I am a woman with a lot of different ambitions. Just focusing on game reviews and coverage, I often have so many different niches to choose from that it can be difficult to keep a focus. This plays into why it’s been over a year since the last time I made an Impressions & Commentary piece. Thus the common thread in the two I’ve done is that they are impressions of the opening to a game, whether it be a Demo or the in game intro. The subject of today’s piece is the former, and is the first non visual novel to be covered in this format by me.
She Dreams Elsewhere is an indie RPG that its developer has described to me in an email as “like EarthBound had a baby with Adult Swim.” The cliche comparison framing aside, I would note that the idea of EarthBound x Adult Swim has actually been done before with LISA: The Painful, a game which I have also gave a glowing review to before. I also believe the the comparison is far more befitting for LISA than She Dreams Elsewhere but I will get to that a little later.
I have been a fan of the EarthBound series for many years at this point. I first became a fan from watching various lets plays of the game back around 2008 or 2009, because at the time I knew nothing about roms and emulators, and I clearly could not afford a copy of EarthBound. After having been moved by both EarthBound and Mother 3, I was enamored with the series for several months to the point of near obsession. As such, the series was very influential to my experiences as a gamer, despite me having experienced them over a decade after EarthBound’s release.
I didn’t end up playing EarthBound on my own until I bought a cart myself despite the huge price, and I’m still glad I have a physical copy seeing as how it’s my favorite game of all time, and I only played Earthbound Beginnings last year when it was released on the Wii U e-shop. Hell I still have not legitimately played Mother 3 and am waiting until its inevitable e-shop release to do so (although as I said, I have seen let’s plays of it and know enough to say that’s it’s pretty much a masterpiece) Read more
EarthBound is a game that has been well received since its introduction, but has only recently received a serious look by mainstream gaming websites in the past few years. We now find it frequently in top-10 lists near the number one spot. The weird thing about this however, is that Nintendo of America has ignored the EarthBound series and has given it no publicity over the years, so what was there to increase its publicity so drastically that major gaming sites started noticing? The answer would be the game’s rabid fan base that is incredibly loyal to the series and have pushed hard to get it noticed. This however has led some to some fans that are really overzealous and give the series a massive amount of hype with great expectations to fill. I myself at one point have been in that same position of near obsession with the series, but it has been years since then and I have moved on and played many other games that have made me just as passionate as EarthBound did.
I recently decided to replay EarthBound and I expected that losing my overzealous passion would make the game’s flaws more noticeable. Despite having a very special place in my heart I expected this review to be one that, while still having a positive tone, was more critical of the game. I was wrong, and being wrong has never felt so right. It turns out that not only in this play-through that I re-discovered exactly what it was that made me fall in love with it in the first place, but I discovered more. This play-through marks the only time that my opinion of a game I already played improved despite being one of my all time favorite games to begin with. Read more
Note: This was originally written as a DeviantArt journal entry on October 21st of 2016 with some edits made.
Major spoiler warning for Halloween Hack, Mother: Cognitive Dissonance, and Undertale.
It is about time I get to another entry on a video game song given how long it has been since the last one. As such, I’m going to structure this one similar to when I covered the eight melodies in that this will include multiple renditions of the song across multiple sources. Of course, some people who discovered this song through Undertale may be somewhat surprised to hear that it was not originally from there. It’s first appearance was in an Earthbound romhack that Toby Fox developed when he was 16 known as “The Halloween Hack“.
Halloween Hack was pretty impressive when one keeps the context of which it was made in mind. It is a game that has a lot of its own original content such as sprite work and music, and the game even makes use of mechanics that were under utilized in Earthbound. So it was definitely a well made Hack from a technical perspective, but other than that it falls flat. Read more
How surprising that I have yet to make an Amazing VGM entry on my favorite game of all time. Yes, I have covered something from Earthbound Beginnings, The Halloween Hack, and Cognitive Dissonance, but not Earthbound itself. Anyway, I am going to be covering one of the more underrated tracks in the game, the area theme for The Deep Darkness, “The Eye Awakens a Jungle,” also sometimes titled “The Deep Darkness,” by Asgore apparently.
Yes I know, I shill for Undertale way too much in Amazing VGM… and in general to I suppose, but mostly in amazing VGM I suppose. But aha, this song technically isn’t from Undertale so I can still make this one anyway. To clarify, this track is not from EarthBound either, nor is it from Halloween Hack, or LISA, or Contact, or Citizens of Earth, or Yume Nikki, or Opoona, or Off, or Boot Hill Heroes, or any other number of EarthBound clones out there. It is related to Earthbound in that it is part of the EarthBound fan album I Miss You – Earthbound 2012 that Toby Fox was involved with and it uses EarthBound’s sound font, but it has not been used in any official release as far as I know. I do hope that Toby does use it in a future project though because this is an amazing track.
The last one of these I wrote was for Undertale’s “Reunited,” and that was back near the beginning of January. Naturally, I’m kind of overdue for an update, and since I took so long, I’ve got a special one for you all.
Instead of covering just one song, I’ve decided I will talk about a bunch of songs from the same game that pertain to a specific character. For those that do not know, Mother: Cognitive Dissonance is an EarthBound fangame of exceptionally high quality that I played for the first time last year. I have already talked about the game before so I will skip that fanfare, but I have wanted to go more in depth about its music for a little while. Its music really is amazing, some of it I may dare say is better than the music of the official games.