At some point I'll play through it again (probably this weekend, to get some screenshots and such with default names, I named all the characters after my friends and family :P) because it's that good. The battle system is an interesting take on the traditional RPG system, with its "rolling health meter" and it's used to full effect in the final battle, where you don't so much fight the boss, but fight the tide of your health slowly ticking away.
You can't even attack in the last battle, doing so will get you the message "
Someone once told me that an ending can make or break a game, it can be the most fun game in the world, but if it has an unsatisfying ending, that is what you will take away from the whole thing. Look at Halo 2, which in gameplay terms was much better than Halo, but had a really fucking slack cliffhanger of an ending.
Was the ending of Mother 3 disappointing? I don't think so, personally. It was like the end of a rollercoaster, with the highs and lows and loop-de-loops, and when the car finally slows down, you can't really believe it's over.
The entire story of Mother 3, is at times bizarre, at times hilarious and at times touching. I mean, this is a game where one of the main party members is the family dog. Where for an entire chapter you play a monkey who is forced to take orders from a bizarre Arab man with a banana addiction. It's also the game where and ancient power is protected by guardians who resemble transvestites.
I also can't pin down what the main story is, because there are several going on at the same time. You've got the loss of happiness in simplicity, where the village where you grow up becomes a part of suburbia, and eventually everyone leaves to go to the big city. You've got this time travelling Archnemesis, who creates the monsters in the game because, as he says, "The creatures aren't cool enough, mix them together and make something awesome." And then you have the story of a family torn apart by death, and a son who tries to put it all back together again. While at the same time, saving the world.
Yeah, I like this game.