Mother 3 – REVIEW BY MICHAEL SERRAVALLE
July 21st 2021
Mother 3 is a top-down style Role-Playing Game published by Nintendo. The game covers a variety of complex issues such as grief, guilt and the conflict between man and nature. The story follows a young boy named Lucas. The happy-go-lucky community that Lucas lives in is changed dramatically due to the influence of an outside business. This sudden change in Lucas’ world culminates in a dramatic and tragic event in his life. This change in circumstances leaves Lucas dealing with his own feelings of grief and self-doubt in an environment he no longer recognizes. Together with his friends, Lucas embarks on a journey to confront this outside influence as well as come to terms with his new reality.
Despite the dark nature of the narrative, the story of Mother 3 is presented in a quirky and colorful manner. The game’s graphics are rendered in a pixel art style and the characters have cartoon-like designs. There are many surreal aspects to the in-game universe such as a talking frog that serves as a means to save the player’s progress in the game. The gameplay is a typical role-playing game. The player traverse around a top-down 2D environment, solving puzzles and following the narrative to progress through the game. When the player interacts with a hostile creature, the game transitions into a turn-based combat system. The playable characters in the game have a variety of their own abilities to help them fend off their foes.
All in all, Mother 3 presents an original interpretation of the Role-Playing genre with a vibrant cast of colorful characters and an emotionally driven story that seamlessly weaves in and out of being incredibly heartfelt to outright hilarious. Mother 3 proves to be a powerful exploration of grief, guilt and the destructive powers of modernization.
Mother 3 was originally released on the Gameboy Advance in 2006.
To the Moon – REVIEW BY MICHAEL SERRAVALLE
July 15th 2021
To the Moon is a 2D top-down Role-Playing Game that covers a variety of topics. These topics include living with an autism spectrum disorder, memory loss, trauma and coming to terms with one’s own mortality. The game is set in the not-too-distant future where a new technology that allows one person to enter the mind of another person has been developed. In this setting, a company that specializes in the use of this technology uses it to alter or retrieve the memories of their customers in the interest of fulfilling the customer’s death wish. The customer in question is an elderly man named Johnny who is on his deathbed. The player plays as two technicians that have been dispatched to fulfill Johnny’s last request. The player will explore Johnny’s past starting from old age and working back to childhood in order to come to understand many aspects of Johnny’s mind and life.
To the Moon is a game accessible to new and veteran players alike. The game is presented as a top-down Role-Playing Game where the player controls characters in a 2D environment. The player is tasked with exploring the Johnny’s psyche. To the Moon stands out among Role Playing Games in that there are no encounters with monsters or any similar combat system. The game only relies on solving puzzles and the narrative to progress through the game. This interesting quality is what makes the game suitable for any player. The difficulty of the game is quite low and players can enjoy the game at their own place.
Through its unique approach to the Role-Playing Genre, To the Moon offers a fascinating narrative that takes the player through an adventure into the mind of man at death’s door. Challenging such difficult topics such as facing one’s mortality and dealing with regret, the player is met with a touching story that they are not likely to soon forget.
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux, Android and Nintendo Switch