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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 12th, 2013 | EarthBound, Polls

Back when I first started working on EarthBound web sites, EarthBound was a pretty obscure game and it was still that time period where people loved to hate on the graphics, lack of violence, and all that stuff. Among fans and video game enthusiasts, though, EarthBound was regularly called “underrated”.

Now things are very different. Well, some things are different, other things aren’t. But the big difference is that EarthBound is much less obscure. As a result, over the past few years I’ve been hearing many people say that the game is “overrated”.

So here’s a question for you: do you think EarthBound is indeed overrated now, or is it still underrated? Does it matter? Was it better back in the old days? Or is it better now that people know more about it?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

POLL: Do you think EarthBound is overrated?

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99 Comments to Poll: Is EarthBound Overrated?

Frost said on Feb. 12, 2013

I think as game (meaning the wild encounters part) it is a little overrated, you won’t remember how exactly the battle system works and what parts you enjoyed over games like paper mario. However, as an experience, the story and all that happens, the choices made, the things you see, that part of it is still underrated. Those parts of a game are still underrated in gaming as a whole, and this game should be an example of how to do it right.

Leonardo said on Feb. 12, 2013

Well, this surely is a biased audience for such a question…

IMHO, Earthbound is not overrated, it is indeed a great rpg, like few others.
Mother 3, on the other hand… I didn’t enjoyed it as much, and I think it may be overrated just for being the long waited sequel to EB.

Halloween said on Feb. 12, 2013

Overrated by some sure. The majority of buzz about Earthbound nowadays is positive, and like all things there are some fans who believe it does no wrong. But that doesn’t change how good the game actually is and compared to the average video game it’s amazing.

Leeaux said on Feb. 12, 2013

I don’t think its overrated at all, but I do think the the popularity of it has risen enough that its considered in many ways “THE” obscure game.

So I think a lot of the reasons people say its overrated is because now its popular enough that people can dislike it, simply because it’s popular. Sort of like what happened with Final Fantasy 7. People who previously loved it, began to dislike it once it became mainstream.

Again that’s a generalization, and obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, but I think that’s a probable reason as to why people are saying Earthbound is overrated now.

2Sang said on Feb. 12, 2013

No, it’s honestly one of the greatest games ever made, along with Mother 3. It has flaws, of course, but should both be perfect 10/10 games. Mother 1 on the other hand seems like a 7/10 game and has aged like raw milk on a florida beach.

Tonch said on Feb. 12, 2013

Well, yes and no, but mostly no. As some people have said, the gameplay isn’t so great, but I personally find a lot of meaning in much of the game’s storytelling, music, et cetera that a lot of people probably don’t pay attention to. I actually think EarthBound is quite emotional, and there are certain parts (such as Poo’s Mu training sequence) that really are shining examples of how video games can tell stories and have impact in ways that no other medium can. In that sense, I don’t think EarthBound is paid enough attention.

But it’s also way overpriced. Its monetary value online is certainly overrated!

ClockworkFridgeworth said on Feb. 12, 2013

I thoroughly enjoy EarthBound. I will say that it’s the die hard fans that make it seem “overrated”. Yeah, it may be a good game, but there are those people who find it to be the greatest game ever made of all time and there is no other game that can top it. It’s those people who overrate the game.
The game was definitely underrated when it first came out, but that was because of crappily made reviews, and the marketing strategy didn’t help. But now, EarthBound has the ratings it so rightfully deserves. Overall, I find the game is just as overrated as it is normally rated.

Anonymous said on Feb. 12, 2013

It’s a tad overrated, yeah. MOTHER 3 is my personal favorite of the trilogy, but they’re all great. It’s still a great game, though, and the writing really hits home.
Darn it, Tonch, you stole everything I wanted to say/type/comment about!

Anonymous said on Feb. 12, 2013

Terrible place to put this poll, this is an Earthbound fan site, you will get a very biased view.

LeoSmashRoyale said on Feb. 12, 2013

Id rather not answer that question. I love the game and hope everyone else does too, but there will be people who dislike it.

