A lot of Earthbound fans saw Contact on the NDS as the second coming. Like those fans, I looked forward to the witty writing, quirky humor, and distinctive style. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help feeling a bit of disappointment after beating the game.
Contact just didn’t feel very satisfying and I think a lot of it comes from the feel of the game and how it ended. For those who don’t know already, the Professor saves his cells, fixes his ship, Terry returns home and that’s the end. Anti-climatic? Yeah, I thought so too.
I suppose the twist (as revealed from a letter to Terry) is supposed to be that the player realizes that the Professor was using Terry all along to get the cells and that the Professor isn’t such a nice guy. That’s not much of a twist, since players should have been able to figure out that Terry was being used halfway through the game.
Maybe players are supposed to feel bad for Terry because he was just minding his own business and all of a sudden, he gets pulled onto a ship and has to go on some fetch quest for an creepy old man whom he hardly knows and who likes to draw him warm relaxing baths. But it’s hard to feel sorry for Terry because there’s such little characterization in Contact that players feel separated from the character in Contact. Terry doesn’t seem to have much of a personality and he even though players control him, the game does such a good job of setting up the player as a separate character from Terry that it makes it difficult for players to emphasize with him.
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