To the shock and delight of game fans, Nintendo chose to localize an extraordinarily eccentric role-playing game. In-part developed by HAL, the developers behind the Kirby franchise, Earthbound arose following a strenuous development period reportedly plagued by threats of cancellation. This cart stands as a sequel to a non-translated NES RPG called Mother, retaining much of the same far out story threads and avant-garde style. As its tale goes, residents of Onett were met one night by an object of extraterrestrial origin crashing to the ground. An evening of exploration spurs on a wonderous, heart-warming adventure starring a happy-go-lucky lad named Ness.
Players control a party of (mostly) ordinary kids in a modern setting, a far cry from the fantastical lands of Square RPGs. Ness and his cohorts each have their own battle skills, including the use of offensive and defensive PSI psychic powers. Do not let these somewhat childish and goofy graphics fool you, this title is no less enticing than the grittiest of role players. The storyline is quirky, captivating, and rife with adult humor. In the realm of combat, Earthbound sticks a fork in dull random encounters by introducing a neat-o ambush system to gain a quick advantage on enemies. Of course, nasty alien foes can sneak up on you too and strike out a chunk of your health. Son of a...! That's gonna leave a mark!
Printed in Issue #26, June 1995
GRAPHICS: Mostly Good
SOUND: Very Good
PRESENTATION: Mostly Good
JET'S REMARK:Mother 2, as it is known in Japan, sold like hotcakes across the Pacific. Not because of its graphics, but for a rousing story and superlative gameplay.
Review Station Last Stop
Earthbound shall be the perfect lesson of "Do not judge a book by its cover." Controversial visuals aside, expect a highly intelligent RPG with lots of brilliant storytelling and great combat.