Covarr said on Feb. 12, 2013

That really depends how you define overrated. It’s a great game, for sure, but nowadays it seems to be treated like the best game of all time by a lot of people, which it most certainly isn’t. The problem with the word “overrated” is that it often has the implication (whether intended or not) that it’s horrible and thought of as amazing; only looking at the extremes on either end.

edgethelucas said on Feb. 12, 2013

Actually, people never thought the game was overrated, if you think about it. Whenever anyone praised the game, it was always the humor, underlying themes, easy-on-the-eyes graphics, and music that got the most attention, the great way it was all woven together even more so. I don’t think anyone praised the battle system too much, but anyone who claims EarthBound is overrated will immediately turn everyone’s attention to it to support that it’s kinda boring. But people just don’t play RPGs for the battles anyway.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think the battle system is just fine. All I require is that it has no gaps or glitches in functionality, and that there isn’t an over abundance of magic. EarthBound meets these requirements nicely, so when people compare the battles to, say, Final Fantasy 6, I get kinda confused as to why they like its battles more–you don’t need an ATB system to make battles fun. (disclaimer: FF 6 is one of my favorites despite its brokenness)

So to end this long LONG rant I’ll conclude by presuming that people think EarthBound is overrated because they want RPG battles to be exciting and keep you on your toes. What do you guys think, am I wrong?

TylerS said on Feb. 12, 2013

@anonymous As opposed to a site where only a few have actually played the game? Reddit, 4chan, and any other site you put this poll on either won’t care or would troll the hell out of it.

Erikku8 said on Feb. 12, 2013

In a way, it’s kind of reassuring that some people think EB’s overrated. I’m not totally sure how to explain it, but the fact that people are taking enough notice to criticize it… On the other hand, my inner fanboy is slightly offended by the 10% that said EB is overrated.

Porky said on Feb. 12, 2013

“Now things are very different. Well, some things are different, other things aren’t.”

No. Earthbound is still obscure. Things are hardly any different.

Anonymous said on Feb. 12, 2013

it depends on where you’re looking

earthbound has become a hipster magnet in recent years and in certain corners of the internet you’ll find no shortage of people vapidly touting EB as being the best game ever without quite fully understanding why they even like it to begin with

that being said, it’s kind of funny seeing something like zac gorman’s EB comics being shared online by people who are usually staunchly anti-games without them even realizing the comics are based on a game

LucasPSI said on Feb. 12, 2013

219 people said no.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME?! ITS THE MOST OVERRATED GAME EVER NOWADAYS! xD Maybe in the past it was underrated but today just about everyone knows about the game and talks about it like its the god of gaming!

Anonymous said on Feb. 12, 2013

and of course you also have people like dear mr. lucaspsi here, with opposing yet equally unsubstantiated statements

Co-Wink-Key-Dink inc said on Feb. 12, 2013

Many people I believe who know about Earthbound are already familiar with ROMS and emulators and moding and hacking of games and the fans around it.
I don’t think everyone knows that.

Tamers12345 said on Feb. 12, 2013

How to know if it’s overrated.

Step 1: Type in “Is earthbound overrated?” On google.

Step 2: Look on google to see if it’s overrated.

Step 3: Accept the fact that it is slightly overrated.

PSIpunky said on Feb. 12, 2013

It’s still obscure. The only difference is that is has gained more fans throughout the years.

If you want something overrated, take a look at angry birds or COD.

My personal preference for the series will not change by what a search engine displays.

Onion said on Feb. 12, 2013

Overrated? No, especially when you compare it to the other software of it’s time.

Overpriced? Yep 🙁

Animegame97 said on Feb. 12, 2013

We overrate it and that’s why we love it :-D. Best game ever.

G.Wicks said on Feb. 12, 2013

Overrated isn’t exactly the right word for it. I’d say it’s more “infamous”. Or, “famous yet misunderstood”. It’s famous because of starmen.net campaigns, sure, but it’s become exponentially renown as a result of gaming sites mentioning said campaigns, then other gaming sites mentioning that, and so on and so forth. Whenever Nintendo’s virtual console has an article written about it, there’s something like “no announcements on EarthBound yet, Mother fans! WINK” or there will be someone bringing up EarthBound in the article’s comments. But I always wonder if these people have actually played the game, and I have a feeling that many who are intrigued by it and causing internet uproar actually haven’t played it, they’ve just heard about it.

If that’s the case, then once they DO play it, their reaction may be “Wow, this is overrated”. I hope that’s not the case. The game should really be approached with absolutely no expectations, especially in this modern age of gaming. It doesn’t have super muscly antiheroes stealthily chopping off innocent pedestrians’ limbs.

Vince said on Feb. 12, 2013

I bet the people on those websites just never got far enough to care about the plot. Sure, it plays like Dragon Warrior, but it’s still fun, well-written, and tear-jerking at the end.

Worship said on Feb. 13, 2013

Not at all overrated, in my opinion. To this day it still hasn’t had the proper spotlight to be in “overrated” territory.

