Nintendo’s cult hit Earthbound returns, coming to Nintendo Switch

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The fan-favorite Earthbound, along with the original Mother game, is available to play now on Nintendo Online.


Announced during the latest Nintendo Direct, the fan-favorite role-playing game Earthbound was revealed as the newest title coming to the Switch’s Nintendo Online service — and it’s out right now. Originally released in 1994, it’s one of Nintendo’s most beloved but elusive franchises. The plot of Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) sees a ragtag crew of youngsters fight off aliens and other supernatural threats with psychic powers.

Along with Earthbound, the original game in the franchise, titled Mother 1, will be available in the Nintendo Online store under the name Earthbound Beginnings. Previously, the last time we saw these two games were as rereleases on the Nintendo Wii U. Fans of the series have been clamoring for more Earthbound, and they’ve finally gotten their wish with this release.

Interestingly, Shigesato Itoi, one of the Mother/Earthbound series creators, made some comments on social media ahead of Nintendo Direct, telling fans to watch the show. Shortly after the reveal, Itoi released a video expressing his excitement for the series’ return, and thanked for the support over the years.

What’s made Earthbound such a well-liked game is its storytelling and sense of humor. As a Japanese role playing game, deeply inspired by American pop culture hits like The Goonies and ET: The Extra Terrestrial, it possesses a very eccentric and endearing sense of style, which comes out in some moments of action and plot development. The last game in the series to be released was Mother 3 on the Game Boy Advance, which unfortunately never made it to western markets.

Along with Earthbound, other games announced during the show were a new Mario Strikers game, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, updates for Metroid Dread and Splatoon 3, and most impressively, the reveal of Nintendo Switch Sports, the sequel to the seminal Wii Sports.

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