“Not All Who Wander Are Lost “
Reviewed on PC, also available on PS Vita and PlayStation 4.
(I know, this game was released two years ago but.. A reviewer is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.)
Undertale is a RPG game developed by Tobyfox, an independent developer and composer.
It was released for Microsoft Windows and MAC OS in September 2015, for Linux in July 2016 and for PS Vita and PlayStation 4 in August 2017, it’s an innovative game and a success for the indie scene.
Size: 200 MB
In app Purchases : $9
Age Rating: 9+
Some people recommended me this game many years ago, but at that time I refused to play it as I was totally immersed in the Skyrim world and also because of my rejection to everything that means a mass phenomenon/mainstream success, you name it.
All this changed this summer with Metroid Fusion; by playing this classic Game Boy Advance game I suddenly connected again with my childhood, opening my perception and encouraging myself to try new Things. At this point, I turned my attention into indie games and that’s just when undertale came up.
What happens when you mix Mother with Pokémon and focus it as a deconstructive critique of the video game industry? You get a game that refuses conventionalism right off the bat and sets itself far away from the cult of violence.
Undertale is a game that can be finished without hurting any enemy at all; if you achieve this you will experience an alternative end. The story is quite simple; You are a human who has fallen into the world of monsters and your main objective is to escape from it. Although this narrative approach may seem pretty common, Undertale contains many good ideas and offers different perspectives, however, this might escape the perception of the normal consumer. It is a journey where each character has something to contribute, and as absurd as it may sound, I recommend you to enjoy it slowly.
The game is constantly forcing the player to be totally concentrated; there is no place for doubt here. Each action has a consequence; depending on what you decide to do you will find three different versions of the same story; killing enemies or forgiving them for example, will lead to one end or another. I think this is brilliant because it adds more transcendence to the fact that you must feel the NPC’S like living beings; that’s the way Undertale faces topics such as morality, mercy and power.
Undertale brings a combination of puzzles and combat, the first being fun and the second transcendental.
The combat system of this game allows you to decide between a more aggressive play or a peaceful treat to your enemy, and although sometimes it could seem boring, it feels innovative because this game rejects violence, however, the random pokemon-type combats you will encounter here and there can be quite tedious.
It is necessary to keep talking more about the combat style. There are two ways to face it: fight and act.
The fight option gives you the usual RPG experience; kill enemies and become a warlord beyond good and evil. Sounds good, right? But if you choose act, and that’s what this game may be all about, you will find a couple of options depending on the enemy, including a hug, or even telling a joke. It is a more gentle point of view of the game.
There is no need of violence as I mentioned earlier, just to understand and help each other. There are some bosses through the story but you can also choose to act rather than to fight them; each action will offer a different ending. Think about the Fable Karma system; there are two possible ways, the genocidal, where you kill everyone and the pacifist, where you try to help and achieve the final objective.
Graphics and sound
The game seeks simplicity to be consistent, it literally tries to make you feel what you are playing. It’s awesome how an 8-bit game is able to stand out so strongly in an industry of titanic triple As companies who are looking for the greatest realism possible. Undertale is innocent and it’s graphic section is sticked to this idea. Sometimes I felt like a 6 year old boy again while playing Pokémon Blue. I can’t see any flaws in this section.
Toby Fox is a genius, there is no other way to define it. The right person in the right place. The soundtrack of this game is awesome and lovely. It revives memories and I believe that it was the intention of the composer.
Undertale plays a lot with the music; every single character has its own theme that you can easily identify, being the same developer also the composer of the music of this game allow his ideas to be more successful when interpreting the plot musically.
The oficcial Toby Fox bandcamp link with the Undertale soundtrack: https://tobyfox.bandcamp.com/album/undertale-soundtrack
I can’t write about Undertale without thinking about what I felt when I saw Valerian: The City of a Thousand Planets. I saw the film while I was playing Undertale to cover this review and I couldn’t resist thinking about the relationship that these two titles may hold.
One is a super production, a reboot of some comics that marked the whole genre of science fiction; a film that gets lost in the need to try to keep your attention.
The other is a very “easy-to-reject” indie game, since most gamers nowadays only focus on games with the highest graphics on the market, but despite that, all I see, being another kind of gamer, are the efforts of one single man with a story to tell and the purpose of making you feel warm with your beloved ones.
We’re living the golden age of art. The access to the tools and the information necessary to create art had never been as democratic as now. Undertale is the proof of this, the effort of a man who pursued a dream and gave us a story that, if you stop and really feel it, could even make you cry.
A game you’ll certainly enjoy again and again, as if it was the first day you ever played it.