What could possibly go wrong?
I recently got my hands on a review code for Accolade’s new game, Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back for the PlayStation 4. Now the first thing that should pop into the your head is “yes, Bubsy is back, your prayers have finally been answered!” Quite some time has passed since the last Bubsy encounter and the wisecracking Bobcat is back to get the Golden Fleece back from the Woolies!
The Woolies Strike Back felt like it paid homage to the old school Bubsy game on the Super Nintendo by the level designs. What I mean is that the old game was classic platforming and the modern game follows suit. There are three types of levels for you to explore but the gameplay gets stale pretty quick. The level designs are very similar to each other and near the end of the game; it feels like you’ve played the same type of level over and over again. Different things in the stages try to keep it fresh such as bees in the first set of levels and sand sharks in the second set of levels but that can only do so much.
There is a leaderboard that will rank your score so try and get the highest possible to compete against your friends and the world! One thing that has also stayed the same is Bubsy’s wit and he’s as sharp as ever. Seeing what Bubsy is going to say next is another way the game tries to stay fresh but the quotes, even though there are supposed to be over 100 lines of dialogue, were repeating a lot early in the game.
The controls are pretty simple and to help you get acclimated with them, there’s a tutorial level right off the bat. Players who are familiar with the basic Bubsy formula will pick it back up right away. The ability to jump, double jump off enemies and glide make it pretty easy to get through the levels. There is another ability that allows Bubsy to break through walls and that’s the pounce attack.
The pounce attack is a long jump type attack and you can kill Woolies/others with it. It is a little difficult to pounce on enemies but you’ll get the hang of it. If the Woolies attack box was a little bigger, you wouldn’t lose a life so much trying to jump on their heads since it’s a pain in the ass to line up attacks some times. There is more to do in each level than just complete it, as you’ll be on the hunt for keys to unlock the Wooly Vault. The vault has a lot of yarn balls so if you want to collect all the yarn and score a great score, and then I would look for all the keys. There are extra life t-shirts that you’ll want to collect as well as black t-shirts that allow Bubsy to take an extra hit of damage.
One hit and it’s all over for you unless you get your hands on a black t-shirt and there will be plenty hidden in the levels so keep an eye out for them! The game keeps track of stats for each level such as if you unlocked the Wooly Vault or if you completed the level without dying. These are the challenges that will get you to come back to replay each level since the game isn’t too long, you’ll have plenty of time to replay each level a few times.
As I mentioned before the world isn’t too big and shouldn’t take too long to complete. However, one thing that might give you trouble since there is nothing that trains/prepares you for the moment is the Woolie UFO boss fights. They range from simple to pretty tough. In my opinion the second UFO fight was tougher than final UFO boss fight and I think I feel this way because the second fight has some innovation to it. For the most part, these fights are trial and error until you figure out the attack pattern and in the case of the second UFO; the pattern will change several times. (Another reason why this is the toughest)
To recap, the fans (you know who you are) have been asking for Bubsy and they finally got their wish. The Woolies Strike Back could be seen as a stepping-stone for the modern Bubsy game, since after you complete the game it states “Bubsy will be back soon!” However, the game isn’t too long and you’ll get the repetitive feels quick. Simple controls and the game in general pay homage to the SNES Bubsy game but the quick wit of Bubsy couldn’t keep the repeat factor down. It’s these reasons that I’m giving Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back for the PlayStation 4 a 7.5/10. I would like to thank Accolade for the review code.