Bubsy 3D (also known as Bubsy is 3D in Furbitten Planet) is a platform video game developed by Eidetic and published by Accolade for the PlayStation. Designed by Michael Berlyn, it was released on October 31, 1996 in North America and in August 1997 in Europe. It is the fourth game in the Bubsy series as well as the first Bubsy game in 3D. A Sega Saturn version was in development for 1997, but never released.
The game was very poorly received and was regarded as one of the worst games of all time by GameTrailers, IGN, and GamesRadar. Many of the major elements of the game received criticism; it has been criticized for its graphics, its controls, and the obnoxious personality of Bubsy. The game was considered to have flat-out killed the series, and was the final Bubsy title prior to his revival two decades later.
Despite this, it won a 'Gold X Award', from PSExtreme magazine.
Bubsy 3D takes place on Rayon, the home planet of the Woolies, a recurring race of aliens from previous installments in the series, and follows the title character, a bobcat named Bubsy, whose objective is to travel the planet in order to collect atoms and rocket pieces and build a rocket ship. Led by their two queens, Poly and Esther, the Woolies invade Earth and kidnap Bubsy, who has previously foiled their plans for domination, with the intention of stealing all of the planet's wool. However, Bubsy escapes from the Woolies' siege due to a chemical malfunction with the ship he is being carried in, and breaks loose onto Rayon, resulting in widespread panic across the planet. The Woolies decipher that Bubsy is attempting to gather atoms and rocket parts (both of which the Woolies consider worthless) in order to build a rocket ship. None of the scientists on Rayon understand exactly why Bubsy is doing this, but they believe him to be dangerous nonetheless, prompting them to call for a military campaign to locate and destroy the bobcat.
The game's ending is dictated by the player's in-game performance, specifically pertaining to the number of collectibles which they obtain in each level; if they do not collect all 32 of the rocket parts required to build a space ship, Bubsy, after being captured by the Woolies, uses his acquired rocket pieces, as well as the atom discharge withheld in his own fur, to build a rocket and attempt to escape back to Earth, only for the rocket to become stranded in outer space without the necessary components, thus allowing the Woolies to invade Earth without him interfering. If the player does succeed in collecting all of the rocket pieces, then the rocket is unable to handle the density of the number of atoms he has collected, and Bubsy, despite escaping the planet with a complete ship, becomes stranded in the Stone Age due to a rip in the space time continuum, allowing the Woolies to go through with their plans regardless.
The objective is to defeat the Woolies' two queens, Poly and Esther, and also escape from the planet by collecting atoms and rocket parts. Bubsy can jump high, glide, swim, and fly a jet in certain levels. He defeats enemies by pouncing on them (either by jumping or gliding) or shooting atoms at them. He can now take four hits before losing a life. As an added luxury, Bubsy can extend his hit capacity by attacking running clams which give three random prizes. The game consists of 18 levels, with three of them taking place underwater; in these levels, Bubsy has an oxygen meter that depletes over time and his gliding action is replaced by a jetting dive which makes him swim faster and attack enemies, but depletes oxygen quicker. To complete a level (except a boss level), Bubsy has to touch the goal which is a large spinning red exclamation point with green rings around it.
In levels, players can collect items called atoms. If Bubsy collects 50 atoms, he gets an extra hit point. If he gets 100 atoms, he gets an extra life. If he gets 150 atoms, he will go to a bonus round with atoms and extra lives to collect. If he collects all 200 atoms in a level, he will get extra time in the bonus round.
In the two-player mode, Bubsy competes against an opponent in a race to collect atoms and rockets, and bop Woolies to get the highest score in a single level.
Bubsy 3D was developed by Eidetic and published by Accolade. The game was designed by Bubsy creator Eli Adams, and veteran games developer Marc Blank was also a key member of the development team. Following the release of Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, Michael Berlyn left the project and other designers were brought on to develop the series' next two installments of the series, Bubsy 2 and Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales, both of which Berlyn expressed great disdain in as games. According to Berlyn, after the second and third installments of Bubsy experienced mediocre commercial performance, Accolade asked him to head production of the next game in the series in hopes that he could revive the franchise. He agreed under the condition that the game would not be a rehash of the original game. It was also agreed the game would be a 3D platformer- a genre which hadn't been vastly explored yet at the time. Development of the game started in April 1995. Berlyn cited the development as a challenge, due to having no prior experience with controls or tools for drawing environments in 3D. Unlike most console games of the time, flat shaded polygons were used instead of textured polygons. However, the characters are Gouraud shaded and texture mapped. Berlyn states stated that he chose this unusual combination because it made the characters stand out, ensuring the player's attention would be on Bubsy and the gameplay rather than on the environments. At the time, Bubsy 3D was one of the few PlayStation games that ran in high resolution. The cutscenes between stages were animated by hand in 2D, and the 3D polygonal models were then made to mimic this animation. The voice of Bubsy was done by actress Lani Minella.
