either.
Bubsy the Bobcat was the first of the Bubsy games, and its purpose was clear. Instead of making a system-exclusive game with an identifiable character that school children would argue in favor of and defend for years, the fine folks at Accolade decided, hey, why not create a mass-market game for both Sega and Nintendo platforms for maximum profit? So, they did it, and they fucked up royally. This awful combination of artificially derived mass-market appeal and shitty development periods continued for every single 2D Bubsy game.
If you’ve ever played one of his original platforming games, you’ll know that they completely blow. Tapeworms sliding out of an asshole are more fun to maneuver than Bubsy, and about a third as disgusting. If you launched a dollar store-quality kite with an elephant strapped to it out of an airplane into a hurricane, it had a better chance of surviving than you did while running through any level of any Bubsy game. Sure, ol’ Bubs had the ability to glide when his super-artificial speed got to be too powerful to control (which was just about always), but it was just as useless as anything else you could do to better your gameplay experience. If jamming a rose bush covered in ammonia-coated bumblebees up your ass helped you do calculus a little better, would you do it? I didn’t think so.
I never played the Atari Jaguar Bubsy game(though it was also on other systems), Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tales, mostly because I had just the right amount of chromosomes to not buy an Atari Jaguar. I did play enough of Bubsy 2 to realize that I was wasting my time, though it was nice to not die every couple minutes from one of the various cheap deaths implemented in the original. I did, however, play the GameBoy version of Bubsy 2. Please, let me tell you about it.
You see, I played a lot of GameBoy games as a kid. Super Mario Land & 6 Golden Coins are games I still remember wonderfully to this day, to the point of me re-purchasing them for my 3DS. I had A Link to the Past, Kirby’s Dreamland, and a couple dozen other games that weren’t even all developed by Nintendo that I still have fond memories of. But Bubsy 2? I would rather get a raging case of dick leprosy than play that game again.
Playing Bubsy 2 is the equivalent of dialing a rotary phone made out of scorpions with your penis. Any potential excitement is immediately drowned out by the painful jabs that are repeatedly delivered while playing. I would prefer to eat a gorilla’s placenta filled with broken light bulbs than to even try and play Bubsy 2 for GameBoy again.
…and I haven’t even brought up Bubsy 3D yet.
If you’ve talked to anyone that played Bubsy 3D, even for a few minutes, they were probably hard pressed to not name it one of the worst games they’d ever touched. Now, it might be kind of unfair to judge Bubsy 3D because of a few reasons; one, it was one of the very first 3D platformers on the PSOne, and two, it only had the use of the diagonal pad, with no camera controls, because that’s just how shit worked back then.Except there’s one big problem with being forgiven: Super Mario 64 released so close to Bubsy 3D that it’s literally impossible to not picture the game being developed by a group of two-fingered orangutans with Down’s Syndrome. You know, Super Mario 64? The game that’s likely most responsible for popularizing 3D games and the basis for the fundamental control schemes you know and love today?
Yeah, compared to that, the team behind Bubsy’s first 3D adventure might as well have jammed a keyboard up an electrified cadaver’s ass while playing it Bon Jovi’s greatest hits and expecting something of artistic integrity to fall out.
The game pretty much fell upon the standards laid above. When the team released a game that controlled like pogo sticks made out of butter on an ice rink, had graphics that looked like Michael J. Fox strapped crayons to his fists and tried to give an art easel a handjob, and audio clips that were about as funny to listen to as a BB gun fired into your eardrum, it was pretty clear that the development team spent most of their time giving each other cheap vodka enemas than actually working on something that didn’t cause clinical depression in 100% of the people who played the final product.
If there’s one good thing to say about Bubsy… Well, at least he didn’t survive the PS1 generation of consoles. That is, unless you count Microsoft’s Blinx the cat, who just looks a bit more retarded than Bubsy, with the difference being the benefit of starring in some barely passable games.
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