Mr. Tenda said on Feb. 13, 2013

I think most people just like it because it’s widely spoken about on the Internet.

NewAgeRetroHippie said on Feb. 13, 2013

Overrated? No. Overpriced? Yes.

joeymartin64 said on Feb. 13, 2013

Voted no. It can be treated like a bit too much of a sacred cow, mainly by the Johnny-come-latelies like these , but among people who are upfront and honest about their admiration AND their criticism, I don’t think it’s overrated.

PiePusher11 said on Feb. 13, 2013

Exactly what NewAgeRetroHippie said.

IMO, the gameplay isn’t the greatest, but the story, and the overall experience make it, without a doubt, my favorite game of all time.

It has it’s flaws, like every game, but the things it does right, it really does right.

NecrosaroIII said on Feb. 13, 2013

I’ve been a fan of the game since I got it in 1995. I learned how to read by playing the game. I love it to death and cherish my memories.

There are things I don’t like about it. Game kind of luls from Scaraba until Magicant IMHO, which is a pretty significant chunk of the game. But frankly, I can’t think of how I would improve that section either

Ness1985 said on Feb. 13, 2013

Earthbound to me is the greatest game ever made. Why? Because it is such a personal experience, probably the most personal of all. The experience you get from it as a whole means the most to me then any other game. That’s to say the game isn’t flawless, no game is really…well except Super Mario World, but I digress lol
The battle system is nothing to write home about for example. But people who truly love a game despite its flaws feel deep emotion disco lady for it lol

Mariotti said on Feb. 13, 2013

Crap… I didn’t know what would be the right answer!

Darien said on Feb. 13, 2013

It’s a true fact: Earthbound made my “ten most overrated games” list I wrote for my web site some years back. So this was kind of a no-brainer choice for me. 😀

Robo85 said on Feb. 13, 2013

At one point I would have said no, but after hearing about how people outside of the fanbase feel, and how much hate anyone who admits they don’t like the game get, I’ve realized that we’ve really over hyped Earthbound. I still love the game, but it’s not s good as we’ve been making it out to be. Basically, we’ve turned EB into the new Final Fantasy VII.

Anonymouse said on Feb. 13, 2013

I said yes… People make the game seem underrated, but I think it’s only underrated to the more casual gamers. Otherwise people seem to have heard of it, and now random people who haven’t even played/ heard of the series before are begging Nintendo for it too…

Ignoring the comments on “EB is overrated” you can tell it’s overrated when all people talk about in some Nintendo videos is how Mother should get released in NA. And in some SSBB thread you see “Masked Man for SSB4” (or something) even though there’s already a ton of Mother stuff. In VC posts ‘n stuff people complain about how Mother 2 should have been brought over more than Fire Emblem. In top ten’s there’s Giygas, “Mother 3 is really sad”, “EB was an awesome SNES game” and don’t forget “this game is wanted”! / confusing rant

Anonymous said on Feb. 13, 2013

Hm… yes and no. On one hand, it is of course still sort of unappreciated to the general audience of gamers.

On the other hand, when it comes to the more hipster crowd, as well as within the Mother fandom in general, yes, it is a bit overrated. Mostly for the fact that people treat it like an incredible, perfect game when it’s not. It’s much more of a great experience than it is a great game. It doesn’t have a lot of focus and tends to get distracted very easily. Most of its story isn’t explained and what little continuity it does have with the first game is underwhelming and could have been handled much better. Combat is just sort of blah, in fact most of the actual gameplay elements seemed pretty phoned in, especially the dungeons (most of them are completely irrelevant to the plot and not even interesting enough to make up for it).

People don’t realize just what makes Earthbound good and just parrot it because it’s apparently a “classic” and a staple of great games lists, and this could be unfortunate to people who come in expecting it to be FF6 and walk away incredibly disappointed (not knocking FF, just using it as an example that Mother games are radically different experiences than other RPGs)

As for the Mother fandom in general, I find that in many circles Earthbound completely overshadows the other two games in the series. Now, this is kind of understandable because it was the only one to actually get localized outside of Japan, but still. Every game in the series has its own merit and its own unique emotional appeal that it adds to the series as a whole, but Earthbound is the one that gets the most attention while the other two often seem ignored, Mother 1 much more so than Mother 3.

