Mr. Bones (Saturn) review
"mr. Bones is definitely an experience, I'll give it that. "
mr. Bones is definitely an experience, I'll give it that.
For instance, early on in the game, after mr. Bones, a blue-eyed skeleton, manages to get away from an army of skeletons after three stages, he stumbles onto a cabin after hearing a tune. Turns out it was a blind guitarist with a Scottish accent (I'm not making this up...) he was listening to. Well, after just only a few minutes with the guy, mr. Bones learns how to play the guitar. And what does he do with this new talent? Well, he confronts the army of skeletons and plays for them. You heard right. For the duration of the stage, you'll have to play to an audience of red-eyed skeletons, and win them over with your skills. Each button on the controller has a different riff on it, and as the music plays in the background, you'll have to connect these riffs into a coherent tune. Screw up, and you'll see your life slowly drain away. However, if you keep getting it right, you'll see the eyes of the skeletons in the crowd turn from red to blue, one by one. You'll even see skeletons wave around lighters if you're really good. It's truly something you have to witness for yourself.
But that's just one of many unique moments in this odd game. In another musical level, you end up playing with an assortment of drums that happened to be sitting in the middle of a forest. You basically have to follow a certain pattern of hitting each of the drum sets to successfully beat the stage. But that's where things only start to get weird. After you win, you get sucked into a vortex that leads you to the next, tripped-up area. It's a very basic stage where you just jump from one floating platform to another, but it's what's going on with the stage itself that makes it a mind-trip. As a collection of outer space images fill the background, some voice comes out of nowhere and rambles on about the blues for the entire stage! And I do mean ramble, he says things like "the awesomeness, you know, the, um, uh, awestruckness" and "Jesus Christ had the blues, big time".... Crazy.
Then there's the Little People's Village stage, where you end up defending a tiny village underground where its inhabitants get taken away by spiders. The premise of the stage is basically the game of Defender, expect you control a walking skeleton instead of a spaceship. It has its fair share of humorous moments as the little people, in their high-pitched voices, scream things like "They're taking me away!" when getting grabbed. Now... Big Bones is another simple, weird level that might be a bit hard to describe. Okay, you only start out with your upper body, and you need to collect the rest of your body parts, which you do by bouncing around on a giant version of your head. Every time you get a body part, a sequence occurs where the giant head you moved around on shows the body parts you have, while slowly becoming the new, small body you move with a new, giant head. It's another mind-trip level, let's leave it at that...
As cool as those stages are, they're sadly just a small batch of the 22 stages you'll be playing in mr. Bones. And it truly is a sad thing, because the majority of the other stages really suck. Like those three early stages where you deal with those skeletons. Man, they're pretty bad. Grave Escape, the first of the three, is the most boring of the bunch. All it consists of is you being chased by skeletons for at least five minutes. Well, it seems like five minutes, because everything moves at a slow pace. And the only challenge you get is in the form of pits and a small rock that a skeleton throws at you every few seconds. A little later, in Night of the Bats (you can guess what the following two levels are titled...), you have to move around a forest filled with bats and crazy ass lumberjacks. What makes this tough is that bats are everywhere, and they come at you in numbers, so you're getting hit by one almost all the time. To top it off, you start the stage just hoping around with your top half, since the damn bats took your other body parts away from you at the beginning. This is a pain in the ass in itself, due to the fact that you need your arms to attack...
The Ice Lake, however, has got to be the most frustrating stage in the entire game. As you move around in an overhead view, you'll have to safely make it through the slippery ice lake without falling into the water and dying (which makes no sense since you swim through an underwater cave in another stage). Some of the ice is pretty much safe to walk on, but they're few and far between, so you end up having to walk on small pieces of thick ice scattered around thin ice areas. This is very tricky because a) you can't jump on the thick ice, since they'll just sink into deep water, b) the thin ice cracks almost instantly, giving you only one chance to find a safe spot, and c) if you fall into the water twice, you lose, and you get sent back to the title screen and start all over. It's bad enough things start out tough, but the further you get into the stage, the harder things become. It's just one annoying thin ice segment after another. After about an hour of trying to complete it, I finally gave up and skipped it using a stage select code.
It's really a shame, because, even though this sounds cliche, mr. Bones could have turned out to be an incredible Saturn game. Those awesome little moments, the guitar solo, the Defender mini-game, the.... odd, mind-trip stages, if there were more of these moments, this would have been a classic. Unfortunately, this two disc game is filled with so many boring, frustrating, and/or uninspiring stages that just overwhelm the cool moments. By the time you get anywhere near the final stages, you just don't seem to care anymore. A damn shame.
Like I said, mr. Bones is definitely an experience... just not a great one.
Community review by pickhut (February 17, 2007)
Didn't originally plan on submitting AA: Pac-Man on Thanksgiving, but I couldn't pass up on the food theme.
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