My Honest Bonelabs Review

I don’t know what low bar most of the VR players out there have set for this medium, particularly on standalone, but I’m not drinking the Kool Aid here.

The controls and interaction in this game are simply terrible, just like Boneworks before it, and it’s immediately getting returned as a result.

When I can’t just jump without getting stuck on scenery, can’t just grab and push/pull things around without it being a clumsy mess, can’t just swing a weapon/item without it getting stuck on my avatar’s body, when I have to overthink every motion/movement just to try to avoid horrible collision and motion-sickness-inducing clankiness, it’s just not good enough.

And, by the way, while the “realistic” physics might be celebrated by many in this game, it’s shocking to me that it still looks worse graphically than RE4 VR, which is a game originally released on GameCube in 2001 that’s been updated brilliantly for Quest 2 and actually looks and plays great on it. And, note, I just played RE4 VR literally mins before trying this to specifically compare the visuals and level of polish, so I’m saying with 100% confidence that RE4 VR simply looks better (less blurry overall, better texture detail, no noticeable foveated rendering, no janky legs and arms on the player, some basic shadows under the characters, etc) and controls and plays leagues better too. There may be some technical level where Bonelab is beyond RE4 VR graphically (and certainly in terms of the physics engine), but if it all just looks a bit fuglier across the board, it ultimately means nothing to me. It’s the end visual result that counts and nothing more when it comes to the graphics.

Look, I can live with the visuals, which aren’t the best the Quest 2 is capable of (although are totally fine), but the fundamental controls and interactions simply are not good enough–they’re not even close to passable imo–and, for me, they utterly ruin what other potential might be there in the game.

That’s it.

If you want another similarly brutally honest review, you can check out this one too:

SNES Background Modes

Did you know that some people still aren’t aware that the SNES has a whopping eight different background modes to play around with, not just the infamous Mode 7 that everyone has heard a load about already?

Well, the video below by Retro Game Mechanics Explained covers the the first six of the SNES’ background modes in great detail and is well worth viewing (he has a whole separate video dedicated to Mode 7 too):

In this video, you’ll find a great overview of the SNES background modes 1-6

Despite being the best resource for how backgrounds work on SNES that I’ve found [that laymen can actually understand], there were a few things that still weren’t entirely clear to me when I first watched the video above, such as the actual amounts of colours per layer and overall for the backgrounds in Mode 0 for example, or that the amount of colours onscreen can be increased well beyond the standard 256-ish total [for background and sprites combined] using both HDMA on the background colour and colour math for transparency effects. So I’ll detail some of those things more below.

Continue reading SNES Background Modes

Super Mario Bros. is 35 years old!

Some cool announcements. Happy to see Mario 64 get a proper re-release with a few small but welcome touch-ups for the modern era. And I might even get myself one of those Super Mario Bros. Game & Watches if they aren’t too expensive. 😀