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April 29th, 2013 | MOTHER 3

A while back I posted briefly on how MOTHER 3 is viewed by Japanese fans (see here). When my MOTHER 3 offer to Nintendo got posted on a big Japanese gaming site the other day, I decided to check out the comment section to see what fans thought about it all. Some of them were interesting, so I thought I might share them here!

Again, these are comments by Japanese MOTHER fans:

I played 2 after 3, both were good. But after finishing 2 I remembered 3 and it felt a little rough around the edges, like the writing that leads you to New Pork City or like the ending, for example. Was it a memory issue I wonder? The story and game system seemed pretty good to me, though…


I’m curious to know what the reaction would be if 3 were sold in the Christian regions. I bet they’d view the game differently from Japanese people.


I’m sure Nintendo wants to bury this failure of a game in the darkness forever. I bet they’re thinking on the inside, “Dammit, mind your own business and don’t bring this game back up!”


Agreed. When I look back it was so cheap and such a lame sob story that I was incredibly disappointed. There might be fans overseas who are excited about it, but I bet they’ll be extremely disappointed once they actually play it. I feel bad for them in a way, actually.


To be honest, 3 wasn’t that good. The graphics were unique and charming, but the system and story had problems. Which is a fatal flaw for an RPG.


I wish they’d have put more time into it, but I love Mother 3. I hope it gets localized. I think remaking it to fit Mr. Itoi’s original vision would be the best.


Is this guy mocking Nintendo’s legal department?


If you say so. There are plenty of people who love each of the three games equally. Like me, for example.


Mother 3 is such a serious piece of garbage that it might be better for them NOT to play it. I was a fanboy of the game since it was announced for the N64, but the game turned out so horrible that it made me loathe Itoi


It still amazes me how differently the game is seen in Japan and outside of Japan. I guess for Japanese fans it was a disappointment because it didn’t live up to the previous game(s), but for people outside of Japan, that level of expectation wasn’t as big of a factor – just the fact that the game existed at all was a huge deal. Or at least that’s my take on it.

What do you think? Why does the game get so much hate in Japan but not outside of it?

 

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123 Comments to MOTHER 3 and Japanese Fans, Revisited


Belle said on Apr. 29, 2013

I don’t get why they seem to not like the story, it’s the reason I like M3 over Earthbound

Lakitwo said on Apr. 29, 2013

Wow. All the hate! This is news to me. I thought everyone who ever played Mother 3 liked it. That really is interesting.

Melissa said on Apr. 29, 2013

Many of my students (I’m currently teaching English in Japan and have been for half a decade) who are fans of the MOTHER franchise have told me that they found MOTHER 3 far too depressing for their tastes. They’d craved something quirky and moving like MOTHER 2 without all the heartbreak; a lot of my male students expressed that they felt manipulated by the story and couldn’t connect with the characters. It’s interesting, as I felt almost the complete opposite as an American fan, but perhaps the relative “blankness” of the MOTHER 2 characters was more appealing than the extremely fleshed out M3 ones for the Japanese audience?

Mel said on Apr. 29, 2013

I didn’t know people didn’t like Mother 3!

Nin10dude said on Apr. 29, 2013

Whoa, this comes as a huge shock to me, I had no idea it was seen so negatively in Japan. I love Mother 3, maybe not quite as much as EarthBound, but for people to call it things like “a lame sob story” just seems crazy to me. And “rushed”? It seemed really well-crafted to me, I never once thought it seemed “rough around the edges” at all….

nintendofreak said on Apr. 29, 2013

god, they REALLY hate the game O_O

i mean i have a friend who works for a game studio and they all hate the series because of turn based, and crappy combat without showing the faces of the people in them (and yet they still like dragon quest, which has the same combat) but some japanese people just downright hate it.

wooperz said on Apr. 29, 2013

Probably because RPGs are insanely popular in Japan, so they’re likely weighing it against more “hardcore” games from the same time period as well as what’s out currently. From what I understand, there are a number of games that are more popular in the US, like Zelda/Metroid and it’s probably just a matter of cultural taste IMHO.

I’m still baffled at how Animal Crossing is so popular in both countries (full disclosure: I love Animal Crossing).

resetsurvivor said on Apr. 29, 2013

Is this the overall attitude of the Japanese community for M3? These opinions seem crazy off base for me. Mother 3 is right up there with EarthBound in my opinion. The story of Mother 3 is so moving, and the world is so well crafted. Very interesting.

Yorkshire Gold said on Apr. 29, 2013

Huh, I wonder if there’s any equivalent example of this occurring the other way round. Like, a Western game that gets generally despised over here but loved in Japan. I can’t think of any off the top of my head…

bobsburgerking said on Apr. 29, 2013

The story was quirky and sad. The game was extremely linear and a huge departure from mother 2. The battle system is funky and requires dedication to perfect. Dragon quest is quite the opposite. (i love dq, also.) I should play through the game again now that i’m over my giddy gushing phase. I keep replaying mother 2 and the original.haven’t touched 3 since i played through it…

Acedio said on Apr. 29, 2013

I’m with the other commenters. I don’t get the hate!

I do kind of understand the complaint about the slightly rushed transition to NP City, but it certainly didn’t ruin the game for me. Definitely in my top 5 favorite games 🙂

Mato said on Apr. 29, 2013

Just in case I accidentally didn’t make it clear – these are generally the types of comments I find on any site that mentions MOTHER 3. There are people who defend the game, but it seems like these sorts of negative comments are in the majority.

Matthew said on Apr. 29, 2013

The story of Mother 3 is extremely cliche. I knew what it was trying to do from the moment Claus went missing. Even if you’ve never seen Star Wars, it’s still pretty obvious. A family member, Claus, goes missing and ends up being a bad guy. It’s hard to be saddened by this when you see it coming from a mile away. The game itself is very linear and has less quirkiness.

Matthew said on Apr. 29, 2013

Edit: The above comment is a SPOILER.
PS I still like Mother 3, just not as much as Mother 2 or Mother 1.

Earth Saturn said on Apr. 29, 2013

I don’t really understand why they think the story is so bad. I thought it was well-crafted and brilliantly designed. The game’s slogan describes it perfectly. “Strange, funny, and heartrending.”

Megamegaman247 said on Apr. 29, 2013

What is with the hate? Mother 3 is my 2nd fave game of all time, only behind Mother 2. I wonder why they feel this way about such a masterpiece.

Earth Saturn said on Apr. 29, 2013

@Matthew, that’s odd. I was so focused on how amazing this game was that I never even found out about the Masked Man’s identity until Flint tells Lucas in Chapter 8 not too long before you fight Porky. In a way, I was….mesmerized by this game’s beauty that I never even took a second to think about it.

But looking back on all the clues like how the Masked Man has the same attack sound as Claus and how the Masked Man wears orange pants like Claus, it’s painfully obvious.

reidypeidy said on Apr. 29, 2013

It seems to me that the gaming culture in Japan has a deep love of RPGs just like the gaming culture in America has for FPSs. Because of this deep love and history, general fans have certain expectations and a very skewed view of what a quality game is in that genre. Take for example, Spec Ops: The Line in America. This was a very divisive FPS because it had a strong focus on a tragic story (read Heart of Darkness) instead of competitive multiplayer. The game was well made and had pretty good mechanics but FPS gamers general didn’t like it since it did not meet their expectations. Mother 3 is not Dragon Quest or Monster Hunter. The systems are not as deep and the story is not whimsical. Even though the game is well made, Japanese RPG fans did not like it because it did not meet their expectations of what a RPG is supposed to be like.

