Undertale Review

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If you weren’t living under a rock during the latter part of 2015 then you are likely to have heard about Undertale. Whether you heard the endless praise from critics and fans alike, or you encountered one of the many memes that have erupted from the game and its community, Undertale was, and still is, one of the most talked about games in recent months. Heck, you can’t even walk a few steps through the Plaza in Splatoon without being greeted by Miiverse posts depicting characters and scenes from Undertale, oddly enough. It is fair to say that Undertale has gained cult status, and the amount of passion that has been shown for the game by critics and fans definitely had me intrigued to play myself.

I’ll start by how I mean to end this piece. Go play this game! I truly believe that there is something for everyone in this game. From the gameplay itself with its intuitive combat system and entertaining puzzles, to one of the most genuine, heartfelt stories, filled with excellently written characters. I honestly haven’t experienced a game so evocative in a good while, and to top it all off it has the most fantastic soundtrack that I can say with certainty is the video game soundtrack of 2015, maybe even the last five years, in my eyes. Seriously, even if you feel you aren’t interested in playing Undertale, listen to some of the pieces of music on YouTube, it may just change your mind.

The story of Undertale takes place in a world where monsters and humans, who had once lived together on the surface, has been torn apart by war, leading the monsters to be banished underground and the entry to the surface sealed by magic. You take on the role of a child who has fallen underground whilst traversing the fabled Mt. Ebott. It is your goal to find your way out of the underground and back to the surface. However, as it is filled with monsters you are going to have to fight your way through. Or, are you? Met by the kind monster Toriel at the beginning, you learn that as well as the option to Fight the monsters you encounter, you also have the option to Act, which can lead to some of the most hilarious interactions.

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If you enjoy dark humour, there is plenty to be found in Undertale.

The reason you have the option to Act is that picking the right options will allow you to spare the monsters. Unlike some games, where morality can feel tacked on, the decisions you make in Undertale will drastically alter the story. You can take three routes, the neutral route, the pacifist route, or the genocide route. These routes are self-explanatory, however the vast difference in the story depending on which route you decide to take is quite hard to convey without spoiling. All I can say is that I was astonished at how much depth had been added to the story playing through the pacifist route after initially completing the neutral route. It took me around 7 hours to complete my first playthrough and I was immediately compelled to start all over again to initiate the true ending which can only be seen by completing a true pacifist run.

Like your typical RPG, Undertale features an experience points system to level up the protagonist. However, if playing as a pacifist you won’t receive any experience points from battling, only gold. This adds a huge degree of challenge as having a low health pool of 20 can prove quite troublesome in some of the later boss fights. Speaking of, the degree of variation in fighting bosses is interesting as each have unique battle systems implemented. The fighting system in Undertale features a box that hovers above your menu where you must tap Z when a moving line lands in the center of this box to initiate your attack. After this the monster will retaliate with their own attack which sees you control a heart icon and play a minigame of sorts, ranging vastly from every monster you meet, and particularly amongst the bosses. For example, fighting the sassy skeleton Papyrus will have you using the arrow buttons to make your heart jump over obstacles made from bones. Later on you will meet the brash knight Undyne, whose battle feels like playing a music rhythm game. This variation will keep you on your toes in every battle.

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I can’t decide whether it looks like an eye or a canoe.

The majority of the bosses you will get to know quite well, through interacting both inside and outside of battle, which can create difficult decisions in how you want to end the fight. The characters have been written extremely well, and getting to know them throughout the game will make you feel a range of emotions. What really shines through each character though is their comedic aspect. There are some brilliant pieces of dialogue from the characters and its easy to see how they have become such huge memes.

What also sets Undertale apart from many RPG’s is its self awareness. Many fans have lauded instances in the game where it breaks the fourth wall, and it manages to come across as very meta with its self awareness of typical RPG tropes, and even topics of the wider gaming community. This is a hard thing to achieve without it falling flat, or being overdone, but Undertale has just the right amount and without it, many of its characters would lose a lot of their charm.

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Reading signs is not a monotonous chore in Undertale.

