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Arcade in the Sky Blog: Mother 3 Impressions

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mother 3 Impressions

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
As I post this, I am 4 chapters into Mother 3, the sequel to what we know as Earthbound in the US. While I will reserve judgment until I see the whole game, I'd like to take a few minutes to share my impressions thusfar.

First off, it's only fair to note that I'm a big Earthbound fan. I remember waiting on line at the premiere, and reading every article in Nintendo Power. When I got the game, I played it religiously and slept with the guidebook by my pillow at night. I also collected household items such as broken keys and old frying pans and stored them in my "Earthbound Box". That being said, I haven't played the game in a while. Sadly, I'm much busier today than I was in my youth, and this game does take a significant time investment.

Despite my love of the game, I acknowledge some faults. The graphics were lacking. Don't get me wrong, the art style was great, but within that style the sprites were a little stiff and buildings were pitched a weird angles. The story was cliche, even if it was brilliant in it's quirky execution. It barely treads over anything but the most basic of Campbellian/ hero-myth structure.

That being said, I can safely say that Mother 3 fixes all of the problems I had with Earthbound and also retains everything I love about it! The graphics are upgraded from 16-bit to 32 bit and have more color, movement and variety. The designs are still blank gingerbread men, but the intermittent-but-incredibly-smooth animation more than makes up for this, giving the characters and cut-scenes much added pep.

The story is also incredible. While the former had laughably simple plot, this is amazingly detailed. It's filled with deep characterization, pathos and social-economical commentary. Yet, it retains the charm, color and quirkiness of the originals.

Full review to come as soon as I finish!
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