Written: 2.8.15 Acquired: 3.5.06 Status: Cart only Price: $30
Dev: Ape | HAL
One of the most notorious games from the vast Super Nintendo library is without a doubt Earthbound. Released in '95, it stood out in the crowd of RPGs by having a more modern setting, a zany sense of humor, and a very unique style. And as the years passed on, the game grew in demand, popularity and reverence. So much that some people would even tell you that the game has been overhyped beyond belief. In 2012, I finally got to play through Earthbound. It was an adventure the likes of which I'll remember FOREVER Throw on your backpack, don your red cap and off we go!
A GOLDEN TIME WHEN SUPER NINTENDO COLLECTING RULED
When I got back into the Super Nintendo scene 9 years ago in early 2006, the games were still quite cheap. I picked up titles like Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, Castlevania: Dracula X, Aero Fighters, Mega Man X³, and Earthbound each for $40 or less. No such luck doing that in this day and age! It BOGGLES the mind how crazy expensive these old games are now, and I am so thankful I got back into the SNES scene when I did. Back in 2006, Earthbound didn't yet have the mainstream reputation it later gained in recent years. It was just another game I'd never played back in the day but now was interested in doing so. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that the game would become the monster that it is today. It makes me wonder how much these games will command 5 to 10 years from now. All I know for sure is I'm glad I got in when I did, and I got out before the market went sky high. Life is truly about right place and right time, and a little lady luck never hurts too!
"WE USED TO LOOK UP IN THE SKY AND WONDER AT OUR PLACE IN THE STARS..."
As a kid I was fascinated by the idea of UFOs. Alien beings that lived far above us in the outer reaches of space. The mere idea that intelligent (and... possibly menacing) creatures could be living outside of Earth is a bewitching one, and growing up, I ate it up. I would scan the skies late at night frequently, with my binoculars hoping to see something, yet at the same time dreading the possibility that something mightsee me back. My old best friend Nelson and I became obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, ghosts and aliens. We borrowed books about these entities at the local library, we watched films based around the subject matter and I am not even ashamed to admit this... we even had the odd "sky stakeout" here and there. While it might sound a bit sad, there are worse ways to spend an evening than to hang out with your best friend, shooting the breeze and scanning the skies while sharing a pepperoni pizza, potato chips and Pepsi. We never saw anything, not even once, but I think Nelson and I both silently understood that we used the alien angle as an excuse to veg out on a Friday night after a long school week. About once a month, we'd bust out the lawn chairs, set our piping hot pepperoni pizza on the little table outside, kick back and we'd talk about our crushes on Jenny and Elaine, video games and anything monster-related while staring out at the picture-esque early evening sky. Munching on cheesy carbs and sipping on fizzy soda, Nelly and I would gaze up at the skies, talking the night away. We'd stay outside so late that Nelson's mother would flip the back porch light on. Those "stakeout" Friday evenings have stuck with me all these years later. Time marches on, but I still recall those lazy nights vividly. Indeed, growing up, Nelly and I had our own definition of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The best thing 'bout UFOs for me was the idea that they could be anywhere. The Loch Ness Monster was confined to Scotland, Bigfoot could only lurk in the woods, but aliens... they could be anywhere. The idea that they could be watching you from above at anytime was all part of the fun of believing in them as a kid. And the fact that aliens could be whatever you wanted them to be. Maybe friendly and precocious like E.T., or deadly and malicious, or just advanced and neutral. They were whatever you made them out to be. Earthbound is awesome for a myriad of reasons. One being they took a lot of my childhood interests and crammed them into one epic RPG. From Nessie to Bigfoot to aliens... Earthboundstrikes a certain childhood chord with me like no other video game ever has
Mixes Goonies, Wonder Years, Doug, Peanuts and Dragon Quest!
