You know when I was first told about Undertale I took one look at it and just went… seriously that looks so generic? However soon many people began to recommend it to me and I finally decided to get it and give it a go and here is the result.
So Undertale is a 16 bit rpg game set in a world where humans and monsters once coexisted but the humans one day attacked the monsters and were banished to the underworld where they were sealed away and would need 7 human souls in order to escape. There is one way into the underworld however and you play as a child who stumbles onto this opening and falls into the underworld and must now escape from this place otherwise your soul will be used to help the monsters escape.
Wow that sounds generic but immediately after starting you are greeted by Flowey the flower and from then on the story goes from being generic to actually pretty well written and god damn I want to talk about it but saying anything about it spoils it but I will say that I really enjoyed it mainly because of the cast of characters.
The characters you meet in this game are all pretty interesting and have their own little qwerks which makes them enjoyable and made me quite fond of them from a pair of skeletons who have an obsession with bad puns and puzzles to a bunch of spiders holding a bake sale to get a limo. Each of the characters are well written and really get there characters across and you quickly learn they aren’t actually bad people and that sparing them is usually the best option. They also kind of remember you or things you did in repeated playthroughs where they wonder if they know you or know answers to questions they already asked you which is a nice touch. They also react to decisions you make throughout the game and doing something to one character can cause another to react to you in a different way which is nice.
Now notice I also said spare them. The combat in this game is not done like your normal turned based RPG fair. When combat starts you have 4 options attack, act, item and mercy. Attack and item are the standard fair but Act and Mercy are where Undertale gets interesting. Using these options rather than killing a monster you can choose to spare them and in doing so the monster will be friend you and no longer fight. This is where the mercy option comes in but some monsters take some persuading and you may have to Act first. This comes with a list of options where you can complement the monsters hat, give it a hug or even ask it out on a date and doing one or a few of these will make the monster then like you and you can then spare them.
Still because this takes a few rounds with some monsters they will attack you and this is also done differently. When the monsters attack your soul represented by a heart is put in a small box and the monsters attack will then appear and you will have to dodge them as they come at you. These start off fairly simple but do get more complex but done so in a way that you will also gradually get better and possible to beat them without taking damage. The bosses also change this further by changing the mechanics completely for one could turn it into a platformer, another could turn it into space invaders and one could even make it a quiz show. Even the bosses can be spared but they are a little harder and may take you a few rounds to figure out what you need to do.
As for the rest of the gameplay it’s the simple walk around the map like the old final fantasies and solve puzzles but these are all reasonably easy to do bar a couple but even they aren’t too hard and the areas are a decent size with a few hidden areas and has a decent transport system so back tracking in the few times it is needed is reasonably easy and not a problem.
Graphics yes it’s 16 bit but all the characters look really good from their sprites to the in fight images with only the playable character looking generic but this kind of on purpose as to make it so it could be anyone which is a nice touch.
The soundtrack though holy crap the soundtrack. The characters don’t really speak though they do have audio and the audio chosen does fit them but the soundtrack is incredible. In fact even if you’re not interested I urge you to visit this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5daGZ96QGU and listen to the track. That just gives you an idea how good the music for the boss fights in this game is and they all fit the bosses attitude perfectly.
As for length well it took my about 5 hours my first playthrough but to get the true ending does require at least 2 and there are 3 main story paths you can take so it will take you a few goes though future playthoughs will a be bit shorter as you will know the enemies attacks so beating them is a bit easier but the second playthrough was still enjoyable for me though I haven’t done the last one because well… I just can’t bring myself to kill these people I like them too much.
Are there any flaws? Well not really bar a few attacks I do believe are a little cheap in that they require absolute precision to dodge but those are few thankfully but is annoying when they happen. No for what it is Undertale is well done.
Overall Undertale is one of those small games that just popped up on Steam one time and I am glad that it did. I’ve played a few games this year but none of them I have enjoyed as much as the couple of days I had with Undertale as the story is good, the writing is clever and funny and the gameplay while having some similar things also takes a risk with some different mechanics and it pays off. Undertale came out of nowhere but I feel like it’s going to be one that sticks around for a while. Definitely give it a go… now excuse me as I’m off to Grillby’s.