Flint said on Apr. 29, 2013

I wonder if we love the game because we didn´t get it over here. Its my favorite of the series I love the themes it handles .

EpicJackman said on Apr. 29, 2013

Honestly, I think it’s because they had such high expectations for it. It’s kinda like the Duke Nukem Forever story, but M3 was a great game. Oddly, they never said anything about the soundtrack. Just like LOST, M3’s soundtrack catches the moment, although the Eight Melodies from M1 is my favorite. And we all know it, Japanese people are weird as f**k…

FlyingManCourage said on Apr. 29, 2013

Mato is about to the first video game translator to cause an international incident. 🙂

deshayzilla said on Apr. 29, 2013

Maybe the story comes out better in English. Sometimes it’s hard to explain your message in your native language, but another language fits the meaning you’re trying to convey better. This happens to me a lot when I realize the very little french I know is able to explain how I really feel, where as english sometimes seems roundabout.
It could also be a cultural thing as well. I bet women probably like this game over men in Japan. If I remember correctly Japan has a very masculine based culture. So it could be a suppression of their feelings that comes through when playing this game and they feel as they have to hate this game for being heartfelt.
Of course this is all just a theory.

Someone said on Apr. 29, 2013

Unworthy, blasphemous infidels. All of them!!

No, but seriously, it’s heartbreaking to read those comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that but I really love Mother 3, and as with everything I love it saddens me when people criticize it so harshly. Especially when I think that its biggest detractors live in the only country that ever got it officially released :/ Poor Mr. Itoi.

Tourist said on Apr. 29, 2013

That’s so strange! I can see how we may like it more in the West. Their expectations on the content must have skyrocketed while waiting on the game, whereas our expectations started and ended at the prospect of an overseas release. Even if it was bad, we’d still appreciate it.

But, it WASN’T a bad game. I often times have a hard time deciding if I like 3 or 2 better. They both have different flavors, but not huge.

Anonymous said on Apr. 29, 2013

Mato. Did you ever hear anything back from Nintendo with your Mother 3 offer?

Douche Mcallister said on Apr. 29, 2013

Holy crap! I had no idea average Japanese rpg consumers were such soulless, hate mongers! Lol no but for real… What it really comes down to is differance in perspective, and culture (and media for that matter). What I really don’t understand though is how M3 is LACKING compared to M1 and M2… It has so much more depth and heart.
I’m baffled!
Very interesting though 🙂

Mato said on Apr. 29, 2013

No, but the business world and especially Nintendo are super, duper slow so if by some insanely small chance I did get a response, it probably wouldn’t be for months or years.

Fredrik said on Apr. 29, 2013

I didn’t find the game to be very memorable. It’s not a bad game, but not memorable at all. The masked man thing didn’t do anything for me, I mean, we already knew who it was.
Actually… the thing I remember the most is the epic Barrier trio! Clearly the best part of the game.

Sky said on Apr. 29, 2013

I’m honestly curious on your opinion of the game, Mato.

FlyingManCourage said on Apr. 29, 2013

For the record, I would be fascinated to read more about Japan’s reaction to Mother’s popularity in the west.

Wildstar said on Apr. 29, 2013

It may just be the culture change. The emotional thing seems to be an issue in Japan, but over here, its why everyone loved the game! Maybe the West likes sappy and brooding more than the East. If I had to guess, I would say it might be because in Japan, guys have to be stoic. Crying, or showing any emotion, is a no-no. And Lucus does that A LOT. And makes you want to cry. If crying isn’t okay, then of course someone wouldn’t like something that made them cry! We over here tolerate that much better.

And honestly, I think we’re a more emotional culture. Our media is saturated with emotion in all forms- sappy, romantic, happy, sad, depressing, rage-inducing, etc. We like it (or some of us due). If they don’t, well, M3 is so full of it that they would hate it.

Personally, I have not played m1&2. I adore M3 with all my heart BECAUSE it was so emotional. If a game can get me to cry- and only one others has- I love it. Because, quite simply, the characters become real people to me. I like that. I remember that. I haven’t played the game in over a year and remember every minutes of it (and plan on buying the physical game when I get a credit card).

The last suspicion… the expectation after Mother 2. Again, I have never played that game. But maybe for fans expecting the same thing (and from what I can tell, 2 and 3 are vastly different), it would be a mammoth let down.

DelectaBit said on Apr. 29, 2013

I second FlyingManCourage.

Also, the way I look at it is that all three of the Mother games are very different from eachother. I accepted that fact when I was playing through them, and Mother 3 is my favorite game in the series. It seems to me that the reason they’re so harsh towards it is because of skewed expectations. Waiting so long for it made them want a game that was exactly like Earthbound. And the only reason they don’t like Mother 3 is because it’s so different. They’re just grasping for straws in trying to find ways to say it’s bad, but that’s the real reason they didn’t like it. I know someone that doesn’t like Mother 3 and that is the exact reason why. He grew up playing Earthbound as a kid, and he criticizes Mother 3’s story and says the characters are unlikeable. But the truth is that he only played through the very beginning of the game. Then he just quit because he didn’t like how different it was. He says it’s too depressing and not quirky at all, which is entirely untrue. He’s probably not the only one that quit after playing the intro.

Sky said on Apr. 29, 2013

Personally, I see Mother 1 and 2 as games, while I see Mother 3 as literature– you simply can’t compare them beyond the most basic of elements.

gBev said on Apr. 29, 2013

I wonder if the more mixed opinions of Mother 3 in Japan are at all related to it being seen by a wider audience? For Western players, the majority who know about it are pretty devout fans of RPGs and the series in general.

In a situation where say, EarthBound sold well in America and, when it came out, Mother 3 was released here as EarthBound 2, it might have been seen differently. People who had played EarthBound as a kid and never thought much of it might pick up the sequel out of curiosity, and at that point the game might just not be all that appealing to the average gamer.

Of course I’m saying this as someone whose personal favorite game is Mother 3, and this is just an idea, but it doesn’t seen too far-fetched to me.

megamegaman247 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I really agree with you Sky. Though it bears the name Mother it does not fell like a Mother game (in the story aspect at least :P) and they are not comparable. As GAMES the Mother series is fairly basic but braks a few rules, but as an EXPERIENCE it is truly great. Maybe tha is why I love Mother 2 as the best game ever and Mother 3 as the second.

Vince said on Apr. 29, 2013

It’s definitely a change from EarthBound, but I love it! I’m playing through the translation patch for the first time.

Ice Sage said on Apr. 29, 2013

What I find particularly interesting about this whole perception difference is how the same can be said about MOTHER 1, only the situation is reversed. It seems like Japanese audiences really liked the first one when it came out, and still continue to hold it up as an excellent RPG, but American audiences generally ignore it because of its age and rough mechanics.

I guess I can sort of see where some of these opinions are coming from, though. If you played both MOTHER 1 and 2 and became very attached to them, the transition to MOTHER 3 could be a bit jarring, especially if you’d been playing the series for 17 years already. There is certainly a different atmosphere to M3 that distinguishes it from 1 and 2, and that might put some people off if they’d grown used to and liked the first two.

Ness said on Apr. 29, 2013

Gosh dang it, why are these people so pessimistic? Mother sold well in Japan when it first released. It didn’t sell well here because they made advertisements like “This game stinks.” I’m not even aware of a fanbase website in Japan, yet in the country it didn’t sell well in, it has a web club.

