Zero Punctuation: EarthBound - Not Your Typical JRPG

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EarthBound - Not Your Typical JRPG

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews EarthBound.

Watch Video

So its Wii U release was an excuse to play it?

Well that was a jolly review for a surely jolly game.

A ZP retro review on EARTHBOUND?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQBiaOQk__A

That ending seems to be the result of supressed memories, also when are you going to review Fantasy World Dizzy?
We deserve to know its greatness!

Seeing as yahtzee has nothing new to play, how about a ZP on The Wolf Among Us now that ep 5 has been released?

I played EarthBound for the first time this past winter. Upon beating it, it immediately became one of my favorite games, and I went on to play Mothers 1 & 3 right afterward. Yahtzee's right when he says you really understand the full scope of the EarthBound when you finish it, and when you finish the third game, the scope of the entire series becomes clear.

I'm still waiting for a review of 'Transistor'. Or hasn't that come out in Australia yet?

Renegade-pizza:
That ending seems to be the result of supressed memories, also when are you going to review Fantasy World Dizzy?
We deserve to know its greatness!

He played it to its fullest with Gabe on his original YouTube channel:


I guess this means no WildStar review. It's been weeks now.

Gizmo1990:
Seeing as yahtzee has nothing new to play, how about a ZP on The Wolf Among Us now that ep 5 has been released?

Or Transistor for that matter?

Considering how much Yathzee went on about the ending of Bastion you'd think he would have picked up Transistor by now.

Most excellent review. Carry on!

Earthbound is still my favorite JRPG of all time. Never before or since can you put ketchup on a cookie and decide it wasn't very good.

Optimystic:
I guess this means no WildStar review. It's been weeks now.

You must be new here. Yathzee doesn't do mutiplayer unless he's forced to(or it's something huge like Titanfall), and when he does, he takes great pleasure at talking about how much he hates playing with other people.

Or to quote his Halo 3 review from way back when "I don't give a shit about the multiplayer and I know a lot of people don't either"

Hmmm i wonder if he will ever play a 'total war' game . My favourite game being Rome:Total war i would love to see him play it.

Dalisclock:

Optimystic:
I guess this means no WildStar review. It's been weeks now.

You must be new here. Yathzee doesn't do mutiplayer unless he's forced to(or it's something huge like Titanfall), and when he does, he takes great pleasure at talking about how much he hates playing with other people.

Or to quote his Halo 3 review from way back when "I don't give a shit about the multiplayer and I know a lot of people don't either"

I assure you I'm not new. *points at join date*

Also, that must be why he didn't review Tabula Rasa, or Age of Conan, or Eve, or Cataclysm, or DCUO, or SWTOR, or ESO... oh wait.

Optimystic:
I guess this means no WildStar review. It's been weeks now.

You want him to review an MMO?

Just look at his World of Warcraft review again.

Or Eve Online.

Or Age of Conan.

OT: Having not played the game myself and thus only being able to go on hearsay and what I've read, I have to say that it still does sound like a typical JRPG; by which I mean, it sounds like any number of actual good JRPGs which you get when you look beyond the hyper-niche sector of the genre which includes games like Eternal Sonata, the Atelier franchise, Disgaea, etc. etc.

Not that I want to be 'that guy', especially since Yahtzee's particular stance on JRPGs has been well-known for many years, but it really does rub me the wrong way when people brush all JRPGs with a single stroke. It'd be like saying all first-person shooters are like Call of Duty, or all fantasy novels are like The Lord of the Rings.

Renegade-pizza:
That ending seems to be the result of supressed memories, also when are you going to review Fantasy World Dizzy?
We deserve to know its greatness!

Just watch his Lets Play of this game... There you see it in all its glory. "Glory"...

Y'know, the more I think about it he more I wonder what "a typical JRPG" means. Recently there was that whole "JRPGS better that FF7" list that I couldn't help but disapprove of due to its severely narrow scope. I rattle off DOZENS of other titles or series that deserved mention. Sure, Yahtzee says a typical JRPG is about "15 year olds defeating Satan with the power of friendship"...but wouldn't that make Earthbound the typical JRPG due to its arc with only its aesthetics really differentiating it? If anything I noticed JRPGs lean towards late teens, early twenties with the protagonists, that time where they're not old enough to be adults, but also not young enough to be children. Sure, the "fighting Satan" argument is realistic, but that's not exactly something out of play in fiction in general.

Recently I actually took a swing at Saga Frontier 2, a quirky game for the PS1 that has dual storylines. In one you play the exiled prince of a kingdom and live his life from literally the day he is born to the day he dies and witness the political influence of his actions. The second is about a family starting with the first generation and then ending with his granddaughter decades later. And that's before you get into its funky battle system. Can't exactly say that's "typical" with the JRPG formula people claim exists. Even with FFVII that can't work because there is ONE teenager in the entire party (Yuffie) while everyone else ranges from early twenties to well into their fifties or sixties (Vincent). And then there's Sephiroth who ISN'T Satan, but just a man who just so happens to swiftly begin attaining godhood, making him more similar to Kefka than a load of the other villains in the series.

As such, I can't really say JRPGs follow an exact template. There's just too much variation, whether it be stuff like Tactics Ogre, Front Mission, Breath of Fire, Soublazer, Illusion of Gaia, Brave Fencer Musashi, Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore, Rune Factory, Odin Sphere, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Phantasy Star, dear god I could go on with this.

