Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

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Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by mariofanatic166 on Sat May 10, 2008 6:45 pm

Important News!!!

Today, on May 2, 2008, EarthBound was officially rated by the ESRB suggesting at a possible future release on the Virtual Console! That is awesome! That means there is still hope of Earthbound on virtual console!! WOO! cheers


Characters

EarthBound takes place on Earth in the year 199X. Throughout the game, four characters come to compose the party in the game; Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo. Ness remains the lead character, a silent protagonist, for the entirety of the story. He is a young boy from Onett and is characterized by his love for baseball. He also possesses psychic abilities strong enough to affect cosmic events. Paula is the second main character in the game. She is a young girl from Twoson where her mother runs a preschool out of their home. Like Ness, she also possesses powerful psychic abilities. Jeff, the third character to join the party, is a young boy who resides at a boarding school in the northern country of Winters. The son of the famed professor Dr. Andonuts, Jeff is a child prodigy who can fix almost anything. The last character to be acquired is Poo. He is the oldest of the group, a residing prince from the distant land of Dalaam. He is presented as a powerful martial arts master.

Story

The story begins when Ness is awakened by a meteor that has plummeted to the earth near his home, whereupon he proceeds to investigate the crash site. After arriving, Ness encounters an insect, named Buzz Buzz who informs Ness that he is from the future where a hostile alien, Giygas, dominates the planet. Buzz Buzz instructs Ness to embark on a journey to defeat Giygas in the present, because he is too powerful in the future. Ness then proceeds to seek out eight "sanctuaries," to unite his own powers with the Earth's and gain the strength required to confront Giygas.

After an encounter with some hostile gang members, Ness reaches the first sanctuary on a mountain above his hometown. He then proceeds to the next town, Twoson, where he rescues a girl named Paula from a cult and discovers that his neighbor, Pokey, has become evil. Together, Ness and Paula discover the second sanctuary. With the help of the Runaway Five, a band that Ness and Paula free from debt, the two arrive in Threed, where they are captured. While in captivity, Paula sends a telepathic message to a boy named Jeff, who resides at a boarding school. Jeff responds to the message and acquires his father's Sky Runner, a flying vehicle, in order to reach Threed. After crashing the Sky Runner, Jeff rescues Ness and Paula and joins their group. The three of them travel to Saturn Valley, a land populated by a strange race of creatures called Mr. Saturns. There, the party learns that a monster has been kidnapping the populace. Ness and the group proceed to defeat the monster and reach the third sanctuary above Saturn Valley. The party then travels through the desert to reach the next city.

Upon reaching Fourside, the group again helps the Runaway Five out of debt and visit a department store only to have Paula kidnapped. Ness and Jeff proceed to find her, and along the way, destroy an evil relic called the Mani Mani statue. The two boys continue their search only to discover that Pokey and the Mayor have kidnapped Paula. However, because Ness and Jeff defeated the Mani Mani statue, the mayor returns to normal. Pokey escapes in the Mayor's helicopter and Paula rejoins the group. After returning to Threed, Jeff repairs the Sky Runner, and they set flight for Winters to discover the fourth sanctuary. The group then cross the ocean and arrive in Summers where Ness falls unconscious and dreams of a far-off land known as Dalaam. There, a young prince named Poo has completed his training and is instructed to join the party on their journey. The group then returns to Fourside and are able to discover the fifth sanctuary.

The four then procure a boat and travel to Scaraba where they find a pyramid in the desert. Inside, they discover the secret to defeating Giygas. Ness and the group travel to Dalaam and find the sixth sanctuary there, after which they acquire a submarine and travel into the Deep Darkness, a path leading them under the earth. There, they find Tenda Village, a small community populated by extremely shy people. After acquiring The Book of Overcoming Shyness, Ness is able to speak to the shy villagers who allow them passage to the Lost Underworld. There, they discover the last two sanctuaries.

Upon activating the final sanctuary, Ness is teleported to a world composed of his dreams, Magicant. There, he encounters the Mani Mani Statue again. After defeating it, Magicant is destroyed, and Ness becomes much stronger because he has conquered his nightmares. After awakening, Ness and the group return to Saturn Valley where Jeff's father, Dr Andonuts, has finished the Phase Distorter, a time traveling device. The Phase Distorter sends Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo back into the past where they find Pokey and Giygas. Pokey informs the group that Giygas has become so powerful that his mind is completely destroyed. The group defeat Pokey, after which they attack Giygas. Paula begins to pray, and with the combined prayers of Earth's peoples, Giygas is defeated. Ness and his friends journey back to the present and return home.

