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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 24th, 2009 | EarthBound, Images, Uncommon Knowledge

Just a few days ago we looked at Nintendo’s EarthBound advertising campaign, but EarthBound was of course talked about in non-Nintendo-run magazines too. Here’s EGM’s review of EarthBound, as one example.


For some reason, it reads like something a sixth grader might write for a class assignment. I’m not sure how well this did in helping sell the game, but it probably wasn’t a whole lot. An example:

The story line is definitely what makes this one a winner. The game wouldn’t be nearly as good without it.

The really interesting thing though is that appears this writer was playing an unfinished copy of the game. You can tell this because of Threed is called “Threek” in one of the map pics, and because the Runaway Five stage still says “TONZURA” on it. (refer to M2EB for explanations) Man, I would give a lot to have one of these pre-release copies. The EarthBound Player’s Guide is full of the same kind of stuff, so there were probably at least a few copies floating around back in 1995.

Also, the scan above isn’t the highest quality – if anybody can get a better scan, that would be awesome 😀 Anybody happen to have really old EGMs with EB stuff in it?

POLL: Was this a good review/preview for the game?

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40 Comments to EGM’s EarthBound Review

Clockerstance said on Jan. 24, 2009

“This game is actually fun to sit down and play because not only do you get hours of fun from playing it, but you also laugh a lot…”

rayefrenzy said on Jan. 24, 2009

“This may be a Japanese game originally, but you can’t tell by playing it”

… what is that even supposed to mean!?

Deiphobus said on Jan. 24, 2009

maybe it’s supposed to mean that the localizers don’t suck.

Crono Breaker said on Jan. 24, 2009


That`s the most awesome favorite thing I ever seen (in a nintendo magazine =3)

Well, the review was ok, but has varous flaws, and, the writer actualy says that the history is better tan FF3/FF6? ( O_O

Ok I LOVE Mother but… the history as awesome at it is, but teh history in motehr is quite simple and easygoing than FF, awesome thoug but you could NEVER say better.

(ok I admit it… Im a Mother an FF freak..)

Darien said on Jan. 24, 2009

That’s the greatest review of all time. From now on, all of my reviews will include a big “well, what do I get to kill?” section, which will be answered by “a ton of enemies.”

kevinchai said on Jan. 25, 2009

This looks like something I would write.

ZombiePaul said on Jan. 25, 2009

Did anyone else notice that he spelled Threek as “Threex”?

I know that was the least of his problems, but still…

Buttersweets said on Jan. 26, 2009

This game is neither long nor hard. However, I know something that is…heh heh heh

madammina said on Jan. 26, 2009

Sounds like something a 6th grader would write

George said on Jan. 26, 2009

I have all the issues of EGM back to their NES Castlevania III issue. They’re at home. 1000 miles away.


Leirin said on Jan. 27, 2009

“…For that matter, who would have thought you’d see blood from Nintendo. This game is full of sick little human expulsions like that. There are all kinds of disgusting sound effects and such. One of the Bosses belches crud at you and does some hellacious damage. Very unlike Nintendo.”

personally, i think nintendo belches crap on me everyday

Chico said on Feb. 1, 2009

holy crap, I remember this review… it was the whole reason I gave Earthbound a try. Props for digging this up.

Woogity said on Feb. 12, 2009

The writing…ugh…

HAK2 said on Feb. 13, 2009

“this is the town of threex where you spend a lot of time in the beggining of the game.”


also, do you even see the map next to your story? that is a “k”, good sir.

i hope this magazine has an editor. so they can fire him.

Robert said on Feb. 13, 2009

It looks like he got to play the EXACT translation because he is talking about blood and abuse(IE Porkey getting spanked by his father) When we all know that Nintendo edits all things like that out.

spiffy mcpantsman said on Feb. 15, 2009

Wow, the whole article’s like it was written by a third grader, and then you notice the “PSI WOMEN” part and think, “wait… the prompt for that was ‘favorite thing’…”

Crashpro3 said on Mar. 10, 2009

“Also a cool thing…”
“Another cool thing.”
Did they learn anything is school? You shouldn’t put the same thing in two sentences like this. You shouldn’t because it looks stupid. You also shouldn’t because it sounds unnatural. You also shouldn’t make your 7 year old write a review for you.
(If you haven’t noticed, I used “You shouldn’t” constantly to make an example.)

And, come on, Threex??? The screen on the left CLEARLY says Threek!!!