Shields said on Apr. 29, 2013

I loved Earthbound but hated Mother 3. It was nothing like earthbound and boring. I don’t think i got past the first part before I quit. And to be honest I was expecting to pick back up with Ness against the rich fat kid, not some new people.

Megazon. said on Apr. 29, 2013

I think the problem was that people had to compare Mother 2 vs 3. Nothing wrong with that, because it does show where the game has progressed since the second and also where it kind of regressed as well.

If we learned to not compare the 2 over which was the better game, and just appreciate each game as it was meant to be through some of the faults, i believe the Japanese would not be so harsh on it. But i do agree with the fact it could have been more open world like Mother 2 was, and have a little bit more to do than to make you go on a set path.

In my personal view, 2 is my favorite out of the three games because of it’s open world environment,variety, and especially a ton of weird backgrounds, clever battle text. But i also see why Mother 3 has a good following in the West. It is not a bad game either in my view, the art,storyline and the graphical engine carried Mother 3 to make it a great game. It should not stop people from buying it over in the West whatsoever.

Garteam said on Apr. 29, 2013

I feel like it’s just blank every-heroness that Mother 2 carries over 3 that they like. Or it could just be that nostalgia experience, just like how even though Pokémon Black is technically a better game than Pokémon Red in every way, People still call Red better.

Erikku8 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I think the article kind of sums it up. Itoi knew back in the N64 era that Mother 3 might rub some people the wrong way and that’s what happened. I still love all three Mother games, though admittedly, I haven’t played Mother 3 as much as the first two games. As for people complaining about the story, I kind of think that some people take video game stories too seriously sometimes.

Old West said on Apr. 29, 2013

The contempt seems a little unjustified but I am wholly of the opinion that Mother 3 simply wasn’t as strong a game as 2. The story took too much precedence over the cohesion of the world, not to mention its sappy sentimentality.

Don’t at all get me wrong – your and the translation team’s work was brilliant. And some aspects of the narrative were very strong, admittedly. However to me there was something a lot more “genuine” about EarthBound’s slight incoherence and eccentricity. The “plot” was ridiculously basic but the world itself seemed so much more fleshed out.

It’s like comparing Ocarina of Time to Skyward Sword. The former had a simple, one-dimensional story arc. The latter had a more grandiose one. Counter-intuitively, the former ended up having a greater scope because of its subtexts and offshoots, whereas the latter focused too much on the main characters. (And mind you, I’m not some nostalgic fanatic, ALttP was my favorite). EarthBound succeeded at creating a world, Mother 3 succeeded at telling a story.

Jdaster64 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I haven’t actually played either of the later two MOTHER games, but from what I’ve seen in LP’s of the two, I thought that MOTHER 3’s difficulty curve, story, and focus just blows MOTHER 2’s away. It’s at least somewhat decent as social commentary, and I think that it fleshes out its world and its characters far more than the previous, and the soundtrack is every bit as good at adding to the ambience. I’m really surprised it’s got such a bad rap in Japan.

64RR said on Apr. 29, 2013

Shock! I see what they try to say. The story was really depressing and even though that’s why I love the game, it still doesn’t have the free, calm, and natural flow of EarthBound, or Mother for that matter. It makes me sad though to see these comments. I guess Japan has different views than America. Still Mother 3 is an amazing game and USA obviously wants it a lot, lot, lot more than Japan. 😉

aidbail45 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I am surprised that Japanese fans have a generally negative opinion of Mother 3! I always thought that the Mother series was insanely popular and well-liked. I believe Earthbound and Mother 3 are both equally as good. I cannot say I have been moved more by video games than I was with Earthbound and Mother 3. However, the differences, I believe, are cultural definitely. I feel like it has something to do with the Western themes in each of the games. It is hard to put into words. I loved both the games and I will probably never stop loving them. Actually, I am learning Japanese almost solely because I want to play Mother 3 on the cart!

Max_H said on Apr. 29, 2013

Mato, to whom were they referring when they said, “Is this guy mocking Nintendo’s legal department?”

Max_H said on Apr. 29, 2013

Whoops. They mean you. Sorry–missed that. That’s crazy! I can’t believe how negative they are.

FlyingManCourage said on Apr. 29, 2013

I happen to be a player who grew up playing EarthBound. I would always play it every few years. I thought I was coy playing this secret gem. 🙂 I never knew about this whole “cult” following thing. I don’t even know how I discovered that there was a Mother 3, but it was well after Mato had released his patch. I didn’t even know it was called Mother in Japan. All I knew was there had been a bunch of rumors about EB64 and then it got cancelled. I remember imagining a lot of things about what it might have looked like.

When I finally played Mother 3, I was EXTREMELY happy to be playing ANY game that was so close to EarthBound. It felt like a true and fantastic sequel to me. I wonder if I would have felt the same about the N64 version since the graphics were a big part of that. I love Mother 3 and cherish it dearly. I like EarthBound better, but I still love Mother 3. All I experienced was appreciation for the fact that I could expand upon my EarthBound universe. I still haven’t even gotten around to Mother 1 (which I never knew about before all yous guys/gals). I imagine I’ll feel exactly the same about that one as I did for Mother 3.

Chivi-chivik said on Apr. 29, 2013

People!
Be aware that critisize is always easier, so don’t get hurt if someone hates the game you love 😀

And about being cliché or not cliché…

Nowadays EVERYTHING contains cliché elements. EVERYTHING. The only thing that depends is how you combine those tropes and clichés, and I think Itoi did a very great job.

Apple Kid said on Apr. 29, 2013

I think they weren’t open to change. They probably still expected baseball bats and lighthearted jokes but they they got death and serious themes. Change isn’t bad in my opinion, it just has to be done right or else you get Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Co-Wink-Key-Dink inc said on Apr. 29, 2013

After reading this, I felt Itoi wont make MOTHER 4 because of the people hating on MOTHER 3, not because it took so long.

gBev said on Apr. 29, 2013

Also, do people in Japan commonly refer to Europe/America as the “Christian regions”? I’ve never heard of that before.

misterdigi35 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I for sure do not like Mother 3’s story as much as I love EarthBound’s story. But I would never go as far to say the game is a “serious piece of garbage.” That’s infantile. The game is not a serious piece of garbage. Do I wish Itoi had made it for the N64 instead? Yeah, I really do. I’m not completely happy with the game. But you don’t hear me crying and moaning about it like a brat.

Forseti said on Apr. 29, 2013

Are Japanese gamers this cynical and hateful with other game series? If this kind of rhetoric is commonplace, it sounds like the forums and such over there are more densely populated with the super-“hardcore” types.

WheatThinEthan said on Apr. 29, 2013

Hey Mato, it would be neat if you translated our comments into Japanese for these guys to read. Especially the “never playing it stuff” because a lot of us have played it actually. They seem to think we won’t like it either, but that hardly seems the case to those who used your translation here.

But that comment about the Christian community caught my eye. Is that religion a majority or minority in Japan? I myself am a Christian, but I ended up liking most of Mother 3 anyway. But I can see their point too.

Globulous said on Apr. 29, 2013

I’ve always been the odd man out in Mother 3 discussions. I just felt that it wasn’t as good as Earthbound because it took too serious of a direction. It wasn’t as lighthearted and quirky. Your party wasn’t as varied in terms of back story save for Kumatora. Duster and Boney were both from your hometown and lived regular lives whereas Jeff is the son of a genius who lived in an all boys school, Poo is the prince of a great kingdom in the sky. I just have problems with 3. It’s a good game don’t get me wrong, it just took itself too seriously.