So yeah, it’s both. Overrated in that you hear about it everywhere nowadays, underrated in that not many people realize exactly what makes it good.

joe ONCE AGAIN MUAHAHAHAHAHHAHA said on Feb. 13, 2013

i think earthbound isnt either one. it is obscure if you havent seen the fanbase, but not exactly obscure. so you could say its just got a stereotypical popularity rate.

Phi said on Feb. 13, 2013

Are you seriously asking if Earthbound is overrated on an Earthbound fan website?

Tanooki said on Feb. 13, 2013

It’s overrated by people who like it. But anyone who doesn’t like it/hasn’t played it must have different views, and I can’t really speak for them.

Earthbounder said on Feb. 13, 2013

No, it’s not overrated. Most people wound give it an 8/10 I think that’s a fair rating for it.

butthole said on Feb. 13, 2013

The story’s shallow, the characters barely develop, and the battle system lacks any depth. Sure the story is weird and fun, but it’s also generic. It is a very overrated game. I love it to death. We all do, but compared to any tales of game or chronotrigger or even dragon quest 5, earthbound added nothing to RPGs. It’s a fantastic game, but not world changing.

Mato said on Feb. 13, 2013

I know there are a few people who are like, “WTF why are you asking this on an EarthBound website?”

Reading through the comments, it looks like there’s a good variety of opinions, which is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for your thoughts, guys!

Now to see how people respond to this same question ten years from now 😛

Joe said on Feb. 13, 2013

The game’s not perfect, but still today, it’s the greatest game I have ever played. More fun and more memorable than any other game I’ve played.

LucasPSI said on Feb. 13, 2013

I agree with butthole lol

DJMankiwitz said on Feb. 13, 2013

Overrated? To me that is a loaded question. Firstly, I’m not yet entirely sure what the majority of collector’s thoughts are on the game. I know it is overpriced, but I’m not sure how many are collecting it to collect it and who are collecting it because that specific game is one they want to play. Without a good idea on what popular opinion is, I can’t speak with any certainty.

What I can say is this. The game’s writing and setting are top notch. There’s no overrating that. Itoi has created an incredibly strange and heartwarming world, like Its a Wonderful Life refracted through a lens of madness. While the story and art design are “simple”, they are done with an incredible attention to “mundane” details that make the world seem like a home you long forgot about. More games could use that sort of attention to details. Myst is one of the few games that does that job well. Fallout 3 comes close, but while that world is “detailed” all the details have a “point” in telling the story. That’s fine too, but Earthbound understands that mundane details are perfect for just explaining someone’s personality, or for having no point at all, just being there with no explanation. We’ve all run into weird things in places they shouldn’t be, and we’ve all continued on never really finding out why it was there. Scientists are probably the only ones that refuse to just go on, hence relativity.

As far as gameplay, it is trickier there. On the one hand, it was one of the pioneers in removing “random encounters”, and in gaining initiative by your actions before battle. The little seemingly mundane things even end up playing a part in combat.

However, I can’t say the combat system itself is all that evolved. There are lots of little systems here and there, but it is hard to say that they all work in concert in a harmonious synergy, as is expected of modern RPGs. There are some moves you’ll use all the time, like healing abilities, and some that you likely may never use through the entire game. Some even seem like wasteful palette swaps of other spells that do exactly the same thing, like Starstorm and “Rockin'”. While Jeff can invent things, I spent a large portion of the game just ignoring those tools in favor of just giving him a gun and filling up his inventory with other stuff.

So really, the gameplay is notable for a few things, but otherwise falls into the poor design of a lot of RPGs of the time, with no real sense of making sure all abilities served a purpose.

That said, in a few cases that ends up being part of the point. Paula’s Pray ability is a mostly forgettable power that goes forgotten until the very end, when it saves the world.

I must disagree with that butthole above. The story is only “shallow” if you look at it in a shallow way. By bringing the mundane to the forfront and pointing out how it is all the little things in life that shape us more than the “big moments” seem to at times, the story ends up being far deeper in its own way than Chrono Trigger. I love Chrono Trigger, mind you, but that’s a game which, aside from its time travel conceit, is a pretty basic “by the numbers” RPG storyline.

Someone said on Feb. 13, 2013

I don’t give a crap about whether or not people think Earthbound or the Mother series as a whole are overrated. I really like it and I wish it was released worldwide so everyone could have a fair chance to either appreciate it or hate it, and that’s all that matters to me.

florpy said on Feb. 13, 2013

you might be getting some ever so slightly biased answers here 🙂

Ness1985 said on Feb. 13, 2013

Thanks DJMankiwitz, hit it right on the money.