Nimbus said on Mar. 15, 2009

“This game has been coming for a long time now.”
Haha, yeah, that is some pretty bad writing. At least this review seems kind of positive (especially compared to the GamePro one). One thing I don’t get is why everyone always rips on the graphics. Maybe I’m just used to them so I overlook their simplicity, but the graphic style was what drew me into EarthBound in the first place.

Godaigamer said on Mar. 16, 2009

Did he write that review with the 12 and under crowd in mind? He must have if he called the game “long” and “hard.” I’ll admit that I had some difficulty playing this game for the first time, but I was 10 and didn’t “get” the concept of leveling up. Reviews like this make me realize why I keep away from game magazines.

PSI Omega said on Mar. 17, 2009

I’m…speechless. Really. You spend your time in “Threex” in the beginning of the game? Mother 2 was originaly released in Japan? Good god. And I thought the Gamepro review was bad enough.

Dadada said on Apr. 8, 2009

What issue of EGM is this from?

Claus said on Apr. 8, 2009

Besides the whole Threex thing, (especially since it says Threed on the map) I thought the review was okay. The reviewers weren’t trying to make the game seem bad. They had a lot of good things to say about it, which is what I really liked.

Claus said on Apr. 8, 2009

Sorry, it said Threek. And I forgot that it said Tonzura instead if Runaway Five. Why wasn’t that changed?

Koyuki said on Apr. 8, 2009

Well, the review had a lot of errors, and at points the writing could be atrocious. It almost seems like this wasn’t edited at all. However, I am pleased with the fact that there was a fair, positive review of Earthbound for once, instead of the usual beatdown other game reviewers give it.

Scott Winston said on Apr. 11, 2009

I actually owned this magazine at the time and this review was what interested me in the game! They said it was one of the best RPGs for the SNES, which inspired me to rent the game. This was back then I had the option of either renting a game or buying a magazine once a month.

This review isn’t well written but you guys are being way too hard on it.

spoildaj said on Apr. 19, 2009

“This review isn’t well written but you guys are being way too hard on it.”

I agree. How many positive Earthbound reviews are we finding in magazines?

Mother rpg said on Apr. 25, 2009

madammina said on Jan. 26, 2009
Sounds like something a 6th grader would write


lol just kidding not really, this guy stinks, a 1st grader could do better

Shamu said on May. 4, 2009

Huh, you spend most of the time in the beginning of the game in Three’x’?
Um, no.

This is why I don’t really read game reviews.

MegazeroX said on May. 5, 2009

Difficulty: Hard ………………..ummmm……mabey it isn’t a 6th grade but a 2nd grader instead.

Kirby Chimera said on Oct. 14, 2009

Oh dear……QUOTE”: You’ll laugh out loud!
Yeah, I did. At this pathetic review. Also, when did EB suddenly start in “Threex”? Mine always starts in Onett. Maybe it’s defective……
And…….PSI……Women? Seriously?

DrForestr said on Nov. 4, 2009

Must have been an early copy indeed… look at the font used for the character names. It appears to be the same one used in Mother 2.

PK-Lovin' said on Dec. 28, 2009

“You’ll laugh out loud” Yeah at this Review, it looks like I made it. And I don’t start in “Threex”
I Start is Onnet, I wonder what PISE WOMEN would do….

Starman Super said on Jun. 9, 2010

@Scot Winston yeah, I agree with you. This review wasnt the greatest…but it’s a lot better than the Gamepro one.

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 3, 2011

The thing I don’t get is why the author has a pre-release copy. Don’t you think someone would’ve noticed and handed him a real one? Unless this review was mad pre-release…

angryreimu said on Jun. 18, 2011

Ness is craving Arby’s.

Max said on Nov. 23, 2012

This is actually the review that made me buy the game in the first place (when I was a child). So I’d say it’s pretty good.

Jabroniville said on Dec. 10, 2012

Despite the complaining about the review and it’s writing style (trust me — it’s par for the course of it’s era. Game reviewers used to be a pretty wacky bunch), it’s actually a very favourable review of the game. He outright recommends it, which was not common for this game when it came out.

Mr. Ice Pickle said on Dec. 30, 2012

Look at the column on the left, at the very bottom.

“% Complete – 100%”

What does this mean? Is there something I’m just not getting? And yeah, this review is strange.

Mato said on Dec. 31, 2012

It’s probably saying how close the game is to completion/being released. 100% meaning that it’s finished and for sale now probably.

Mr. Saturn said on Mar. 15, 2013

It is easy for me to hate this review, since it is quite bad as far as I am concerned. But for its lack of quality this is the review that brought EarthBound to my attention and got me interested in playing the game. Eighteen years later and it is still my favorite RPG of all time.


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