MagikoopaMaster said on Apr. 29, 2013

i hate seeing MOTHER3 getting so much hate over there, i know everybody has there own opinion but it still bugs me to see one of my favorite games of all time being hated like this…

OSK said on Apr. 29, 2013

Thats so weird. I had no idea it had such a negative reaction over there (although, do these people represent a majority of Japanese gamers, or are they just a small, outspoken minority). Earthbound (Mother 2) covered some pretty dark stuff as well, although, to be fair, it was a LOT more subtle than in Mother 3. Whats also weird is that Mother 3 got great reviews, even surpassing Mother 2 in some reviews…Really strange…

Giggleface said on Apr. 29, 2013

I don’t see how MOTHER 3 is a failure… In 2006 money it sold about as much as MOTHER 2 did over there, right?

Justin said on Apr. 29, 2013

The Japanese are just incredibly spoiled. Although I love the guy who said “I wish they’d have put more time into it,” like what Mother 3 needed was another decade in development…

Mato said on Apr. 29, 2013

Forseti: When the topic of Mother 2 comes up I rarely see this same level of negativity, so I think it’s a Mother 3 thing. I’m sure there are plenty of haters for every game, though, of course.

Mato said on Apr. 29, 2013

WheatThinEthan: Japan is mostly non-religious. About 1% are Christian. Here’s some more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Japan

KingOfSwords said on Apr. 29, 2013

Sounds to me like MOTHER 3 would do a lot better if it were released in the US.

KingOfSwords said on Apr. 29, 2013

By the way, why is there an ad for EarthBound 64 at the top of the page?

BOX said on Apr. 29, 2013

I absolutely LOVED Mother 3. To see comments like this about it is, well, very surprising. The battle system was awesome, the story was pretty good, and everything seemed a bit more streamlined than Earthbound (being able to run everywhere, for instance).

Pep said on Apr. 29, 2013

I love everything they hate about it, haha. I’ve always taken to the idea that Mother 3 is kind of Japan’s Duke Nukem in a sense, with some cultural differences (in comparison to the US) coming into play.

The US has a vastly different history with the MOTHER series than Japan does–we only got one of the games officially and were barely even teased with the other two. Would we feel similarly had we gotten all three within the same timeframe as Japan? (I kind of doubt it myself, but something to think about.)

I love all three games very much but I see them as three separate games with varying themes and story elements. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses but their differences keep it from getting stale to me. Although I won’t lie, Mother 3 is probably my favorite. The Japanese fanartists that enjoy Mother 3 are very nice as well, so just remember that not everyone shares the opinion of the comments above!

naja said on Apr. 29, 2013

When you think about it, the same negativity toward Mother 3 in Japan happens in the west with Mother 1/Earthbound Zero.
Mother 1 doesn’t get all this hate in Japan right? I mean, even with all its flaws, it’s still considered a charming Famicom RPG and everyone get nostalgic over it, and of course Mother 2 is the most favorited overall in all regions.
I don’t know why many japanese fans don’t like M3, but I also tend to see negative comments for Mother 3 on western boards (just not starmen or this website, of course), not as much as the japanese fans, it seems, but many Earthbound fans in the west were disappointed with Mother 3’s more linear gameplay and who knows maybe they didn’t like all the dramatic overtones.

I find it strange to dislike a Mother game if you already like one of the series, but to each their own.

Plok said on Apr. 29, 2013

I love Mother 3 a LOT in it own sense, but it really fell short of an EARTHBOUND sequel. It lacked that certain campiness, and the first three chapters were pretty much moving the character around until you triggered more text to move the story forward. I would like to see a Director’s Cut of sorts some day. If they wanted to, I’d imagine they could just port over the GBA game to a system like the 3DS, make use of the extra memory and add in some stuff. I don’t feel like we’d really be missing much if they didn’t though.

Giggleface said on Apr. 29, 2013

@Mato: I love how the one guy thinks you’re mocking Nintendo’s legal department.

Anyway, I think that the Japanes are just way too stuck up. I don’t mean this as a slur, but the Japanese people expect their games to be absolutely perfect, or else they get to slam every single minute detail in the game that does not meet 150% of their expectations. This is why Japanese reviewers like Famitsu are so overly critical and obsessive of games like this; they are searching every little detail down to a map glitch on the debug screen simply so that they can have a reason to point out the flaws.

This also explains why they think they are so superior and holy in the light of Americans and Europeans. The Japanese have some sort of stuck up pride which they cannot seem to get the hell over, and so they feel the reason to think that they have some sort of seniority. This is especially true for the saints involved in the video game industry; they think their work is so much better than the apparent seasoned sewage we squabbling Americans spew out of our butts after we roll around in the mud for a few hours. I think this is the number one reason why the MOTHER series was held in lingo so long outside of Japan. The simple thought of having their heavenly gospel altered by an American infidel makes them squirm as they embrace their giant Mr. Saturn plushes and drink their weird bottled coffee.

My rant is finished. Now to go watch some Azumanga Daioh while I eat my yokai and look for a good place for croquette rolls.

johnr754 said on Apr. 29, 2013

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, while Mother 2/EarthBound and Mother/EarthBound Zero/Earth Bound were American and not like, say, Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, Mother 3 wasn’t really “1990s” as Mother 1 and 2. Even though Mother 3 has the technology advancement, I admit, it doesn’t have the same feel as Mother 1 and 2, which were both modern (Mother 3 is futuristic, but it really wasn’t, to be honest). That, or the Mother 1 and 2 players had the same feeling as International (maybe even Japanese) Pokémon fans – The older games gave more nostalgia to them and fun than the recent games (Mother 3 and Black and White, in this case).

Tork_110 said on Apr. 29, 2013

Mother 3 had tone problems. The scene where they informed Flint about Hinawa’s death didn’t make me sad. It made me angry because a goofy character (Bronson?) made an inappropriate funny. You can have serious or light-hearted quirkiness (like EB), but not mix them so badly.

I also felt that the chapter structure of the game made it feel more linear, cramped, and an overall shorter journey, despite the passage of time in the story. Mother 3 had nice graphics and was probably the best game we could have gotten, but I still wonder how EB64 could have turned out.

skyrunner14 said on Apr. 29, 2013

Reading the comments, I kind of got a “Mother 3 is different, so it sucks” vibe. It and Mother 2, when you think about it, are two totally different types of games. Heck, Mother 1 was closer in tone to Mother 2 than 3 was. I’m not saying that’s the entire basis for their arguments, and some people might even have better reasons than just that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if atleast some of those comments were exactly because of that. After all, even US video game fans make such a baseless argument regarding other series.

Metal202 said on Apr. 29, 2013

I think it’s becuase the Japanese were expecting a more light hearted game like the first 2 but just becuase Mother 3 is different doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Mother 1 was great my problems were that there was too much exp grinding, Duncan’s factory and the sometimes brutal difficulty.

Mother 2 was a much more accessible game with the only part that I didn’t like was the monkey cave with the items.

Mother 3 was also great but it starts off strangely with the first three chapters switching charecters probably confusing first time players. But the new sound battles made the battles more fun,the set pieces were the series best and there was alot more character development.

Blue Toad said on Apr. 29, 2013

Although I love all of Tomato’s translations, I think MOTHER 3 really was his weakest. At first I though the parts that were sad were not sad at all because of the transition to english but now I see that is not the case. MOTHER 3 feels rushed, upsetting and anticlimactic throughout the entire game.

At least tossing Giygas into the mix would add something older fans could remember but Porky seems not very important to the plot. Sure he is the boss of a piggy gang but he is such a weak underdeveloped villain that does not fit with the overall sinister theme that the pigmasks are trying to achieve.

