|Review by||:||Ken Gagne|
"This game stinks," it's advertised. It's good to know that Nintendo refers to flatulence and not game quality of EarthBound for the Super NES.
A sequel to a Japanese role-playing game which never made it to America, EarthBound is an amazing RPG, despite its tired storyline: aliens land on Earth with conquest in mind, and you, a psychic pre-teen, must defeat them. Along the way you'll team up with a boy wonder-nerd, your dog, a neighbor, and an Asian martial artist.
EB takes place in modern day with libraries and ATMs being sources of info and income, but this does not detract from the amusement in the least. Items you'll run across include pizza, baseball bats, and bottle rockets. The humor is skewed between the childish (farts & vomit) and perverted, but you can only chuckle at all of it.
The graphics aren't bad, but they are extremely simple, sort of a new-age Charlie Brown look with many swirly psychedelic colors.
The battle system is the standard menu interface, with how you approach your enemy on the map deciding who gets in the first hit. It is a tad slow, however, and requires some button- pushing to keep things moving. The inventory system is extremely limited; you can always carry the necessary items, but few extras. This is particularly frustrating since you'll often be coming across new treasures in gift boxes.
EarthBound is relatively easy, but will keep you busy for at least a week if not more. It's a high-quality RPG with little to dislike. Go storebound and grab your copy today!
This article is copyright (c) 1995, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.
Original publication: Boston Herald, 18-Sep-95