Does Nintendo really need to release Mother 3 in the West anymore?

Image: Nintendo Life / Gavin Lane

That Mother 3 was never officially localized and released outside of Japan has been a source of sadness and disappointment for EarthBounds fans in the West since the game debuted on the Game Boy Advance in 2006. The sequel follow the cult classics. EarthBound – the SNES entry in the Mother series sold poorly in the US and showed no signs of picking up in Europe until the release of the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console – coming very late on the GBA. However, backwards compatibility means that Japanese players entering the WiiDS golden age don’t need to search for their old handhelds to enjoy the final chapter in writer Shigesatao Itoi’s trilogy.

Enthusiastic fans have been calling for the official Western launch of Mother 3 for over a decade and a half now, but despite the behind-the-scenes conversation, there’s been no sign of that yet. We have The Beginning of EarthBound on the Wii U (previously unreleased localization of the first Famicom-only entry) and we recently received information from Reggie Fils-Aime that ‘serious conversations’ have been had about a potential release for the handheld trilogy. Coincidentally, the game maker Shinichi Kameoka It has also been recently speculated that the transliteration of Itoi’s unique writing style could be a tipping point for an official Western release.

We’re not sure we’ll buy it, though – it seems more likely that, despite having a huge core fan base, Nintendo doesn’t believe the game will find a large enough audience to warrant it. Make sure to invest in that ‘challenging’ localization work. As for Itoi’s inimitable style and charm, it’s superbly captured in EarthBound’s localization, so there’s no reason to think the same can’t be achieved anymore.

In fact, the same had achieved in a great fan translation that is updated as recently as last year. Which brings us to the question: Is there any real demand let Nintendo release Mother 3 now?

Don’t get us wrong, we’ll be at the top of the queue to download Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light-style limited edition ‘3arthBound’ set or a surprise standalone digital release ah EarthBound Beginnings or GBA update added to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. We absolutely will love and cherish to play the official Nintendo version in this dazzling finale.

However, the reality is that most of us who want to play it have already played it. Although it has never been released in the West, Mother 3 is currently sitting with her neck with Metroid: Zero Mission topped the charts ranked by our readers Best Game Boy Advance Game list. Mass uberfans and curious gamers alike who purchased the original Japanese game, downloaded the fan translation and played this. A cursory search of the internet reveals that various re-created baskets are easy to obtain, not to mention the multitude of other ways a staunch fan can find to play GBA titles on original hardware – also use completely legal methods, assuming you own the original form-legal ROM.

Part of the reason why we still want the official release is so a new generation can easily access the game and explore the series, perhaps for the first time. It’s been an impactful journey, and we want as many audiences as possible to have a chance to play on Switch. With over 100 million consoles available, it only takes a small percentage to participate in this quirky little adventure, which could quickly outsell the original EarthBound’s roughly 658,000 global sales. We really just wanted to spread the love of Mother-lovin.

Although only played by a relatively small number of gamers, the series has inspired a lot of love, as you’ll see if you watch our ‘Mother’s Day’ celebration video testimonies of some familiar faces. Recently we have seen Wake up link Suggested remake-style tributes What does the remade Mother 3 look like?. The passion for the game and the series is impressive, but most pragmatic fans will not only understand from a business perspective Nintendo’s reluctance to release an official localization, but also find a way to experience the game for themselves.

This leaves Nintendo and Mother 3 fans stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s a pose!

What are you thinking over? Let us know in the polls below where you stand when Nintendo releases Mother 3 in 2022, and share more thoughts in the comments section.

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