Bugs Bunny Lost in Time is, quite simply, a bad game all around. The graphics are poor, the sound is passable, and playability is a lost cause. That's a shame, because I really looked forward to playing it. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of cartoons featuring that wascally wabbit and his friends, I figured that the 3D free-roaming environment style of game (a la Super Mario 64) was a perfect vehicle for the Looney Tunes characters.
Why the developers chose to go with a time travel story is beyond me. I wanted to see some of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons recreated in the game. I wanted to explore Marvin the Martian's spaceship or outwit Elmer Fudd in the forest or argue with Daffy Duck. Instead, Infogrames (who was also responsible for a really bad PC port of NFL Blitz 2000) produced a game wherein the goal is to collect a certain number of carrots to gain clocks which allow access to more levels, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Hasn't this formula been done to death? Surely the developers could have come up with a game featuring these characters in a setting worthy of them. Take Bugs and the carrots out and this could be another Gex game or something.
To top it off, this game just plays horribly. First of all, the graphics are just plain poor. While I realize that 3D graphics on the PC aren't what they are on the Nintendo 64 or even the Sega Dreamcast, I would have liked to see logs which weren't square. I'm not kidding. There's a tremendous amount of bleeding when Bugs gets too close to an object, and very often he'll just walk right through something. I also had to play with the settings for several minutes before finding a set of options which didn't cause the action to look like it was happening in a dimly lit room.
Second, the sound is mediocre. The music doesn't sound appropriate to the characters at all. Looney Tunes music is peppy and crazy, not slow and melodic. While I didn't think the music was bad, it sounded more like it belonged in a movie than in a videogame such as this one.
Finally, we have playability. Bugs' movements are incredibly sluggish, and there's no way to get him to run faster if you have to cover a large expanse of ground and don't want to wait while he trots across it. The automatic camera changes which happen when you pass under something can cause you to go in the wrong direction, sometimes with disastrous results.
In the final analysis, this isn't a game I'd recommend at all. It wouldn't be worth the hassle even if you found it dirt cheap somewhere. I just hope that the developers get the hint and produce something worthy of such a classic character with their next effort.
Graphics: Just plain bad all around.
Sound: Not bad, but not appropriate for this type of game either.
Enjoyment: Finishing the first level, which is supposed to be practice, was enough to drive me nuts.
Replay Value: Not worth playing again even if you do bother to finish it.
It was inevitable that Bugs Bunny would hit the PC console-jumper in 3D, and how could he not? As usual, Bugs has taken a wrong turn going to Pismo Beach; one would think that he would have acquired a map by now. Upon surfacing from his underground digging, he finds himself in a shed that contains what looks to be a carrot juice dispenser. He pulls a few levers and he finds, that the time machine takes him to Nowhere.
When Bugs arrives at Nowhere he meets Jay Leno dressed as a wizard with green makeup, wearing a beanie, and calling himself Merlin. After a brief demonstration of magical prowess from both parties, Merlin explains that Bugs is lost in time and the only way to get back to his own time is by collecting a large number of clocks and golden carrots.
The game takes place in several different types of worlds, such as the Prehistoric Era, Planet X, the Pirate Years, the 1930s, and the Medieval Times. During his travels Bugs will meet up with several well-known characters such as Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Witch Hazel, Marvin the Martian, and Mugsy and that other short crook with the big lips whose name I can't remember. You will also get to reinact several classic scenarios that any fan of the Bugs Bunny cartoons would instantly recognize. Traveling to the different worlds is also non-linear. Each world and the levels therein require a certain amount of carrots and clocks, so journeying to each world depends solely on how well you did in the previous levels. Jumping back and forth between worlds is standard fare.
The game's weakest point, however, is in its poor presentation. Although the need to have a cartoonish look and feel to the game world somewhat forgives the game's rather weak graphics, the clipping problems and choppiness are rather obvious. Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time also suffers from a bad case of "N64 Syndrome" where the virtual "fog" is so bad that background scenery is obliterated and even large objects don't appear until you get very close to them.
Each character within the game has his or her own voice, though all of them are somewhat off. This doesn't detract too much from the experience though, as they are close enough to be forgivable. Music changes according to the world that you are in, but other than that it is unremarkable. Sound effects are also simple fare, using the generic cartoon "boings" and "bops"; they do the job though.
The control scheme can be frustrating at times. Bugs only moves in eight directions and tapping the movement key or pad will result in an immediate step; turning around can be difficult. Thankfully, there are no "lives". The player will be restored back to the latest save point that he or she visited.
Lost in Time's saving grace though is that it tries to stay interesting by using puzzles and fun scenarios, such as dodging Marvin's Subspace Thermal Modulator or the classic Duck/Rabbit Hunting Season where you compete with Daffy Duck by switching all the signs from a picture of Bugs to a picture of Daffy before Elmer decides who to shoot.
In the end, the game's enjoyability depends mostly on how forgiving the player is. If you look under the poor presentation, you might find a fun little game.
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