Top Critic Average
It took a little over 25 years, but Bubsy: Paws on Fire is the bobcat's first truly great outing. With a fun, cheeky cast of characters and entertaining core gameplay, you won't have to ask yourself, "What could possibly go wrong?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Ultimately, however, the repetitive gameplay, bland presentation and hollow world prevents players from immersing themselves in its optimistic spirit. The Bubsy experiment has ended. It's time to let the bobcat go.
It'd be easy to look at the bobcat's resumé, look at this and dismiss it out of hand. Unfortunately, although Bubsy: Paws On Fire has the foundation of a decent runner and developer Choice Provisions knows what it's doing in terms of creating levels with an engaging flow, less than stellar performance, bland and repetitive stages, superfluous gameplay additions and long loads combine to drag the experience down. It's not awful, it's just nowhere near as good as the Runner series and ultimately we'd recommend ditching the bobcat and spending time in the company of Commander Video instead.
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.
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.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a combination of elements that range from merely adequate to frustrating beyond belief. In fact, the best part of the game is often being able to break the rules and cheese your way to victory. With almost zero redeeming qualities to speak of, the only way this game could possibly offer anything of benefit is to Trophy hunters, as there are a fair number of easily unlocked gold trinkets. If that's not something you care about, then steer well clear - it's just not worth it. Despite the shockingly long legacy as a series, surely this time must be the last, right?