An all-American kid living in an all-American town, Ness is proof positive that there lies a hero deep inside each one of us. He's the kid next door, with a loving mom, a plucky sister and a workaholic but extremely generous dad. One minute Ness is living a basic ordinary life, but when the meteorite lands, everything changes. An alien believes Ness to be the chosen one with the power to alter cosmic events. He's not only all-American but he's also a nice all-around character with a good balance of speed, IQ, offensive power and psychic ability. His weapon of choice is a baseball bat. This journey will drain and test Ness at every step of the way. He enters it as a kid, but one way or another, he's going to leave it a man
Remember your Winnie Cooper growing up? You know, your biggest childhood crush? That's kinda the role one might initially think Paula plays, but there's so much more to her. Try incredible psychic powers and one mean frying pan. Paula loves to scramble eggs, if you get my drift. She doesn't mind at all rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. When the group needs some awesome psychic offensive attacks, Paula is just the girl for the job. Hailing from Twoson, her mother runs the Polestar Preschool. Paula's the first one to join you on your epic quest, and you must rescue her from the clutches of an evil cult called the Happy Happy Village, led by Mr. Carpainter. Being one in touch with her spiritual side, Paula can pray in a pinch. I renamed her as Jenny, based on my own Winnie Cooper growing up
No healthy childhood would be complete without the aid and presence of a best friend. While Jeff is not touted as Ness' best pal, I like to think of him as such. The mechanical genius of the team, Jeff is son to a famous scientist. It shows, as he can use machines and gadgets that no one else on the team can. He also has a knack for repairing broken devices, which proves to be invaluable. While he does not possess any psychic ability, Jeff makes up for it with his tremendous knowledge of being able to fashion great weapons out of broken items. He might be a little weak offensively, but his IQ is critical to the group's success. I renamed him Nelly, in honor of my childhood best friend, Nelson. Thanks for the memories, Nelly
The mysterious prince from the East (Dalaam to be precise) is the third and final friend to join you in your attempt to avert the end of the world. Being the oldest member of the group, plus possessing that ever so mysterious charm of being from somewhere far, far away, Poo has great physical, mental and spiritual strength. One of his best talents is the magic ability to assume the shape of an enemy attacker in a move known as Mirror. Trained in ancient martial arts, this mystical fighter is a much welcomed addition when he finally enters the fray a decent way through the game. He is a bit of a ladies' man, too, which gives his character an interesting layer to say the least. I renamed Poo to be Sushi-X, in honor of a family friend growing up who, much like Poo, was older than I was and had sort of a mythical aura about him. Everyone in my gaming group called him Sushi-X because he loved EGM and Street Fighter
THE STORY GOES...
TV monitors all over the world have been HACKED. What's this...
... one of, if not THE most infamous Super Nintendo game ever...
Thank you, Mr. Itoi, for gifting us with this absolute masterpiece!
Many think of it as the Peanuts of RPGs. It's not hard to see why!
The enemies' names are just like the game... quirky and amusing
That crooked cop must be from ... [Too soon, bro, too soon -Ed.]
Come on, don't, or didn't, we all? It's part of the RPG fun, I say...
Ness is now Steve, for obvious reasons. Paula was renamed Jenny, my childhood Winnie Cooper. Jeff was changed to Nelly, to represent my childhood best friend. And Poo was rebranded as Mister X, a homage to a dude in my gaming crew that we all affectionately and jokingly referred to as SUSHI-X, because of his immense love for EGM and Street Fighter II back in the day. Of course, it's hard to go far wrong with pepperoni pizza (the perfect Friday night meal after a long work week after all) and the coolest thing to me is easily the Super Nintendo And King is now Buddy because Sparky/Thunder was too long...
