It’s a rare moment for me to sit back in awe of a game and never want to play it again. I’ve been gaming for approximately 22 years of my life; I’ve played bad games that I never wanted to play again and I’ve played great games that I wanted to play over and over again. This was a first for me where a game was so good, so complete, that I didn’t want to dive deeper. This will not be a review of Undertale, as many of you have probably seen and read enough to know that it is the best game of 2015. This is my final impressions of a game that took me for a wild ride that I will not be forgetting.
When I first heard of Undertale, it was in picture form. The fandom started to develop, and Tumblr, where I host my webcomics, started churning out fanart an astounding rate. This wasn’t uncommon for Tumblr, fandoms find refuge there and typically flourish. I’d see a small child and two skeletons, and think to myself. “Looks like a childish RPG.” Then a couple friends in my circle of gamers played and loved it. I was gifted a copy and hesitated to play, but decided to do it as a live stream for Sticky Bunton.
A few things immediately struck me as I walked through the tutorial level. The idea of actively dodging a turn based attack, not relying on a random number generator astounded me, and I fell in love with each monster they introduced. They were cleverly crafted and felt so ingrained in the world around them, having wants, needs, and weaknesses that set them apart from the rest of their monster brethren. The monsters were only overshadowed by the Boss Monsters, essentially the main characters of the story. Each of them had this weird feeling that they could be someone you know in your everyday life. I fell in love with each portrayal and performance. Nothing was voice acted, but everyone had a voice.
Six hours of gameplay later and I got to the ending. There was a sudden feeling inside me that one gets when they finish a really good book. I hadn’t felt it since the Harry Potter series ended in 2007. “Was this really it?” I thought, “Surely, there must be more. Maybe if I replay it?” Then came Undertale‘s cruelest trick; it makes you feel guilty. In a world where I believe that I own a game, the game owned my heart. I couldn’t bring myself to reset the world and friends I’ve made and the experience that had just occured. Not for the sake of completionism or exploration. I’ve saved, deleted, and reset hundreds, if not thousands of game files in my 22 years, but this one will remain untouched. A time capsule to the time I spent in a story and world that while brief, will impact how I think of games and story for years to come.
Do yourself a favor, and go play Undertale today. It’s $9.99 on their website, and, in my opinion, it’s worth every dollar.