TheArcaneThinker:
Hmmm i wonder if he will ever play a 'total war' game . My favourite game being Rome:Total war i would love to see him play it.

Sadly he's made it clear before that he's not into strategy, it's why he wouldn't review Starcraft 2 (the only one he reviewed was Halo Wars). He refuses to play them for the same reason I don't play Zelda games, just not into it.

OT: Never played Earthbound but now I want to borrow a friend's copy just to see how it is.

I wonder how many people are going to know what a Tuckshop is. Very regional of you.

Dalisclock:

Gizmo1990:
Seeing as yahtzee has nothing new to play, how about a ZP on The Wolf Among Us now that ep 5 has been released?

Or Transistor for that matter?

Considering how much Yathzee went on about the ending of Bastion you'd think he would have picked up Transistor by now.

Could it be that Transistor just is not bad enough to review?

Naming your character lewd things is even supported by the game, which named one of the characters "Poo" for you already.

One reason this didn't sell well that I remember was it had a pricetag north of $100 in the only store that carried it, and was locked away at the top shelf above the normal shelving unit with peripherals like the superscope6 and mario paint and those really dumb controllers bigger than an arcade stick that no one seriously wanted and they didn't have a ladder to pull it out unless it was the night crew, and if it was the night in the mid 90's and you were in the electronics store buying games, it was something stupid and gorey like Eternal Champions.

And that kids, is why American Kirby looks hardcore.

Good review, though what was funny was that when you had a big finger pointing to the title of the review, it wasn't pointing at Earthbound, it was pointing at the The Last of Us ad on the screen. Hah.

I wanted Earthbound when it came out, but between poor reviews and the cost (we got the Australia tax without the nice beaches), I couldn't justify it at the time. If I ever get a Wii U I am so getting this.

Renegade-pizza:
That ending seems to be the result of supressed memories, also when are you going to review Fantasy World Dizzy?
We deserve to know its greatness!

Fantasy World Dizzy needs no review!

I remember a similar battle skip think in Paper Mario TTYD but that required beating the optional extra dungeon.

Well... Since I never had SNES, I never played Earthbound, and the premise didn't solve me on this one to pick it up when I had the opportunity later. This review didn't change that. Games that Yahtzee likes usually at least pick my interest because "Damn, if this guy liked it, even if he rips to shred 99% of games he reviews, there might be something to it", but not this time. It seems that the game hasn't age well, and that "child fantasy story" charm might be lost on me.

As a side note - I'm honestly surprised, that Yahtzee went for a retro review, when there is a perfectly serviceable Divinity: Original Sin to play and review. Are isometric RPG's on the same black list as RTS for him?

Well, that was bloody fantastic. Earthbound is a magnificent gaming experience, although I find the pacing and simplicity of the combat to be a bit of a slog at times.

Yahtzee reviews my favorite RPG of all time.

Am I in fucking heaven?

Yahtzee review Divinity Original Sin next? That's a lenghty and good RPG to tide you through July.

Other than that I can't say much about Earthbound since I never played it.

Yossarian1507:
Well... Since I never had SNES, I never played Earthbound, and the premise didn't solve me on this one to pick it up when I had the opportunity later. This review didn't change that. Games that Yahtzee likes usually at least pick my interest because "Damn, if this guy liked it, even if he rips to shred 99% of games he reviews, there might be something to it", but not this time. It seems that the game hasn't age well, and that "child fantasy story" charm might be lost on me.

Saying "the game hasn't aged well" doesn't do it justice, because even though the battle system itself was already old and simple when it came out, it's the ambience the whole reason to play the game, and its still unique in its own way. Sure, it has a few references here and there, but most of it is self contained humor.

Everyone sees something different in the game. I wholeheartedly recommend you think about playing it. It's a unique experience.

Earthbound and it's sequel Mother 3 are the closest games will ever get to literature.

slo:

Dalisclock:

Gizmo1990:
Seeing as yahtzee has nothing new to play, how about a ZP on The Wolf Among Us now that ep 5 has been released?

Or Transistor for that matter?

Considering how much Yathzee went on about the ending of Bastion you'd think he would have picked up Transistor by now.

Could it be that Transistor just is not bad enough to review?

That's not how Yahtzee works. He's not the friggin' Nostalgia Critic. He reviews whatever's out, and aside from games he does for his Let's Plays, he rarely even plays games that he's not planning to cover in some way because he doesn't have a lot of time.

shrekfan246:

Not that I want to be 'that guy', especially since Yahtzee's particular stance on JRPGs has been well-known for many years, but it really does rub me the wrong way when people brush all JRPGs with a single stroke. It'd be like saying all first-person shooters are like Call of Duty, or all fantasy novels are like The Lord of the Rings.

The irony here is that you are doing the exact same thing to MMOs and getting upset when he does it to JRPGs.

His biggest problem with MMOs - the each side autoattacks and "whoever showed up with the biggest boots wins" - is not present in WildStar. So yes, I am curious as to his take on it.

And he clearly has nothing more pressing to review on his plate - he's even run out of indie games.

Hm, I have been tempted to download this game while it's on offer on the Wii U, maybe I'll bite now as you've sold it pretty well Mr Yahtzee.

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