After Mother's awesomely heartfelt conclusion, I wrote my article on my impressions on the game
and dove headfirst into Mother 2 (or Earthbound as others know it).
Earthbound had always eluded me and taunted me. I absolutely loved playing as Ness in Super Smash Bros. and always wanted to play through his quirky story. I thought I would never get to play until I finally uttered a passionate "Fuck it." and downloaded the ROM and played to my heart's content. After deciding to play through the first game first, I was prepared to go for it.
And I had no earthly idea what I was getting into.
The enormous story of Earthbound starts on a not-so-quiet night when our hero Ness is awoken by a meteorite crashing near his humble abode. After investigating with his buttmuncher of a neighbor, Pokey, they encounter a bee from the future named Buzz-Buzz, before getting hilariously smacked to death, his final breath is that of a prophecy. A prophecy of a boy named Ness and 2 other boys and a girl saving the world from the one called Giygas, the embodiment of Evil. And so begins the story of Earthbound.
Let's just get this out of the way, Earthbound is simply one of the best gaming experiences I have ever... well, experienced. This game does everything Mother did but better.
First, let's talk about the graphics. This is a Super Nintendo game, and a gorgeous one at that. The colors are so wonderfully bright especially in the town of Onett and the far away kingdom of Dalaam. The sprites all look wonderful, and boy, do some of these enemies look awesome. I really dig the dinosaurs in the Lost Underworld, the Starmen, and Master Belch, one of the funniest bosses in video game history.
The music is also one of the better OST's I've heard. The tunes composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka are all wonderful and fit the mood of many key scenes. There are also clever nods to songs such as "Johnny B. Goode", "Good Morning, Good Morning" by The Beatles, and even the name of the series (Mother) is derived from the intense feelings Shigesato Itoi felt after hearing "Mother" by John Lennon.
Now, let's get down to the gameplay. As I said, this game does everything Mother did but better. Itoi ditched random encounters in favor of being able to see enemies on screen before engaging in battle a-la Chrono Trigger. On top of this, when you beat a dungeon and have to get out the way you came, the enemies of the dungeon run away from you, and if you surprise attack them, you could get an instant win, very nice!
The game also has one of the coolest in-game mechanics I have ever seen. The scrolling HP-meter. with this brilliant idea, when a boss kills you, you have a chance to still win. If you manage to dispatch the nefarious dude before your HP scrolls down to zero, the HP will stop scrolling when you win, and you therefore survive. This feature has saved my ass too many times to count, and I wish more RPG's would implement this.
The game is not without it's flaws, sadly. The game's one true flaw lies in the story. Story is a very important aspect to me when playing games, and while this game is one of the most fun I have ever played, aside from the beginning and the last two hours, the story is almost non-existent outside of updating the roster of your party.
I recommend this game to any and everyone out there that has even a smidgen of interest in this game. It is one of the SNES's crowning achievements on nearly every front, and impressed me immensely. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play through Mother 3.
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