Blueflower999 said on Feb. 13, 2013

It may be less obscure, but still not enough people know about it. I’ve only actually ran into a handful of people in real life that know what the Mother series is, and barely any that are die-hard fans of it like I am. So, in short, it may be more well known, but it’s still an underappreciated game.

Anonymous said on Feb. 13, 2013

“but still not enough people know about it.”

Have you been living under A rock these past few years?

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 13, 2013

I would say no it isn’t, but i can see how people would think it is overrated.

Ness said on Feb. 13, 2013

Earthbound is a unique good rpg game that is a good game, now for those who say its the best game ever I will just say its their opinion and well they might have overrated the game.

64RR said on Feb. 13, 2013

Today the game is overrated compared to 5 years ago but EARTHBOUND still isn’t a series that one could call overrated. It has only 3 games so you could call it overrated in that matter compared to something like Kirby. I feel that the MOTHER community just keeps growing (I am only a fan for 3 years) which you can see on Miiverse. EarthBound as a 3 game series is definitely overrated even if people only care about fancy graphics. If Kirby only had 3 games Mother would be more known than it. Its just my opinion though!

64RR said on Feb. 13, 2013

What I meant in my earlier post was that EARTHBOUND(SNES) as a game is underrated but as a 3 game series is overrated.

EnnuiKing said on Feb. 13, 2013

If you look at it on the surface as a game, it’s overrated. If you get into the nitty-gritty of things and look at it as an experience, it’s underrated.

Max_H said on Feb. 13, 2013

Though I’ve played through EarthBound a dozen occasions, I still discover new things every time. You can tell that Itoi and his staff devoted so many hours to the artwork, music, storytelling, and even gameplay (though I see a lot of people calling its gameplay the least remarkable feature). No other series has really captured the unique atmosphere of this game. I think that’s why EarthBound’s fans defend it with such ferocity, and fight so doggedly for its re-release. There just isn’t anything else like it.

Vince said on Feb. 13, 2013

@EnnuiKing You speaketh the truth!

Spidey said on Feb. 13, 2013

I say no! Many people still hate on it, because of its graphics and story. I say its still unfortunately underrated. If it really was overrated, it would have a MUCH BIGGER FAN BASE.

We probably could have had an operation rainfall to have gotten Mother 3 translated if Earthbound was really as overrated as people claim it is.

Claus said on Feb. 13, 2013

How in the world is EB overrated? If anything, it is an underrated gem that is finally starting to see some appreciation. Just because general opinion about the game has become more positive doesn’t mean it’s suddenly overrated.

Cj3902 said on Feb. 13, 2013

Even though it isn’t graphically superior, Earthbound is worth it for the experience. While there might be some fuzzy pixels(no pun intended), the story and the overall quirkiness alone make this game worth checking out.

Clockerstance said on Feb. 13, 2013

Even though I’m here all the time and honestly love the game to bits, I think there are some definite problems within’ the game that keep it from being perfect. It’s niche in that it’s only redeeming quality is it’s absolutely charming presentation. The game itself can be very tedious..
I don’t even know if I could recommend it to someone as a game.. .. ..

Anonymous said on Feb. 13, 2013

It’s not obscure anymore. You can thank the fan translation for bringing so much exposure to the series.

So yes, it’s overrated [now].

Worry not Mato, I’m very grateful for your team’s work, Mother 3 is my favorite game. I just don’t like it when my favorite things get popular! On average, the quality of a fanbase deteriorates the more people are in it, as does the feeling of a tight-knit bond between the people within.

Seriously, are you, Reid, or anybody else within the western Mother fanbase that was there from the start going to argue that the best time to be a fan was in the late 90s, when there was only a few of you? Maybe I’m just projecting my own feelings…

Anonymous said on Feb. 13, 2013

I should also add that it became “trendy” to like Mother. Half the people going on about how the series is so great are just riding a bandwagon without actually understanding why it’s so special. In saying that, I don’t mean going off and reading reviews which do nothing but use “QUIRKY” and “UNIQUE” five times a sentence (most of those people are also regurgitating what they head elsewhere). I mean people who actually sat down and played the trilogy without any groupthink interference beforehand, and formed their own opinion.

This is why I can’t take modern fans seriously.

nessgeek said on Feb. 13, 2013

Honestly, I think this series is both overrated and underrated. It has A LOT of hype from a growing fanbase which is pretty oool. It is also underrated because of it’s lack of commercial success back in the day and its current availability. Imagine if this all got turned around one day and just about every RPG gamer gets into this series?

