Friday, September 13, 2013


Who has cartoony eyes, big red shoes, runs, spin jumps around and was the actual mascot of the Sega Saturn?

Sonic, who? Wrong. It was but simply a bug!

Mascot platformers you ask? Check out the following reviews!

From Realtime Associates/SegaSoft/Sega
Played on Saturn
Also available on PC

Type 2.5 sidescroller/Platformer
Year 1997

The direct sequel to Bug, Bug Too! (see the pun they did here?!) was released merely a years and a few months after the original - which for the era was quite a lot of time. Typical platformers sequels in the 1990s took a lot less time usually.

Remember, this was still when 3D gaming was still in its infancy. But by the late-90s game were becoming more and more impressive.

And if Sega wanted the Saturn to survive (at least in Japan, where it actually manage to be quite successful), they needed more 3D games, not only gorgeous looking 2D sidescrollers. And if they couldn't count on multiplaform third party games - remember the Saturn architecture was hard to handle - they would need to make those games themselves.

Enter Bug!

The first one was a nice little hit, modest but successful enough to warrant a sequel.

And they wanted to avoid the mistakes of Clockwork Knight 2, that is making a game far too similar to the first one.

SegaSoft and Realtime Associates took a lot more time, working on other games in the meantime, to develop a proper better sequel. Which would showcase many features and prowess of the Saturn, alas it was already too little, too late..

The story - yes, there is one! - is told via little animated cutscenes punctually, each new world.

This time they're actually much better to look at and not as cringe-worthy.

Our hero Bug returns for yet another cinematic adventure!

Bug and his co-stars, two new characters in the form of the funky Superfly and Bug's pet Maggot Dog, were able to score a new contract with their agent.

But that also means a 6-flick deal in a single day!!

After being blown up out of the building (literally), they run to the next movie lots and start filming. Right away!

This time the game actually uses the movie-gimmick in its content directly unlike the first game where the whole movie thing from the story seemed out of place.

As Bug and his friends you will explore several movie inspired parody levels. From the appropriately named Weevil Dead 2, Lawrence of Arachnia, Antennae Day, Flea-Wee's Big Adventure, Swatterworld to finally Cicada Night Fever - which doesn't look at all like what you'd expect from a last level (did they switch the stage order at the last second? the space one would have been much better suited...).

Not only is the sequel much bigger, but Maggot Dog from the first game and this new Superfly guy are also playable this time!

All three control pretty much the same despite shorter jump range or faster attack, but selecting one means listening to entirely different voices in the game (and those guys rarely shut up).

Depending who you play it also changes the items you can pick around, such as food, dog bones or disco balls.

It's small details to notice, but a welcome visual change for the replay value.

Bug & co play mostly the same as in the first game. You can move back and forth, left and right, on a very simple 2D plan in a 3D environment. But that's what makes the charm of these Bug! games.

Your character can jump to attack. Also new is the ability to hover shortly, which really helps in more precise platform segments. Run by pressing the Z button, it's a huge help to progress quickly and backtrack in bigger areas.

Visually, Bug Too! is a lot more complex than the first title.

The characters look nice. There's more special effects present on the screen. And very little pre-rendered sprites, everything (besides the characters) is fully 3D now! 

Levels aren't just narrow corridors of straight lines floating in the sky. There are now various background elements, lovely settings and animations.

Every so often you will get some bonus stages. Those are pretty fun and a nice change of pace from the actual stages. Such as Bug falling in a cave or a Q*bert parody.

The film parody setting also means a change of themed-villains, sounds and music every new world.
Finally there's a sort of 2-player mode, you can play the game alternatively like in the original Super Mario Bros games.

Bug Too! is a fairly long game.

Worlds range from 4-5 stages plus boss fights. Each of these acts are fairly distinct and long too. (with the exception of a few random very short brief stages)

Bug Too! is more complex, and a much bigger experience. The 2D-confined gameplay helps making these 3D environments look huge.

There's also some nice 3D effects that seem lifted out of the scrapped Sonic X-Treme, such as spiraling worlds and other impressive little features.

I mean, that's what this Bug Too! Hollywood-inspired game seems to emphasis. Bigger, broader, in typical blockbuster fashion. Yet because of the other giants at the time such as Mario 64 or Crash Bandicoot, Bug Too! failed to make a lasting or impressive enough impression.

Finally, the game makes use of the back-up memory and it will save your progress each new world cleared.

Overall, Bug Too! is a lot of fun.

A much better game that the original actually. It's a Blippie Award-winning performances from Bug and his pals in this much improved performance!

This is a follow-up done right, how you make a proper sequel.

It might look simplistic but over the years 2.5 sidescrollers have gone to strive as a proper alternate genre. And since the Sega Saturn couldn't handle well 3-dimensional graphics as impressively as its rivals, they opted for the best of both worlds.

Like the first one, this game was also ported on the PC.

It's a slow-paced but enjoyable platformer, difficult enough at times and a fairly long game.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Bruces!

No comments:

Post a Comment