In this edition of Nostalgia Game Review, I'm going to talk about one of Nintendo's most underrated games: Earthbound for the Super Nintendo. Earthbound takes a young boy named Ness on a journey with three friends to stop an alien named Giygas from destroying the earth and leaving a dystopian future in its wake. Along the way, you meet various NPCs like the "Runaway Five" and Frank Fly, who have unique character attributes and add to the story.
As for the gameplay itself, it can be tricky at first. Fighting through Onett can be a battlefield as you're trying to stay alive against the Sharks, a motley crew of misfits who can knock you out with one critical hit. However, you should have a better time with the game once you move past Onett. This is especially true when you start gaining psychic attacks (yes, Ness and most of his friends have PSI moves) and can take out enemies in one fell swoop.
The journey that you take to stop Giygas has so many curves that it makes for good entertainment. You go from stopping a zombie invasion to going to a dinosaur habitat to find the last of eight sanctuary spots, which are supposed to remind Ness of his simple childhood. The story itself is compelling, leaving you wondering what will happen next in this whirlwind journey. Earthbound also is a bit of a tribute to the Beatles. When you play Earthbound, the music seems like a bit of a throwback to the British band's work (which might explain why Nintendo was a bit hesitant to put it on virtual console: music licensing). Little things like this is what makes Earthbound a great game to try.
Are there any downsides? Aside from maybe the game being too difficult at the beginning when you're most vulnerable, not really. This game is one of the most underrated RPGs around and makes for a compelling journey to stop an alien takeover. Feel free to pick up this game on virtual console or on the SNES if you ever get the chance.
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