Sunday... 2:30 PM. The very first day of summer. It's another idyllic sunny day in the small, sleepy town of Onett. Turning off your Super Nintendo, you grab your bike and head off for your weekly paper route. You've been working hard in an attempt to save up enough coin to buy that new Super Nintendo RPG Earthbound. Hell, you are so ambitious you even ride out as far as Twoson. You certainly don't mind it, as there's nothing like riding your old 10 speed bicycle, the wind whipping against your face, that open road ahead. For that small window of time, you're a free man. Riding out to Twoson was always a bit of an adventure. You could almost feel the whiskers kicking in. Times have changed now. Kids aren't allowed to go out alone anymore... but back then... this was our life. Besides, it was in Twoson where your crush, Jenny, resides. You've stalked, uhhh, I mean, seen her working around the preschool whenever you passed by. You never had any houses on that block of town, but that never did stop you from willingly and happily taking the scenic route
Having hand-delivered the odd paper or 2 to Orange Kid, you've developed a bit of a relationship with him. He is Twoson's infamous inventor, well, one of the 2. The other is Apple Kid, but no one likes him. Orange Kid on the other hand is a chick magnet. After all, ya can't compare apples to oranges... [Har har -Ed.]. Being that you're Steve, and NOT such a ladies' man, you decide to stop by today for a bit of advice on how to win hearts and be more than just another sappy shoulder to cry on. Normally busier than a sumbitch, Orange Kid is in a very giving mood today, as he spends the better part of an hour divulging some insider tips that's sure to make even you, Steve, a stud [I will believe that when I see it -Ed.]. Orange Kid's knowledge would make David DeAngelo green with envy [Suck it, douchebag! -Orange Kid]. Rejuvenated, you decide to spend the next couple hours over at the flea market in Burglin Park and Twoson's pride, MACH PIZZA. Sure... Onett's Burger Barn is 5-star quality according to their 275 Yelp reviews and counting, but it's not exactly a town known for its pizza. It's just another reason why you never complain when it's time to ride over to Twoson. But you never share this with Orange Kid, fearing that he just might laugh at you
BLINK, BLINK. Your eyes open slowly as you realize you fell asleep in Burglin Park. The once inviting sunshine has withered, giving way to a cold, bleak darkness. Mom's probably worried but this is the mid '90s when kids could get away with such things. Your bicycle still safely beside you, you hop on and bound homeward
Nothing beats the feeling of returning home after a long day out
Good old home. It's your haven. Even though your dad isn't around, you have got almost everything you could want. Sure, you got annoying neighbors, but hey nothing's perfect. As you head out of Twoson and back to Onett, you beam ear to ear having learned some of Orange Kid's secrets of the trade
A cool breeze shifts your hair around as you zip down the road
By now... the sleepy town of Onett has been entirely devoured by darkness. An eerie stillness settles over the suburb, sending a chill up your spine. What once stood as an assuring sight during the day has turned into something sinister in the night. But crime has always been so low that no one really pays mind to anything bad happening in this quaint quiet town. Of course, we all know that's how it usually starts out...
And on THIS NIGHT, something incredible is about to take place
Being an invincible kid ripe off of acquiring the fortified knowledge of the players' handbook, you've got not a single care in the world as you come bounding down the all too familiar sight of the suburbs. Closing your eyes and dreaming of your beloved crush, Jenny, you have no idea that a terrible terror is about to overtake your quiet, sleepy town. And thrust you toward a hellacious voyage that will see you ultimately fulfilling your God-given destiny...
Jenny, I got your number. I need to make you mine... 867-5309...
Meanwhile, somewhere in Onett, a woman wakes up in a pool of her own sweat. A loud sharp rustling noise outside her bedroom can be heard. It's coming from the den. Frightened, she clutches the blanket to her chest while listening in the darkness... silence. Then suddenly, RAP RAP RAP. Someone or SOMETHING wants in. She cautiously tip-toes her way to the bedroom door as a dark, shadowy and twisty figure appears from behind her...
A classic tale of boy leaving home, learning and returning a man
Some games strike a certain chord. Earthbound did so in spades
[Oh did you just make a lame veiled joke at Playboy? Great -Ed.]
With your chic backpack and trusty red cap in tow, you're ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. That is, if the pesky OPD (Onett Police Department) aren't thrill-blocking you...
Some nights change the course of history. This is one such night
Damnit, don't these bozos have anything better to do! Luckily, you are a plucky and rather resourceful kid
"Oh yes sir, of course. I concur this is hazardous. Going home..."
After sneaking about, you find your bloody annoying neighbor, Pokey, poking around in police business. Whatever's happening has to be huge, and you're not gonna miss it for the world
"Officer, if you wouldn't mind, I would just like to check up on my friend"
"No can do, kid. Now step aside, turn around and go back home now, ya hear? There's absolutely nothing to worry about. No strange alien attacks, no meteor crashes. None of that. It's all perfectly fine up here"
"How about this donut?"
"GAAAAH! OK kid, you got 5 minutes but not a second longer!"
"Hey, who let this punk in"
"Steve! Am I glad to see you! Something crazy is going on!"
"Listen here, kids, you're gonna have to turn around and go home if you know what's best for y'all"
Atop the hill, as the police drag you away like a rag doll, you catch a glimpse of a fallen meteor. Rubbing your eyes in disbelief, you wonder if it's just a dream
Mom knows best. One look at your kisser and nothing else needs to be said. Still shaking, you saunter to your bedroom. But before you can replay the night's events in your mind, your head hits the soft, cool pillow and you fall into a deep sleep...
You stagger off to bed like Otis Campbell on a Saturday night...
