All right. I must say that I was extremely late to the Undertale Party, mostly because I do not have Steam readily available. Thankfully a mixture of roomates and brother-in-laws filled me with determination and allowed me to experience the latest cult-video game that has swept much of the internet.
Undertale takes place in a land known as the Underground, a deep land inhabited by monsters who have lived there since the end of a great war between monsters and humans. You take control of a nameless child (whose name is revealed later), who has fallen into the Underground. As the child tries to escape the Underground, they will meet a host of monsters there and engage them in battle. They are given the choice to either kill them or befriend them through battle. What you choose to do determines the route you take. Ultimately, there are three routes to the game. Killing at least one monster places you on the Neutral Route. Sparing all puts you on the Pacifist route. And killing every single monster places you on the Genocide Route. Either way, you'll have a unique experience. The story is well written mixing very emotional tones with very fresh and amusing humor. I really tried to look for faults in the story and its characters but the flaws, if any, are so small that they can be easily overlooked. Also, this game remembers your playthroughs. You cannot escape the gravity of your choices in routes, so choosing to play the Geneocide route makes the game remember and guilt trip you on subsequent playthroughs. It is a really interesting feature that I enjoyed. It is the type of story that has not been seen in a while and is a real return to form of classic games that do not rely of extremely gruesome and complex stories or attempt to do humor for its sake. Still, it does have its surreal and downright nightmarish moments, but it is all in the name of enhancing the experience of the game.
The cast of characters, especially the more notable NPCs are all memorable in some way. From the overly motherly Toriel, the brash and violent Undyne, the hilariously narcissistic Papyrus, and the equally hilariously but nihilistic Sans. Its rare to find a game where you can easily latch onto every character and actually LIKE all of them. Though perhaps that is because they are troupes of internet memes.
Gameplay revolves around an original RPG styled gameplay where you can choose to either fight and deal damage until you kill a monster, flee from battle, a host of other ACTS unique to each battle, or Spare monsters. Between action choices, you have to survive Bullet Hell like segments. But these range from having to free move to dodge, jump up and down, shoot bullets, or move up and down onto multiple tiers of fixed lines. EXP is only gained by killing monsters. Sparing them yields nothing but their friendship in the end. By far, the gameplay is fun, addicting, and creative, easily hooking in gamers like myself and even most casual fans. There is no need for complex battle strategies, its simple enough for new players to jump right in, but can provide depth to pose a challenge to veterans such as myself.
One of my biggest props to the game is the soundtrack which was composed by the creator himself, Toby Fox. Every NPC has a unique battle theme that mixes classic 8 & 16-bit music with occasional live orchestra and electric guitar tracks. It is sublime to listen to and effectively captures the personality of each character and the gravity of the route you're playing.
Nonny's Rating: 9.5/10. I will not deny this game the credit it deserves. It has been a while since a mixture of story and gameplay have blended so well together. Undertale is a game that shows that fancy graphics and complicated gameplay is not necessary to create a video game masterpiece. If you have Steam, get this game. If there was a reason to get Steam, this game is it. I cannot stress how much I HIGHLY recommend you get this game as soon as you can.
Nonny's Tips: Geeeeeeeeeeeeet dunked on! (No tips for you guys this time...because I can. Tips will only give you a bad time. Ie, if you haven't been spoiled, I've tried my best to keep this review as non-spoilery as possible.) Just remember to pet that dog.
Post Report: Just to be clear, I love this game with all of my being. I did enjoy my experience with it. However, I do not feel it is the perfect game that everyone plays it up to be. It certainly has flaws, though they are easily covered by the strengths the game has. It is no where nearly as iconic as Ocarina of Time, Doom, or Pokémon enough to say that it is objectively better than those. Please internet, it's a good game. But half the experience of a video game is to play it knowing absolutely nothing. It makes the revelations more fun and finding the secrets and true routes more fun, and all the more shocking and satisfying. You rob other people of that experience that you may have gotten, or may have gotten ruined yourself. I can say that my own experience was partially ruined because of this as well. Nevertheless, enjoy the game and do not tell other people how to play it. Let them experience it on their own and find out the hidden stuff on their own.
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