Sunday, June 23, 2019

Down under

I've mentioned before that all video games created since roughly 1995 are rubbish, and I stand by that belief resolutely. There are exceptions to this rule, like Sonic Mania Plus, which I mentioned the last time I made that sweeping condemnation of a quarter of a century's hard work by game designers, and another one I think it's only fair to mention is Undertale.

In the old days, you see, video games had lastability. You could go back and play them again and again, because it's always fun to do. Shoot all the space invaders a bit more quickly every time, or whatever. You can always defeat Dr Robotnik over and over again, because you can have fun along the way, take a different route around the levels, challenge yourself in different ways. A lot of modern games, though, tend to be basically like watching a movie, and not a very good one either. You press a button now and then, but it's mainly just about sitting and watching the story. And once you've finished the game, there's no point in playing it again, because you already know what happens.

There's one game, though, that I finished three months ago, and would quite like to play again. But it's difficult, because one of the characters told me that restarting the game and playing it again would be tantamount to killing all my friends, after I'd given them all a happy ending. That's the kind of game Undertale is.

When the game first came out, back in something like 2015, I tried to avoid hearing anything about it, because it sounded like something I might want to play some day, without spoilers. So when I eventually noticed that you can get it on the Nintendo Switch now, and that I own one of those things, I had to finally give it a try. And I'll avoid any kind of spoilers here, as much as possible, in case you want to try it too, but wow, Undertale is the most amazing game. It remembers you.

You can go through the game and kill the monsters and win, but on the other hand you can also try talking to them and sorting things out more peacefully, and win in a different way. And when you start again, some of the monsters have a sense of deja vu, and act a bit differently this time round. And some of them remember everything, and tell you all about it. It's the kind of game where actions have consequences, as well as the kind of game that's often screamingly funny and entertaining to play! If you haven't played before, you really should go out and give it a try.

Meanwhile, until I find a way to wipe my own memory so I can play through the game again, I've been spending a lot of time catching up on all the fan comics, music, animations and other wonderful things Undertale has inspired in the last four years! But save them until you've played through the game. Spoilers!

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