Undertale is one of those games that I respect, even if I didn’t love it as much as many people did. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good game. Some of the shmup sections were fun. The humor just didn’t often land with me and I was probably unduly biased by the hype surrounding the game.
This isn’t a post about why I didn’t like Undertale, though, this is a post about what Undertale did for the industry, and I’m not talking the glut of meta-storytelling games that followed. Those can die in a fire, as far as I’m concerned. No, I love that Undertale proved that games can be about emotions other than anger. Games don’t have to only fuel those violent tendencies in us. I have no problems with games like that but I thrive on variety and Undertale was a HUGE step towards that. There have been non-violent games in the past, no doubt. But never have I seen a game offer both violent and non-violent choices, present them in the same light without any real bias towards either path, and let players choose which way to go. That is why I will always have a great deal of respect for Undertale.
3/2 – Undertale
Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s video game of the day.
Today’s game is the cult PC hit, Undertale. Developed and published by Toby Fox and released on PC and Mac OS X in 2015
Undertale is a top-down RPG done in the style of 16-bit JRPGs of the Super Nintendo era. Unlike those games, which often used turn-based battle systems, Undertale instead uses a hybrid system involving menus to select combat actions combined with bullet hell minigames to determine success or failure. Undertale also uses unique menu options and encounters for each of the monsters throughout the game to make each fight unique.
The story involves the player-named character falling from the surface world to the underground world of monsters. Players are quickly taught that monsters can vary drastically in regards to appearance, abilities and morality. Likewise, the player can choose to kill monsters or end combat in a number of peaceful ways. This will alter the path the story takes. Undertale also utilizes a number of meta-storytelling techniques. For example, if a player chooses to end a fight one way but then resets the game to do something different, the game will recognize this occurred and will respond in a variety of ways.
Different playthroughs also result in different events occurring so rarely will two players go through the game in exactly the same way. Because of these differences and the game’s relatively short length, replays are encouraged to learn more about the game’s lore and underlying story.
Undertale was released to critical acclaim with Metacritic listing it as one of the best reviewed PC games of all time. It has developed a rabid fan-base that has worked to piece together much of the game’s subtle lore. Undertale was later ported to the Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and Nintendo Switch. Toby Fox has since released a standalone product currently known as Deltarune, an anagram of Undertale, that appears to be a spiritual sequel to Undertale.
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