Saturday, August 7, 2010

MOTHER 3 Fanfest Begins; Old Man Prefers Earthbound, a longtime authority on all things Earthbound/MOTHER announced the beginning of their MOTHER 3 Fanfest yesterday. Just in time to interfere with everyone’s moving back to college, now you too can play though MOTHER 3 in predetermined segments while watching live shows starting Starmen staffers, participating in daily or game-long challenges, and chewing the fat with other MOTHER fans.

You might remember doing something similar with Earthbound/MOTHER 2 in the last ten years. You’re correct: Usually, the web site holds their Earthbound Funktastic Gameplay Event every summer focusing on “getting back in the game” for longtime Earthbound fans. Judging by the positive response the MOTHER 3 Fanfest idea received on the message boards, there’s a lot of excitement and support for the change. The Earthbound event has reportedly been moved back to October.

But there are some out there, like me, who aren’t happy with the change. This year marks the 15 anniversary of Earthbound’s release in the United States and I assumed there was going to be some sort of hoopla that would involve a traditional summer playthough. Earthbound was released in the summer, and for many of us who jumped on the EB wagon in 1995, Earthbound is, was, and always will be a summer game.

MOTHER 3 was released in Japan in April of 2006, with the English translation patch hitting the scene in October of 2008, thanks to the tremendous efforts of Earthbound Central’s Tomato. Since it’s been less than two years since MOTHER 3 was accessible to English-speaking players, I don’t yet see the need for postponing the Earthbound event in favor of playing MOTHER 3. The Earthbound Fanfests were always meant to get people to reconnect with the game that likely ignited their love for the MOTHER series, but MOTHER 3 is still fresh to a lot of players. Having a funfest for it now feels like having a funfest of Resident Evil 5 or Metal Gear Solid 4.

One of the biggest reasons I’m bummed out is simply a matter of personal preference: I was disappointed with the third installment in the series. Earthbound and MOTHER 1 helped define who I am not only as a gamer, but also as a person. Unfortunately, MOTHER 3 lacks the charm and intrigue of the previous two titles. The ridged chapter system kills the exploratory aspect present in the older entries and the supposedly brilliant, tearjerker of a storyline is actually rather predictable, occasionally bordering on hackneyed. I feel little connection to MOTHER 3 and I doubt I would have completed the game if it didn’t have the MOTHER logo stamped on it.

I understand that must evolve if the staffers hope to keep the years-old website fresh, and switching up the Fanfests is one way to do that. Go enjoy MOTHER 3 if you’re so inclined. I’ll be following along too, but my heart just isn’t in it this year.


  1. MOTHER 3 is beautiful. The chapter system doesn't degrade it at all in my opinion. You have to accept that it is NOT M2. It's a different game and needs to be played and enjoyed as such.