Games What I’m Playing. 1 – Undertale

A twist on the former “Game of the Week”. That format is stale, so instead I’m going to use this platform to discuss the game that has taken up the most of my time recently, and whether or not I enjoyed it. And maybe even why.

This first one is Undertale on PS Vita (also every other platform in recent years).

Title

I tried this game right at the end of my life as a pc gamer a couple of years ago, right before Windows 10 messed up my Mac so I uninstalled Bootcamp and realised I didn’t need it any more. It didn’t click, so it wasn’t until the recent Black Friday sale on PSN that I bought it on PS4. Once again it failed to ignite my passion, pitted as it was against so many great looking, deep experiences on the console.

Then last week I bought a PS Vita, having sold my original one back in 2015 for a DSi XL, and with the € to GB cost being rather huge I carefully downloaded the smaller games on my account – three years worth of PS+ freebies and a surprisingly larger number of cross-buy titles were available, including Undertale.

Ut01

Somehow the game “fits” better on the Vita, the BBC Micro graphics look actually very good on the little screen, and I found myself playing through it over a few short sittings. There’s a lot of nostalgia triggered by the stylings of the game, and the humour is spot on. The soundtrack is especially good and the story is fun, presented well through the aforementioned humour.

Sadly the game was let down by its perfectly linear nature and simple puzzles. There’s rarely a challenge of any sort, and every time you think it’s giving you routing options, you’ll find the incorrect routes lead very quickly to a dead end.

Ut02

Probably the most interesting aspect of the game is its battle system. You can fight any enemy, tapping your action button as close to the centre of the attack bar as possible to maximise damage. But this is not the way you are encouraged to play – instead you should seek to talk it out with your enemies, with the intention to show mercy and spare them.

Each enemy has a different set of requirements, rubbing them just the right way to make them no longer want to fight. It’s quite fun sometimes hunting for the correct method.

Overall I think the shortcomings of the game (linearity and nearly pointless puzzling) let it down to the point that I can’t recommend it, nor an I see myself spending another 5 hours or so to see the game again. It’s almost like the game is a visual novel in denial.

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