Undertale: A Review

Admittedly, I’m a bit late to the game with this little gem. People have been talking about it for a while, and I had previously played a demo, but I hadn’t bothered to do the whole game.

Inspired by the Mother series (Mother 2 brought to the USA as Earthbound) and another genre known as “bullet hell” games, Undertale takes us through the story of how the human world and the monster world came to be separated.

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So here’s the good, the neutral, and the bad about the game:

  • The price point is decent; $10 for this quirky little game, and it’s DRM-free as far as I know.
  • Total nostalgia throwback for those of us who grew up in the age of overhead, pixellated RPGs
  • Unique characters in a unique concept combined with an interesting battle system
  • A few twists and turns in the game
  • Catchy music

Neutral aspects of the game:

  • Length. The game is fairly short. It’s over before most games are really starting. I place this at “neutral” because the length of a game and story isn’t the absolute determining factor; Undertale has its story and tells it.
  • Storyline. The story isn’t terribly deep, but because so much of the game is unique, the lack of depth doesn’t really bother me.
  • Multiple endings. This is neither good nor bad as far I’m concerned. Multiple endings can make a game more interesting, but we’ll look at this in the next section.

Bad aspects:

  • The player cannot run. This is frustrating because of the next point…
  • …which is pacing and layout. Sometimes, shops and save points are bunched together, and other times there are long stretches where you can’t get healing items even though you really need them, and you have to backtrack…slowly…through various areas.
  • Lack of diverse objects or explaining their connections to other aspects of the game
  • Lack of clarity about multiple endings. The multiple ending aspect is well-known in the fandom, of course, but the game doesn’t do a good job explaining it within its story or how to achieve it.
  • Lack of clarity about other things. I had to look up several things online. For a short game, it could’ve been more straightfoward.

 

The good news, of course, is that you can look up on various websites all about the various styles of playing.

No matter what, I highly recommend playing Undertale. Go for it.

Steve

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