Thursday, September 25, 2008

Piff's What Ifs? 2- Earthbound Wii

I’m feverishly trying to finish Megaman 9 so a review of that is coming soon. In the meantime, here’s another “Piff’s What Ifs?”

Piff’s What Ifs? 2- Earthbound Wii

(Sorry this one is a little short but RPGs are pretty established. A new Earthbound wouldn’t be as radical as something like a new Ice Climbers. The treat at the bottom should be more than enough make up for it.)

Earthbound, or Mother in Japan, is one of the few Nintendo first-party franchises I’ve yet to play. That’s because Nintendo likes to pretend that the franchise doesn’t exist. At this point fans would be happy to get the SNES original on the virtual console, then maybe the NES version as a Japanese import, and maybe if they are lucky, Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. However, on Piff’s What If’s we dare to dream. Today, let’s dream about Earthbound for Wii.

The idea of Earthbound for a console isn’t unheard of. Mother 3 was originally developed for the N64 before being ported to the GBA. One of the big obstacles this series needs to overcome is the fact that the creator, Shigesato Itoi, has no plans of making more Mother games. If a new game were to be made he certainly deserves some oversight but now it may be time to hand over the actual development to a new generation. My first pick would definitely be Level-5, the creators of the quirky and fun Professor Layton series for Nintendo DS. However, Earthbound is an RPG and they definitely have some RPG experience. They developed the critically-acclaimed Dragon Quest 8 for PS2 and are currently developing Dragon Quest 9 for the DS. With the ability to make good RPGs as well as be weird, Earthbound could provide them with the chance to do both at the same time.

Next, how would “Mother 4” play? There aren’t too many RPGs on the Wii to serve as an example. Perhaps it could a multiplayer focus like Dragon Quest 9? After all, Mother 1 was a total ripoff of Dragon Quest 1 and Earthbound party members are always interesting. One thing is for certain, turn based battles needs to die immediately. If they were included it would be nice to throw in some timing bonuses a la Super Mario RPG. However, it should have real-time battles, perhaps in the style of Final Fantasy 12. Just imagine directing moves like PK Fire, PK Thunder and PK Flash using the Wii remote.

I just spent a paragraph comparing Earthbound to several other games. Now it needs something to make it unique. First of all, the graphics, anyone who has played Ness or Lucas in Smash Bros. knows that they have a very unique art style. Mother 1 and 2 were set in a retro small-town in “Eagleland” Maybe that stands for America?... Mother 3 on the other hand, takes place first on an island with a simple lifestyle and eventually makes it way to the cruel and technological “New Pork City”. All games also have a decent amount of Sci-Fi weirdness as well. My suggestion is to combine these two themes together. Create a futuristic American city but with a very retro atheistic, the way people in the 1950’s thought Ameica would look like by the year 2000. This also goes along with my story suggestion. In Mother 3, Ness has become a hero from the ancient past. So there is a lot of time in between the eras of Ness and Lucas. I’m not super familiar with the plot of either game so I don’t know how feasible this is but, for their epic home console debut, Ness and Lucas should team up through time travel, at some point in history between their own. Earthbound stories are typically quite engrossing and on Wii they would finally have the opportunity to create elaborate cutscenes instead of just text. If anyone is wondering why I’m not including Mother 1, it’s because Earthbound, or Mother 2, is essentially a remake of that game, although not entirely. Really, the only problem Earthbound has going for it is how niche it is and how little it sells. However, that is also what makes it awesome and it that shouldn’t change.

Finally, Earthbound Wii needs a ton of orchestrated music because what they have done so far has been pretty amazing. To show you how much I love it, I leave you with something I created for just this occasion.



Unknown said...

Nice medley, Piffman2. I'd love to see a new Earthbound to come out here in the States too, but the chances are indeed slim. Even though I really like Level-5's games like Dark Cloud and Layton, Nintendo would probably want to develop something like in house. Fans would definitely demand it to be turn-based too...

By the way, Piffman2, do you have a PS3 and Xbox 360 to go along with the Wii? If you don't, you should definitely check out this Stacker 2 contest going on right now where you can win the system of your choice. There are less than 375 entrants as of now, and all you have to do to enter is design a 6 hour Power t-shirt. It's surprisingly easy to do online, and you can also win weekly prizes. Check out the contest details here:

I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds by commenting on your post, by the way. If you have any questions about the contest or 6 Hour Power energy shots, feel free to ask me since I work with 6HP. Definitely let me know if you enter too, and I'd be happy to vote for your design. Good luck.

Franklin Keane

TheAssailant said...

Yes, you have overstepped some boundaries :/

Franklin, why not join the forums?

Unknown said...

TheAssailant6661, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not... :/

TheAssailant said...

We're all open to cross-promotion, but what you did was spam :/ I won't delete it though, because there's an actual message.

As for joining the forums, I was being serious.

Piffman's not the only one without a 360 you know! I needz one too. :D

Anonymous said...

i'm too poor for a 360. i wants banjo, wait, this isn't a thread! it is a comment for Piffman!

why does Piffman continue to kick total ass at everything he does? because he is most likely made of awesome. great melody and article. i like the end of the song.

wootness all around.

Unknown said...

you can tell that you're actually trying with this (not saying that you don't with everything else you do.)

"(...) Perhaps it could a multiplayer focus like Dragon Quest 9? After all, Mother 1 was a total ripoff of Dragon Quest 1 (...)"

so you're saying they should "borrow" things from DQ again to continue the tradition? that made me confused.

good shit, man.