In a rather unsurprising announcement from Nintendo, one of the systems most ill delayed titles has been pushed back once more. Mother 3 is its name, though Western gamers would know it as the sequal to the quirky and fun Super Nintendo title Earthbound. Although this move might shock absolutely no-one it still comes as a slight disappointment for what was intended to come out in the systems first year of release.
Developed by HAL under the Nintendo moniker, Mother 3 has been pushed back more times than Zelda ever was. Initially slated for release on the ill fated 64DD (recently given a Virtual Boy style reception in Japan), the game moved to cartridge and has showed lots of promise. Coming on in leaps and bounds it squirmed its way into a May 2000 Japanese release slot, but has since slipped. Japanese magazine 64Dream now reports it as a Summer 2000 release. This means that it isn't likely to come out until June/July sort of time. Realistically and put into perspective, this isn't really a major issue as the title was initially in for a 1997 release, so an extra month hardly seems worth groaning about. But....it's a title that might have saved the N64s rather dismal Japanese plight earlier on, and to see it arrive so late in the machines life as the only hardcore stats based RPG shows how depressing the situation on the N64 really is.
However, the title still retains all the promise that it has kept throughout development. Nintendo of America has yet to confirm a release date for the title on these shores and it looks increasingly unlikely that it will make it this year. Given the warm reception the series' second title, Earthbound on the SNES, in the US, it would make sense that it is released as soon as feasibly possible to at least boost RPG starved N64 owners. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available.