Reviews: Undertale

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Undertale is an experience.
It's a beautiful game, honestly. It's exactly what it says it is. A game where you don't have to kill anybody.

It starts with a child falling into the Underground, and they meet a flower. The flower is a tutorial! There is no fighting, there's only friendship. And friendship is gained by collecting friendliness pellets, so it's good to get them all! You get one, and you take damage.

The flower's face warps into something grotesque... but not as grotesque as what could come, as a goat-like person shoos it away, protecting you as her own child.

Undertale is... fundamentally an experience for this reason. It's beautiful, in every sense. The pixel art is appealing, the atmosphere is always intense and the characters are memorable, funny, and most of all, complex. Undertale spared no expense when it came to detail - the first time I accidentally killed something, Undertale remembered.

This game is a very strong contender for the 2015 Game of the Year, and in the same year as MGS 5, Bloodborne, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker.

It's a game that's full of heart, humor, and most of all, determination.
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Undertale: Suceeding with Sparing
Undertale is a rare game that comes along every once in a while and makes a genuine impression on me. While it's not for everyone, it sets out with clear objectives, and, in my opinion, succeeds.

  • Story:
Great, very well written. Some of the characters can be a little grating, but the vast majority of them are lovable and cute, and they all get very satisfying closure. Every one of them left a lasting impression on me with their sheer depth to their personalities, with many of them being much more complicated than initially thought. The game's story is also very interesting, being a brutal and scathing deconstruction of the nature of morality in videogames, yet never reaches a preachy level that game like Spec Ops: The Line did. It only reaches that level on the most evil route, and you have to be going out of your way to do evil shit to begin that route, so you deserve it at that point. I've seen many people complain that the game is chastising them for wanting to see everything, including the evil route- which is the point. The game left a lasting emotional presence in me, and will influence how I play RPG's for years to come.
  • Gameplay:
Solid. The game is accurately described as an anti-rpg: no grinding, no quests, no overworld- just a linear walk to the exit, with bosses, monsters, events and towns along the way. Despite this, the battle system is extremely interesting, functioning kinda like a bullet hell on the enemies turn, turning battles into a show of spectacle and difficulty, especially the bosses, which are incredibly fun and innovative for what could have been a simple combat system. Then there's the morality system, featuring a complex system of sparing and killing monsters. Not a single monster needs to be killed, including bosses, and you need to figure out ways to appease monsters during battle, so that not every turn feels like a waste.
  • Presentation:
The games pixel art is okay and some of the enemy designs really stand out with some okay to great animations, but the real star is the soundtrack, which is absolutely incredible. It's sweeping, masterfully orchestrated and incorporates the games overture in wonderful and creative ways, evoking moments of excitement, melancholy, fear and sadness like few games can. It's really something substantial.

Overall: 10/10 A wonderful, enjoyable experience.
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