So I’ve been playing Earthbound lately. It’s my first go-around. A few hours in, I’m delighted and slightly bemused at how strange Earthbound can be. I’ve never played a JRPG like it.
Mostly, it’s all in the writing. The characters say the weirdest things. So does the flavor text. Here’s the attack description for PSI Flash, for example. It’s, uh. It’s kind of intense! Who wrote this? (Ed. Note: he wrote it.)
A few more stray thoughts on my first few hours, in bullet-point/Tweet/screenshot form...
- Wow, this game is hard. I have probably died more times in the first couple of Earthbound towns than I did playing Bloodborne for the first time. Nobody told me it would be this hard; I almost feel embarrassed saying so. Jason says it’s “intentionally difficult at first and then gets easier as you go—it’s a subversion of Dragon Quest.” I’m looking forward to getting past this difficulty hump. I just kind of want to enjoy the weird characters and dialogue.
- One moment I’m fighting cops, the next I’m fighting UFOs, hippies, exploding trees, and angry blue ladies. OK then!
- The sprites in this game are so fucking cute. I want to pinch Ness’ cheeks so bad. And this color palette, man. The game is damn pretty.
- @nessitsyourdad might be one of the best Twitter accounts out there right now. Observe/click on the images to see the GIFs:
This then leads me to my next point, which is:
- I’m having so many dad feels while playing this. What a fascinating mechanic it is, to call your parents. In any other context it might sound like a drag, but here, I am always hopeful that my parents will say something new to me in-game. I genuinely feel like a kid.
Nevermind the fact that your dad sends you money based on how many things you kill!
- I love the condiment mechanic. It’s smart! More good food mechanics in games, please.
- Hilariously, I accidentally let said chicken loose after being confused to hell and back why my game kept chirping. Only after buying another egg did I realize I could sell those suckers for some Nice Cash.
And, that’s where I’m at currently—just got to Threed. I’m trying to figure out why nobody will shut up about zombies. It’s only taken me about a year to get this far, after trying the game on and off for a year. Here’s hoping that the next few sections go down easier!