Review by Lord-Spencer
At least is its better than the English Dish
Bubble and Squeak is not the awful English dish made of leftover vegetables, it is one of the lesser known Genesis platformers, and one that is actually pretty unique. At its core, B&S is actually one giant escort mission, one that introduces a puzzle element to the game.
I don't know what is supposed to be the plot of B&S. Apparently, there are aliens involved, and an unlikely alliance between an alien and human boy is center stage. Unfortunately, the ambiguity regarding the plot is reflected by the ambiguity of the world's design.
Enemy sprites are boring, and the world, while looking good, is lacking in personality.
All in all, there is little in the game that separates it from the pack in terms of design.
"Kick that Alien up the ramp"
At first, I thought the game would be a simple platformer. The human jumps around and shoots, while the alien follows. However, the game soon unravels as an escort mission with puzzle elements. For starters, the blue alien cannot jump as high as you, so you will sometimes need to manipulate the environment to help him go forward.
Additionally, you will sometimes need that alien to throw you to previously unreachable ledges, or just step on his head to get that extra jump height. Many times, you must kick the alien into a ball, and send him flying through a set of ramps to reach a point in advance. Sometimes, you will need t actually race with that ball, and try and make it stop in a better point.
Unfortunately, this introduces one of the biggest weaknesses of the game. The fact that if you kick the alien into a ball, you don't exactly know where he is going to end up. This means that you take too many blind decisions, and with many stages having a time limit, it can cause undue frustration.
Besides the base gameplay, there is a poorly thought out Shmup section in between a lot of stages. It is poorly done because your ship is huge, and can only shoot forward. This causes it to get stuck to the environment, and makes avoiding one-hit-kill shots more difficult than it should. Thankfully, these portions are actually just bonus rounds and are not needed to finish the game
"Does not look like vegetable leftovers"
While the world design of B&S is surely boring, you cannot argue that it doesn't look good. Graphically, this is a nice looking game, that animates really well. There is nothing too special about it, but it all looks really solid.
As for the sound, while I initially didn't like it much, there were some really good tracks. The music at the shmup sections is atmospheric and makes those sections worth it just to hear it alone.
If B&S was a better designed game, its gameplay could have had carried it to a classic standards. However, it is one of those forgettable games, that didn't bother to differentiate themselves from the pack.
This one of those games that had smart ideas, but it couldn't be bothered to be special.
Product Release: Bubble and Squeak (US, 12/31/94)
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