Welcome back to Weird Game Wednesday, where some of the writers here at UTF share some digital love with readers.
This week it is time for a game that seasoned Nintendo fans should have knowledge of. Earthbound is a franchise that fascinates many with all of the weirdness contained in the strange creation. There is very little about this title that has not already been said, so discussing my personal relationship to the series seems ideal in this case. Like most, I have played Super Smash Bros and stared at Nes for hours wondering where he came from. After discovering the answer to the riddle, my curiosity elevated higher towards the Mother franchise. In my youth closer to the release of the first installment of Super Smash Bros, my skills were lacking in games as this is a old school role playing game released for the Super Nes in 1995. If the decision was made in my head about playing the game at a younger age, my entire experience and this article would be completely different. When looking back on the short three hours I have spent on this game so far, a comparison has to be made about coming home. This is a home I did not grow up in or playing, but it feels like the place where my creativity blossomed. It is hard to tell whether this is just what a younger version of me imagined my own headspace to look like, or if this is sense of nostalgia is something that most feel about the seminal 1995 release.
When looking at the way others live or exist in the context of the real world, people whose lives that parallel my own seem so distant. It is hard to picture living in the body of my best friend, even though he lives so close and goes through similar experiences to me. Strangely even though my character on-screen is named Nes, he seems like an extension of myself. The suburbs of Onett paint an accurate portrait of the place where I live. The only exception being one key difference, the city is more quaint than mine. There are so many individuals that the average person will pass a day. What if you could start a conversation with all of them, and establish a relationship quite easily? Even though in real life you be shy, there is no reason to run away from the humorous lines of dialogue that all of the NPC’s deliver.
Many may notice how the mechanics of the game are not being discussed very much in this article. The reason being that this title is more than the sum of it’s parts, Earthbound is not a game judged by the combat system. After all, for ten to twenty hours this place will be home to most people. After playing it for a just a few hours, a level of nostalgia will naturally develop from the player to the game. This sense of intimacy is one that I crave from so many titles today. The gun metal style of greys and blacks haunting modern gaming alienates the sense of familiarity that the classics bring. This is a place where playing for three hours will seem just like home.
While this column may be slightly different than usual, it is for good reason. This is something players need to experience on their own. What you take away from this release will be completely different than mine. Experience the game on the Wii U virtual console for $9.99. Creator Shigesato Itoi recently shared a poem about his thoughts on the game. Share the experience you have had with the Super Nintendo classic below.
S#!T Talking Central