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I recently finished playing through EarthBound again and, as always, I'm struck at just how amazing a game it truly is. Which is odd because, by all accounts, as a "game" it's far from perfect. The actual gameplay is fairly straightforward (albeit with a certain amount of complexity), the graphics are nothing too outstanding for the system, some elements are so nonsensical that they defy description and there are so many weird and obscure things you need to do to advance the plot that your brain just might rocket out your right nostril.
But despite all of that, it also has one of the most simple yet profound stories ever told in a video game. You, the hero Ness, are called upon by a messenger from the future to save the universe from complete destruction at the hands of an Eldritch Abomination known only as Giygas. Along the way you meet a ton of quirky characters who either have something important to say that advances the plot, or nothing of any real importance beyond giving you a chuckle, a belly-laugh or maybe even a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye. You also meet three other youngsters who combine their abilities with Ness to face the terror and save the universe, all the while being accompanied by one of the best and most diverse soundtracks ever to come out of a SNES cartridge.
I really don't know what more there is to say about this game that hasn't already been said better by people like the Happy Video Game Nerd or Roo from Clan of the Gray Wolf, but what I do have to say is this: Let it in. Even if you find it unbearable going up against the repetitive turn-based combat or get frustrated at the insane amount of Event Flags that the plot railroads you through, keep playing because EarthBound is a gaming experience like no other. If you're a fan of a good RPG or just video games in general, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this game in some form and play through it, if only once. It isn't perfect and it might not look like much on the surface, but let it in and you'll find that there's far more than you could ever have imagined. Put simply, EarthBound is a masterpiece and unlike anything else you will ever play.
Fuzzy pickles ^_^b
I disliked how underpowered Poo was, how overpowered Ness was, the ATM transaction fees, how difficult it is to teleport, how hard it is to replenish PP, there are several places to heal up, no save points outside of towns, and other things. Everything else was golden. It is what I call a "flawed masterpiece".
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