Development

Development on EarthBound took place as a joint effort between Ape, Inc. and HAL Laboratory, Inc. and was designed by Shigesato Itoi. The total development time for the project was five years, much longer than was initially expected. Of this, Itoi has stated that many times he felt the project was "doomed." Because two companies were working on EarthBound, responsibilities were spread out between the two studios. Ape had more people working on the title and oversaw the data aspects of the game while HAL worked on the programming. Because the two studios were based at separate locations, employees would regularly have to travel between the studios to work.

Initial gameplay features that Itoi had in mind involved an unconventional level structure and hit points system (HP). Itoi decided to exclude an overworld, because he wanted no distinction to remain between towns and the outside world. This resulted in each town being carefully designed to be unique. The first design concepts for the HP boxes were to make them like pachinko balls and have them fall off the screen whenever a character was damaged. However, this was later changed to the "rolling counter" HP boxes because the pachinko balls did not work so well when characters had large amounts of HP.

Some of the difficulties posed by the development of EarthBound were the data restrictions imposed by the SNES cartridge size. It was initially designed to fit on an 8 megabit cartridge. However, it was later pushed to 12 megabits and then finally pushed onto a 24 megabit cartridge. This can partially be attributed to the large amount of music composed for the title. Other aspects of the project that remained difficult were programming concepts. The oblique projection techniques proved difficult to program and were time consuming as well. The bicycle and delivery man systems posed problems as well due to their own complex programming schemes.

Some aspects of the character designs remain very personal for Shigesato Itoi. In an interview on his website, Itoi describes how his inspiration for the final battle with Giygas resulted from a traumatic childhood event. When Itoi was a young boy, he accidentally viewed the wrong movie at a theater, a Shintōhō film entitled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty. According to Itoi the film featured a graphic rape scene near a river that traumatized Itoi so much that his parents began to worry about his wellbeing. Years later, Itoi integrated the experience into Giygas' dialogue for the final battle.

Nintendo eventually announced a release date of August 27, 1994 for Japan, and invested a large amount of money into promoting the new game. One of the marketing campaigns involved Japanese celebrity Takuya Kimura of SMAP, who was heavily featured in Weekly Famitsu promotional ads. Other efforts included bundling a full length strategy guide with the game, complete in a bigger box, and affixing a price much lower than other titles at the time. Scratch and sniff stickers also came bundled with the game. EarthBound was released in Japan on August 27, 1994, and was well received. The North American version was released months later on June 1, 1995, and was met with lukewarm responses.

A sequel was announced three years later for the Nintendo 64DD, entitled EarthBound 64 or Mother 3. However, the game became plagued by problems as release date pushbacks occurred, as well as failures to appear at popular gaming conventions, like E3. Nintendo eventually announced its cancellation on August 21, 2000. Years later, Mother 3 resurfaced as a Game Boy Advance title and was released only in Japan. On May 5, 2005, Shigesato Itoi announced that he had no plans to develop the Mother series any further. After the development of the Wii system, it is expected that EarthBound will be released for the Virtual Console. Rumors have also been circulating regarding the release of the entire Mother trilogy for the Nintendo DS.

mariofanatic166 rating

My rating for Earthbound, is 9.4/10
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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by Paperyoshi on Mon May 12, 2008 4:43 pm

I never played that game! XD
Looks great though.

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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by SmashFiles on Mon May 12, 2008 4:59 pm

Nice
Except for the fact its from Wikipedia.

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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by mariofanatic166 on Mon May 12, 2008 5:20 pm

SmashFiles wrote:Nice
Except for the fact its from Wikipedia.

I know, I not the best with words, that's why I copied it from Wikipedia. I did add a few of my own things in there though besides the "Imortant News."
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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by Paperyoshi on Mon May 12, 2008 5:24 pm

That explain the big text...because i couldn't be able to make something like that myself

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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by Chris on Fri May 16, 2008 4:57 pm

yes, earthbound (Mother 2) is awesome. I've been waiting for the english patch of Mother 3. It's gonna be awesome Razz
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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by Sio on Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:33 pm

It there will be one...Oh well. Earthbound rocks, and that's that. Good review overall.
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Re: Earthbound Game Review (SNES)

Post by SmashFiles on Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:09 pm

Sio wrote:It there will be one...Oh well. Earthbound rocks, and that's that. Good review overall.
Theyre almost done with it.

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