Learn to read a map is the only advice I can give. You have to understand that, unlike everywhere else in the game, it repeats a lot of backgrounds and the same location can look different if you come into it from a different angle.
Stick with it, though, because you'll get a pretty kickass GF outta the deal.
Conker was funny but dragged on too long and was really scattered.
Earthbound is utterly fabulous and you're going to love it until right before the end, then you're going to feel like it's petering out, then it is going to blow your mind.