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Undertale: First Impressions

I’ve heard quite a lot of mixed opinions of this one, so I’ve decided to tackle it myself. So Undertale is this independent RPG where the main mechanic is that you don’t actually have to kill any enemies. You have the ability to do a no-death run of the game, which has major impact on the plot, apparently. I’m only a few hours in, but I’ve heard so many mixed feelings that going in, I had no idea what to expect.

After a year of avoiding spoilers and finally purchasing this game for my library, it was time to get down and dirty, and jump right in. While the puzzles didn’t catch my interest, I knew that for a game with such interesting diverging paths would have to sell me with strong writing and character.

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This game immediately established that it had an incredible amount of charm. From the way Toriel insists on talking about snails, to the witty descriptions for every object, i knew I had found a place in this game’s writing.

Minor spoiler ahead, because I’m about to explain what about this game truly sold me.

After a little bit of exploration, you arrive at a point where Toriel refused to let you leave her home. It was for your own protection, but it was an incredibly tense moment.

The game’s soundtrack flared up, and in the end it came down to a very saddening confrontation. If you defeat her, she dies, and that is really sad. So I reset the game, and as it turns out, the game acknowledged that I reset, as though the main character was experiencing it all over again. There’s a pretty strong psychological element to that. This game appears to give me the opportunity to really question my moral stances. I imagine that I won’t be able to do a full run one way or the other. I will be making my decisions organically as the game goes on, as I feel it’s intended to be done.

If you’re interested in giving Undertale a try, it’s available on Steam for $9.99.

Written by Mustapha R. Price

Mustapha is a young yet spirited university student majoring in Game Art and Development. While he’s but a senior in college, he has an extensive history with the art of gaming journalism. Managing his own game review blog for several years, as well as attending events such as Boston FIG and PAX East has given him extensive experience in covering game news. His knowledge of game design also serves as a tool to develop finite understanding of what makes games work.

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