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MMOExamined: Undertale

Mustapha R. Price
2016-10-30
Filed under: Featured, MMOExamined, RPG, Undertale

Having completed Undertale, I now feel prepared to give it a full review. Let’s go over why this game, while short and sweet, offers quite a bit for fans of classic RPGs as well as newer action oriented titles.

While a lot of people consider the narrative of Undertale to be its strongest driving feature, I consider it to be secondary. What I found to be truly riveting about the game was the way that enemy characters functioned.

headerWhile the game still offered the turn-based style of an old-fashioned RPG, the enemy attacks would initiate this mini arcade shooter within your health bar that allowed you to dodge every attack. Each enemy has very unique attacks and while there is a lot of narrative tie-in, it doesn’t overshadow the fundamentally well designed mechanics of the game.

It makes sense that Undertale gives you the ability to dodge all enemy attacks, because the standard RPG nature of waiting and taking damage simply wouldn’t work in this setting. Because of the fact that the game allows you to choose how aggressive your play-style is, there’s a very real possibility that you will play the entire game without ever leveling up. Because of this, the game can’t operate on the philosophy of standard stat curves. It just doesn’t work.

The narrative and character in this game is truly astounding. The way the story is weaved in so seamlessly with the mechanics is both a learning experience, as well as a challenge to our conventions. A shocking reveal about the game’s numerical resources towards the end of the experience really sells you on the power of video game storytelling.

The ability to have the way you play reflect a game’s story is just outstanding. All in all, Undertale gives players the opportunity to explore a lot about the psychology of games, while experiencing hilarious witty writing, as well as a truly gripping story. This game will leave you thinking, and make you question a lot about the way you play games. Undertale is absolutely an example of what modern independent games are capable of, and should be high on your list.

As a Nintendo fan, I would seldom say this. But the comparisons the fanbase makes between Undertale and Mother is certainly well deserved. Both games have a deep, layered, coming of age narrative. Both games push you to the limit of what your mind is capable of enduring. Both games have wonderful soundtracks, and humorous writing. Most of all, both games have lasting charm that will keep you playing for years to come.

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