I think one of the reasons that Porky is underdeveloped is because he is in MOTHER 2, Earthbound. I am sure Itoi though Porky was good enough the way he is but he could never top MOTHER 2, Earthbound’s final boss Giygas. It really all does come down to the fact that everything is so underdeveloped in the game. And that is why I and probably most Japanese fans think MOTHEHR 3 is the weakest game in the MOTHER Trilogy.

Giggleface said on Apr. 29, 2013

I still don’t see why people are complaining about a weak story.

DJMankiewicz said on Apr. 29, 2013

I suspect that if Mother 3 had been released here back in 2006, it is entirely possible a lot of American fans would have said “it just doesn’t compare to Earthbound”. People see what sequels are missing before talking about what they do different.

Look at the Fallout series. Years pass, and finally Fallout 3 is released. Now, in F3’s case, it received wide acclaim, EXCEPT from the hardcore fans of the first two games. It wasn’t “dark enough”, the characters weren’t as well done, that sort of thing. For my part, I loved the game. The intro sold me on it, and I really liked the father character. Few games pull off a solid parental figure like that. (Oddly enough, Mother 3 is in that limited list.) I liked New Vegas as well, and in many ways New Vegas is better written, but that game is far too glitchy to rank it as superior, and I love new takes on storylines. I have room enough for both.

From what I read, there ARE fans of the game in Japan, but they’re in the minority. What can I compare that to? Well, actually there’s a handful of N64 releases that shared the same fate.

Zelda: Majora’s Mask forever sits in the long shadow cast by Ocarina of Time. There are many people who out and out hate that game. Some hated how it needed the memory expansion pack, some hated the save system, some hated the time limit, and many just didn’t care for the story. However, I’m with a small but sizable minority in saying I think Majora’s Mask is a masterpiece. I approached the game on its own terms. I learned the best way to play the game is to set goals to accomplish in 3 day stretches of time. Make sure those goals result in either learning a new song or getting a new key item. If that is done, the save system stops being an annoyance. Frankly, for what the game was trying to do, there wasn’t any other way to pull it off well.

Frankly, the NPCs are the reason I love Majora’s Mask so much. They are extremely well written and have stories that take them through their day for the entire 72 hours. It is amazing work there, and to this day I’ll pop the game in just to explore the town and watch them go on their daily journeys. The NPCs outside Clock Town aren’t as well developed unfortunately, but that clock town, wow. I wish more games had that sort of depth to the “side characters”. Watching how different personalities react to the incoming end of the world is a moving experience. If replayability just refers to enjoying already beaten content, Majora’s Mask has loads of it. Still, it is considered merely “decent” by most Zelda fans, and downright hated by a lot of Nintendo fans in general.

Another example is Perfect Dark. These days it is getting far more credit than it did when it first came out, but again we have a game that struggles to stand on its own two feet astride Goldeneye. Frankly, I think Perfect Dark is superior to Goldeneye in about every way. This may seem childish, but I vastly prefer the futuristic and gimicky weapons of Perfect Dark to the set of entirely realistic guns in Golden Eye. Fact is, too few games take a lot of creative liberties with designing weapons, even other sci-fi first person shooters. Perfect Dark had loads of weapons that were just plain fun to use. Any game can have the machine gun or the pistol. Those get boring. But the machine gun you can turn into a sentry gun and toss on a wall? Now we’re talking.

The level design was top notch, and allowed for a lot of creative and unexpected solutions to the stage objectives. (Also something I don’t see enough of these days. Modern FPSs are just “run and gun” a lot of the time. Sure, sometimes I hide behind a wall now, but rarely do they actually have real objectives or do spy stuff any justice.) The storyline is cliche, but pulled off pretty well. Then again, the same could be said of Goldeneye. The multiplayer is what I stuck around for, and wow did that satisfy. My friends and I played the hell out of Perfect Dark from the moment it was released until Halo came out. Frankly, Halo was fun for a bit, but I mainly played it because that’s what “everyone” was playing at the time. My first love is still Perfect Dark.

Another title that got rather negative reviews was Donkey Kong 64. After Banjo Kazooie, a lot of people were upset at this game. Again, this was a game I didn’t understand the hate for. Now, it does have its flaws, but I don’t see them to be nearly as fatal as people claimed. Yes, you need to find switch barrels to get different Kongs to get to different areas in the stages. Yes, the requirement to collect so MUCH stuff just to beat the game was very steep, on the level of collecting ALL the tribals in Jet Force Gemini. And yes, the final battle with K. Rool didn’t quite measure up to the final battle against Grunty. However, when I played it, I didn’t bedrudge the game those things. I enjoyed exploring those worlds. I enjoyed playing as all those Kongs. I enjoyed just looking around and finding all the secrets those levels had to offer. If a lot of stuff to do is what you are playing a platformer for, rather than just being able to reach the ending, then DK64 may be for you too. I certainly never considered it such a bad game myself.

So there it is. We’ve seen this all before. Frankly, I sort of understand where some of their complaints about Mother 3 are coming from. Finding out that the original vision involved making actual choices in the story DOES make me wonder about the game that could have been had the N64 one been recreated as a Gamecube game instead of cancelled. Still, the game is hardly incomplete. Mother 3 is no Star Fox Adventures (a game that really FEELS like the programmers just up and left before finishing it, which is close to what actually happened). The Mother 3 that was released is still a compelling narrative. I understand they expected something more light hearted and nostalgic. I do enjoy those stories, and I can see how they might have felt betrayed. I can ALSO see how they could see the direction of the story as “just a cliche manipulative sob story”. In America, this phenomenon is called “Oscar baiting”, when a movie director attempts to put all the “sad stories” crammed together to bait the Oscar folks into giving them an award. An example would be “Benjamin Button”, a movie critically panned as just a failed attempt to emotionally manipulate us into caring about the characters, and the “he ages backwards” hook simply wasn’t compelling at all. However, I looked at it a bit differently. Fact is, the plotline for Mother 2 was ALSO very cliche, on the surface. It was getting there that was interesting. Look at you, ALL OF YOU! Your life has been lived a million times already! Doesn’t really make it meaningless though, does it? It is fine so long as the little things make it stand out. I can remember details quite well from Mother 3, because they stood out. The story was predictable, but it stuck with me anyway, because the characters kept my attention. I LET myself get manipulated by the tearjerker moments, because a sad story can be good too, and nostalgia’s biggest weakness is forgetting the bad times, being unable to cope with them.

Frankly though, I am surprised Mother 3 got as strong a following as it did. Everything was in place for this to be considered the “lesser sequel” to a “superior original”. I think even NOA might have thought this. Considering the lukewarm reaction in Japan, their original decision may have been justified. I strongly suspect the only reason people were in the right frame of mind to play the game on its own terms was BECAUSE US audiences were deprived for such a long time. People wanted to know what it was like, and they WANTED to give it the chance that NOA never did. Frankly, I’m almost glad it happened. Mother 3 is a gem, but one that’s hard to see with the brilliance of the reverence people have for Earthbound, itself a shimmering jewel. Depriving it from us made us remove that jewel for a moment to properly appreciate Mother 3 on its own terms.

Love said on Apr. 29, 2013

Reading this makes me sad. Not because I think everybody has to love Mother 3 or anything, but when I’ve been following Mother fansites for so long and come to really appreciate both Itoi and his work, it’s sad to see it trashed like this when you know how much Itoi put into finally bringing this game to people.

