Undertale was released almost 2 years ago on PC and, while it had always intrigued me, I have less than zero interest in playing anything on PC. While the “PCMR” will cry foul and claim that their overpowered machines are the only way to play anything, I will always stick to my tried and true console gaming.
Undertale is an incredible success story. Created exclusively by Toby Fox, including all the music that he composed entirely by himself, Undertale is a love letter to days of video games gone by. Fox set out to create a game that linked great gameplay and fascinating story telling together rather than separate them and focus on one or the other. The outcome was a game that released to critical acclaim and became a media darling – quickly becoming a huge success on PC. At long last Undertale has been released on the PlayStation 4 and I wasted no time at diving right in.
From the moment you boot up the game you can tell that it will be something special. I was immediately reminded of experiences I had with games in my youth, specifically Earthbound. My first and instant thought was that while Nintendo takes their sweet ‘ol time releasing Mother 3 (yes, I am still holding onto hope) this may be just the game I have been searching for to fill that void.
The first thing that really stood out to me was the soundtrack. The music ranges from so 8 bit (it’s ridiculous) to the polar opposite realm of piano ballads and seemingly full orchestral arrangements. To think that the game and score were both created by one man is astonishing. Every note hit at just the right time. The music portrayed every moment with such clarity that even with your eyes closed you could tell what was about to happen. This is one soundtrack that I would love to own on vinyl.
The gameplay was perfect in every sense. While Undertale looks like a game from the NES era, it controls like a modern game. Not once did I ever feel like I wasn’t in control or that the controls themselves were a hindrance to my experience. After the first room or two it is apparent that nearly everything is interactive. I’m not one to explore off the beaten path in video games, I like to complete the main quest and move on to the next game, but I found myself interacting with everything I could find. This is a testament to brilliant writing in this game. Toby found the right balance between not taking the game too seriously while telling an incredibly serious and important story. Nearly everything in the game is interactive in one way or another.
Undertale is an example of nostalgia done right. Everything that we loved from the 8 and 16 bit era is here minus all the things that sucked from that era. Boss battles that were impossible in games in the past are now beatable. That’s not to mean that Undertale won’t briefly make you think that the boss in front of you will consume the next 10 hours of your life, but then at the last second the game will in many hilarious ways save you from this fate. You will still die on occasion when playing through the game, but it won’t be as frequent as some of the earlier games in video game history which makes Undertale accessible to all ages.
Undertale is a game that you will want to play through more than once, much like Nier Automata. Even as I was going through my first play through I was contemplating decisions I had made and wished I had done things differently. At an average playtime of 5-7 hours it beckons you to come back for more just so you can see what may have been had you just did that one thing differently. I have loved every second of my time spent with this game and if you own a PS4, or even a PC…..(sigh), you owe it to yourself to give Undertale a shot. Not only will you experience one of the best games of this generation, you’ll get to play one of the best of all time.
Author: Phil Neyman
Philip is better at buying video games than he is at playing them. He was once told “it must suck to love something so much and be so terrible at it.” As a boy he would write terrible poems about himself and Ross Perot. He enjoys the best and worst of all forms of media, but nothing in the middle. Puyo Puyo Tetris has almost caused unreconcilable differences between him and his wife. He’s never had a hangover, but not from lack of trying.