Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh God, not another Earthbound review.

Part 1:

So, quite a bit has been written about the North American adaption of the Japanese game 'Mother 2' entitled 'Eathbound'.  

Everything from how it took five years to make, people complaining it had NES graphics on the SNES,  its long time coming to virtual console, only getting there because of rabid fandom,  the fact it actually had writers,  to  Satoru Iwata himself working on the game has been discussed.  But what about the actual gameplay?

Well, I'm going to talk about that, but first let me say that I bought this game and the console it plays on with my own money.  No one sent me a press release to print, and that all the opinions are my own, and presented with no bullshit.

Also, this is not a game guide, this is a review ;)  If you need a game-guide, there are plenty out there, though some of the details may be different on the virtual console.

In a world...

Unlike many RPG's where you start out as a knight, mage, anthromorphic cat, highly androgynous Asian teen, or highly androgynous anthromorphic Asian teen cat... in Earthbound, you start your 8-bit life as a boy named 'NESS'.  Presumably 8-10 bits, er, years of age, who, instead of constantly being whisked off to soccer, little league or ballet in an attempt to take all the fun out being a child...   is actually allowed out of the house to play!

As a matter of fact, your mom will not let you leave the house without a baseball bat, which, oddly, is in your sisters room.  From there you can take your dog with you for the first battle or two, and you get to go out and see what a douchenozzle your neighbor is.

As for your dad, well, like many kids, you never get to see you dad.  You call him from any available payphone when you want more money in your ATM card, or you want to save the game.  Throughout the game, he will constantly bitch about you being 'out there' a long time and telling you not to work too hard, even though ostensibly you never see him because he is working too hard :)

Right from the beginning, all the standard RPG tropes apply, except one.  You will notice as you get past the first couple scenes, and Ness levels up to, level two or three, that you don't actually fight the 'monsters' that are significantly lower level than you are.  You get faked out with the "there's going to be a fight!" sound, but then a box comes up immediately that says: "YOU WON!" followed by the *whew* thats over! sound.  And you still get experience points every time this happens.

Something else noticeable right from the beginning is the small inventory available.  I'm not sure if the designers did this because of hardware memory limitations, or to make the player choose wisely, but it is something to be aware of.  The small inventory system on hand is supplemented by a stuff-bank of sorts, a delivery service run by your little sister of all people.  Your little sisters worldwide logistics team is named: "Escargot Express".  On placing a pay-phone call to Escargot Express, much like an amazon order being delivered by on-trac,  you have about 60% odds of them actually finding you.

The monsters are absolutely hilarious, and the translations sometimes moreso. When what I can only assume is an old drunk attacks, he is called "Annoying Party Man".  And when you defeat him, he does not die, he just "turned back to normal"  ...But that deserves a whole post to itself!

Join us tomorrow for: Part Two, Monsters?

- Aug 22 14 - Wanderbreed

#earthbound #mother2 #nes #snes #wiiu #virtualconsole #games #gaming #reviews #gamereviews #ness

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