Undertale is a fantastic RPG that is captivating from the get go. The soundtrack is absolutely brilliant and the characters are lovable, both of which I will fondly remember for years to come. I’m sure this will be one of the games I will always come back to for some good old classic fun in the future. I really can’t stress enough how great this game is, and to do so anymore would inevitably lead me to spoiling it. You really don’t have any excuse if you haven’t played this yet, as it quite low spec so can be run on most average laptops and desktops, and a single playthrough can be done in a day if you don’t have much time on your hands.

Have you played Undertale? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

 

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The WakuWafu and Starlight Blogger Awards

Cor blimey! It seems I’ve been nominated for The WakuWafu and Starlight Blogger Awards by none other than the brilliant Chasm of Thought. I always enjoy reading your blog and I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading my work as much as I do yours.

These are the rules for The WakuWafu Award:

1. Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. awardChoose any 3 things you would like to say about yourself to your fellow bloggers.
3. Think up 3 questions you would like to ask the people you nominate.
4. Give one piece of advice to your fellow bloggers.

5. Make sure to tell us over here (http://wakuwafu.com/2015/09/08/the-wakuwafu-award/) that you have been nominated (and/or completed the award) so that we can put your blog up on the wakuwafu page! Make sure to put down your blog in the comments section!

The Starlight Blogger rules are:starlight-blogger-award

  1. Thank the giver and link to their blog in your post.
  2.  Answer the 3 questions given to you.
  3. Please pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  4.  Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog. Please never alter the logo and never change the rules.

I’ll get straight into the questions asked by Chasm of Thought.

Which fictional reality would you be happiest living out the rest of your days in?

So I ummed and ahhed for a while over this but I’ve decided to go with Skyrim. There hasn’t been a world in a game that has captivated me like Skyrim did. A beautiful world with a range of different environments that could satisfy a lifetime of adventures, I mean I clocked over 200 hours in that game and could easily go back to it. Plus I would be a badass Dovahkiin. Enough said.

Which person do you respect most? Can be fictional or real, known personally or not. You also don’t have to necessarily like them.

So I’ll keep with the theme of video game related answers and tell you who I respect most in the video games industry. He is someone I’ve known of for a few years but only started following in recent months, yet he has provided a lot of entertainment and insight. It’s none other than John Bain aka TotalBiscuit. He is quite the controversial figure in the games industry, but listening to his podcast and an assortment of audio blogs has provided a lot of insight into the industry, and has helped me think about things from different perspectives. I don’t always agree with his views, but I respect his opinions and can always understand where he is coming from. He also doesn’t give a damn about calling someone out on their shit which I do rather like.

What made you want to start blogging, and what’ve your experiences been like so far?

Well this I can answer pretty easily. I’ve been an avid video games fan since 5 years old, but as usually goes with being a kid I didn’t have much money to spend on them. Picking the next game to play was sometimes a difficult decision and so I turned to gaming magazines for help. I used to pore over these magazines, vicariously playing games through them and what I read really inspired me as a writer. The next logical step was to start a blog, and the rest is history (albeit a short one). What I’ve loved about starting my blog is the engagement I’ve had with the gaming community on WordPress, and I love reading everyones thoughts on different games.

Here are my nominees

I can always rely on these blogs to give some informed and entertaining discussions on a range of different video games and films, and I’ve really enjoyed engaging with them in my short time blogging.

After Story

Game, Complain, Repeat

Matt on Video Games

Wave Motion Fist

Established 82

What Rhino Said

Three Questions I’d Like To Ask

  1. What video game character would you want as a sibling?
  2. What is your most anticipated video game this year?
  3. What is your favourite video game OST?

A Piece of Advice for the Road

I am by no means an expert to dictate on how to write, but one of the most important things I’ve learnt through studying at university and blogging is proof reading is key. I’m always surprised by how many mistakes I make or when something doesn’t sound right at all. It’s a really useful habit to get in to, so I think this is the best advice I can give to my fellow bloggers!

Thanks again to Chasm of Thought for the nomination, and if you got to the end I hope you enjoyed learning a few little facts about me.