Typically a quiet sleepy town, Onett's in for a RUDE AWAKENING
"Aw, you're growing up so fast. Call me when you get homesick"
[WELL I'LL BE DAMNED. Or rather I s'pose... OH MY LAND! -Ed.]
Although your dad is never seen once, his presence is surely felt
In the history of video games, they might be the best parents ever
Venturing out into the unknown with your trusty dog, Buddy, and your pesky neighbor, Pokey, you're ready to tackle any challenge. And that's exactly what you'll get. The locals have turned mad and otherwise gentle animals have gone berserk, all thanks to the deadly spell that has been cast by the sinister spirit of Giygas. Enemies can be seen on screen, so hoo-ray for no random encounters. If you touch one face to face it's a fair fight as usual. If, however, an enemy tags you from behind, they automatically attack first. In the same way, if you tag them from behind, you'll get a green swirl and dibs on the first attack. Brilliant
The battles are presented in a Dragon Quest like manner. Enemies are seen in first person. From here you can bash, use a special power (which will eat up some of your PSI points), use items, block, run away or you can use the very handy option of Auto Fight, which lets the computer attack with all your party members until you cancel. As a lot of the fights are cannon fodder, you can simply hit Auto Fight instead of manually bashing over and over, which saves you a decent amount of button presses, and over time, adds up significantly
"There's my bro, Picky! Quick, Steve, save him! Or else my parents are gonna let me have it!"
"Wait, why am I helping you again? Remind me"
"Because, you're Steve, an all around good guy"
"Oh, of course. Damn, it is a curse to be this kind-hearted and good looking"
Buddy: Master, I don't think Pokey said good looking but whatever...
Upon arriving at the top they come within 15 feet of the meteor. The air is hot and humid; you can still see steam coming from its core...
"Umm, you go on ahead and grab him, Steve"
"What! He's your brother. You go fetch him"
"No, I think I'm good. I'm with Buddy. Right here is good for me"
"Fine. You pansy"
An eerie column of light pierces the dark sky before they can exit
A mysterious and booming voice suddenly fills the hot night air
On their trek home, the boys are stopped dead in their tracks when Star Man Jr., one of Giygas' nefarious henchmen, appears out of nowhere to confront the 3 boys. Luckily, Buzz Buzz, the source of the voice, is by your side. Protecting the crew with his psychic shield, our hero is able to defeat Star Man Jr. After which, Buzz Buzz warns them that the worst is yet to come but that he has faith since legend has it 3 boys and a girl are destined to save the universe. Buzz Buzz believes you are one of the 3 The other two boys definitely are not Pokey and Picky
The Minch family, Aloysius, Lardna, Pokey and Picky, is GONZO
Buzz Buzz, mistaken for a dung beetle, is swatted by Mrs. Minch
In his dying breath, Buzz Buzz gives our hero the Sound Stone. "To defeat Giygas, your own power must unite with the earth's." Our hero's now off to visit 8 sanctuaries, recording the sound of each with the Sacred Stone. First being the infamous Giant Step
During the pilgrimage you will run across many interesting cats
Growing up and a loss of innocence is one of the central themes
It truly is. Combining a modern setting with your typical suburban town in anytown, USA, any kid who ever grew up in a sleepy, quiet, innocent suburb in America can instantly relate. From the moment the game began, I knew right away I was in for a magical, epic journey
With its unique look and zany sense of humor, it's one of a kind
There's been some major hate dumped on the crude visuals of the game... but I personally love the look. They are INTENTIONALLY retro-fied. I like to think of it as 12-bit... it's not quite 8-bit NES yet it's not quite 16-bit. It's just Earthbound
Right?! It brings back so many memories of my childhood town
Wait a second, I've seen this somewhere in a movie...
Oh yes, The Purge (2013). Here's Fat Frank following Jenny Craig
And his creepy robot. Purge makers Earthbound fans?Maybe...
While whimsical, it also carries with it some dark mature themes
[It's FUZZY PICKLES, damnit -Ed.]
Indeed, the NPCs made exploring the various towns plenty of fun
Alright, let's see if they got the latest edition of GOOSEBUMPS...
"I'D BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR!" -Bixby Snyder / Smash TV guy
"Balarky. I bet that stupid game will be long forgotten by 2015..."
Earthbound was meta ("self-referential") before meta became chic
[Someone say Street Sharks? I got one word: JAWESOME -Ed.]