LucasPSI said on Apr. 29, 2013

“I wish they’d have put more time into it, but I love Mother 3.”

Does he even know how long Mother 3 was in development?… O_O

lol and I like all the people saying stuff like “Oh. Just wait for it to come to america. Whehn it does i’m sure they will be disappointed” Quite the opposite actually. We all already played the game in english… Now we wanna buy it… 🙁

Douche Mcallister said on Apr. 30, 2013

gBev hit the nail on the head.
Of course there’s more diverse opinion of mother 3 in Japan, because THAT WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY IT WAS RELEASED IN!! And secondly, the people who’ve played it elsewhere (or even know about it for that matter) are die hard fans of the series anyways.
But that aside, if you play the game without ever playing or making connections to the other 2, it’s more like just a great RPG with similar elements to the others. (Because it was made by the same guy) 😛

Halloween said on Apr. 30, 2013

I still think it’s CRAZY that there’s so much negativity for the story! It’s a great story!
But then I got to thinking that maybe the fanbases for 2 and 3 don’t completely match up.
I mean, Earthbound is a “quirky game” because “lol hamburgers in trash cans Beatles Master BARF” but that’s clearly not the main point of the game. But maybe that was the main appeal for some fans at the time who were tired of serious RPG stories.
Mother 3 is a little less wacky overall and of course starts off very serious, so maybe the type of people who loved Mother 2 only for the gags had no interest in a compelling story.
I suppose I can agree with the very first comment though.

Lovelace said on Apr. 30, 2013

[Spoilers here.] I think it has to do with wish fulfillment, to a certain extent. Objectively, most people would want to be Ness the most and Lucas the least. Think about it. Ness is a pretty ordinary kid and is even described as being chubby, but he still gets the cute girl, goes on an adventure to save the world, and becomes the strongest character in the party after clearing his Magicant. Lucas, on the other hand, ends up losing his mother, is relatively neglected by his father, does not get the girl (and besides, the tomboyish Kumatora as the female protagonist is an entirely different experience from her predecessors), exhibits a lot of so-called “feminine” behaviors, and ends up failing to rescue his brother. Mother 3’s ending is also ambiguous. There isn’t that rush of doing the impossible and destroying the Cosmic Destroyer: you fail to bring Porky to justice, you fail to “beat” the final boss because the “final boss” is not truly an enemy at all, and pulling the final Needle ends up causing destruction instead of healing everything. Mother 3 makes you feel helpless; Mother 2 makes you feel triumphant.

Personally, I feel that’s what one of Mother 3’s biggest strengths is. It’s an experience, and even though some elements were kind of cliche–Star Wars prepared me for the final battle, so I saw the revelation coming from a mile away–this game still hit me like a freight train. Sure, it’s not quirky and light-hearted like Mother 2 is, but it’s cathartic–if you let it be. That’s why I value it more.

DelectaBit said on Apr. 30, 2013

“Mother 3 makes you feel helpless; Mother 2 makes you feel triumphant.”
I really like this analysis.

Someone Else said on Apr. 30, 2013

I have no idea what in this game could cause the hate, especially when compared to Mother 2. The RPG system is the same as Mother 2, and I would actually say it’s improved with the addition of music combos and the increased relevance of offense up and shielding moves. The story in Mother 2 was really just a series of random events happening in succession, which was great, but Mother 3 was trying to be a bit more coherent. Is this what they hated about it?

I think that when a fanbase starts to hate a game, it seems that a lot of people really like jumping on the hate bandwagon. I have recently been playing Shadow the Hedgehog on GameCube; a lot of people really hate this game, and I was expecting to find a bad game going in, but as it turns out I actually really like it, and i would definitely call it a much, much better game than other Sonic efforts (such as Heroes and ’06).

Anon said on Apr. 30, 2013

Mother 3 was different from Mother 2, therefore it gets hate. Same thing with the above mentioned Shadow the Hedgehog. Heck, even Zelda 2. Or, in many cases Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA). It’s just how I goes.
As to why we are “overly” positive about the game: If you want something but can’t get it, you want it even more. We don’t want the game to be bad, and we are just glad that it exists, which is why we don’t see or care for the things that this game did wrong. I agree that these are in the game, but to me, as I explained, it does not really matter much. I liked the story and the gameplay, while it felt a bit too retro perhaps, was really good. The addition of music combos really makes me wanna fight enemies, and something like that is very hard to pull of, as I, most of the time, loathe RPG-Battles after playing for a while. In my opinion, Mother 3 is one of the best RPGs out there. But as I explained, that may be because I really, really want to like it, and I wanted to like it all the way from hearing about it, downloading a patch an playing it, propably so much that I just don’t care for the bad aspects.

Arekou said on Apr. 30, 2013

Gosh that guy sounds like a Dick
“I like the game”
“are you retard, I hate it, it sucks because I say it”
“but I like it”
“I feel Bad for you, you like something what I don’t like”
“I still like it”

-.-

Tork_110 said on Apr. 30, 2013

Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s not resort to calling Shadow the Hedgehog a good game.

I’m not saying Mother 3 is a bad game. It still has the fighting system from EB and the graphics are a neat evolution. I’m just saying that Mother 3 had some plot misfires and failed to live up to EB or my expectations for EB 64. (I would have bought a N64DD for that one game given the hype.)

Vukadin said on Apr. 30, 2013

@reidypeidy

Except Spec Ops: The Line isn’t an FPS. It’s a TPS (Third-Person Shooter)

but I can see what you’re trying to say and I agree with you. It’s the fault of the industry for releasing mainstream games like CoD and Halo, thus ruining gaming as we know it.

@Mato

Non-religious=Atheist

Just wanted to point that out, it’s much more practical just to say ‘Atheist’ than ‘non-religious’.

I actually sympathize with the Japanese fans: I was expecting a quirky and funny game like EarthBound. But instead I got an overly-depressive game that only bears the name of the previous games and shares nothing more at all. It was a dissapointment for me.

Like they said, the story was very cliche and overly-depressing. I did learn to appreciate the game, but it is definitely not on my top 10 list.

But still, I realized something. I was dissapointed because I was expecting EarthBound 3. And yet, this game isn’t that. It could be treated as a game seperate from the Mother series. That’s why I and most Japanese fans were dissapointed: we expected EarthBound 3. Mother 3, like I said, bears absolutely NO resemblance to the rest of the series. EarthBound Zero and EarthBound were about the atmosphere, the feel of adventure, the experience. Mother 3 took all of that and put up a cliche overly-depressing story. That Mother 3 indroduction guide-thing says what I just said: ‘when playing Mother 3, don’t expect a sequel to EarthBound. Think of it as a seperate game, or else you will be dissapointed.’

You know, maybe me and the Japanese fans would have liked Mother 3 if we weren’t expecting EarthBound 3. Sadly, we have. And that was, for the most part, the source of our dissapointment.

With all due respect, this comment isn’t meant to hate on Mother 3. It’s supposed to give an insight as to WHY some people dislike Mother 3. With all of this said, I still like Mother 3. Just not as much as it’s predecessors.

TinFoilHats said on Apr. 30, 2013

“I’m curious to know what the reaction would be if 3 were sold in the Christian regions. I bet they’d view the game differently from Japanese people.”

… What do they mean by this? I’m clueless. :/

Giggleface said on Apr. 30, 2013

@Vukadin: Atheism and irreligion are different. Atheism means you do not believe in G-d in any form, but you still practice some other type of belief system. Non-religion is simply th lack of religious beliefs. Some people who consider themselves atheists are actually non-religious because they do not have any type of belief system to live by.

