I’ll round out this all-Nintendo edition of my SNES wish list with one of my favorite SNES titles. I know that Earthbound has not been released for legal reasons–copyright issues with music and the massive fees they could command are a problem, especially given how weak sales of the game were when it released–but it’s one of my favorite RPGs and a true classic in Nintendo’s vast library. It’s a JRPG that openly mocks JRPG conventions with its humor, style, game design and plot, but from this critical take on the RPG genre we were given a fantastic title that still holds up today. The battle system is very Dragon Quest-esque in nature, with turn-based attacks, special moves and a very limited supply of reviving items. The difficulty can also be a turn-off at times, as despite the childlike appearance of the art style, it’s really a brutal game that requires turn-based skill and well thought out attack plans. You may not feel that way now if you’ve already completed it, but think of how you felt when this game released when you were 8, 10 or 12 years old or whatever, and you first had a tree explode on you in Peaceful Rest Valley, draining most of your hit points and leaving you alone and vulnerable in the middle of the wilderness. To this day I get nervous about going into places like that in the game, because it’s an RPG that wants you to lose–of course, that’s also one of its high points, and part of the reason it’s so replayable.
It’s a real shame the series never took off in North America like it did in Japan, because if it had, we would probably have all own a DS cartridge with an official localization of Mother 3 on it. There’s still hope that we’ll see it come stateside, if Brownie Brown, developer of Mother 3 on the Game Boy Advance, gets their wish, which also opens up the door for a DS re-release of Earthbound. I would love it for VC, but if the only way to get a hold of it again is through a DS cartridge, then I guess I can deal with that too. It’s not like I wouldn’t get my money’s worth replaying it, and at least it wouldn’t feel like someone punched me in my wallet.
That’s it for today, but I’ll have five more SNES titles for you in the near future. Next time around, I’ll cover five titles I have never played for the SNES, but would buy if they were put on Virtual Console.
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