Oh, Undertale. You strange, quirky game. You’ve earned a lot of acclaim from many critics and consumers. An acclaim on the level of pure love and adoration. And now, I too, have fallen in love with you as well.
Developer: Toby Fox
Publisher: Toby Fox
Platform: PC, Mac
It’s really hard to describe what I like so much about this game. I think it’s the strong connection I had with the characters and their stories. The places you go to are imaginative and colorful. Even the mechanics refuse to cooperate with the games rules, while still being interesting. It’s never annoying or misused.
The art style of Undertale is done in a retro 8-bit look and Toby Fox and his team executed it beautifully. Very colorful, well designed characters. Areas are very pleasing and diverse even with the story being set entirely underground. Even for very simple graphics the look of the world still manages to immerse you.
Undertale’s story starts fairly simple on the surface, but eventually takes some very big twists and turns. After a war between monsters and humans the monsters are defeated and forced to live underground. There is a barrier that seals them underground. The game begins many years later after your character falls into a hole to the underground.
The story unfolds differently depending on whether or not you attack or spare the monsters. Either way both provide excellent story telling that can only be done in a game.
Undertale uses a bullet hell style of combat. When you engage in a fight with either an enemy or boss you’ll find yourself placed into a box. You are represented as a little red heart and you move the heart around as the enemy fires projectiles at you.
Although, it isn’t always that simple. The bullet hell elements will change frequently. Not everything is confined to your little square box and there really isn’t always a consistent pattern to boss battles. Hell, there are multiple ways to beating certain enemies.
If you’ve been living under a rock haven’t heard, the game offers a way to spare monsters you encounter. Often times it requires meeting certain conditions to use the mercy option through the Act option. One monster may be an aspiring comedian and laughing at one of its puns will cause the monster to be satisfied and will leave you alone.
Sparing monsters and bosses will prevent you from gaining experience and leveling up, but you gain something else for sparing these creatures. You’ll often create personal relationships with these monsters ranging from fun acquaintances, to best friends and even some really awkward dating.
Undertale also breaks the fourth wall frequently, but in a very clever way. It doesn’t do so with a nudge and a wink. It does it by recognizing the player is a player.
The game can be a bit repetitive at times when it comes to monsters. You’ll run into the same monsters several times in a row requiring the same strategies to be put to use. Those following encounters wear a little thin after the initial one. But it’s minimal and hardly affects the overall game.
Also, there was something else wrong with my experience of this game: I didn’t go in blind. If you haven’t watched any let’s plays or are starting one of Undertale I highly recommend you don’t. I ruined the experience and story of this by watching full let’s plays first.
Undertale is an exceptional game all around. A wonderful narrative, interesting mechanics, fantastic music and aesthetics are all here. Undertale is an excellent piece of the gaming medium.
I know I’m being vague about a lot of this, but if I were to into more detail it would only spoil the game for you. This is a game you’re meant to play as blind as possible.
I personally wish I had played the game blind instead of watching let’s plays beforehand. If you haven’t yet you should experience the game for yourself.