Why 'A Bug's Life' for PS1 is the Best Game Ever

We all know deep within our hearts that A Bug's Life was the best PlayStation game. Video games had enjoyed intense growth throughout the 80s and 90s, and it was all leading to this moment. The moment where you could play as a nervous ant who sometimes wears a cap made of a leaf. He has anxiety, but he is also stylish. That's Flik, our jittery hero who is tasked with adventuring, platforming, and jumping on mushrooms. Like a tiny, blue Spyro, but if Spyro was scared to talk to the other dragons and needed to make plants grow in order to successfully platform, maybe.

This tie-in game for the movie I became possibly unhealthily obsessed with as a child, A Bug's Life, was released in 1998. I was seven years old and very excited about any game which let you be a small thing in a normal setting (such as Micro Machines V3, still the best car game ever just because I get to drive through jam and stuff). A Bug's Life became my favourite film, in part due to this fun, imaginative, miniature landscape situation that I found fascinating, and in part due to characters I came to love. The nervous Flik and the boisterous tomboy Princess Dot combined to give me two of the most relatable characters I'd ever come across in a beautiful, mischievous duo.

The first thing I notice when checking out this game almost 20 years later is the animations. The character animations really capture the personalities well. I love the way Flik gets antsy (heh) when you remain inactive for a while and starts beckoning you forwards like he's eager to keep moving. His facial expressions feel impressive considering the graphic quality of the game and communicate his shock or fear at different moments very well.

Most of all though, what makes this game memorable and endlessly fun to play is its gameplay. Every aspect of gameplay feels perfectly tailored to bridge the gap between younger and older players. The collectables are fun, the levels are quick, well-designed, and offer plenty of optional challenges for those wanting a more complete playthrough. Some of the bosses still scare me, since I have residual memories of the horror of being knocked out and hearing that apple crunching sound (true horror indeed).

However, there is no thrill like picking up the homing berries and watching them swirl around the screen to find and destroy your enemies as you lob them frantically about the level. It's also pretty great hearing Flik shout "OH YEAH!" as you collect all the letters in his name (narcissism is key in this game).

My rating? 10/10, would get pronged by angry spiders again.

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