"Earthbound"

Opening:
Uh yeah I just have to say one thing. What the hell were these designers one when they created this game? On to the review!

Graphics:
Quite colorful. Enemies are all good, no movement though. Ness and co aren't even seen in battle so forget that. Out of battle each area has a cartoonish look, the sprites are ok for that time. Many townspeople have these huge freaky smiles on their faces. Some wear Jason masks. Odd all of it.

Sound:
Also strange. Music is quite weird namely dungeon music. Some battle music is okay, like the Boss Ant battle among others. Their are about 8 battle tunes so you won't get sick of them at least. Right? Sound effects are all strange and if they were trying to make a bat whiffing sound they failed miserably.

Story
Strangest thing of all. Well not this part, a Meteor hits the small town of Onett awaking everyone including are young muted hero Ness. After a bit a bee like thing comes out and tells Ness his mission, to save the world from an evil alien Gigyas. Along the way you'll meet a colorful cast of characters, the Runaway 5, who always seem to be in debt when you meet them, or the Shark gang, people in all black. Or even the Saturns, screwed up big headed people. Hey it adds some humor to the game, and that's what the designers (hopefully) were aiming for.

Gameplay
Not much different from other RPG's. You can see all the enemies and try, if you can, to dodge them. If you meet them head on it'll be a normal battle, if you surprise them it'll be in your favor and vice versa if they surprise you. A nice feature is if your level is high enough you'll automatically win the battle. Battle is strictly turned base and takes place with a weird moving colorful background. Each character, save Jeff, has a PSI ability. This is magic, and is learned pretty frequently. Also other abilities, such as Poo's mirror of Jeff's ability to fix things and use them in battle. In battle the enemy is located across from three rectangular boxes that represent your characters. The enemies are quite varied. Oh sure you'll meet the Runaway Dog or the living mushrooms. But what about the crazy hippie or the living stop sign. Or a big pile of God knows what. Lot's of enemies many are strange. Magic attacks are represented as little boxes or symbols across the screen, or just a flash of red. Nothing spectacular here. Outside of battle you can see your characters, and there are many things you can do in towns. Although many towns also have enemies, you can sleep at the hotel, and call your parents. Your Dad saves the game and your sister sends out someone to collect or give you items if you need to. You can also stop at the department store, they have an ATM machine. Your Dad deposits the money you win from battle and you can withdrawl or deposit money into the ATM machine. You can also buy food at the hamburger shops or cure yourself at the hospital. Which brings me to the problems. Diseases. This game has way to many side effects, your character can catch a cold, and what do you do if your out of medicine and know where near a hospital? Try and go back otherwise you'll keep taking damage. How about the diseases with no cure, unless you go to a hospital. For instance the mushroom on the head one. Now you walk around weird until you find a hospital, if this happens in the middle of the dungeon you will be pissed. Item space is very limited also, which is sorry to say for all the items you'll want on you. Nearly half the space is taken up by equipped items, so do your best to limit the items you take and expect to do a lot of throwing away.

Replay Value:
Well once you beat it no point in going back really. At least when you beat it you can go visit every town if you want. Although some people say the same thing they always did.

Difficulty-Pretty Hard:
Wow unlike many RPG's this game is very hard at the start. Ness all by himself is a challange. Item space is extremelly limited and enemies that can change your status are thrown at you. The enemies can do insane amounts of damage at the and missing is all too common. Luckily when you get Paula the game gets a bit easier, but then you're forced to go alone again as Jeff. Also with Poo but he doesn't have to fight so it's ok. Enemies keep reapearing and it can get on your nerves. Especially when it's a hard enemy. Thankfully they added heal magic for more than one character.

Buy or Rent(Bottom line)
Renting may be hard to do. If you like old RPG's and need something wacky I'm sure you could find this game for a cheap price somewhere. If you rented it before and hated it then well...don't buy it. It depends on your taste of humor also.

MY Score 6/10

Reviewed by: STARSCOP33