Indeed this is only the start of an amazing and timeless adventure
You must beat TITANIC ANT before getting the first Sound Stone
Now you can record the first of 8 melodies with the Sound Stone
There they go again breaking the fourth wall. No one did it better
"Oh... did he have a mohawk?" "Uh NO. But he wore a red hat"
Buy a plush teddy bear to help absorb enemy attack. Handy stuff
Nintendo's mushroom love lives on. Mario is smiling somewhere
This broken bridge stands between you and Happy Happy Village
By the time I grab my books and I give myself a look I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus FLY BY! IT'SSS ALLLLLL RIGHT, COZ I'M SAVED BY THE BELL!
In a world of serious RPGs, it's refreshing to play one so bonkers
First aliens, now zombies and ghosts. What's next, DINOSAURS?
[On my favorite RPGs list I would have to rank this at... #2... -Ed.]
Aliens, ghosts, zombies and now the Loch Tess Monster. #Tessie
Paula calls out to Jeff Andonuts telepathically. Jeff to the rescue!
Despite their success, rumor has it they owe a rather large debt...
Here's a free hint for ya, Runaway Five... find a better impresario!
MENDACITY! Once more, that phantom editor has castigated me
Ah but who is this mysterious Mr. X? Let us, then, meet SUSHI-X
He's a BADASS prince (and ladies' man) from a mountain village
If you have an offbeat sense of humor... you will be right at home
Sometimes in life... we need only to look at the man in the mirror
It made the surroundings feel more intimate being circumscribed
Reminds me of the summer day in 1994 I snuck into TRUE LIES...
One can almost hear Aloysius Minch's irksome, sonorous chortle
Certain areas of the game invokes almost a sense of asphyxiation
Earthbound created a quirky world festooned with meta moments
You then find Everdred injured in the back alley of Jackie's Café
Wait... aliens, ghosts, zombies, Nessie AND dinosaurs?! #WHOA
Uhhh, that desert wolf isss, er... ummm... yeah. L-let's move on...
You just missed Pokey, who stole Mr. Monotoli's ride out of town
When we were kids, my parents used to drive me and my bro to the Gaming Crew's neck of the woods. About an hour into the drive, we would always pass by these sewers. I never forgot them, for they were covered by giant "cat masks." It was big enough that my bro and I could spot it clearly even from the freeway hundreds of feet away. And I'd always wondered what in the blue hell they were doing there. The cats became one of those trademark sights that my bro and I would always point to anytime our parents drove us to the Gaming Crew's neck of the woods. Speaking of which, I really need to write a tribute memoir article about the epic times the Gaming Crew and I shared. Hell, Sushi-X was who I renamed Poo to! Anyway, this part of Earthbound brought back to my mind those bizarre sewer cat mask memories
I see the cat sewers to this day and still I have no clue why or how
"Sure lady, yeah, of course you saw mummy monsters, didn't ja"
Sounds like a crossover sitcom for Steve Urkel and Bart Simpson
"Nope, but I did just eat MENTOS. DAMN, this shit really works!"
You can almost feel her snobby attitude oozing out of the screen!
Fire back with a rejoinder like only a suburbia prepubescent can
From suburbia to the far east we go thanks to some Magic Cake!
You are introduced to the 4th and final player of your party, Poo, or in this case, Mr. X. He's a smooth cat prince living in the palatial mountain village of Dalaam and the time has come for him to earn his keep. Take X on a life-altering quest to gain the power of wisdom, valor and patience as you karate chop and decimate all obstacles which get in the way of enlightenment. After all, you simply can't beat a hideous alien force without the pivotal aid of a badass martial artist who hails from a far away land Poo completes your party, adding a certain mystique to the group
There was something about Dalaam's aesthetic that DID IT for me
Sushi-X was, purportedly, a ladies' man. Key word is purportedly
Remember how satisfying this felt -- to glide down those ropes?
He and I still KIT. Yo Nelly -- WRESTLEMANIA, HERE WE COME!
Recently, a guy called RVG a 'golden oldie.' 8 years and kicking!
Oh happy days. No child of the '80s could ever forget LITE-BRITE
"LITE BRITE, LITE BRITE. MAKE A FACE TO GLOW AT NIGHT!"