LadyBolet said on Feb. 14, 2013

The value this game holds to me has nothing to do with how popular it may or may not be. To like something just because it’s “obscure”, or on the opposite spectrum, disliking that which is “popular”, and not because you ACTUALLY LIKE it or DISLIKE it seems like a shallow train of thought.

Earthbound and the Mother series as a whole has been an inspiration to me, artistically and even in some aspects of life. I’ve also met incredibly kind and wonderful people through the fandom, and I enjoy seeing new people being introduced to the series.

Ailure said on Feb. 14, 2013

Overrated amongst fans? Perhaps.

Overrated in the gaming community in general? Not at all. There is a dozen RPG games I would call overrated over earthbound infact.

NessBound MPO said on Feb. 14, 2013

I’m a fairly new Mother fan (six or seven months or so.) but it really got me. Like everyone else says, if you see it from the surface, you might see a kinda generic RPG, acceptable, average, with an interesting theme maybe, considering most RPGs back then were about knights and that stuff. I admit I thought that way but I got encouraged to play by my friends and totally fell in love with it (With the music mostly, which I already knew a bit from the Smash Bros. Melee stages), I’ve shared the game with my friends too, and while they’re not as deep into the fanbase, they noticed why we like it (Psst, one of them even felt like showing more affection to his mother after playing Mother 3).

So yeah, at first glance it may appear as just another game but one has to play it to actually see its worth, in my opinion (Sorry about the people who dislike popular things).
I have a hard time keeping it as my favorite over Mother 3 though, but I like it more because it doesn’t take itself so seriously (And most of my favorite Mother music is from Earthbound, especially, Because I Love you, that ending is more enjoyable to Mother 3’s tearjearking one, but that’s just me again).
Just my two cents.

Anonymous said on Feb. 14, 2013

I haven’t played Earthbound (I’m not American) but I’ve played MOTHER2 before. It’s definitely MASTERPIECE.

Stan said on Feb. 14, 2013

Hmm, I think back then it was underrated, hence the sale numbers. Now I think that everyone has heard of it. I think for some people it is built up to some huge lost gem from the past that compares in every way to games of today and when people actually go to play it they’re like ‘what the heck’. It has huge flaws like the button layout and the mind-numbingly slow battles and that is a huge put off for many people. When they get past that and start to enjoy the story, jokes, locations, etc, then they understand. People usually don’t get to that point though, after the 3rd dog and the same jokes slowing up the battles people give up. So, I think it will always be underrated by those who try it but overrated by those who keep saying how great it is.

flintsdoorknob said on Feb. 14, 2013

If it was overrated people would know what I’m talking about when I try have a conversation about it, lol.

I think that maybe Mother 2 is the most overrated Mother game though. I haven’t even really played Mother 1 myself and Mother 3 is a little more underrated too.

Maybe you know me, or maybe you don't said on Feb. 14, 2013

I’ve never played any game in the MOTHER series, but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem overrated at all. The music, the story, the dialogue, the battle system, and overall gameplay looks fun and enjoyable. In my honest opinion it is far from overrated, in fact I think it’s still pretty underrated. When I go to school I usually hear other kids talking abot games like “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” or “MINECRAFT”, those are great games and all, but I can pretty much confirm to you that no one there mentions anything related to Earthbound, unless they’ve played the super smash bros. series ( in which case they still have no idea what “Earthbound” even is). As such I don’t even discuss anything related to Earthbound. That’s just my opinion though.

Maybe you know me, or maybe you don't said on Feb. 14, 2013


DragonKazooie89 said on Feb. 14, 2013

Nah, I think it get just enough, not too much, not to little. Ocarina of Time, on the other hand…

Anonymous said on Feb. 14, 2013

EarthBound is not overrated.

MOTHER 3 is overrated, in my opinion.

Palermo said on Feb. 14, 2013

I agree I like the the games and think they are great but I think Mother 3 is overrated. Those transvestite musical mode characters were atrocious, and the drama aspect of Lucas and his family didn’t mesh too well with the humorous side of the story. The Earthbound series is at it’s best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

EmeraldWind said on Feb. 14, 2013

It took me years to get around to playing Earthbound. I’d say that it is probably a little over rated, but is still a must play game.

One of my biggest regrets as a gamer is not playing Earthbound sooner.

righteousNess said on Feb. 15, 2013

I’ll just say that EarthBound is one incredible game. The fact that it parodies RPGs (with actually funny humor) while simultaneously being one of the best games to ever be made in the genre, makes it unquestionably underrated, IMO.

