Thank you Virtual Console for allowing me to play Mother! Originally released only in Japan in 1989 on the NES (or Famicom), I’ve been dying to play this because it’s the prequel to one of my top three favorite games ever, Earthbound. When it was announced in June of this year that Mother was finally being released on the Virtual Console I was completely ecstatic and bought it right away. I’ve finally got a chance to get stuck into it properly this past week or so and so far, I’m really enjoying it. It’s definitely reducing my Earthbound withdrawal symptoms somewhat. because the two games are almost exactly the same in terms of game-play. It’s no wonder that Mother was released on the Virtual Console under the title Earthbound Beginnings. I prefer to use its original title of Mother but I can’t fault the underlying logic at work. The two main differences are the plot (obviously) and Mother’s use of a random encounter battle system. The battle system can be a bit annoying sometimes, especially because quite often I literally take one step forward and boom, I’m in another battle. When that happens navigating an area can be laborious because it can take a while for me to actually get my bearings – the battling in this game is very frequent. So much so that I’m at level 20 already and I’ve only just arrived at Merrysville, so I’m still pretty early in the game. It’s sucked the challenge out of the battles at the moment because I’m able to breeze through in about three attacks at most. The battles themselves are still really funny though – Earthbound was famed for having battles with anything from cups of coffee to mystical records to abstract art (I’m not kidding). Mother isn’t quite as extreme but enemies such as Momseyes, Dadseyes and Foureyes have made me giggle. Chances are, I won’t prefer it to Earthbound but even still, I expect Mother will rank very high on my all time favourite games list!