Bubsy as a character just plain sucked. He was a Sonic wannabe, created at a time when every company wanted a piece of the “mascot with ‘tude” market, and his games were the height of also-ran mediocrity. The character was annoying, the gameplay little more than passable, and the camera far too close for comfort. After two Genesis games, one on the Jaguar, and a legendarily awful 3D outing the character was abandoned, left behind with Gex (who at least had a couple of excellent games under his belt), Awesome Possum, and Boogerman. The Bubsy series was a little better than Toys R Us shelf clutter, something colorful to leaf past while on the way down the alphabet to Vectorman, and safe enough for clueless parents to buy for their kids to keep them entertained for a few minutes. When you’re ten and only have a small handful of cartridges you milk them for all they’re worth no matter how bland they may be.
There’s a lot you can do with a failed character, though. Honestly, I was actually interested for a minute when hearing Bubsy was back because solving his problems could make for a really great mascot. It’s twenty years later, Bubsy has aged and feels somewhat mortified by his previous outings, and maybe he’s come back to do it right with the benefit of experience and self-awareness. And then came the trailer and the realization that Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is none of those things, and all I can think is “Why?” and hope that maybe when it’s Awesome Possum’s turn for a revival he’ll get the older/matured treatment.
Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back has a launch trailer that seems designed to remind people why the character was a punchline. Bad dialogue, slow, floaty action, grating music, and an annoying attitude all feature prominently in the 30 second teaser. Most disappointingly it’s by Black Forest Games, who did the very good Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. It’s nice to see the Accolade name back, and reviving Bubsy could have been interesting, but without a complete retooling of absolutely everything in the trailer below this isn’t likely to go well.