Ryan verified Admin
Feb 15, 2020, 08:29 AM 9,791 read

Ryan's Always Right: Undertale

Undertale is, on the surface, an adventure RPG. It’s dialogue-heavy, uses turn-based combat, and includes a lot of simple puzzles that require almost no thought to complete. These are all features of games that most players typically dislike, yet Undertale has somehow earned a cult-classic status and appears to be one of the most beloved games of this generation. With hype often comes overhype; with overhype often comes disappointment. Is Undertale really worthy of all its praise?

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Before we answer that question, let’s delve into the core mechanics. As I mentioned earlier, the game uses turn-based combat. However, unlike most turn-based combat which is centered around rock-paper-scissors style gameplay (like Pokemon), Undertale puts an entirely new spin on the genre and is more akin to a bullet-hell shooter than anything else. You play as a little “heart” and have to dodge enemy attacks, some of which include special mechanics and are genuinely difficult.

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Unlike most adventure RPGs, you don’t have to kill your enemies in order to defeat them. Should you choose to fight, the combat is much more dynamic than typical turn-based gameplay, and you can time your attacks to maximize damage. Although there aren’t many options to choose from, you are allowed to equip one weapon and one piece of armor in order to improve your stats and increase your effectiveness in combat. Alternatively, if you’re not in the fighting mood, you can engage your enemies in dialogue and attempt to convince them to stop fighting you. It’s important to be aware however, if you choose to spare a monster instead of killing it, you won’t receive any EXP for the battle.

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Now that we’ve got the core mechanics out of the way, let’s jump into the story. As far as RPGs are concerned, Undertale’s story seems pretty basic at first glance. You’re a human who has fallen down a mountain and wound up in a land filled with monsters. Monsters and humans don’t really get along; in fact most of the monsters you encounter are pretty motivated to make you as dead as possible. Without spoiling anything, the monsters have their reasons. Your goal is to make it out alive by overcoming adversity and reaching a barrier that can teleport you back to the human world.

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Of course, that’s just the surface level. As you explore the land and meet the handful of monsters that don’t want to kill you, you’ll learn more about the history between monsters and humans and realize that there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

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Aside from combat, the minute-to-minute gameplay involves exploring the different towns and solving simple puzzles. All of this is extremely dialogue-heavy. Fortunately, the writing in this game is almost always on point. Nearly every interaction either contributes to the story, has an emotional impact, or is outright hilarious. The comedy in Undertale is easily one of its strongest attributes, and it often shows up when you least expect it.

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Along with comedy, another element in which Undertale succeeds is in its soundtrack. The music in this game is exceptional. The artwork on the other hand, is a bit of a mixed bag. Pixel art is polarizing to begin with, and there are moments in Undertale where the scenes are frankly an eyesore. That said, it also has its moments of beauty.

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As great as the comedy and music are, Undertale is ultimately driven by its story and though your interactions with particular monsters. The turn-based combat, while better than most games, still isn’t engaging enough to carry the gameplay. Unfortunately, as hilarious as many of the interactions are, the story itself is just OK.

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At least, that's what I thought at first. As I reached the end of the game, I was fully prepared to call Undertale overhyped and overrated. A game that was good, but not anywhere near as great as people portray it to be. Then the bombshells started to hit. Without giving anything away, it turns out that you have to beat the game twice in order to access the “true” story. Let me tell you now: that true story is incredible.

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This game has so many easter eggs, so many hidden gems, so much lurking beneath the surface. Undertale is one of the funniest games I’ve ever played, with some of the best music in gaming, and it offers a fresh twist on the well-established characteristics of the adventure RPG genre. It is absolutely worth playing (twice), and it is absolutely deserving of all its hype.   Ryan’s Rating: 5/5

Comment 16

  • Skullkidfan verified LV.35 Master Feb 15, 2020, 08:33 AM

    yes, 5, any other rating would have gotten you kill

  • Ryan verified Admin Feb 15, 2020, 08:47 AM

    Was honestly feeling a 4 until I did the second playthough. Crazy how much of a difference it makes.

  • Skullkidfan verified LV.35 Master Feb 15, 2020, 08:48 AM

    have you try all 3 ending

  • Ryan verified Admin Feb 15, 2020, 09:10 AM

    I didn't do the 3rd one but I probably will in the future. I feel like I have a good idea of how that one plays out though after doing the first two. I heard that the 3rd ending also affects all future playthroughs after it so I wanted to save it for last.

    To be honest though I'm a bit burnt out after doing the two back-to-back so it'll probably be awhile before I go for the 3rd one.

  • GentleCat LV.2 Lurker Feb 16, 2020, 05:11 AM

    I'm assuming by 3rd, you mean the kill all/genocide ending right?

  • Sir ShinesALot LV.20 Fast as Lightning Feb 19, 2020, 11:29 PM

    Good luck wit the genocide run. U r gonna need it.

  • Ryan verified Admin Feb 21, 2020, 12:29 PM

    I've heard the final boss is insanely difficult

  • RetroCams12 LV.12 Chief Feb 19, 2020, 02:15 PM

    "funniest video games I've ever played" alright, well then. now that you enjoyed yourself, g o a h e a d a n d k i l l e v e r y m o n s t e r.

  • Dark boy LV.3 Lurker Feb 16, 2020, 05:04 AM

    I Am FRIST

  • WolfPaxHD dog LV.25 Wolf Feb 16, 2020, 05:07 AM

    My bigger brother has this game in his steam library will its mine now since its a hand me down computer

  • BakeTownKilla LV.22 Bamboozled Feb 16, 2020, 05:12 AM

    undertale the game that drastically changes depending on if you MURDER everyone, or SPARE everyone

  • FL4R3 BL1TZ LV.20 4x Champion! Feb 19, 2020, 09:17 AM

    Undertake is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't agree then you are bad

  • Technoblade LV.14 Fast as Lightning Feb 19, 2020, 08:25 PM

    Good good good

  • Dark boy LV.3 Lurker Feb 16, 2020, 05:04 AM


  • Dark boy LV.3 Lurker Feb 16, 2020, 05:04 AM

    LET GO

  • Opal_Fox Gaming verified LV.30 So Scary Feb 19, 2020, 07:53 AM

    I love this game and already know about it so I didn’t read the whole thing BUT does this mean there will be a board for Undertale?