Chris1212 said on Feb. 15, 2013

Wow, I am really surprised to see what people may describe as their definitions of overrated. But what I view as overrated is something that everybody knows about, and I don’t think everybody knows alot about Earthbound. This comes into play by watching several other youtube videos that are Mother related. I have never seen any youtube video if I can tell that went to about 1 million views for Mother related vids. But I still think the Mother series are great for its mood, music, and for the innovative use of the rpg system (rolling meter, instant kills, beat combos, ect.) But I don’t think that everyone knows about the game.

BusterTheFox said on Feb. 15, 2013

As reading through all these comments will suck away my precious little time and likely sway my opinion, I’m gonna skip them for now, sorry. I hate reading through long threads just so I know where the discussion is at…

I think that, just a little bit and in a way, the game really is overrated. Obviously we all hold the game in very high regard, and I’m not saying that the game in general is overrated.

I voted “yes” to the question. How come EB is one of the only games on eBay to have such a crazy price point? I got a copy of the N64 Banj-Kazzoie just the other day for under fifteen bucks. Granted, that one has been re-released on the XBLA, but even so, I got the ORIGINAL CARTRIDGE for less than I can buy it for as a digital download. Most people would think that the price would go up because the original cartridge is a “collector’s item”.

I dunno. That’s just one example. Another thing that comes to mind is how we tend to get all fired up over any official Mother news, more so than many fan communities. We’re still waiting for the news about a western release on the Wii U, but… I dunno, it ALMOST seems like a lot of people have already forgotten about it. Not that I frequent Starmenet or anything, so I wouldn’t know, but I feel that way, at least.

But you’d catch me red-handed singing EB’s praise any day. I love the game, and obviously a lot of other people do (About half of the posts on Balloon Fight’s Miiverse were about EB the one time I checked. Half of all the people who jumped on a thirty-cent special is a LOT, I think). I think it’s underrated, too, for sure. And people always say how simplistic the battle system is; I make games sometimes too, and I know better than many how complex that system actually is. Getting things like the Guts mechanics and the rolling HP bars to work right must have been hellish. Sure, other, bigger, more highly-funded RPGs have more complex systems in place. But Earthbound, especially in the SNES days, actually had a pretty good battle system. It’s one of the most fun parts for me. No other game gives me the frantic feeling I get during a battle when I’ve gotta choose all my attacks quickly so I can heal my character after he takes mortal damage. It just makes battles (insert random integer here) times more fun. Other RPGs bore me often because they’re so slow. It’s why I prefer games like Fire Emblem that really add that extra layer of Strategy to the mix.

Long comment is too long again. I’ll leave this here. Hope I brought up some valid points, at least. :p

P.S.: I got logged out again… I hate WordPress…

Xanti said on Feb. 15, 2013

I actually played Earthbound when it first came out on the Super NES, via Blockbuster rental. I still remember buying it from Best Buy in 1996 (damn I feel old) and later being surprised no one else had heard of it or played it. I would actually say, if I had to choose one, it’s my favorite game of all time, and I’m not retro gamer who despises gaming in its current state, it’s just still my favorite game. So personally I don’t find it overrated.

Nowadays, it’s one of those games you find on every 100 or 200 best games list that’s mandatory for publishers to release every few years, but even then, it’s discarded by Nintendo like a cheap two-dollar whore, so even in that sense I wouldn’t call it overrated.

misterdigi35 said on Feb. 15, 2013

The words “overrated” and “underrated” are TIRELESSLY thrown around by our generation. They are used in conversations that people have about the latest actor, singer, musician, tv series that people are now sick of, or want to re-animate. Is Earthbound overrated? No. Nor is it underrated. To say that it is either would be to have a biased veiewpoint on the game since the words “overrated” and “underrated” are subjective words based on an individuals own definition of them. Someone saying “oh that game is overrated” simply just doesn’t like the game or doesn’t give a crud, while someone saying “man, it’s sooo underrated” is clearly a little biased. Why don’t we just say it’s a good game that didn’t necessarily achieve wide commercial acceptance upon release. that seems a little less emotionally charged.

Tatsu_Ace said on Feb. 15, 2013

I personally think that it is not too overrated, but it’s DEFINITELY not underrated anymore. Its not obscure, anymore, ask someone on the internet about Earthbound, given they’re kind of versed in the knowledge of Nintendo, and they’ll say they’ve heard of it.

