Review by Skipatronic
Reviewed: 04/19/10 | Updated: 09/03/10
Take a Melody, Simple as Can Be, Give it some Words and Sweet Harmony....
If you've been reading my reviews, you all may noticed I reviewed the games backwards. I actually kind of didn't intend to do it, it's just at the time of my Mother 3 review, I didn't know what to say about Earthbound and blah blah blah, you don't care. So here's my review on Mother
Mother. A game series that has fascinated me for the longest of times thanks to EarthBound and Super Smash Brothers. In my personal opinion, if it weren't for Ness in Smash Bros., I probably wouldn't have known about this gem of a series. I'm really glad they did put Ness in, because thanks to that and some sleepless nights, Mother is my favorite video game series.
Mother was originally the first game of the series and also was originally going to be released here in America called "EarthBound". I forget the reason why it wasn't released here but I do remember it was fully translated and later the prototype cartridges would later be sold on bidding websites for high prices. Fortunately one was grabbed by a group of programmers who changed somethings about the game and due to this being done in 1998 they tagged the game as "EarthBound Zero", since Earthbound was the legal name for Mother 2, they just added the Zero so there wouldn't be too much confusion.
At the time, Mother was considered "original" to many that played it. Instead of playing in a Medieval World like in Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, you played in 1980s America, instead of using swords, arrows, and axes as weapons you were given Ray guns, Baseball bats, and Frying pans as weapons and instead of common enemies being Dragons, wizards, and goblins, you fought Hippies, Irate Zoo Animals, and Aliens. Mother is the only RPG to my knowledge that takes this modern world theme and makes an Role playing game based around it.
Mother starts off by telling you what the story is. The story is about a young couple getting abducted by aliens and how the husband, George, returns and starts researching a mysterious power called PSI. His wife, Maria, is still missing. The game then says about 80 years pass and now it's the year of 1988. You then catch the first glimpse of the familiar EarthBound protagonist, named Ninten, and he then gets attacked by poltergeist. Once the phenomenon ends, you get a phone call from your dad to seek out what Ninten's Great Grandfather studied, which was PSI, and thus the adventure begins!
The game itself is a lot like Earthbound but instead of seeing your enemy, it's like Final Fantasy where it's random encounter. Also the game is a very old style of RPG where Grinding is necessary to get anywhere in this game. I found this to be a big turn-away when I played this the first time but when I decided to just play through it, I found that about 60% of the time between parts of the Story arc, I was leveling my characters for the next part which isn't bad. I know in lots of RPGs, we'll keep it Mother, in Mother 2 and 3 you do grind to get levels but also to get legendary weapons and items. In this game you grind to simply get to the end of the game. I really didn't mind the grinding but it does wear the entertainment factor if you're just fighting the same 4 enemies. It takes a lot of time but It's all worth it in the end. The battle system itself is a lot more based off Dragon Warrior, but you probably all ready knew that.
The game is pretty much the same type of game as Earthbound which has you gathering 8 melodies to fight the evil Giegue at the end. The location of the melodies are very interesting such as a self playing piano and even a dragon will sing some of it you defeat him. The location of the melodies are scattered through the world and sometimes you'll find two or 3 melodies in a matter of minutes.
The main character as you may know is Ninten. In this game Ninten finds himself helped by a slew of friends such as a wussy boy called Loid who uses guns and can repair various things and use weapons like Bazookas and Bottle Rockets, a psychic girl named Ana who joins Ninten to find her mother as well as having a love for Ninten, and the leader of a gang who wants to revenge his parents death called Teddy joins Ninten's journey to the top of the mysterious mountain. Many other characters join your party for a temporary part of the game such as another girl named Pippi who was kidnapped, the Flying Men who's role is exactly the same in EarthBound, and a powerful robot named E.V.E. With a variety of characters in this game, it's no wonder Ninten makes a lot of friends in his quest.
Like I said earlier this game is a lot like Earthbound in terms of various cities with very familiar locations such as Department Stores, Hospitals, Hotels, and even the location of Magicant appears again which you can always teleport back to in this game. Also this game features a cast of enemies that would later be featured in Mother 2 and 3 such as the Titanians, The Starmen, The Hippies, Cars, and other characters that are in the later games. The game even includes using the phone to save and using the ATM card to get cash out. It almost seems like Earthbound was just an SNES remake of Mother but with a different story.
It's not bad for a first game in the series and it does have some old fashioned flaws that RPGs today don't have but overall if you like the traditional RPG, you'll enjoy this game. If you're not too big a fan of Grinding, you may just want to stick to EarthBound and just spoil this story for you by reading it. Here's my breakdown of Mother.
Concept and Story 5/5- Have Ninten go on a journey to meet new friends, solve all the troubles of the world, and to find the 8 melodies of the world to help defeat the universal destroyer Giegue in this 1989 RPG classic.
Graphics 5/5- I guess it's good for NES graphics, the battle Sprites are pretty detailed and the field sprites represent what they are supposed to
Sound and Music 5/5- The Mother games all have a good soundtrack of tunes that eventually get released into albums. Some tunes appear in later games but the main themes that really stick out to me are The Eight Melodies, Pollyanna, and Bein' Friends which you'll hear the latter for the rest of the game when you have at least one person in your party.
Gameplay 4/5- The menu system is like Earthbound but instead of just having a use item button they have to add an eat option as well, which depending on the item can be really confusing. The Controls are basic and they even added a run button!
Overall 10/10- If you hate grinding, this game will be one that may discourage you from continuing. If not, then enjoy the first entry of the Mother series!
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Mother (JP, 07/27/89)
Got Your Own Opinion?
Submit a review and let your voice be heard.