Mother 3

released on Apr 20, 2006

A turn-based JRPG and sequel to EarthBound (1994) in which a tragedy surrounding a family in the primitive yet joyful village of Tazmily incites the coming-of-age story of Lucas, the family's younger son, who goes on perilous adventures along with his friends in order to find his missing brother and stop a group of masked men from bringing about the end of the world.

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So finally the end of the Mother/Earthbound series.
I wanna start by saying I've enjoyed all three games so far, Mother 1 to me represents Adventure. Earthbound/Mother 2 feels atmosphere and setting, basically giving you the best feel of what an RPG set in the 80's era would be like.
So where does Mother 3 sit? Mother 3 honestly feels like a whole story. While it lacks the shocking weirdness of Mother 1, and we no longer are trying to set the atmosphere to be like Earthbound, Mother 3 feels like it's focused more on it's characters and this includes the world itself feels like a character. This game puts a heavy focus on learning what this world is about and how the events effects this world and the people living in it.
The graphics are honestly a huge step up, but to be fair it is a GBA game and it's two prior games are NES and SNES more than a decade apart. The game so many places to look at and different worlds that it sometimes feels bigger than it really is.
The gameplay pretty much sits on the same wavelength as the other games. Combat, gain experience, walk through dungeons and towns, beat bosses and so on. The only thing this game brings new to combat is a weird music system that you do combos based on being able to push the attack button to the beat of songs.
Yes, I say songs because this game has quite a bit of different combat songs for different enemies, so you never really feel like you are playing on auto pilot. On top of that it has a very nice soundtrack, I do prefer Earthbounds music over this, but I can't deny the music is really good.
It took me years to finally decide to play this game, I knew a lot about it even the story and the end of it and STILL I enjoyed it and knowing things like that didn't hamper the game at all because it does such an amazing job bringing you along, you can't help but wonder what is next. It's an amazing gam that I really wish they would make playable somehow for everyone.

a masterpiece of a final act for an incredible series. an emotional rollercoaster of a story not only about the residents of a humble and tight-knit village drifting apart and changing forever, but about the downfall of humanity itself through its own self-destruction, the insane conquest of an immortal boy who was refused love, and the loss or deterioration of those closest to you. you can fight a rat with sunglasses named The Squeekz

Mother 3 is a memorable game, which would have much to praise this great experience that made me lose nights of sleep, but still had my disagreements with the story, which is saturated with some clichés, as the idea of a "fated hero", or other things that would be a spoiler, also the expository, as in the part where suddenly a random character "plays all the cards on the table" and reveals various information in a few simple lines and finally the predictability of the identity of the masked man, was not it obvious?
But such flaws still overshadow the vast qualities we see in the game, which is what makes me keep such a high note, besides the rich and strong subtext present in the story in relation to what happens to the village of Tazmy, all the dramatic weight is very well constructed, having already a very good introduction and a wonderful conclusion that even with clichés is to make you sweat for the eyes, much thanks to direction, soundtrack and by the immense charisma of the characters, making it easy to get attached to them. Also worth mentioning the battle system, is great, complete and innovative, requiring strategies and greater reasoning of the player, rather than "ability" itself, and with all the humor, charisma and wordbuilding, even over 30 hours of gameplay the game never becomes cloying, always being fun (8.7/10)
(Translated with deepL translator)
Português v
Mother 3 me foi um jogo marcante, cujo teria muito a elogiar dessa ótima experiência que me fez perder noites de sono, mas ainda assim tive minhas desavenças com a história, que se satura com clichês, como a ideia de um "herói predestinado", ou outras coisas que seriam um spoiler, também a expositividade, como na parte em que derrepente um personagem aleatório "joga todas as cartas na mesa" e revela várias informações numas simples falas e por fim a previsibilidade da indentidade do mascarado, não estava óbvio?
Mas tais falhas ainda se ofuscam diante das vastas qualidades que vemos no game, que é o que me faz manter uma nota tão alta, além do subtexto rico e forte presente na história em relação ao que acontece com a vila de Tazmy, todo o peso dramático é muito bem construído, tendo já uma introdução muito boa e uma conclusão maravilhosa que ainda com clichês é de fazer suar pelos olhos, muito graças a direção, trilha sonora e pelo grande carisma dos personagens, ficando fácil de se apegar a eles. Também vale destacar o sistema de batalha, é ótimo, completo e inovador, requendo estratégias e um maior raciocínio do jogador, ao invés de "habilidade" em si, e com todo humor, carisma e worldbuilding, mesmo ao longo de 30 horas de gameplay o jogo nunca se torna enjoativo, sendo sempre divertido (8.7/10)

