Here we go with another title in the franchise as Bubsy: Paws On Fire! is out there and we need to be ready to jump, slide, and fly our way through the world. You know, the basics of a platforming game and about what Choice Provisions has put together for us in the game. Something that is always a nice break from all of the serious titles that we have had out there recently for the PS4, Switch, and PC. Now we get to see if Bubsy needs to keep things going or just sit back and let the memories persist. Here is my review of the latest in the franchise.
Wouldn't you know it, Oinker P. Hamm is back and up to all of the horrible things he is up to. It is a good thing that Bubsy is approached and informed of all of this by Woolie so he and his friends Arnold and Virgil can head out to put a stop to it all. To do so they are going to have to travel across the world collecting all kinds of things and take down others that are out there to help Oinker. That is about as basic of a story I can give you here for the game.
When it comes to side-scrolling platforming games, one of the things you need to get perfect needs to be the controls and timing of them. Not only on your side, but also on the side of the game. I found this a bit lacking in Bubsy: Paws On Fire!, as even when I followed the on-screen prompts during the tutorials I was hitting walls and missing items. I guess this adds to the replay value so you can go back and try to perfect a level run, but there needs to be some leeway when it comes to this so we don't get frustrated. Something I found happening quite often when playing Bubsy. I just want to be able to press a button, or release it, and have the action take place at that moment and not a second later.
I also have to say that the levels in Paws On Fire! felt very repetitive after a while. Sure, there are only so many ways to build a level that has us jumping and ducking, but most of them felt the same. This made it easy to try to perfect each run, but it also felt like I was not progressing in the game much. Something that also persisted when there is no way to truly know what collectible was missed in the level and requiring a full perfect run to make sure we have them all. I know that is part of the gameplay, but it could have been jazzed up a bit more than what we did get.
While things could feel repetitive in the levels of Bubsy: Paws On Fire!, there was a nice changeup to the gameplay by offering up three ways to play each level. This would be through the use of Woolie and Virgil. Woolie adding in a way to fly around each level and a need to shoot enemies while Virgil offering up more of a ground-based bit where we needed to duck obstacles. This definitely made each additional playthrough nice after giving it a go with Bubsy and in some instances let me see other aspects I may have missed in the other character's runs. Even though they did not take the same course, elements of the others were left in to dodge or ignore. It kept things fresh.
It was also nice to actually have more of a goal in the game than just making it to the end with Bubsy each time. That is, there were plenty of character customization options in the game that required all of the items you picked up along the way to purchase. Each new costume adding in a few extra bonuses during runs on top of that. It was a great driving force to go back and find what was missed, even though difficult at times, just to unlock the next bit of gear. I still have more to go and I have been perfect running most of the levels so far, so there is an added challenge of that. At least if you are into that kind of thing in your video games.
I had a good time with Bubsy: Paws On Fire! in general, but I will say it was hard to master. Not for lack of skill, as some of it was due to the controls and animations not flowing as well as they could have. As annoying as it was, I always wanted to try to get a perfect score and would alter how I played just to do so. As a good video game should. If you are looking for a solid distraction from all of the other serious titles out there, then Bubsy: Paws On Fire! is an option to go with.
I give Bubsy: Paws On Fire! 379 Yarn Balls on the Yarn Ball scale.
Bubsy: Paws On Fire! — Trailer
Bubsy: Paws On Fire! was developed by Choice Provisions and published by Accolade for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on May 16th, 2019. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.