Under Five Paragraphs: A Mother 3 Review

Nintendo makes good games.  We all know that, right?  I still remember when Earthbound (a.k.a. Mother 2 in Japan) first appeared on the Super Nintendo console, way back in the day when 16 bit graphics astounded the senses and compact discs still mostly just played music.  Those were the good old days, when expectations were modest and Nintendo was a good friend who let me enjoy simple, creative games.

For some reason Nintendo decided not to port Mother 3, the last and the latest by Shigesato Itoi, over to the states.  Fans were miffed.  The hardcore game community had other ideas, and worked hard over two long arduous years to present a completely made-from-scratch English fandub for fans, by fans.  Now the fruits of their labor has landed in front of me, and it's worth every minute.

For a Game Boy Advance title, Mother 3 is surprisingly long.  Divided over 8 chapters, the look and feel still retains the classic Earthbound polish that I remember from my youth.  Everything is still there: the humorously invented enemies, tongue-in-cheek gags, the slightly off-modern look of rural America.  The only difference is the story, which vastly differs from its more whimsically inspired older brother.  The first chapter brought all of those happy memories crashing down, coercing me with its delicately adult theme.  I can see why Nintendo hesitated to bring this title over.

Overall, the game is very easy.  You can't move more than three minutes at a time without bumping into a healing area of some sort, which brings down the game's difficulty (yet makes it simple to grind out levels).  The rolling HP meter is back with reduced speed as well.  A new dash button makes traveling quick and painless, while the new rhythm based combo attacks helps make battles less mundane and more engaging.   A perfect title for the unintiated casual RPG player.

It's a shame Nintendo didn't do their own localization of this gem of a title — they really did a stunning job with Earthbound.  I hesitate to think how much might've changed had they been in charge of it, especially after seeing all the other themes that crop up in the story.  So in that appreciation, I lay all the praise on the Mother 3 Fan Translation Team for the hard work and efforts they put into the project.  You guys did a bang-up job.

For curious fans, you can head here for more details.
Starmen.net is site dedicated to all things Mother-related.

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