10 Awesome SNES RPG Series You Must Play Before You Die

5. Earthbound

earthboundbox Perhaps the greatest RPG series set in the present-day, Earthbound is an off-beat, enjoyable title which has recently gained greater popularity in the West after the appearance of Ness and Lucas in the Super Smash Bros titles. In equal parts a true RPG and a parody of the genre; instead of locations such as Hyrule and Gaia there€™s a humorous imitation of our own world (ten points for guessing what country €˜Eagleland€™ is supposed to represent). Easily amongst the most memorable titles on the list, Earthbound serves as proof that a fantasy title doesn€™t need goblins and dragons as enemies €“ €œNew Age Retro Hippie€ and €œAnnoying Old Party Man€ can work just as well. It€™s a refreshing take on a genre that can occasionally feel stale €“ instead of swords and shields, you€™ll be using baseball bats and yo-yos. In place of riding a dragon or blimp, you€™ll journey in a yellow submarine. The game is a celebration of American culture as perceived globally, rather than a depiction of America as it actually is, and is frequently hilarious as a result €“ one almost wishes the country could live up to the expectations created by the game. The humour is ever-present, from the absurd enemies you€™ll face to the constant jokes at the expense of the RPG genre. I€™ve actually chosen this game over the similar Dragon Quest because while the gameplay is almost identical, Earthbound€™s script and humour do a much better job of separating this game from the RPG pack. The game also boasts a memorable soundtrack, which is so popular in Japan that it€™s used in some school textbooks.
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Laurence Gardner was born in Canterbury, England. After moving around various cities during his childhood, and spending some time travelling in Europe and America, he studied English Literature at Oxford University. Since then, he’s been living abroad, teaching English, learning a range of languages, and writing in his free time. He can currently be found in Heidelberg, working as an English Tutor and Translator and studying at the University. If you liked this article, follow him on Twitter to get automatic updates on his work.