OKAY, so. Thanksgiving break was good to me. I put in about 25 hours of playtime into Mother 3 in three or four days and beat it. Some thoughts. On Flash Cards I never would have purchased a flash card if Nintendo had just localized Mother 3. I have to wonder how many people were driven to piracy by Nintendo's neglect of the English-speaking Earthbound fanbase. Because now that I've beaten Mother 3, there's definitely that temptation to use my new powers for evil... (Although why anyone would pirate Chrono Trigger DS without paying for it also is beyond me -- I like to encourage good behavior on the part of VG publishers, personally.) In any case, the M3 DS Real Bundle worked perfectly for its intended purpose. I didn't try playing Mother 3 on a GBA emulator, so I can't personally compare the combo system on the actual hardware with emulation, but other than the long load time to initially play the game I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between playing the patched ROM and a physical cartridge. Now I'm considering having backups of the games I already own on there for the convenience of not having to swap out game paks/cards. Thanks for the help again, Dshu, with helping me find where I could order the device. On Mother 3 Earthbound was an awesome game with a terrible ending. THE END? endings are only acceptable if a sequel is planned and arrives within a few years. Although I bet that's exactly why I think Nintendo's reluctant to rerelease EB on the Virtual Console - they don't want more rabid Earthbound fans clamoring for a localization of Mother 3. So for anyone who played and enjoyed Earthbound, you owe it to yourself to play Mother 3. There's some closure to be gained there, although I'm a little annoyed that (spoiler?) Ness didn't get in on the action, since he was the one who got the letter and all. Annoyed, but not surprised. Really, the rest of this could be consider spoilers, so feel free to click and drag a bit here. I posted this on my Facebook a couple days back actually... --- So what do I think about this game, which was already canceled once when it was intended for release on the Nintendo 64, and took over a full decade to finally reach an English-speaking audience? Eh, 'sall right. I say it's only "all right", but also, I'm sitting here Jonesing to do another playthrough. Hmm. I guess it's really more a case of inflated expectations. Earthbound's by far one of my favorite games, and not just because I rock the planet in SSB Brawl as Ness/Lucas. It takes the whole Japanese RPG genre and puts it on its head. Instead of controlling a team of warriors and wizards on an epic quest, the protagonists of Earthbound were a ragtag team of children, who just happened to have psychic abilities. The bad guy is your next door neighbor, the typically bully who happens to get in cahoots with an evil alien power. It's full of fourth-wall-breaking, self-referential humor and never takes itself too seriously, while still having a few heart-touching moments. You can relate to Ness because up until the start of the adventure, he lived the life you lived, a quiet life in suburbia. And here's where Mother 3 doesn't live up to its predecessor. Mothers 1 and 2 (Earthbound Zero and Earthbound respectively) both take place in a country designed after America. You play a young boy who grows up in a house with his Mom and sister(s), whose Dad is always away, presumably on some business trip? Mother 3 throws all this out the window. You don't even play as Lucas until the fourth chapter of the game (out of eight). The first three chapters serve sort of as backstory for when the real game begins in Chapter 4. So the game is rather slow starting out. I did really get into the game once Lucas's story began, however. But still other things bothered me. My biggest pet peeve with Earthbound was the point of no return at the end of the game. At a certain point, right before you fight the final boss, you travel through time, and cannot return until the game is beaten. Thus, if you save after you travel through time, you can never return to your own time and do any sidequests or shop for items or anything. Well, I figured they wouldn't have anything that silly, ten years in the future, as the genre as had time to mature. Nope. In fact, the whole game is FULL of these points of no return. Many items and enemies are not available after certain points in the game. In addition, the open-ended worlds of Mothers 1 and 2 are not represent in this new game. Instead, the game takes place on a couple of islands. I kept feeling like I should be able to leave the islands and explore a larger world, but this never happened. Maybe I'll rant about this more later. But probably not. In the end, it's not quite the game I expected. But for all the whining I've done here, it's still a very solid game. It's still laugh-out-loud funny. And, actually, I thought it was probably the most touching of three games in the trilogy. I teared up near the end. For the first time, the story really is all about your Mother, and family. In addition, I even felt a little bad for Porky (translated Pokey in Earthbound). --- Actually, I think I'm gonna work on my Hard Mode playthrough now. Because why did I actually expect to get work done this holiday? Heh.