Undertale was one of those games I wasn’t really sure of when it first came out. My partner was all about it, constantly playing it for days on end, listening to the soundtrack on repeat, completing different runs … clearly something about it effectively pulled her in. But me? Not initially, at least.
The plaudits were big, but I just never got around to joining in. Maybe it was the fact that it was only on PC at the time, maybe it was the the many other games I already had on my playlist, but I always said I’d get to it eventually … but never did.
Enter the Switch, a console I now call home for many of my indie game purchases. The ability to play so much quality content at home on one system, whilst freeing up the TV to catch up on God knows how much stuff I still haven’t seen, has been a massive addition to my favourite past time. So when Undertale was announced for the console, it made perfect sense to pick it up for Nintendo’s handheld and finally break the duck.
So here we are, a few weeks after launch on the classy hybrid system, and what do I think?
Simply put, I get it. I know why the fans love these characters with a passion, why the quirky humour was so well received and most importantly, why the story and gameplay were praised for being creative and unique in the face of tradition. I understand it now, and I love it.
I’m not entirely great at Undertale just yet, some of the bullet hellish action catches me off guard, but it’s early days. The important thing is I’m enjoying it and I love how simple everything. It still manages to engage on so many levels despite how low-fi the visuals are and I adore the sense of choice. I don’t have to attack everyone I meet, I can convince someone to back down or hug it out and that I appreciate most of all. There’s three ways to play the game, I know, but the option of how to engage is refreshing compared to a lot of modern titles.
The key is creativity. I get a kick out of a game that throws you for a loop, does something different that you don’t expect. That’s why I love games like Celeste, Dead Cells or The Gardens Between (all games I’ll talk about more later), they all bring something different whether that’s within the narrative or just something small like a character trait. Undertale has that in spades.
Of all the games I’ve played so far this year, Undertale definitely stands out and holds up really well. I might not have been sold on it at first, but I am now, though I’m still glad I waited for the Switch release. It’s just so much easier to pick up and play, in fact I’d highly recommend you all do the same if you’ve been sitting on this one for a while, even if you’ve played it before.