Flashback's over, guys.
So, you probably guessed what game I was going to review next, but HERE IT IS ANYWAYS BITCH
I've tweeted a decent amount on this game, for those of you who actually follow my dumb-ass twitter for whatever reason. Some of you might already know how I feel about it, but this is as good of a time as any to further elaborate on my thoughts. Don't worry, this review will be spoiler-free.
I've thought long and hard about Undertale. I've thoroughly examined the game with a magnifying glass, exploring as much as I can in-game and reading up on whatever I can't do myself. I've basically absorbed myself into this game and I've tried my best to think as critically of it as I possibly said. I've come to a single conclusion:
Undertale is perfect.
Undertale, much like Lisa which I reviewed last update, is a quirky little turn-based RPG for PC. Much like Lisa and Earthbound, it features a menu-based battle system, a humorous but often-times emotional story, offbeat characters, and delightful music. But Lisa and even Earthbound have glaring flaws. Undertale learns from the mistakes of the Mother series and similar games cut from that mold, and improves on the genre in so many ways. I'm overly critical about most games (sometimes to a fault), but Undertale resonated with me so hard that what little flaws the game has are so miniscule that I can hardly hold them against it.
Undertale advertises itself as "the friendly RPG where nobody has to die", and handles it with probably one of the best implementations of a non-lethal combat option I've seen in a game. While you CAN play the game as a traditional RPG (and even then, it doesn't slack off being a great game), the non-lethal "combat" is the main star of the show. Every enemy, every creature in this world has character and personality, so attempting to find a peaceful solution to their encounter becomes a puzzle instead of a sortie. What happens if somebody truly does want you dead, or simply won't let you progress without combat? The game is not afraid to put your moral compass to the test, without patronizing you with "morality points" or a button prompt telling you what's the good choice and what's the bad choice. It respects your intelligence and puts its trust in your ability to make decisions without guiding you, whether those decisions are good or bad. The characters react appropriately to your actions and nothing more.
I won't go into detail about the game's story, but the world of Undertale and its characters are charming as hell and have far more going on than what you see on the surface. While I can go on and on about how funny and lovable and even heart-breaking some of the characters can be, what really amazes me the most is how well Undertale combines gameplay and narrative. The game NEVER forgets that it is, in fact, a game. It's expertly paced, never bogging you down in details or stops the game dead in its tracks to show you a ten-minute-long cutscene. The most important moments in the game's story happens with you at the controls, with you as a direct participant, and it only serves to make those moments so much stronger. By the time I was experiencing the game's "true" end with Leslie at my side, we were both holding back tears, struggling to breathe as we fought the final boss. The final boss was perhaps one of the most emotional, intense moments we've ever experienced in a game, and not in a way you would typically think a game like this would be. It was such a powerful moment, a moment that any game or story would feel proud to end on...but no. There's more. So much more. Saying any more than that would ruin the surprise, and you owe it yourself to let the game take you on its amazing ride.
If I had to nitpick anything in the game, anything at all, it's that sometimes it can be a pain to drop multiple items in your inventory and I don't like the excessive punctuation at times, like people sometimes ending their declarative sentences with several question marks???? But that's it. That is as far as I can go. Undertale is legitimately one of the few games I can consider a 10/10. It succeeds at everything it set out to do while breaking new ground in its genre. It's one of the most clever, inventive, and entertaining games I've experienced in my life.
It might sound like I'm gushing, but I really don't have anything negative to say. Please, play Undertale. You are robbing yourself of an amazing experience if you don't.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK