Well, you've reached my game review bog, its probably time to get off the internet.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mother 3

Would recommend if you like: Earthbound, FF7 & 8 and 9 The Sims, Silent Hill 2, Takeshi Murakimis "Dance Dance Dance", Paranoia Agent.

Would recommend if you want: An RPG that relies heavily on humour, narrative and character rather then clever customisation and stats.

Early on in Mother 3, tragedy befalls the main character and his family.

Many light hearted encounters and turn based battles follow, but it's the unflinching manner in which this initial incident is handled that drives Mother 3 to such lofty heights, arguably even surpassing its revered prequel, Mother 2, or Earthbound as its know outside Japan. 

Soundtracks are important. Mother 3s is badass.

This is not to say that the game doesn't have other strong points, it most certainly does- the irreverent sense of humor and startlingly unique game world alone would have been enough to see me through 40 plus hours it takes  to complete. Ditto for the beautifully simple character designs and animation. But its that central premises that's present at the majority of the games strongest moments, and pushes you to ignore some of the games short comings.

Arguably the biggest of these short comings is the turn based battles. Chances are if you've spend any amount of time playing rpgs there'll be no surprises here, your party attacks the enemy in turns determined by there speed, using your bog standard magic/ melee and buffs. Its not to say the the system is bad, its perfectly functional, but if you want a innovative deep combat system, you'd best look else where. Saying that, some of the boss battles get pretty damn tense, and sometimes the narrative bleeds into the combat, upping the enjoyment level immeasurably.

Its hard not to get enthralled in the game world itself, every new location reveals bizarre and beautiful new characters and situations. Its fascinating to watch as a sinister traveling merchant turn your home town against you, or get ship wrecked on an exotic island and experience one of the most bizarre, downright terrifying hallucinatory sequences in gaming's history. Its in these touches that you really get a sense of what Hal Laboratories was really going for, and one of the main aspects that make spending a few hours with Mother 3 such a pleasure.

Wess's dance.

Mother 3 is never stronger than in its final 3 hours. To explain why would unfortunately ruin some of what makes it great, but trust me when I say that if you enjoy a good ending, you can't miss this. 

So, should you play Mother 3? Sweet Jesus almighty you should. I cant guarantee it will be to every one's taste, and if your in anyway adverse to the surreal or bizarre then you should probably just go back to Call of Duty (yeah I said it). But, if you want to see just how uniquely games can handle a deeply emotional narrative, then you owe it to yourself to play this. Download link below.

Rom: (the little blue link in the middle)

English translation patch:

BIZARRE FACT: Mother 3 has been in development for ten years and even went thorugh a  failed jump to the third dimension:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Please bare withe me while I learn to write reviews people may actually want to read.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Push Start

For the last 20 years, I have been writing a list.

Very Rarely indeed, do I play a game that takes a place on my revered and worshipped list. It is a list, that  to this date, consists of about 30 games that for many different reasons, deserve to be held as shining examples of what is achievable through the medium. There is no fixed requirements or criteria, and I'll be the first to admit that its a list coloured by my own experience and prejudice. Gears of War is technically brilliant, with shooting mechanics and set pieces that put virtually the rest of its genre to shame.

Its not on my list, it's not even close.

I enjoyed it, I'd recommend it, but aside from the odd multi payer game Ill probably never play it again. And so what does it take for me to deem a game worthy? Psssshhhh- Hell if I know.

And yet... A few times a decade I play a game that makes me thank the heavens my older cousins sat me down in front of my first arcade machine all those years ago, a game that makes all the broken promises and disappointing sequels of the industry seem mute, that shows progress is still being made, and that we are headed some where fucking brilliant.

And so what is this, a list of my top 30 games? No. No one needs me to list the reasons why Ocarina of Time or Metal Gear Solid are brilliant, there's probably far better places for things like that. This is going to be a place where I review semi-obscure video games, both current and non current. The Reason I mention the list is because I'd like to kick off my first review with the most recent entry onto said list, and personally one of my favourite games of all time, Mother 3.