There is no doubt this game is strange and, by all rights, I should love it for its quirkiness alone. I mean, I can’t tell you how many ostensibly terrible anime series I found myself plowing through in order to simple find the goodness. Sadly, I think Earthbound was doomed from the start. The graphics alone betray a cookie cutter element. Mind you, there were limitations to the medium during the time of Super Nintendo, but Earthbound doesn’t seem to play with them. Compare to three screenshots from my favorite SNES games.
Secret of Mana
Meanwhile, Earthbound gives me this for random encounters.
The games menu system is already clunky, I need to press three buttons minimum to even interact with the world and then the combat itself boils down to a series of menus. It might be forgivable if SNES wasn’t the golden age of RPGs or if it was developed for the previous system (remember how horrible Final Fantasy was in retrospect?), but the days of text adventures and progressive MUDs had long past.
Simply put, I expected more.
Where You At?: Gold Mine
Sanctuary Songs Recorded: 3
Party: Ness, Paula, Jeff
Andrew Simone is writer, veloist, and video game enthusiast who spends too much time at a social network that isn’t one.