EarthBound

Here's a funny thing -- I shared with a friend that I was playing EarthBound and he was in the middle of playing the same game and he had another friend who was also playing it. What has us all playing a 14-year-old SNES RPG?

Well, it's not the game mechanic. That's fairly straightforward RPG play -- hit points, experience points, turn-based combat, etc. There's no innovative job system or color-based combat bonuses or anything.

It must be the story. Instead of a "normal" RPG setting of a fantasy or science-fiction setting, the setting is a (relatively) normal small town and our hero is a (relatively) normal young boy. There's something fun simply by contrast. For example, instead of getting bigger and bigger swords, our hero gets better and better baseball bats and slingshots.

There's also a sense of humor running strongly throughout the entire enterprise. Bubble-blowing monkey! The Blue Happyness cult! And given the limitations of the 8 16-bit platform, the whole thing is really well written. If you like the RPG form at all, it's well worth a play.

FuzzyCo grade: A