...and I can't say I love it. There are WAY too many battles, and I'm constantly grinding just so I can survive the next quest. Is this game as monotonous as its predecessor? --- *Insert witty comment here*
Yeah, the fact that the battles happen at random with almost no way to avoid them means you're stuck having to battle when the game decides it. Of course, opening the menu every so often resets the amount of steps to your next encounter.
Earthbound on the other hand is a little more adventurous and less battle-heavy with the enemy encounters being avoidable and being fun while at it.
If you'd like to make EB0 a little more fun/easy, Game Genie codes do exist for it and I'm assuming you're using an emulator with a built-in cheat plugin. Here are all the ones I've found with a little bit of googling (some of these might not work as I haven't tested them all):
YEVLSYIA — Infinite HP
OUUXUPOP - Infinite PP
PKOSNXZK - x 257 Experience
AEOTEOAP - Walk through walls
AAOISUZP - Always get item drop
UPSPTSXA - Disable enemy encounters
AEUIXGEG - Learn PSI upon reaching the required level
ATSZEYPT - Extra ATM cash withdrawal (disable before depositing)
GTOLETAA - Start a new game with $100 cash
XYOLETAE - Start a new game with $250 cash
GAOLOTAA - Start a new game with about $1000 cash
YZOLOTAA - Start a new game with about $10,000 cash
LTKLUVTP + LTSLKVTP - Main character starts with 99 HP
XYKLUVTO + XYSLKVTO - Main character starts with 250 HP
ZLKLSVAA + ZLSLVVAA - Main character starts with 50 PP
LTKLSVAA + LTSLVVAA - Main character starts with 99 PP
EarthBound is a much more polished game than Mother (EB Zero), and with no random battles around to pester you after every five steps and more overall balance, I don't think you'll quickly run into the same aggravating problems.
Mother is still a classic though, given that you're already playing I suggest you try to finish it before moving on to this game. It also provides some of the background to Giygas that EarthBound itself lacks. --- Yeah.