Review by evilrooster5

Reviewed: 12/22/03

Not as legendary, or good, as the SNES classic.

I've played both Earthbound and Mother (emulation), but I found one more enjoyable than the other. From the title, you can tell which one, huh? But it does get kudos for trying something new: an RPG without a fantasy, knights-and-wizards setting, and a serious notch down on, well, seriousness. It rather takes place in ''your'' town, using Dollars instead of gold, and pitting you against New Age Retro Hippies (tee hee) instead of ogres. Instead of Earthbound's naming of towns after numbers (Onett, Twoson, Threed, Fourside, etc.), they name these towns after holidays, so you know this will take place far away from the Eagleland you thought you knew. Anyhoo, this game has sold enough copies in Japan, and none in the US (Nintendo of America only made five, one of which was used for the emulation), to make the legendary sequel known as Earthbound (cue Mother field music, or EB's ''Ness' house'' music), one heck of a ride. This game is one for the criminally insane, so fasten your sanity-seatbelts...

Story: 10/10
For the time, a plot like this was uncommon for an RPG (heck, it STILL is). You wake up one fine day to see- and feel- your house shaking. You try to get out of your room to investigate, but... YOUR LAMP stops you! Not a genie lamp, a typical, run-of-the-mill lamp used frequently on desks. Anyway, once you kill it, you must kill your sister's possessed doll. The shaking stops, and you, Ninten (Not Ness, although the similarity is uncanny), find out that your house was visited by a poltergeist. You must finds the basement key on your -SPOILER SHIELD-. You must then unlock the basement and find a weapon, and your Great Grandfather's diary, telling of a story of a mysterious incident: 80 years ago, a married couple disappeared after a shadow covered the town. The man came back, acting strangely. The woman, however, didn't return at all. The man started studying a strange power called ''PSI'', and it appears Ninten has inherited it. Ninten must find the three other ''Chosen ones'' to save the earth from the thing that caused that incident. Whew!

Gameplay: 6/10
This is where the flop appeared: unlike EB, this game made it so you couldn't see enemies before an encounter, and the battles were too random. Add some overly tough enemies, and BAM! You've got Mother in a nutshell. While I love fighting off New Age Retro Hippies, buying burgers at my local burger place, and the works, but fighting turned me away from this game for quite some time now!

Sound: 1/10
The standard fare, nothing grabs you by the lips and yanks you to the speakers (The Ice Climber bounce sound FX were quite refreshing, somehow).

Music: 10/10
I step outta my house, and I hear it: the song played inside your house in EB and the secondary music track for the Onett stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee. I still hum it to this day (I like Mother's version over EB's!) In other words, good music.

Graphics: 5/10
The battle graphics are amazing for the NES, but everything else, ain't.

To emulate or not to emulate?: If you are a hard-core, die-hard EB fan in need of more Earthbound after hearing of Earthbound 64's cancellation (Although they are now working on Mother 3, apparently), you might want to pick this up. Everyone else, emulate at your own risk.

Overall: 6/10
I see how flawed this game is after playing Earthbound. Get the more recent (8 year old) version in favor of the other. The Czar of Antarctica needs my attention. Tally ho!

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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