New Game Review

Review – Undertale (Switch)

Skulls and Spaghetti.

Undertale showed up from out of nowhere in late September, 2015 and captivated half of the world’s populace like a trend I have rarely seen in my life. It was more common to see Undertale receive Game of the Year awards in 2015 than titles like Witcher 3, Bloodborne, and even Metal Gear Solid V! I didn’t play the game back in the day. To be honest, I had never played it prior to this review. I’ve always had a bit of curiosity towards it due to its reception, but I have always had a bit of skepticism towards the nonsensical reception and following the game has created, just like I had my (fair) doubts regarding the disappointing Gone Home.

Well folks, here I am: Undertale is finally on my Switch, hours and hours of gameplay have gone by and I have to admit it’s a lot better than anticipated. I don’t think it’s the second coming like a lot of people do and I might even say it’s a little bit overrated, but it’s still one heck of a little game and all the more impressive given it was created by just one person.

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This is how bromances are born.

Most of you are already well aware of what Undertale is and its main features. It’s a very unique and hilarious take on the turn-based RPG genre, full of metahumor, incredible characters like Papyrus and Sans, and a phenomenal soundtrack to top everything off. People call it a new take on Earthbound, like some sort of spiritual successor, but while I can see it inspired Undertale in terms of style and humor, I honestly feel Undertale is a lot more innovative and a better overall game. I never thought Earthbound to be mechanically awesome in any way.

The difference between Undertale and other RPGs is that you don’t need to kill every enemy you encounter and that includes bosses. You can talk to enemies and convince them not to fight anymore. Each enemy behaves in a different way, leading to a ton of different situations. You can play the entire game without killing a single foe and without earning a single experience point.

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Papyrus for Smash.

I never thought I’d enjoy Undertale‘s non-combat system as much as I did. Each fight acted less like a battle and more like a little puzzle on its own. The fact that all enemies attack in a pseudo bullet hell fashion, giving you a chance to avoid attacks if you pay attention to their patterns, made each encounter even more enjoyable. Granted, you can attack and kill every enemy in front of you just like a traditional RPG if you want to, but the moral consequences your character faces later on make the game a lot less enjoyable in a plot-wise perspective. This is one of my gripes with Undertale.

I have also two other gripes with the game. A minor one is related to the overworld controls. The menu interface and the combat system is all fine and dandy, but the overworld gameplay is infested with some really weird collision detection issues as well as framerate drops. Yes, you read this right. Framerate drops. For a game that looks so antiquated, minimalistic, and doesn’t use the entire screen at any time, I marvel at how it has hiccups during the exploration segments, but absolutely no hindrances during combat sessions. You know, the ones in which tons of bullet hell-esque particles infest the screen.

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Oh my god I’m so posting this selfie on Instagram.

Is Undertale a really good game? Yes, no doubt about it. Is it better than what I was expecting it to be? Oh yes, absolutely. Did I think it was as perfect and magnificent as half of the internet considers it to be? Definitely not. Look, Undertale is a fun and original game, and the fact it was entirely made by one person makes it even more commendable, but it’s still a flawed title with some very annoying issues here and there. I still recommend grabbing it for your Switch library, though. Just don’t expect this to be a “new Earthbound“. This is actually a disservice to Undertale‘s creative mechanics.

 

Graphics: 6.0

Undertale‘s ultra minimalistic art style is occasionally cute, but was it really necessary to only use half of the screen at all times? And how does the game still feature framerate issues?

Gameplay: 9.0

The innovative combat system is fun and thought-provoking. Each battle is unique in a way. The overworld mechanics, namely the collision detection and the aforementioned framerate issues, are the only flaws.

Sound: 9.0

I absolutely loved the soundtrack which is comprised of instantly memorable tunes. I wasn’t a big fan of the sound effects, though.

Fun Factor: 8.0

A fun combat system, hilarious script, and adorable characters. There were some issues like a short runtime and a very uneven morality system.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Undertale is available now on PS4, PS Vita, PC, Switch.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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