All good things must come to an end. It was definitely bittersweet
JENNIFER... THE WINNIE COOPER OF MY CHILDHOOD
Oh, of course. Steve is a gentleman of great probity [Riiight -Ed.]
Jennifer and Elaine were the two hottest girls in the 5th grade. Nothing could match being in the same class as your best friend, as well as the two cutest girls in the school. Nelson favored Elaine while I liked Jennifer more. Sadly, my family moved in the middle of 7th grade, and that was the last I saw of Jennifer... until 7 years later when one day my sophomore year I was walking down this long hallway and a young lady walked right by. Instantly I got a huge whiff of 1994. Could it be, was it, yes, it was Jennifer. Too paralyzed to say anything, I could only watch in silence as we went in opposite directions until she faded out of sight around the corner. I kicked myself for not saying hi, and hoped that we'd bump into each other again. As fate would have it, not long after we crossed paths again. This time, I asked her if she remembered me from elementary school. She smiled warmly and said "Of course. I remember you kind of suddenly left one day in junior high and that was that." I nodded, the both of us soaking in the moment. Life was different back in the '90s you know. We didn't have Facebook or email to stay in touch. 7 years is a long time not to see or speak to someone but she remembered me. Even after all this time. It meant a lot
Well.... let's just say, I did take her to the Senior Prom, after all....
Yup, that's what she said folks. Hey wait a second! WHAT!? NO!
A drive-in theater's 'bout the only thing missing from Earthbound
KNOW HER HISTORY... AND "TREAT YOUR MOTHER RIGHT"
As many of you know by now, Earthbound is the 16-bit sequel to the 8-bit Famicom game Mother. Mother was released in Japan July 1989, and was set to come out in the US September 1990. But with the impending launch of the SNES, Mother was never released. There's a pretty fascinating history behind this, and you can find out the sordid details by a quick Google search. There are also some great Youtube history videos on this subject matter. The game has since been fan translated, and is known now as Earthbound Zero. Earthbound on the SNES is known as Mother 2 over in Japan. There was also a Mother 3 released in 2006 for the GBA, but it never left the land of the rising sun. Earthbound is the only Mother game ever to see an official US release OH MOTHER. You were mistreated. Mr. T doesn't approve of this
Mother 3 on the GBA has since been fan translated. To date, this has been the final game in the beloved Mother series. It's sad that two of the games never left Japan, and it's a bit sad to think many know of Ness via Super Smash Bros and not Earthbound, although his SMASH outings have definitely stirred additional interest from people who came in knowing nothing about the Mother series... so I guess that's not a bad thing. Until we meet again, Mother. Tell your mom you love her. Go give her a call WWND... What Would Ness Do? You got it... give mother a ring!
WACKY JAPANESE HIGH SCHOOLS + THE WEIRD WEIRD WEST
There are 2 SNES games I would highly recommend to Earthbound fanatics. Both of them are Super Famicom exclusives with English fan translations available. The first title is Gunman's Proof which is actually an action RPG, and more likeLink to the Past than Earthbound. However, it's got tons of charm and quirkiness and is simply plain fun. Think Zelda meets the wild wild west. It's one of the most criminally underrated SNES games out there. It's on the short side but it's a GREAT game. The second is Adventures of Hourai High. Wacky and zany describes it best. It is like Earthbound meets Final Fantasy V. Taking place in a Japanese high school setting, you can join and then switch clubs, gaining different skills. Its sense of offbeat humor is extremely reminiscent of Earthbound's, and while it has its fair share of flaws, Hourai High is worth a visit I was lucky to buy these two just months before Timewalk folded
Gunman's Proof is one of my personal favorites. It is one of the most criminally unknown or, at least, not often talked about games on the entire SNES. I love the game's humor, style, atmosphere and fun fast-paced gun slinging action. It's too damn short (similar to Twisted Tales of Spike McFang) but it's a blast, pardon the pun, while it lasts. If you have never played it before, I highly recommend you go track down a copy. It's a really well done action RPG that came out in January 1997 Gunman's Proof is one of the best SNES titles that few talk about
Adventures of Hourai High is a unique RPG. You can play as a boy or girl. The dialogue is hilarious and almost as entertaining as Earthbound. Sadly, a few key flaws hamper Hourai High from being a notably nice game. The encounter rate is way too high, and there was a major screw-up: weapons and armor equipped do not change your stats. Somehow, the programmers botched this and so you only increase in stats by leveling up, so you never have to buy new weapons / armor. Too bad! I still recommend it to diehard Earthbound fans despite its flaws. And look, it even apes Earthbound's font. A lovely touch indeed
