‘Dem Bones! ‘Dem Bones! ‘Dem Dry Bones!
If you think that your life is falling apart, try to live the life of Mr. Bones. Resurrected from the dead by the nefarious DaGoulian, Mr. Bones was supposed to join DaGoulian’s Army of Darkness in order to take over the world (Where’s Ash when you need him?). Unfortunately, Mr. Bones has blue eyes as opposed to the red eyes of the evil skeletons. Being somewhat of a freak, the Army of Darkness turns on Mr. Bones and chases him away. Thus, Mr. Bones is forced to be the hero in a game with some of the oddest plot twists ever.
The first thing that catches you eye about Mr. Bones is the amazing graphics. This is one of the only games where you truly want to see the FMV. Each movie combines stunning graphics with live actors. Aside from the spandex outfit worn by DaGoulian (you can actually see the zipper on the back), the video looks flawless. Gameplay also has some intense graphics. Some levels are so beautiful, that you are distracted from the actual gameplay and die accidentally.
Mr. Bones, himself, is either a whole bunch of sprites combined, or one of the coolest polygonal characters ever seen on a home system. We couldn’t figure it out, but either way, it’s a neat trick. Mr. Bones is composed of a skull, on a spine, a hipbone, a ribcage, two arms and two legs. You can still walk (or hop, or crawl as the case may be) without many of those pieces. You can even set yourself up in three ‘exotic’ configurations with longer legs (no arms), one long arm, or a slimmer, sleeker Mr. Bones. One of the coolest animations we’ve seen is when you lose both your legs and have to crawl along dragging the rest of yourself. You can even attach extra limbs that just seem to flail uselessly, but nevertheless, look amazing. Mr. Bones truly the best designed character so far on any of the home systems. (Including the N64.)
Another fantastic addition to Mr. Bones is the stunning music. Played by blues guitarist Ronnie Montrose, this soundtrack is so good that Sega is releasing it separately in music stores across the country. The music itself plays an integral part to this game. Some of the levels, you are required to play the music yourself. In ‘Guitar Solo,’ each button activates a different guitar riff, and you have to time your riffs with the background beat. As you play and get better, the skeletons around you slowly join you and start waving lighters in the air. At another level, you have to play a set of drums in the right order so that you can enter another dimension. Well, the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it sure is fun to play.
Unlike most games, Mr. Bones cannot decide on a specific point of view or type of game. It changes from a normal side scroller, to a behind the back view, to a pseudo pinball game, to a game reminiscent of Tempest, to a top down view, to even a bottom up view. There is even a level where you are stuck in a comedy club and have to joke your way out.
If you haven’t already guessed by now, the story is one of the oddest I’ve ever seen. There are many levels in this game that are so random, they make you do a double take. There’s even one in the land of the Lilliputians. It doesn’t quite fit into the plot in any way, shape, or form, but it’ll make you laugh your head off. Mr. Bones is quite difficult, and there are two CD’s worth of gameplay(22 levels and countless FMV’s) that you have to pass. Most of the levels are fun, but some get frustrating after awhile.
Unfortunately, there are no continue points in the middle of the levels, so if you die, you have to start the level all over again. Another flaw is that they opted for the forced side scroller (Where you have to always be moving to the right) on some levels that just are more annoying than fun. Mr Bones does have the option to start on any level that you have already passed, allowing you to replay levels or movies that you liked, or start where you last left off. Trust me, you’re going to want to see some of the movies over again just to try to understand them.
If you are tired of the same old games and want something truly revolutionary, Mr. Bones is the game for you. This is your chance to be a hopping spine, or a skeletal pinball. Because this game is long and difficult, you will get countless hours of enjoyment from it. With an odd plot that will keep you laughing, amazing graphics that will keep you drooling, and cool blues music to keep you grooving, almost everybody will enjoy Mr. Bones