Mini-Review: Mother 3 (Spoiler-Free)

Damn. What an experience that was. So Mother was a pretty good RPG and one of the first ones I’ve ever finished in the genre, some people have claimed it’s dated and way too difficult, please, if you’re going to play Mother, play the GBA port with an English translation, it’s much easier and the music sounds a bit better in my opinion. Earthbound, which I finished 3 weeks ago, is one of my favourite games of all time, the most memorable journey I ever made in-game and everything about it is very unique. And then, there is Mother 3, developed by Brownie Brown Inc., now known as 1-UP Studio and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo, it’s the final game in the series created by the legendary Shigesato Itoi released for the Game Boy Advance.

But the game wasn’t always going to be a 2D game…well it was…let me explain. There was supposed to be a third game for the Super Famicom, but after being inspired by the N64 and it’s 3D graphics, they decided to make a fully 3D game. They decided to release it for the 64DD, an expansion peripheral released only in Japan, but because of the failure of the add-on and the developers finding 3D graphics difficult to work on, it was released for the Game Boy Advance and ended up being a 2D game.

Now telling you the story would completely spoil it for you, even telling you a summary would ruin the story. But I can talk about the gameplay, the music and my overall thoughts. All I can say is that Lucas is in it but you already knew that didn’t you?

The gameplay is identical to Earthbound, you have attacks suited to each character, two characters have PK attacks, each having different abilities for each character, depending on the chapter, you don’t play as more than 4 people throughout the game, each with their own unique abilities. They removed the auto-fight which is great so you have to work hard to battle foes. It’s also the game that made strategise more, use my PK shields more as some bosses, especially later in the game get much harder. Even the battle setting is similar to Earthbound with the enemies shown and weird backgrounds. But, there is a new mechanic in Mother 3 and that is the musical combo system, where you can attack an enemy up to 16 times based on the beat of the background music. Now here’s the thing, 70% of the time I could not do it, not even making enemies sleep to just hear the beat helps. Now you may have played it on an emulator or got a reproduction cart. To get the feel of it being a handheld, I used a GBA emulator on my PSP and I don’t know if it can be inaccurate sound-wise, I don’t think so.

Speaking of sound, the music is the greatest soundtrack on the GBA, whilst in my opinion I like Earthbound’s soundtrack better. And that’s all I can say because this game is full of emotion, it can be funny, sad and…just depressing, especially the ending.

Overall…JUST PLAY THE DARN GAME as it’s one of the best games for the GBA, if not one of the best games of all time. In fact, The entire Mother series is one of the best RPGs ever made but it will be a while before I play another RPG, since they take up a lot of my time and I want to play other games…what, there’s a MOTHER 4??? Fan-made game that’s supposed to be coming out this summer. I may start next year if it ever gets released, I wouldn’t mind playing some more Mother.

You can get it on the GBA.


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