Mato said on Apr. 30, 2013

TinFoilHats: They’re probably referring to the homosexual-like content in the game, among other things. At least from other Japanese comments I’ve read.

Vukadin said on Apr. 30, 2013

@Giggleface

Atheism is the lack of belief in god. Atheists have no belief or religion at all. Religion requires a deity. Though you are right: they are not the same. After doing a bit of fiddling I came to that conclusion. Howerer, most of the Japanese population doesn’t believe in a singe deity or even multiple; this automatically puts them in the Atheist category.

The Japanese/Koreans/Mongolians/Chinese are mostly Atheist. They still, howerer, take practice in Budhism/Taoism/Shintoism/Confucionism as a tradition. Religion in East Asia isn’t taken very seriously and is mostly seen as tradition. I should also note that Budhism is the most practiced of them all, with the rest falling as minorities (Shintoism is practiced by around 1-2% of the Japanese population, for example).

Again I repeat, it is practiced as tradition; not belief. Further information can be found on that Wikipedia article that Mato posted.

Vukadin said on Apr. 30, 2013

Sorry for double-posting.

Mato, this is one of the few posts in which you didn’t use a smiley. Made me giggle when I realized that.

MasterFygar said on Apr. 30, 2013

I’ll be honest, if I played it for the first time today I might agree with a lot of these comments and criticisms. I was young enough when it came out to think it was amazing based on the quirkiness and depth of story at all, but in retrospect it could have definitely been handled a lot better. At this point though I have enough nostalgia for it to be ensnared regardless.

Giggleface said on Apr. 30, 2013

@Vukadin: When I said belief system, I didn’t mean religion. But you are right. 🙂

The#1Yoshi said on Apr. 30, 2013

Eh you have to remember the series is pretty common over there. What was never released here they could probably pick up easily there.

I’m guessing comments like that are a combination of the game being more accessible over there and because it’s so different in tone to the first two Mother games, much like our Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Sunshine are the black sheep of their series so is Mother 3 for being the most non-traditional game in the series considering how much a departure it is from how the first two games were. In fact I myself knocked off some points from Mother 3 for a lot of it’s non-traditional stuff but not to the point where I outright hate the thing but I can see why in a place it’s common it can be just as easily bought as any Mario RPG or Platformer as well as any major Zelda title like we can over here why some would be so upset over a game breaking a ton of series traditions.

Believe me this is coming from a guy who hates Donkey Kong Country Returns because of how many Donkey Kong Country series traditions it breaks so I can see how some people would take it to extremes in the hate department because of how much of the traditions from the previous two games were broken in Mother 3

DalisClock said on May. 1, 2013

I can see and understand the hate from Japan. Just like Zelda II, Miyamoto wanted to try something new and interesting, but because it was so drastically different, people gave it alot of hate, but if it WEREN’T labeled as a Zelda game, it would’ve maybe been a classic. And the same goes for Dragon Quest. It’so so popular in Japan, because it almost always stays the same. So like Japanese fans of both Mother and Dragon Quest, they were expecting the good ol’ cliched story for Mother 3, but instead they got something different, which is maybe the reason they didn’t like it. But as Jon Jafari once said about the DKC trilogy, “It’s better to have three different games, than to have three games that are all the same.”

DalisClock said on May. 1, 2013

Edit: I almost copied the comment above me. Whoops.

spaanoft said on May. 1, 2013

I’m really glad I played Mother 3 and enjoyed it. But I do have to say I have far less inclination to play it again compared to Earthbound, which I’ve played through many times.

Palermo180 said on May. 1, 2013

I like Mother 3 but I personally don’t think it’s nearly as good as Earthbound. The story was all over the place, trying to be too funny and serious at the same time. Which in my opinion resulted in the so called “moving” ending to be more ridiculous than emotional. Also those transvestite characters were just plain awful.

Dr.Starky said on May. 1, 2013

I think Mother 3 is pretty solid but I don’t think it’s cool to be mad at the Japanese just for disliking it.

Mother 3 went through a lot of trouble just to be playable English, of course we’re going to cherish it more! And a lot of people in Japan put down hard-earned yen for this game, they have lot more justification to complain about it then us who played the fan translation on an emulator.

DelectaBit said on May. 1, 2013

Who said it was “cool” to be mad at them about it? We’re not. We’re just sort of confused because a large majority of us loved the game after playing it. It isn’t necessarily because we had to go through more trouble to get it either. In my case, I just played it and thought it was a great game. I liked that it was more story focused since I appreciate a good story in games. And I simply don’t agree with their opinion of it. I also own a physical copy of Mother 3, the whole money thing doesn’t really apply to everyone.

EmeraldWind said on May. 2, 2013

Weird. I really felt that Mother 3 was a pinnacle of video game story telling. All the emotions you feel as you go through the game is more than you generally see in a game.

The fact that almost every character from Tazmily has their own character arc if you pay attention through-out the game is also kind of unique.

But then again, I’ve heard there are many other stories that cause a lot of emotions in games that I haven’t played… so maybe the Japanese are just desensitized to that kind of story. I mean killing off the main character’s mother isn’t exactly common in US games, cartoons, and movies that gear to the general crowd. In Japan, their games, mangas, and animes will cross lines that the US companies wouldn’t dare.

I knew one guy who didn’t like the fact that Mother 3 was supposed to be emotional. “I play games to have fun, not be sad.” was his exact words. It really summaries the fact that in US games aren’t exactly looked at as a media to tell stories. JRPGs are all about telling stories.

Anonymous said on May. 2, 2013

japs want to grind and have random encounters
mother 3 has none of that
what do you think is going to happen

Mr. Copycat (formerly Mr. Nosy) said on May. 3, 2013

I am in a Catholic nation, hence I can vouch for the Magypsie problem. However, the bad words and drug references would be just fine here. Also, the Mermen would be considered humorous.

supertron said on May. 4, 2013

I don’t like M3 that much, it feels hollow compared to the other games.

-PSIcicle- said on May. 4, 2013

Mother 1 is to America as Mother 3 is to Japan.

Whenever you make additions to a respected and well-liked series, it’ll make the fanbase harder to please. Perhaps some just didn’t like the whole direction Mother 3 took compared to the previous installments. The Japanese, obviously, have a different culture than we do, so I’m sure some aspect of that can apply to this bit of speculation.

In addition, look how long it took to actually get Mother 3 out into the market. Around a decade, I think? After such a long wait, expectations are sure to be high, and the Eastern market may’ve been expecting a flawless game that is equal to or better than EarthBound.

I can understand disliking the story – there were a couple of issues that I found with it, as well. For example, you hardly spend more than ten minutes with Lucas’s family before shifting over into Flint’s perspective. That can make it hard to care about any of the characters that fell victim to the plot twists. Of course, whatever issues dwell in the plot might not have been what struck them – maybe the story itself was too depressing.

There was a certain charm in EarthBound; one which I still have trouble figuring out. It seems especially prevalent when you first get to walk around in Onett. However, I couldn’t find that charm in Mother 3, at least instances where it would last a while. It might’ve been the somewhat quirky music that plays when you leave the Minch household, seeing as you can match the character’s footsteps with the main tempo, combined with the general atmosphere of the game’s environment at the time. Who knows?

Regardless, I still adore Mother 3.