A release for the Sega Saturn in Spring of 1997 was planned. but was ultimately cancelled. It was announced that it would be compatible with the Saturn analog controller to enable more sophisticated movement than the PlayStation version. Berlyn attended the January 1996 Consumer Electronics Show to help demonstrate the Bubsy 3D beta personally. While wandering the floor he saw the demonstration for Super Mario 64, another 3D platform jumping game, but one built with Nintendo's best resources in order to serve as the flagship title for a new gaming console. Berlyn realized that Bubsy 3D looked greatly inferior to Super Mario 64, but as Accolade was already committed to releasing the game, it was too late to do anything except make Bubsy 3D as good as possible within the remaining time.
In Europe, distribution was handled by British publisher Telstar Electronic Studios under their budget label "Telstar Fun & Games".
As an early 3D platform game, Bubsy 3D was one of three games released in 1996 that Josh Wirtanen of Retrovolve said established the template for the genre, along with Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot.
Although Bubsy 3D was a critical failure, its development led to the creation of the action espionage game, Syphon Filter, which would go on to become a successful game franchise. Bubsy's development gained Eidetic further experience with the hardware of the PlayStation and better knowledge of the limitations of developing a 3D video game, prompting them to approach Sony with a prototype of Bubsy 4 (which was simply a "calling card" to show off the technical skills of Eidetic) in terms of developing a new game for them. Sony accepted the pitch, but requested that the team develop a game that wasn't an animal mascot platformer, as they were already heavily marketing Crash Bandicoot at the time, leading to the development of Syphon Filter.
In 2013, indie developer Arcane Kids released a sarcastic tribute to the game titled Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective. In the game, the player guides an effigy of Bubsy through a nightmarish simulation of the James Turrell exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A remaster of the game was released by Arcane Kids in 2017, featuring an additional epilogue to the story in which Bubsy reflects on the events of his experience.
Following Bubsy 3D, the Bubsy series went dormant, not having any games released for 21 years; however a new game in the series titled Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back was released in September of 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and PC.
- Bubsy Bobcat
- Queen Poly and Ester
- The Woolie General
- Professor Woolie Near Dufflewits
- Arnold (mentioned only)
- Jingle Worms
- Smart Bombs
- Woolie Heads
- Woolie Helicopters
- Woolie Nose Blowers
- Woolie Rock Throwers
- Woolie Swimmers
- Pocket Calculator piloted by Professor Woolie Near Dufflewits
- Woolie Mammoth
- The Woolie General
- Queen Poly and Ester
Levels and locations
- XLTNGBUGMB - Press Triangle to enable invincibility
- XMUCHOLIFE - Gain 99 lives
- XBNSCHTMMM - Unlock bonus round
- XZOOMMERKB - Press left and start to warp
- XLVLCHTMSB - Level Select
- XURASNAKER - Bubsy now appears wearing a Solid Snake skin
- XTOOROCKER - Unlock all Rockets
- The game's complete name is a reference to Forbidden Planet, a 1956 sci-fi film.
- All of the game's .EXE files have notes left by the developers.
- The North American version supports Memory Cards, but the European version doesn't. The graphics for the Save/Load menu are still present, however. The title screen is also a bit brighter and smaller.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Welcome To Bubsy 3D". Accolade. Archived from the original on 1997-02-21. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- ↑ http://retrovolve.com/those-faked-bubsy-3d-pull-quotes-were-actually-real/
- ↑ "Bubsy 3D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 83. Sendai Publishing. June 1996. p. 49.
- ↑ "An interview with: Eidetic on Bubsy Is 3D in "Furbitten Planet". GameFan. September 1996. p. 62 and 63.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Accolade and Eidetic Team Up" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 6 no. 83. Sendai Publishing. June 1996. p. 49.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Josh Wirtanen (December 1, 2015). "A Chat with Bubsy's Michael Berlyn Part 1: The Rise and Fall of Bubsy". Retrovolve. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "News - Playing Catch-Up: Bubsy's Michael Berlyn". Gamasutra. 2005-10-03. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- ↑ "Bubsy 3D". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. p. 60.
- ↑ "Bubsy 3D". Next Generation. No. 26. Imagine Media. February 1997. p. 120.
...establishing a new standard in the platform genre
- ↑ http://www.laniminella.com/assets/lani_minella_resume.pdf
- ↑ "Bubsy 3D". GamePro. No. 99. IDG. December 1996. p. 81.
- ↑ Josh Wirtanen (July 2, 2017). "The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre". Retrovolve. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- ↑ http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/06/08/bubsy-the-woolies-strike-back-announced
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