↑ comment by Cariyaga ·
2015-10-01T23:00:52.120Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Undertale is a deconstruction of RPGs, and video games in general. While, as in most, you are given the option to fight enemies, random encounters turn out to be NPCs in the overworld. If you avoid harming anyone, instead using the MERCY option, the game becomes a heartwarming and heartbreaking experience.
If, instead, you grind out the encounters, you will be treated as the genocidal scum you are.
I've done my best avoid spoilers here, as to be quite honest, this is an incredible experience to play through yourself. As far as the gameplay goes, it makes overtures at being an RPG -- ATK, DEF, LV, EXP -- but combat plays out like a bullet hell on the defense. Its music is amazing, too; the creator of the game was originally a composer before he branched out into programming, and it shows.
I truly can't recommend this game enough. It was an incredibly inspiring experience to play, and I am far from the only one to feel that way. Without spoiling too much, the gameplay and story intertwine -- and while it comes across hammy sometimes, that's usually intentional -- and moreover, it works.
It's ten dollars on steam or the humble store, and even though a playthrough (of which, as I alluded to, there are multiple styles) will only last 6-12 hours, I'd pay ten times that.
For those not sure if they're interested, there is a demo available at the Undertale website.
The soundtrack, too, is available (for the most part; a few spoilery end songs are omitted), at the bandcamp here.
Replies from: cousin_it, Vaniver
↑ comment by cousin_it ·
2015-10-03T01:33:19.430Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Nice game. Its main contribution is the moral choice mechanic. I ended up using "mercy" all the time and got the best possible ending. The game's creator Toby Fox is also a composer for Homestuck and the soundtrack has a very Homestucky feel. Also, some of the creature designs are pretty cute.
The bad: the story is paint by numbers, the writing is hammy, the characters are cardboard, and the art is average pixel art fare. The gameplay challenges are either boring puzzles or bullet hell, neither of which are very relevant to the story. There's some humor but it didn't make me laugh out loud. Everything works together just enough to make the moral choice seem important, but not more.
However, from a certain point of view these drawbacks don't matter. My theory about art says that successful art needs to be new and enriching to viewers in at least some aspect, and repeating an existing idea doesn't count as art anymore because you can't enrich people in the same way twice. By that yardstick, Undertale succeeds as art where most other video games fail, even though they might be better in execution.
↑ comment by Vaniver ·
2015-10-02T15:23:58.393Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I came to the Media Thread specifically to recommend Undertale.
I worry some that casting it as "a game where you can be pacifist" spoils some of the experience. The game tree is apparently very dense, with many gradations of behavior, but the poles (of genocide and full pacifism) are obvious attractors. And I still enjoyed it immensely, only playing full pacifism, so maybe I shouldn't worry that someone else is jumping straight to the good stuff instead of discovering that the good stuff exists after toying around with it.