I gotta tell you. While I read all about Earthbound the weeks before it was re-released on the 3DS eShop, I still had absolutely no idea what to expect. Words like “quirky” thrown around, yet promises that it was an exercise in incredible story-telling. I’m 7 hours into Earthbound now, and I finally get it.
I’m excited to finally understand the insanity that is this game, although as someone with zero nostalgic connection to it never having played it as a child, it did take a while before anything made sense.
The main issue stems from the fact that I never know what to do. Which is usually a problem for me in RPGs, as I bore and get frustrated quickly. But what Earthbound has up it’s sleeve is the strangeness that turns things on it’s head and answers questions almost before you ask them.
I obtained what? A “Pencil eraser?” What the Hell’s that for-oh. There’s a big stone statue blocking my way. And it looks like a pencil. Now I get it.
There are zombies infesting the town, and I need to get them all to run into a circus tent? Of course – the kid that invents things just phoned me out of nowhere to let me know he invented sticky paper that specifically traps zombies. Of course.
When I first started, there was very little guidance, and I wandered around aimlessly, trying to murder everyone in the arcade. And they absolutely destroyed me. Turns out, you need to get the Teeball Bat from the local drug store (?) and use that, as it is by far the best weapon. Ok, now this makes more sense.
The story kind of happens, and you are merely a part of this strange reality unfolding before you. Very happy to finally feel like I’m in the right mindset to play this game, though. I’m currently coming up on Saturn Valley and I am loving it. Can’t believe I missed this one as a kid! It’s a silly game with a ludicrous story (that gets more absurd by the minute), and once you look at it that way as opposed to a “serious RPG,” it becomes incredibly enjoyable.