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EarthBound (SNES)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Idkbutlike2 (23)
Written on  :  Jun 28, 2009
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Good game, if you don't mind the kinks

The Good

EarthBound (Mother 2) was pretty original for its time for being an RPG set in a modern world, while most RPGs at the time set in Medieval or "steam punk" environments. This makes it seem much more plain and simple, allowing you to travel, manage money, and find rest areas in the game (hotels, specifically). Humor is also a strength in Earthbound, with wacky characters like Mr. Saturns and the Bubble Monkey, bizarre enemy names, and funny comments heard from talking to various people and examining objects.

The Bad

Hate to be a heart breaker, but this game has some negative aspects. First and foremost, the game's graphics are pretty crappy. Now I know that the companies that developed this game spent 5 years developing the graphics to this game, but that was mainly because of the oblique perspective that the game is presented in. The battle sprites look really bad with all the pixel errors found in them, ranging from a few misplaced colors, to a completely ugly design, such as the boss Frank, and the Shattered Man. Also, some of the music is really bad (although there are a few kick-ass melodies in Earthbound that don't go into this complaint, such as "Threed Freed at Last" and the Summers theme), with some tracks having "electric farts" as percussion, and a bad choice of instruments. I found the "Monkey Maze" track particularly annoying with all the monkey screeches and a nauseatingly repetitive melody.

My final complaint is with the game's mixed difficulty. All too many times, I've found myself playing smoothly for a few parts of the game, and then getting frustrated with amazingly hard spots like the Fourside Department Store, and Magicant (You have to face a bunch of Krakens with just one freaking character!), which isn't good for a game targeted for all ages, because kids easily get mad over a game.

The Bottom Line

EarthBound is a funny, creative, and somewhat original game for its time. Released near the end of the SNES's era, it was rather obscure due to strange marketing, with the "This game stinks!" motto, which I think had a pretty negative appeal to the game due to its low sales in the U.S. It's technologically behind, though it was developed carefully and strenuously, but for all the bad sides to the game, it's positives make well up for it.

Bottom Line: EarthBound's for RPG nerds. An average gamer would hardly be interested in playing this game without having played other RPGs around the same time period. Nowadays the only logical way of playing the game is through emulation, since the rarity of the cartridge has made it worth around $100 and a horribly low chance of the game being released on Virtual Console due to the many copyright infringements unintentionally present in the game (find out about these from another source).