Review by Billy Black

Reviewed: 01/05/06

A welcome change from regular RPG's

Mother is the prequel to the cult classic Earthbound for the SNES. Earthbound is known for being very different and very quirky. Luckily, much of that quirkiness is present in this title as well. Let's get to the ratings.

Graphics 6/10

The graphics aren't that great. However, for the time that it was made, it's not that bad. The different towns have relatively unique looks to them, and the enemy designs are actually pretty good. Outdoors, the graphics don't look all that different from Earthbound for the SNES, except with less detail and color. The main problem I have with the graphics in this game, is how plain it looks when you are indoors. In fact, since the game starts indoors, it made me think that the game was going to look absolutely horrible. Fortunately, that's not entirely the case.

Sound 9/10

I absolutely loved the music in this game. Many of the songs in this game were also used in Earthbound, so maybe it's just nostalgia. But either way, they did very well considering the audio available for the Nintendo. The sound effects in battle were unique when it comes to magic, but not so much when it comes to physical attacks, which is the only reason I didn't give it a "10" for Sound.

Gameplay 7/10

The battles are a little slow, and maybe a little confusing at first, but I've never played a NES RPG where that wasn't the case. The controls are easy to handle, and you can even walk diagonal, which is very rare in other NES RPG's.

The game itself is relatively difficult, unlike it's SNES counterpart. It takes a long time to level up, and the enemies at the end of the game are very difficult. Some view that as a drawback, but a challenge is never a bad thing. Also, there are parts of the game that are very open ended. At first, many of the roads are closed, but once you get to the train station, you can choose where you go. You can also go back to older towns whenever you want.

Storyline 8/10

The games starts with a brief story that seems relatively unimportant, and will remain that way for quite some time. Then you wake up in your bed, try to leave your room, and are attacked by your lamp. When the first battle in the game is with an inanimate object, you know it's going to be great. After that, you set off on a journey to find different melodies that will eventually come together and form a song. You also have to learn more about your PSI powers, and why you have them. You get help along the way from an unusual group of people, which is one of the things I really like about this game. The hero's are very ordinary, and not heroic at all. They use baseball bats and slingshots to attack their enemies, and use coins and pendants to defend enemy attacks.

The story itself does get better towards the end of the game, and you get to learn a little more about this mysterious child. Overall, the story in this game plays out very well.

Replay Value 6/10

The replayability of this game isn't that great. I found this game to be very enjoyable, with lots of challenges waiting for you. It's definitely a game that I will be playing again, but it's not one that will keep me coming back years down the line.

Overall 7/10

It's a very entertaining, and very different, game. Not everyone will appreciate the quirkiness of this game, and it may not be for those who like RPG's about knights and kings. However, it can be a refreshing change regardless of what type of game you like. I highly recommend it to fans of Earthbound for the Super Nintendo. While it may not be on quite the same level, it is good for all the same reasons that Earthbound is.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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