Ness1985 said on May. 4, 2013

I’m not surprised. Mother 3 is a game that crushes your emotions very violently. If that was all the game was without quality then everyone would hate it and would get a poor score across the board. But since it has a insane amount of quality trying to cover it up it’s split or it’s a love/hate type of game. I think it’s one of the best games ever made but it comes at a price. It’s a game you shouldn’t play a lot at one time, but beat it once in a while. That’s just my opinion.

ejruss25 said on May. 7, 2013

Jesus, those Japanese are HARSH. I do have to say that MOTHER 2 probably is the most enjoyable entry in the series, MOTHER 3 is just a very depressing experience that doesn’t give you the joy and hope that 2 gave you.

TomServo said on May. 7, 2013

What site did these comments come from?

Mato said on May. 7, 2013

In this case from here, which is one of the biggest Japanese game news sites: http://gs.inside-games.jp/news/403/40325.html

Mandy said on May. 12, 2013

This is really the same with other games too. Take American games for example. While I do find it surprising Japanese fans don’t seem to like Mother 3, it’s no different than how people see franchisees like Assassin’s Creed (take for example people hating Conner Kenway because he’s not like Ezio), or Bioshock. Someone’s always going to hate something for not being like the original.

refat17 said on May. 18, 2013

I don’t hate mother 3 and i definately do like it, but i do like earthbound better. I think these two games are pretty different and the comments you showed kind of shows that. The thing that’s most different is for one that mother 3 is driven by a story, but earthbound and even earthbound zero is more about the experience, the adventure when you play and all you are really doing the whole game is getting 8 things to beat the final boss. That infact is what some people use to say that earthbound sucks, the story sucks. The thing is though is that it isn’t about the story. When you played earthbound you were Ness and Paula, Jeff and Poo were your friends, it felt like that. In mother 3 you can’t feel that strong connection with the charater. Lucas is less brave of the two brothers (im currently playing the game so i don’t really have many examples). The thing i like about earthbound is that you can’t really create it into a novel or film, with mother 3 you can though. All in all, that’s why some like one more than other. For me the experince is more impotant than the story, hence why things like spoilers don’t affect that much (kind of, but not really).

Tente said on May. 19, 2013

Mato, please, please, please, if you ever have any free time (I’m not sure if you really do, sorry…) could you do us a favor and translate some of our comments for the Japanese? It makes my blood boil that they seem unaware Mother 3 is greatly loved and played over here. If you have the time, of course… I understand if you’re busy or not in the mood.
I personally love both Mother 3 and Mother 2 (with Mother 1 unfortunately a tad behind, although it has its own charm). People are entitled to their own opinions, but what baffles me is that some people expect every single game in a series to be the same. Wouldn’t that be boring? At least, those are my thoughts. I consider each entry in the Mother series to be its own unique game. I do that with every game. It does depress me a little that some people think games within the same series should all be alike to each other, but what can I do? I don’t have the same thought process as they do, I suppose. I also definitely attribute some of the Mother 3 hate to cultural issues. People are entitled to their own opinions, of course, and it’s not like it really matters, but when people make uneducated remarks (“once they play it they’ll hate it”, or something along those lines, as I am too lazy to scroll all the way back up and get the exact quote) it does get me a little down, I suppose.
The fact some people think the Magypsies, of all things, are an issue, though, makes me want to tear my hair out. Never before have I heard such a shallow and stupid argument.
It does amuse me some people keep insisting that Red and Blue are generally preferred by the Pokemon fanbase over Black and White. From what I’ve seen, most of the time it’s outsiders that make those assumptions. There are haters within the fanbase, like any other, and being a “hater” is only unpleasant (to me, at least) if done in an obnoxious and rude way. (Otherwise, I don’t consider them a “hater”, just somebody with a different opinion.) Of course I’m sure there are people who genuinely have played both games and prefer older Pokemon games, but from what I’ve experienced as part of the fanbase (and from what I’ve heard from other fans) is that the majority (not all) of the “B/W is trash, Pokemon was great but now it’s ruined” people are seen as whiny trolls. Many of whom have never even given any of the newer generations a chance.
I’m rambling at this point, aren’t I? I guess what I want to say is that it’s easy to make assumptions about something before getting the facts. I do it all the time, for instance, and I see it a lot as well.
I brought up the Pokemon thing because other people did so in the comments, but I did find Mato’s comment to be humorous. (I’m curious, Mato. Which Pokemon games have you played, if any?)

lucki_vibrato said on May. 21, 2013

Strange how they hate the game. The system is perfect, story too.
I love everything about the game. It’s one of my favourites GBA game.

[…] by Mother 3's opinions. Normally regarded as a darling in the English speaking world, it is met with less welcome among Japanese fans, which the English fans no doubt found strange. Another inspiration of mine is about Yotsuba!&, […]

johnr754 said on May. 24, 2013

@Tente; Maybe it’s because the Japanese prefer minor change over major change. For example, Super Mario 64 did not do as well as Super Mario World. It’s also the same reason why Dragon Quest II, III, and IV were so successful in Japan yet failed in America (actually it was because III and IV were released during the SNES era). And DQVII.

Really, Japan? said on Jul. 14, 2013

“Mother 3 is such a serious piece of garbage that it might be better for them NOT to play it. I was a fanboy of the game since it was announced for the N64, but the game turned out so horrible that it made me loathe Itoi”

Ok… Seriously?

Sorry to say, but if these kinds of comments are the general majority view in Japan, that it just tends to make me see the majority in Japan as brainless, ignorant trolls.

Not liking a game is one thing….. But saying things like “Nintendo must want to bury this”, “The westerners will all be so disappointed”, and “It made me loathe Itoi” just really makes the Japanese sound like complete and utter a**holes just for the sake of reveling in being a complete and utter a**hole.

This really isn’t intelligent criticism, it’s unjustified, ignorant, uncalled for, immature hatred on an absurdly large level of collective stupidity.

Really, Japan? said on Jul. 14, 2013

….in general, the comments feel far FAR less like any reasonable or intelligent level of critique was ever considered. Just blind, stupid, whiny hatred. That’s no way to ever make a point, and it’s no way to ever have an opinion taken seriously by anyone. Obnoxious elitism at it’s most stunningly thoughtless. This being the “majority” way of stating their displeasure for ANY group of people, makes the ENITIRE group look very bad.

Honesty said on Jul. 25, 2013

A lame story that tries way too hard, M3 took the charm of the first two games and abandoned it (no America, no phones, no sideways world, no pizza shops, no atms, and no hotels).

Still decent, but it cannot compare to the originals. This is coming from a diehard M1 and 2 fan, I feel the original is actually the best.

Mother2fan said on Jan. 19, 2014

I think my favorite part of Mother 3 is the story. It was the first video game to make me cry. Sure, I like Earthbound better, but Mother 3 is still a really good game.

ZeroSquared said on Feb. 4, 2014

“…Nintendo wants to bury this failure of a game in the darkness forever…” I think that would be NOA.
“…the reaction would be if 3 were sold in the Christian regions…” Believe it or not, I go to a Christian school and MOTHER is my favorite series! One of my friends doesn’t even own the game(s), and he says he seen multiple let’s plays of EarthBound and MOTHER 3. Sure, the content is a bit iffy, like gender-less creatures who use razors and lipstick, oxygen-filled men with love life problems, and “mysterious mushrooms” you can get high on, but I mean… come on. The game had earned a CERO A rating! I know I sound like a major hypocrite here, but I honestly think that comment was pretty stereotypical. “There are plenty of people who love each of the three games equal…” This is exactly how I feel! Each game has its ups and downs, but together as a whole, the MOTHER series is my favorite video game series ever.


 
 

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