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Just try 2 stomp him now!

Go Hollywood as the world's juiciest action hero returns - with eo intact - in an all-new 3-D adventure! And he's not alone. This time he's sharing billing with slick sidekicks SuperFly and Maggot Dog as they go buggin' through the backlot on an hilariously unstompable Tinsel Town power trip!
    More speed, more enemies, more action than ever in 48 unstompable levels!
  • BUG-OUT!
    New moves, new characters and loads of hidden rooms and power-ups combine with surreal 3-D animation that will leave you bug-eyed!
    Play as Bug, SuperFly, or helicopter-eared Maggot Dog! Or match your wits against an opponent of your choice in 2-player mode!
~ from the back of the box

Everything that SEGA's Bug! did, Bug Too! does more of it. Arriving first on the SEGA Saturn in 1996 - a year after the original - with the PC port a week later (though it landed in the middle 1997 for European games), this somewhat forgotten sequel to an already overlooked platformer spelled the death knell for the insect with attitude. By the time Saturn owners were able to play it, SEGA's arch nemesis Nintendo was celebrating months of Mario 64 hype. Its release had showed up every other attempt at running and jumping in a 3D environment and Bug Too! was simply lacking. But was it treated unfairly in the face of such a milestone? Or was it just bad?

As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the year's worth of development after Bug! became the first non-Japanese title to hit SEGA's 32-bit machine, Realtime Associates didn't do much to innovate the formula. The engine looked exactly the same, with long and complex mazes suspended over an infinite void. This time, though, those mazes were longer and and that complexity was a tad more complex.

Each "movie" has a stage select level. Sorry, "scene" select (left).
Daddy-O Longlegs no longer takes you to a special stage. Here, he's demoted to Check Point man (right).

One of my biggest gripes of the original was its overlong and convoluted level design. Alas, that remains and in unfortunately compounding. Some stages can take half an hour to complete on your first try, and the surprise traps that kill you in one don't help matters either. All too often will you be blithely strolling forward only for the floor to rise or the ceiling to fall squishing you in one hit. Enemies aren't much help either. The immovable camera location can make it difficult to gauge the depth of enemy sprites, and even with the inclusion of a circular grey shadow the hit detection may not always work. It's 50-50 whether you'll hit an enemy or they'll hit you regardless of how well you've timed and aimed your jump, and the many hits each takes before they fall can make each encounter a tense fight regardless of your skill level.

At least there's still some room for invention, however brief. Boss battles remain a highlight and the level select stages are danger-free mini puzzles just to get to each of them. This biggest addition, however, is this cast of one has grown to three. Joining the action superstar Bug is a canine grub called Maggot Dog and afro-sporting fly called SuperFly - the puns remain frequent groanworthy. Alas, none of them play much differently. Their collectible have chanced from gemstone to bones or disco balls depending on the character, but the only gameplay difference is their super rare special attacks that are few and far between.

This memorable sci-fi level has you hopping on robot enemies to control them (left).
It ends with a boss fight. He's defeated by tricking him into shooting pillars (right).

Regardless of who you choose, their personality shines through. After the success of the first "movie", they have been tasked with making six more in a single day. These include some pun-worthy themes such as a horror film called The Weevil Dead 2, an underwater adventure called Swatterworld and a sci-fi alien flick called Antennae Day 4. Each movie has between four and five "scenes" and culminate in a boss fight. Some stages even try to add a gimmick, which does distinguish them from the more generic ones. You can ride a robot bug and shoot massive projectiles, navigate waterfalls or drive a hover taxi. These make up some of the most memorable moments of the hole franchise, but they are surrounded by a slog of similar platforming gameplay.

Another addition is the ability to run. It doesn't sound like much, but this one feature does change the feel of the game, though not enough for it to seem like anything other than a glorified add-on. It's a double-edged sword in practice. Sure, you can fly through long corridors and a run of successful platforming is a rewarding blast. It also triple the number of blind jumps. Because you can jump further when running, target platform will be hidden off-screen. Without the ability to move the camera, you'll just have to hope you've timed it right. A Yoshi-style flutter has also been added to help you with the landing, and the textures on the platform do give clues on which way you can go, but in truth it just shows how flawed the game engine actually is.

The PC port (left) vs the Saturn original (right). Transparency didn't translate well.

While I did play mostly on the PC, I have come to find that the Saturn original is the one to play. Its resolution isn't as good but there are a few graphical and gameplay changes in the port that make it the worst way to play. While the Saturn wasn't known for its transparency, it did use techniques to simulate this. The PC does not. You can see this in the very first level where the spooky, swirling fog that rolls in is now just a lighter image on the PC. Waterfalls cascade with opaque blue water obscuring treasures and treachery behind. Your flutter is also limited increasing the difficulty too. On the plus side, the draw distance is slightly improved. It's by no means unplayable and unless you've played both versions you might not notice the downgrade, but the Saturn in the way to go with this one.

Bug Too! is like one of those rushed out Hollywood sequels. It's not necessarily new, just more. Whether you'll like it or not depends entirely on your opinion of the first one. I liked it well enough, but it won't beat many other attempts at 3D hopping and bopping at the time.

To download the PC game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox-X build of DOSBox running Windows '95 to bring the game to modern systems. Manual included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 365 Mb.  Install Size: 637 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


To download the SEGA Saturn original, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses Retroarch with the Mednafen Saturn core to emulate the SEGA Saturn. X-input and select other controllers supported. Manual included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 486 Mb.  Install Size: 658 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ




Bug Too! is © SEGA
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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