Earthbound fans will be right at home with Hourai High's humor
"I am. Traded in my bat for a gun and my cap for a 10 gallon hat"
WHAT THE CRITICS (AND YOU) SAID
Earthbound is one of those interesting and fascinating cases of a game that sure, it got its fair share of love when it came out originally. But really it wasn't until years later that it would explode in popularity. Curiously, EGM never did review it. GameFan did, however. They gave it scores of 85, 90 and 92%. Super Play Magazine scored it 88%. In a recent poll conducted right here on RVGFanatic, I asked the public to rate Earthbound on a scale of 1-10. One voter gave it a 1. Another gave it a 7. A few rated it an 8, but the majority of readers voted 9. Of course, there was a healthy smattering of fans who gave it the perfect 10 out of 10 score. The poll was pretty much where I expected it to be. Lots of 9s and 10s with one vocal minority who handed it the lowest rating possible. Oh Earthbound, ever truly the polarizing RPG of our time
Few games have the kind of love or hate spectrum as Earthbound
Super Play gave it some love even if it never came out in Europe
Nintendo Power rated it as the 60th best game in their 100th issue
I didn't play Earthbound back in the day. When I started it up in November of 2012 it was an entirely fresh experience for me. Therefore, zero nostalgia goggles here. Two weeks and 30 hours later, I knew I'd just played one of THE most ENGROSSING and captivating games I've ever laid my eyes on. From the chockablock verisimilitude of suburbia in the primary stages of the game to the more exotic locales found later in the expedition, it took me on an incredible journey of youth, bravery, loyalty and adventure. It felt like I was playing an RPG concocted out of elements containing the Wonder Years, Peanuts and Dragon Quest. Not a bad little formula! If you love RPGs and you still haven't played this, STOP whatever you're doing and go rectify this, now! Even if you have to sell your left nut. No don't do that really Earthbound's awesome contemporary setting helps to set it apart
EARTHBOUND *perfectly* captures the sheer awe of childhood, combined with a longing desire to push one's suburban limits to the very brink. Playing the game made me feel like a kid again. Like I was back in my ol' hometown haunts lingering at the ripsnorting arcade, going around town to the local pizza joint and flipping through the newest GOOSEBUMP books from the library. And that's just the beginning of the game. Soon it all transforms into something much more, as you meet new friends and unlikely allies all in the name of stopping this implacable force known only as Giygas. The game opens with our hero in bed in his striped pajamas. It seems like any other ordinary night in the ol' neighborhood of Suburbia. You are then awoken, and it's great subtle symbolism because for the very first time in your young prepubescent life, you're truly awake. The many wacky, perilous and funny events to unfold all shape this tremendous coming-of-age adventure. You leave home and like any other epic story ever told, you go on a journey that changes you from boy to man by the time you return after you have triumphed over your many obstacles, both inner and outer. Playing Earthbound was like being in a never-ending state of reverie, and I loved every damn second of it
Graphics: 7.5 Sound: 10 Gameplay: 9 Longevity: 9
Its humor, its quirks and its charm have remained deeply embedded in me... long after the end credits have scrolled. A bit of an acquired taste, Earthbound just might be the best RPG dish you have had in a while. Experience and taste it for yourself. I'll have what she's having
Earthbound naturally possesses a certain timeless, nostalgic quality. It stirs the feeling of being a kid in Anytown U.S.A. who leaves home to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. From your local 3-story mall to far away lands exotic, mysterious and menacing, Earthbound tugs on all the right notes to create an experience like none other. The music's an eclectic mix that's among the best you'll hear on the SNES. The gameplay is fairly standard, but there are some nice ideas here like instant wins and a rolling health meter. But Earthbound is so much more than this. Earthbound is, quite simply, a quintessential tale of growing up and overcoming trials in a not so perfect world. Few games have affected me more than this one. It's light-hearted, yet also serious when it needs to be. The many diverse locales are great, and I find the visuals to be a bit underrated. Many like to crap on it, but I love the style and can't imagine the game any other way. There's a reason why Earthbound has so many fervent fans. It was a work of art that resonated with our inner child like no others have. Indeed, the tale of Ness and his friends is one that has stood the test of time. And I believe it will for generations to come