Bubsy 3D: The Tremendously Bad PlayStation Platformer

Bubsy 3D on the PlayStation
Blubber!

Also called Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet and Bubsy is 3D in Furbitten Planet, American developer Eidetic’s 1996 platformer is famous for being rubbish.

Attempting to replicate Super Mario 64, Bubsy 3D fell flat on its backside and floundered around like a pathetic little loser. Hard luck!

The Shrine to Awfulness That is Bubsy 3D

Yeah, this platformer is legendary for being infamous. As it’s godawful and a clumsy effort on the PlayStation.

The console had a lot of fine games, but 1996 marked the era when developers were trying to get to grips with 3D platformers.

Gee whizz, many of them didn’t get it right. And it didn’t help that Nintendo had set the bar so staggeringly high with Super Mario 64.

Bubsy 3D emerged several months after Nintendo’s classic and was embarrassing in a direct comparison.

Watching it now, it’s no big surprise to see why it’s reviled.

It looks awful, there’s a camera system from Hell, the game plays poorly, and Bubsy is an annoying git.

Bubsy is a bobcat. The idea of the game is to explore the various worlds, completing levels so you can eventually defeat two queens called Poly and Esther.

You’ll notice from the above clip this cute and cuddly character comes packing with many catchphrases, which he spouts as if there’s no tomorrow.

Voice actor Lani Minella was responsible for Bubsy’s ranting (thankfully, she’s since used her skills in good video games such as The Last of Us).

It’s a fine example of one of the missteps Eidetic took here, in similar vein to the way Link: The Faces of Evil played out for Philips.

Are there and good bits? Not particularly with the gameplay. It’s aged atrociously, which is one reason why it gets so much hate online.

But the soundtrack isn’t too bad. It’s a bit disorganised and repetitive, but it does a decent job at making you kind of like it a little bit.

With Bubsy 3D, it’s important to remember that in 1996 it was also quite unique as a 3D platformer, so some reviews were incredibly positive.

PSExtreme magazine handed over 93% in a rather unconvincingly sycophantic kind of way.

However, in 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly named it as one of the worst console video games of all time.

And ever since then the negative reviews have flowed in. It’s now generally regarded as one of the worst games of all time.

Some journalists have tried to defend the game. They suggest it’s unfair criticism as Bubsy 3D is representative of games from that era.

As in, Super Mario 64 comparisons are erroneous. It was a landmark title for a new era (a 64 bit console versus a 32 bit one).

But, really, Bubsy 3D just falls flat in some many aspects of its game design to warrant anything other than a jab to the bobcat’s eye.

Whatever Happened to Bubsy?

After its disaster on the PlayStation, the series seemed to die a miserable and lonely death.

However, it sprung back to life in 2017 after a 21 year gap with Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back.

The good news? It’s nowhere near as bad as Bubsy 3D.

The bad news is it’s still woefully mediocre and received middling reviews from much of the gaming world.

It didn’t help the series’ legacy at all as the new game simply brought the spotlight back onto the PlayStation disaster from decades earlier.

That should probably be that for Bubsy. Don’t expect to see him again and, really, that’s not much of a loss to the bobcat community.

6 comments

  1. Bubsy 3D is a pretty tragic game in that it shot for the stars only to get effortlessly one-upped by superior competition. As a result, I find myself surprisingly more sympathetic to it than any of its three predecessors. You see, a lot of people, when reviewing Bubsy 3D do so under the pretense that the series was good up until then, but I have determined that it is not true. The series was always bad – even in its glory (?) days. In fact, every single problem Bubsy 3D had, whether it’s its confused level design, obnoxious protagonist, or bad controls, can be traced back to the very first installment. I think the only difference is that, being in three dimensions, the problems went from being mostly invisible to completely unignorable (not to mention that SNES fans were afforded the closest thing they could to a Sonic the Hedgehog experience back then, but that’s not an advantage that has stood the test of time either).

    Regardless of its tragic circumstances, however, Bubsy 3D’s status as one of the worst games ever made is well and truly deserved. I can only imagine it got halfway decent reviews back in the day because there was nothing else like it, but as badly as the 2D installments have aged, Bubsy 3D has aged even worse.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aye, Bubsy reminds me of Zool, Gex and others. Trying to make great games riffing off Sonic and Mario, but ending up a bit mediocre.

      I was surprised how well received Bubsy 3D was in much of the press. 93%! I guess it will have been very novel at the time. Plopping it next to Mario 64 really does it no favours, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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