"Breaking News: Big Earthbound Fan Plays Earthbound for First Time, is No Longer Earthbound Fan."

Jokes aside, with how much I've adored games like OMORI, Yume Nikki and the all of Toby Fox's work, this has always been a game that's on my bucket list.

I'd try to start it multiple times, but eventually get really frustrated by it; I'd tell myself it's just the early game that's bad, with how frustratingly difficulty it is.

So, for this one time, I powered through it, hoping to finally experience the entire game, and, well...

This is a 3/10 game with 10/10 moments.

For example: the battle system is pure dog shit.

Attacks miss more than they hit and it is so extremely basic with what you're able to do, there's no depth.

And you have to Constantly, throughout the entire game contend with enemies spamming status ailments and crits on you, with you often being unable to cure these ailments due to not having unlocked the appropriate Heal PSI, and not wanting to waste the inventory space on the specific item that heals it.

But also: Moonside is one of the most surreal and influential sequences of any game that's ever been made, it's genuinely so alien and creepy and it's executed so perfectly.

Another example: Navigation is needlessly slow, and often extremely frustrating with the constant spam of, not "Random Encounters" but basically "Forced Encounters" with how fast enemies can target you.

But also: that slow navigation adds to the tension and creepiness of certain sections, like Gigygas's lair or Moonside.

Example: Music is often really good!

But also: tracks like the dungeon man's music make me wanna rip my ears out.

Example: story is an incredibly barebones "chosen one defeats unspeakable evil", characters are barely given any amount of depths, dialogue from random NPCs is often grating (in my opinion at least), and the humor can be downright terrible with bosses like "big belch".

But also: Giygas is one of the most interestingly written bosses of any game that I've ever played, I'm not gonna go too further into it cause it's genuinely worth experiencing.

So in conclusion, this is a game of Extreme highs and Extreme lows, playing it is Awful, experiencing it is Amazing, I genuinely think you shouldn't play it, but I absolutely recommend watching a walkthrough of it, while I certainly felt really disappointed with it at the end, at the very least: it gives me more insight and appreciation of works that it inspired.

Reviewed on Apr 04, 2024