Palermo said on Feb. 15, 2013

I’ve still been thinking about this since my last post. Earthbound if one of my favorite RPGs, but honestly I thought Final Fantasy 4 and 6 as well as Chrono Trigger were all better games that were released on the same console. Some would even argue that Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG are better as well but I personally don’t think so. Either way it’s a great rpg with a lot of charm and humor but it’s not perfect.

But yet again, has anyone ever claimed it’s the best game of all time? For that reason it’s hard to think of it as overrated.

BreakingBenny said on Feb. 17, 2013

NOA labelled this game as “stinks”, why would they even hate something as great and compelling as MOTHER?

Dr.Starky said on Feb. 17, 2013


It’s battle system isn’t as deep as some of the other great RPGs on the SNES and it’s story isn’t even all that great, but I don’t think those factors work very much in it’s detriment.

The game ultimately receives praise for it’s atmosphere and setting more than anything else, which it does pretty excellently. Even if you can criticize it’s gameplay, I don’t think Earthbound would resonate as well in any other medium.

I think it totally deserves to be celebrated many, many years after it’s release.

Derrek said on Feb. 17, 2013

I think we helped to make it less obscure. But does that make it any less underrated? No, we just made the general public aware of it

Kysafen said on Feb. 18, 2013

When we’re comparing this to the whole of the game industry, it really isn’t all that overrated.

When we’re comparing EarthBound to Zero or Mother 3, then HELL YES it is.

Anonymous said on Feb. 22, 2013

Earthbound is the only video game that’s ever made me cry.

Once during the cutscene before Magicant, and only a little. Again the day after I completed it while thinking about the whole experience, and that time, I was sobbing like a bad faucet.

These were happy tears.

I have never been touched by a game this way, and there aren’t many books, movies, or songs that can lay claim to that either. How often does any work make you cry with sadness, as is the norm? When was the last time you cried because something made you so happy?
I believe it deserves to be played, just to see what reaction it provokes. By anyone who likes video games at all.

16bitKaiju said on Feb. 23, 2013

Games such as the ones in the COD series ,Fifa series and Halo are what I would call overrated. Earthbound games aren’t necessarily underrated any more, but not everybody knows about them either.

Lord Serath Darklands said on Feb. 26, 2013

If anything, the game is UNDERRATED. A friend of mine gave me the ROM for it in early January of 2013, and before that, I had next to no experience with the series (barring the scenes and characters in Super Smash Brothers Melee and Brawl). I put off trying it, as I was on my winter break from college, but when I finally did play it, I was amazed. The game is brilliantly designed, with cool characters, cool items, and a rather quirky sense of humor (like Master Belch). Since February began, I’ve played through the game FOUR times, it’s that good. I downloaded the Mr. Saturn font, I played Mother 3 (with the translation patch from Starman.net

Lord Serath Darklands said on Feb. 26, 2013

If anything, the game is UNDERRATED. A friend of mine gave me the ROM for it in early January of 2013, and before that, I had next to no experience with the series (barring the scenes and characters in Super Smash Brothers Melee and Brawl). I put off trying it, as I was on my winter break from college, but when I finally did play it, I was amazed. The game is brilliantly designed, with cool characters, cool items, and a rather quirky sense of humor (like Master Belch). Since February began, I’ve played through the game FOUR times, it’s that good. I downloaded the Mr. Saturn font, I played Mother 3 (with the translation patch from Starman.net), and I absolutely adore the series now. I just now, a few minutes ago, beat Mother 1/Earthbound Zero on a NES emulator, and I’m going to download the bridge game Cognitive Dissonance and play it, starting tomorrow. All in all, I think more people should know about this wonderful game, and indeed, the whole awesome series.

Slouch said on Feb. 28, 2013

Accidentally voted yes instead of no… I feel awful.

lucki_vibrato said on Mar. 10, 2013


Grabblez said on Apr. 13, 2013

Sadly I’m a Earthbound fag and I agree.

EarthCrash said on Jul. 11, 2013

Well no, but people need to remember it’s not the “Underrated Gem” it was years ago. It’s as of now, a popular series on the internet with a decently-sized fanbase. Treat it like a unique, normal RPG that’s a good game…

Cobi said on Aug. 4, 2013

You are asking this on a website named “earthboundcentral” – need I say more?

Uppy83 said on Aug. 18, 2013

It’s overrated garbage that relies on cheap tricks in never ending battles. In its day it may have been *good* but RPGs have come a long way.

Joegga said on Sep. 30, 2013

Yes, very overrated. Not a bad game, but not a great game either.


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