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[Comments] (1) Unfree Japanese Game Roundup: Recently I got addicted to two Japanese games with very similar graphics: Doukutsu (aka "Cave Story") for Windows (and now Linux) and Mother 2 (aka "Earthbound") for the SNES. Cave Story was fun mostly for the large and varied environments and the Metroidesque variety of weapons; the plot I could take or leave. It was pretty generic-Japanese-RPG. One thing that bothered me was how the machine gun's recoil could be used to propel you upwards, but not to propel you in any other direction.

Earthbound (totally spoileriffic and erudite review) is not very fun as a game—I got enough of this kind of gameplay with Dragon Warrior, which I don't think I ever beat despite many Saturdays spent getting up at 5AM to grind through mid-level enemies. But Earthbound has great music, even larger and more varied environments than Cave Story, eccentrically-written NPCs, and a totally insane ZZT-like plot that manages to hit all the RPG cliches (town area, desert area, snow area, water area, jungle area, graveyard, alternate universe) while violating many of the conventions of RPGs. Plus, designed by the guy who voiced the father in My Neighbor Totoro. Recommended.

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Posted by John Thornton at Fri Sep 28 2007 22:12

It would behoove you to check this shit out, yo: http://mother3.fobby.net. The sequel to Earthbound is out in Japan and is being swiftly (I guess) translated into English by a grim parade of ROM hackers and ne'er-do-wells. The gameplay is more interesting in some ways (rhythm game stuff incorporated into the fights, but that basic Dragon Warrior feeling) and the plot so far (I've only played partway through the first chapter of the game) is equally as insane, involving giant dinosaurs, some kind of sinister cybernetics-advocating "Pig Army", the most stereotypical cowboy type ever, and a horrifying reanimated caribou. Daaamn.

Incidentally, I have long enjoyed this--this blog.

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