It's been a while since I've written a truly blasphemous review on this site, so I'll be blunt. I think Mother 3 is fundamentally the least interesting game of the trilogy, which breaks my heart more than any part of its story. Opening your inventory and seeing that key items are separate from regular ones is all it takes to realize that you're now playing through the type of RPG that Mother 1 & 2 were parodying. I've long theorized that nearly every game that claims to be inspired by Earthbound is actually inspired by Mother 3. Humor that stems from out-of-place characters or moments and occasionally produces laughs, but never ends up being broadly funny in the sense that Earthbound is. An unwillingness to inconvenience the player so as to not detract from its grand message, which never ends up feeling as worthwhile as Earthbound's ruminations on memory, connections, and life experiences. I won't deny that Mother 3's story is unique or well put together, or that it ends on the perfect note, but I will say that I'm rarely ever moved by traditional narratives in video games. The deliberate non-stories of the first two games, in my opinion, are what made the series special. It's admirable that Mother 3 rejects so much of its predecessor, considering Earthbound was pretty much a remake of Mother, but I question what it takes and what it leaves behind. Ditching the formula means that the sequence of events didn't have to revolve around collecting MacGuffins, again. Six fully playable characters means that they could've been grouped up into unique combinations throughout the course of the game, instead we spend the bulk of it with the same four. Only having two PSI users means the rest of the party could've grown in interesting ways through battle, instead Duster and Boney never gain any abilities besides the hardly ever useful ones they start with. The game's one mechanical bullseye is the music battle system, which is nothing short of miraculous. It combines with the rolling health meter to add another layer of decision making, it lets you blast through early encounters on a replay, and it cleverly ties difficulty into presentation. Structure-wise, the buildup to New Poke City remains the game's highlight, partially because of the final characterization of the man himself. As Lucas's thematic parallel, Pokey is unwilling to let go of either his childhood or his meta-status as the guy from Earthbound. I can take a hint, Itoi, but, what am I supposed to say? Without the help of any dead moms, fascist regimes, or unstoppable forces of industrialization, I get more emotional at Earthbound's credits than I do at Mother 3's. And that was sort of the point, wasn't it?

Hay obras que desafían la lógica y percuten en tus entrañas, con una extraña emoción que se vuelve irrepetible. La 3 entrega de la saga Mother sigue la estela de su predecesor, donde la bizarrez de sus situaciones y la imaginación se desbordaba por todos los lados. Pero mientras Earthbound era un vaso por el cual todas las ideas se iban escurriendo hacia afuera, Mother 3 coge esas ideas, las rebaja, las contiene y ofrece algo mucho más sólido, concentrado y le añade una historia emocional y trabajada.
El mundo es pequeño, pero cada encuentro, cada lugar, cada situación es tan especial y única que lo hacen vibrante y brillante. La primera mitad es lineal, con una presentación e introducción a su mundo, que explota en una segunda mitad llena de aventura y descubrimientos. Y entonces llega el final. La saga Mother no se contenta con tener uno de los mejores bosses finales del formato con Gygas, si no que tiene 2. Una puñalada en el corazón del jugador, con una pelea larga y dolorosa.
Capitalismo, vida laboral, investigación, suicidio, corrupción, materialismo, ecologismo o industrialización son algunos de los temas que toca Shigesato Itoi, de manera sutil a veces, y otras tan directa como un puñetazo a la mandíbula. Su mundo es fantasioso pero sus mensajes son reales y cada vez más latentes en la sociedad actual
Mother 3 es el juego perfecto para quién busca diversión, profundidad, creatividad, una historia emocional y una jugabilidad con una vuelta de tuerca brillante al sistema ya presentado en Earthbound.
Pero sobre todo, es una advertencia a lo que esta por venir.