19| Mother 3

Released: April 04th, 2006

Available On: Game Boy Advance

I'm going to be very blunt about this. I didn't like Earthbound at all. Personally, I feel that it is one of the most over-rated games ever made. Don't get me wrong, it's very unique and charming at times. However, much of the game mechanics, as well as the over-arching story are a mess. The cult status the game enjoys is a big mystery to me. That said, when I gave the game's sequel a try "Mother 3" all I could think of to myself was this "I am very glad that this wasn't localized". This wasn't because the game was bad, rather to the contrary. It was because the game was so unique and avantgarde that there would be no way that Nintendo's conservative localization team would be able to do it justice.

Due to Earthbound having a large cult fanbase, when the game wasn't getting localized the Earthbound community decided to localize the game themselves. The result was one of the best localization of any game ever. I can't praise the fan translation enough. It's probably the best localization I have ever played. It's up there with Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter. It's even more mind blowing considering that it was done for free. It isn't just because of how they handled the characters and plot, but how they handled the game's lighthearted as well as off-beat tones. This includes some touchy subjects such as death, slavery, and sexuality. Yes you heard that right, despite this game looking like a Nick Jr. cartoon, it takes on some serious subjects. But to add further to the confusion is how when these subjects are present the game, for the most part, still takes a lighthearted tone.

To explain exactly what Mother 3 is, it is essentially a parody of common Japanese Role Playing Games. Technically it plays just like any other JRPG out there. It's party based, has a main character, has a turn based battle system, is linear, and has a strong over-arching story. Even if you want to get more technical about it, the game even revolves around kids saving the world. The thing is, outside of that, the game is anything but ordinary. For starters the world of the title is far removed from anything typically seen in other video games. Supposedly it takes place in the modern day, but despite that there are dinosaurs, advanced spaceships, and cowboys running amok. If I had to compare the world of Mother 3 to something, I would say that it's sort of like the world of Dragonball. A mix of the past, the future, and the modern day. This kooky crazy world lends much to the look and feel the game shoots for. Playing the title kind of feels like you are in a living comic strip. There are plenty of times when you crack a smile or even laugh. That said, things can get pretty morbid at times, however going into detail, I will likely be spoiling it.

Gameplay wise, despite the game doing it's best to hide it, it follows a mostly typical JRPG design. There are some stand out features though. The biggest is the battle system. Like it's predecessor, damage is done by rolling health, as health gradually depletes instead of being taken instantaneously. For example, say that my character has 200 HP left, and an enemy hits me with 300 damage. Obviously my character is on their way to die, however I don't get the 300 damage all at once. The health will see a quick drop initially and then gradually deplete over the course of a some seconds. During that time I can heal my health back up or attack the enemy, hoping to kill them first, before my health counts down to zero. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword, as the opposite can happen with an enemy that could do quite some damage to my party before they collapse. There is also the fact that the game takes some pages from Dragon Quest IV as throughout the title the player plays as multiple characters, each with their own story arcs. Personally, I don't usually like this, but the it is done perfectly as each character is very charming and memorable.

Before closing out, I have to give a shout out to the soundtrack. It isn't the best out there, but it is certainly unique. It fits the style and tone of the game perfectly.

Despite being such a niche series, it is crazy how much influence the Mother franchise has had on gaming. I've already covered it in an early entry, but Undertale was so influenced by the Mother series that the creator got his start with an Earthbound game hack. Again, I don't see what people saw in Earthbound, but I certainly see what people see in Mother 3. It is a highly unique and entertaining game that I wouldn't want to have come out any different. Mother 4 may never, and likely will never, be released. However, the spirit and tone of the series will live on for a long long time.

Posted by Punk Rebel Ecks Sun, 30 Oct 2016 21:00:36 (comments: 8)
Sun, 30 Oct 2016 22:41:34
This is an all-time favorite of mine as well. And just like you I was not really a big fan of EarthBound either. I always thought the game was weird just for the sake of being weird . However, a few years ago I finally went back and gave Earthbound one more try. I don't know if it is because I am more patient than I used to be, or if Mother 3 helped me appreciate its predecessor more, but it finally clicked with me and I walked away happy that I played it.
Tue, 01 Nov 2016 13:03:36
You got to play this....
Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:59:07
gamingeek said:
You got to play this....

There are two ways I can interpret this post.

If it is in the tone of confusion.

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 11:11:02

It was in the terms of annoyance. And envy.

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 20:33:40
gamingeek said:

It was in the terms of annoyance. And envy.

What are you waiting for?

Download the ROM and patch and play it! Happy
Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:26:55
If Emily Rogers wasn't a dirty lying whore we would all be playing this on the Virtual Console.
Fri, 04 Nov 2016 04:30:58

Tell your children not to walk my way....

Tell your children not to hear my words...what they mean, what they say...

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 09:44:03

Mamaaaa! Nyaa

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