Bubsy: Paws On Fire (PS4 [reviewed], PC, Nintendo Switch)
Developer: Choice Provisions
Released: May 16, 2019
Take a break from the standard platform fare associated with the Bubsy series, Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a runner title. For all intents, you can easily equate your gameplay with Choice Provisions' Bit.Trip Runner series. The selected character automatically passes through a series of short stages, and the player only needs to control their jumps, slides, slides and other movements. Hit a wall, an enemy or some other dangerous area, it will return to the last checkpoint. This is a simple thing that offers depth by challenging the 150 collections scattered at each stage. If our heroes want to wrap them all, most need the right combination of all the sport options.
Players will receive a medal for each of the three characters: Bubsy, Virgil and Wooli. These medals are then used to unlock more stages, more rigorous layouts and new dangers. Basically, it's a lot of rinsing and repetition, although each character has its own specific abilities (for example, Virgil can slide, and Woolie's stage is a very simple shmup transaction), but they all become very fast very quickly. . Before I reached the midpoint of the Second World, I felt sleepy, mainly because of the repeatability of the game.
Once the player has collected medals for all three characters for a stage, they can take Arnold deep into the screen stage, reminiscent of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog 2 reward level. Unfortunately, the full speed of these stages, combined with some severe convulsions, makes these parts more "lucky" than skilled.
Players can also use the money they collect to pick new duds for the team of furry friends in the game store. This is a good idea to provide some changes to the appearance of the character, but the irony is that the character model is small, so change the design of the Bubsy shirt, or put him on a tuxedo jacket, even on the cosmetic level. Almost no effect.
On a more positive side, Paws on Fire's cheerful visuals match Stemage's fun and optimistic soundtrack, perfect for on-screen motion. In fact, the progress of each stage is combined with the beat of the score. I can't help but think that this factor can be further explored, providing a rhythmic action element that may require perfect time and attention, thus eliminating the "auto-driving" mentality that Paws on Fire often encourages.
Not that Paws on Fire is a bad or broken game. It's just, um... plain. I am a fan of the Bit.Trip Runner title, but their style, speed and charm are very scarce here. Paws on Fire can't catch the player. Characters, stories, and world design are simple and empty, so gameplay feels mechanized, even if it is completely tolerable. Paws on Fire can feel enthusiasm in a short burst because it's easygoing, ingenious gameplay - but it's just not attractive. Perhaps as a "relaxed" game, Bubsy: Paws on Fire can find a niche, but even so, I think the price of $25 is too high and it feels like a simple title with limited lifespan. I will say so much, this is the best game in the Bubsy series.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a light arcade game with fun visuals and great music. Occasionally, it can provide short, simple fun. Ultimately, however, repeated gameplay, boring presentations and an empty world prevent players from being immersed in the spirit of optimism. The Bubsy experiment is over. It’s time for the Bobcats to go.