I Don’t ‘Get’ One of 2015′s Best Games

I Don’t ‘Get’ One of 2015′s Best Games

Undertale Is fantastic, brilliant and amazing. One of the best games of 2015…at least that’s what i was told. I try to play as many of the ‘games of the year’ winners as I can. For the most part, I played 2015′s best games at launch. Undertale took a back seat, at least until the Steam Sales.

I hadn’t ignored Undertale prior to release. For a time, my wishlist was headed by the indie darling. When the game came out, I was knee deep in other titles. My time was limited and thus I held out for awhile. I regret waiting, mostly due to the impact the damn thing had on social media.

Never before have I seen a game’s jokes posted so often. Twitter was awash with the same Undertale jokes and screenshots. People replaced their own wit with screenshots and quotations. ‘You have to play this game’ was barked at me. Promises of comedic gold and ground breaking mechanics. It all sounded too good to be true.

Weeks later, I grew sick of hearing about it. Sick of seeing the same jokes posted everywhere. Jaded by constant references and winks, like it was some kind of cultish chant. With my interest all but murdered, I accepted i’d probably never buy Undertale. But then someone gifted me the damn thing.

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I can’t deny that Undertale oozes charm. The visuals and soundtrack conjure memories of years gone by. A number of the game’s characters feel strangely familiar, creating a connection with the player instantaneously. I warmed to the game’s charm within the first hour or so. As the game experience went on, niggles starting to rear their ugly head.

The mini games that form the combat system start to slowly grind away. Some of them feel clever, relevant to their respective character. Others are just exercises in frustration. I couldn’t recall a game like this, and then I remembered Wario Ware. In short play sessions, the combat system is enjoyable. After the second hour sets in, mini-games start to result in rolled eyes.

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Promises of comedic gold fail materialised. Sure, I chuckled at a few cheap puns and pokes at video game tropes. Banter between characters can result in a cheeky smirk. Undertale’s general humour is what loses me. Random jokes non-stop is not exactly funny,more bemusing. It’s relentless, constantly trying to force a laugh out of the player. Attempts at comedy started to chip away at me, piece by piece.

I can appreciate that this humour has a audience. Internet culture is infamous for it’s bizarre laughs. Undertale serves as the most internet-like comedy game yet. The fact its gained so many fans shows it does the style effectively. Perhaps this is why I don’t ‘get’ the game, its style of comedy does not resonate with me.

For every element I enjoy of Undertale, its tidal wave of randomness kills my motivation to play on. Looks of confusion at the screen. Nods followed by mumbles of ‘okay’, it happens too often as I play. I’ll applaud the creativity and music, you don’t always have to like something to appreciate it. Perhaps a second play through will change my outlook.

Sean Halliday


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