is the third game in the Mother/Earthbound series and was never released outside of Japan. There is however a very well-done fan translation available on the internet. I enjoyed this game, although I let the BF do most of the battles. (I probably actually played around a quarter to a third of the game and played armchair quarterback for the rest of it.)
The Mother series has a neat battle system where your health scrolls down when you get hit (instead of being immediately gone) so if you're fast enough, you can heal characters before they die. I...was not fast enough, even if I am getting better at menu interaction in games. Mother 3
introduces a hit system where, if you can time your attacks to the beat of the battle music, you can get up to sixteen hits in a row. It's a nice way of making it so that the non-magic characters can also do significant damage.
For the first couple chapters, you do a lot of character switching, which is kind of fun (new characters! new perspectives! new things to do!) and kind of annoying (so-and-so was finally leveled enough to be decent!). You also spend a fair amount of time in the beginning with just one playable character and maybe an NPC, and the battles therefore feel more reactive than my preference.
Plot-wise, the game was interesting. The main themes are the perils of consumerism and dealing with the loss of family members. (Between the themes, the ending, and the genderqueer Magypsies, I am unsurprised that Mother 3
never got an official English release.) The game did a good job of making it so that wandering around the main character's hometown for the umpteenth time didn't feel
like the umpteenth retread. Characters said new things, different stuff was happening, and the town changed as the plot progressed. Having watched the BF play through enough games where you just go in circles unlocking one tiny, new spot at a time (La Mulana
and I Wanna Be the Guy
, I am looking at you), I am always thankful when games make revisiting places seem new.( I have spoilery thoughts about the ending. )
I do recommend it if you're the sort of person who likes RPGs.