Bubsy: Paws on Fire!
Top Critic Average
Don’t expect to come in to this and see an epic mascot-style story or any type of replayability. The story is about as lame as you’d expect, and only exists at the beginning of the experience and then again at the end with very short cutscenes. This is a one-and-done type of game, but during the 8 to 10 hours it’ll take to complete the journey, especially if you stick it out and go for all of the Arnold levels, you’ll easily find some levels of enjoyment out of Accolade’s latest bobcat adventure. Bubsy: Paws on Fire is definitely the best Bubsy experience released in quite some time, and while this isn’t saying a lot, it definitely doesn’t deserve to be completely skipped over.
Bubsy Paws on Fire, in my opinion, is a bit of a cash in without much thought, it does what it’s designed to do like a speed run type game. However, I think it’s only going to appeal to a very niche audience and fans of the previous Bubsy games will be (like me) a little lost for reasons to play. It is a bit of shame as the previous entry to the series: Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back was a pretty solid Platformer and I was hoping this would build on that base. I would give Bubsy Paws on Fire the Thumb Culture Bronze Award, it has its moments as long as you know what you’re getting into before you play.
As insane as it sounds, Bubsy: Paws on Fire! is a competent, if repetitive, running platformer that manages to correct quite a few of the issues that plagued The Woolies Strike Back.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a passable runner that will keep fans of the genre busy for a few hours yet it fails to live up to the far better runners that Choice Provisions have crafted in the past.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire's biggest problem is its branding. The game is a perfectly fun and competent runner tied to a mascot who (as near as I can tell) only exists for irony value. The game is straitlaced about Bubsy, so it doesn't feel like a joke, but it also seems like the mascot does more to drive away people than to pique their interest. If you enjoyed the Runner3 style of gameplay, then you'll enjoy Bubsy: Paws on Fire. If you didn't, then the addition of a cartoon cat probably isn't going to change your mind. It's still the best Bubsy game to date, though.
All of the variation feels pretty hollow, for sure, but the design of the game compliments what that variation lacks. All in all, it's a pretty standard auto-runner that also just happens to have Bubsy in it
Am I saying I enjoyed this game? Not really, but I certainly enjoyed it more than I expected I would from such an infamous franchise. It also proved, to me, that the developers are really trying to bring Bubsy back and improve upon him.
However, there's far more memorable and interesting endless runners out there, a lot of them by the same developer no less. If you miss the 'tude mascot characters of the early 90s and want something that's at least decent, this may be fun for a while. Otherwise, nothing of note would be lost if you didn't play the latest in Bubsy's exploits.
At its peak, Bubsy: Paws on Fire! is a generic runner that brings nothing new to the genre other than messed up hitboxes, poor controls, and awful padding. It also tries to be a boring SHMUP for some reason.
The long and short of Bubsy: Paws on Fire! Is that it's a running game that isn't particularly difficult, doesn't really stress scores and feels rather hollow. Sure, it's fun and if you like repetitive tasks that reward you for slight improvements, it will certainly shine, otherwise it's just a bland game that is as forgettable as any of the other sequels. Add in a lack of online play or even interesting costumes and it's ultimately a game that coasts on whatever fame Bubsy has and is only really redeemed by having a platinum/variety of achievements that are not particularly hard or engaging to obtain.