I was pretty skeptical about the fan project to continue the Mother series, but this latest trailer puts that doubt to rest. Mostly. The team has done a fantastic job of not only retaining the aesthetic of previous games in the series but also creating a unique vibe through the graphics and music. The game ultimately looks like a mashup between Mother 3‘s visual style with borrowed sprite textures from EarthBound, namely some of the caves and cliffsides as well as the classic in-battle HUD.
While battles here seem most reminiscent of EarthBound, the rhythm mechanic makes a triumphant return from Mother 3, in which you can tap A along to the beat of the battle theme to do extra damage to foes. What is most convincing for me in this trailer are the sounds, with not a blip or bleep out of place. The music is heavily influenced by EarthBound but manages to maintain a style distinct from its predecessor. I recently watched a trailer for a game called Oceanhorn, a game that advertises itself as an homage to The Wind Waker. However to me, it feels less like a nod to Zelda and more of an outright copy with no effort to create its own unique feel. Even the music used in its trailer sounds like a watered down version of the Great Ocean theme from The Wind Waker, no pun intended.
This trailer, on the other hand, demonstrates that the people behind Mother 4 have a deep understanding of the series and how to reimagine the atmosphere that makes the series so memorable, without feeling like a cheap imitation. Whether it’s talking to an enemy about soda or dragging a knocked-out party member around face first, there’s a sense of humor here that I’m sure even Shigesato Itoi himself would be proud of. Despite loving EarthBound and Mother 3 to death, I had no prior intention of playing Mother 4 but I suppose that all changes now. I suppose I should remind myself that if fans can bring Mother 3 to the English speaking world, then surely fans can create a respectable continuation to this most beloved franchise.
Check out the official Mother 4 website!