Undertale: Toby Fox’s Masterpiece

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Undertale: Toby Fox’s Masterpiece

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This week’s review was difficult for me because I had to rethink the game I was going to choice over and over. The game that I chose to review is associated with a gross fandom, a childish sense of humor, and the idea that it is just plain bad. The game I chose: Undertale.

Undertale was created completely by Toby Fox. He made everything from the music and sprites to story and background. The only pieces he didn’t create was some specific game art. Undertale was initially meant to be a two hour free game, but Toby upped the ante and released a 10 hr + game that would released in 2015 for computers and 2016 for consoles for 10 dollars.

Lesser Dog, one of the many memorable characters in the Underground.

Undertale takes place in a world where humans and monsters co-exist. A war broke out between the humans and monsters, causing the humans to drive the monsters into an area called the Underground. The humans used a magical barrier to block the monsters that could only be broke by a human soul. One day a human – the main character – falls into the Underground and must find their way out, meeting an interesting cast of characters that they befriend along their way. There are multiple endings,  two specifically being the most notable. There is the ending where every person is spared and everyone is happy, the pacifist ending, and the other notable ending is the opposite where everyone is killed, the genocide ending. For those thinking of starting the game with a genocide run, be aware that once you finish this type of run, you can’t do a pacifist run without messing with the save files. The story is very unique and I love it, but I felt that certain characters didn’t have enough screen time.

The gameplay of Undertale involves a lot of puzzle solving and a unique turn-based combat system. The puzzles are usually very easy and at their worst they are only slightly difficult. I never truly struggled with puzzles which disappointed me. I really wanted a challenging puzzle but never really got one. The combat is really unique though and makes up for the lack of puzzles. You can choose to attack, Act, use an item or Mercy. You can only mercy someone

One of the harder fights, Undyne, in the game.

when their name is yellow. You make their name yellow by getting their health to a certain point or by using a certain Act to get their name to yellow. When you attack, a bar scrolls across a gauge. The closer the bar is to the center of the gauge, the more damage the attack does. Each enemy has a unique Act, which is used to mercy instead of kill. Some enemies require you to just talk to them, while others require you to pet their ears. Some require combinations that could take a few minutes to figure out. Once your turn has passed, the opponents attack by firing projectiles at your SOUL in a bullet hell segment. This segment of the game can either be really easy or painstakingly hard. What’s upsetting is that the easy and hard fights are not spaced out well. You could have about 10 easy fights and then come across an enemy that completely ruins your day because of the ridiculous difficulty jump.

I can’t really talk about Undertale without bringing up its breathtaking soundtrack. The music is utterly fantastic. Every area has its own soundtrack that fits the mood and atmosphere of the area. Each boss also has their own unique theme and they are usually the best songs of the entire game.

Undertale was an unbelievable game that I had the pleasure of playing. Experiencing the characters, the story, and the music were some of the best moments I have had when gaming. I am giving this game a 9 out of 10. This game is utterly marvelous but the extreme difficulty spikes and ridiculously easy puzzles hold it back from being perfect.