I came into Undertale not knowing what to expected. I reluctantly dodged all the previous releases when I saw the fanbase, but I finally caved in for the Switch’s version of the widely popular game.
Once I started the game I was greeted with a very simple looking RPG with extremely simple environments and extremely simple characters. To some the style of Undertale’s pixel art may be a turnoff, but I found it very comfortable. I never disliked what I saw, and although everything was very basic looking it’s beautiful to look at in its own way.
Throughout my journey I interacted with numerous strange and lovable characters. Even the monsters I encountered were charming. The game made me fall in love with everything I did, and as the story went on it did a great job of using my emotions and attachments against me. I felt for the characters I met, and I cared about learning more about the monsters, and I felt like every box of dialogue was worth reading. Even though I came into the game expecting nothing more than a simple RPG with good music I was blown away by the twists and turns the story took.
The gameplay in Undertale is an interesting take on both classic RPG games and bullet hells. It combined the ability to use the RPG-like menu to choose to attack, use items, etc. When it’s an enemy’s turn to attack the game shifts into a bullet hell style dodging mini game where your movement is confined to a specific box as the enemy attacks you. Each enemy has its own attack style as well, so you’ll need to learn the many different moves of the many different monsters to survive.
What makes Undertale such a special take on the RPG genre though isn’t just its combat, but its lack of combat. Every monster you face in the game can be killed or spared. This allows for the game to have 3 different endings. They are commonly referred to as the genocide run (killing everything), the pacifist run (sparing everything), and the neutral run (a mixture of killing and sparing). The neutral run comes the easiest, but all 3 playthroughs of the game are entertaining.
Before I had ever played Undertale, a friend of mine was ecstatic about the music. I had heard only a song or two, but I loved what I had heard. Little did I know just how much great music I was missing out on. The game is packed full of spectacular songs. Some are fast-paced songs great for intense battles, and some are funny enough to get a laugh from. Every time a song played I loved it.
The one negative is that comes with the Switch version of the game is its inflated price. It comes in at $15 instead of the normal $10. The good news is it’s easily still worth $15. Plus, the Nintendo Switch version of the game comes with a new, exclusive boss fight. Without giving too much away, the fight uses a completely new mechanic in the game, and is just as memorable as many of the other boss battles the game has.
Undertale is a magnificent game. I’m sad now that I’ve missed out on it for so long, but I’m glad I finally came around to it. It’s very deserving of the high praise it’s already gotten, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, do yourself a favor and go for it.