Tagged "Undertale"

Mar 05
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Toby Fox’s surprise Undertale follow-up carries over many themes, with the new turn-based battles continuing to focus on forgiveness, compassion and understanding to win over the hearts and minds of adversaries. There’s just one monster-sized hurdle to overcome – the protagonist has been paired with a secondary character that fails to understand the value of kindness.

Being a story driven affair, with characters pausing for a chinwag after every climatic battle or upon entering a new location, it’s hard to go into DELTARUNE in detail without fear of spoiling something.

We can at least detail the outline of the plot. It begins with the silent lead character, a human, running late for school. Their tardiness results in them being paired up for a project with the school bully – a purple monster known as Susie. After being sent to the supply closet for more chalk, they’re somehow teleported into a mystical realm on the brink of destruction. If this doesn’t make it clear DELTARUNE prides itself of being silly, nothing will.

There’s a slight air of ‘Nelson Muntz’ to Susie’s character design, and not just because of the shaggy hairstyle. She’s quick to mock others, and more than happy to let her fists do the talking, but it’s nothing more than a ‘tough front’ linked to an inherent fear of being judged. The same is also true for the self-proclaimed villain of the piece – a mischievous chap known as Lancer – and as a mutual understanding between the two blossoms, the storyline starts to form twists.

Character arcs go beyond merely unfolding, coming into full fruition

For the most part, DELTARUNE reuses Undertale’s winning formula – it’s a role-player with a Nintendo-esque vibe, frequent battles, a cast of oddball characters, and a handful of simple yet pleasing to solve puzzles. The battle system is deeper and more complex, however, resembling the turn-based battles found in early Final Fantasy games.

It’s still action-orientated – in the sense that each battle has a mini-game involving avoiding various objects, with different patterns and obstacles for each enemy – but there’s now a party system with all the usual RPG trimmings.

This includes a ‘support’ character – Ralsei, a mild-mannered native to the mystical world, who is introduced early on. They bring our heroes up to speed, firmly believing they hold the power to end the ongoing tussle between the light and the dark.

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Sep 21
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Influenced by such Nintendo classics as Zelda and Earthbound, indie hit Undertale has taken its sweet time making its way to Switch despite being an ideal fit for the system.

We awarded the PS4 version a stonking 9/10 roughly a year ago, and as such, we’re more than pleased to see it finally reach a whole new audience. It’s as heartfelt as gaming gets.

It’s an eventful week for the Switch, in fact. Nintendo’s hotly debated online service is now in full swing, bringing with it a selection of NES classics. Sadly, they aren’t without fault – there’s no control mapping or auto-save facilities.

Fans of all things retro are better catered for elsewhere, with the first of SEGA’s AGES titles also making an appearance – Sonic the Hedgehog, which features the rule set from the often-forgotten arcade version, and the almighty Thunder Force IV.

The amusingly titled Cyber-Lip is this week’s NeoGeo release, meanwhile. Hamster has also dusted off the arcade version of Excitebike. Bad timing, sadly – the original is one of the ‘free’ online NES titles. This version does at least have a few unique features.

Then there’s the seven-game strong Capcom Beat’em Bundle, featuring two titles to never see a home release. Review scores are mostly clocking in at 7/10, with online issues being the major cause for concern.

The incredibly well-received Velocity X2, Broken Sword 5 and the Reigns: Kings & Queens double pack also make the jump to Switch. As for new releases, there’s the childlike adventure The Gardens Between, the futuristic Trickstyle alike racer Hover (we all remember Trickstyle, right?), and Little Dragons Café – a new venture from the creator of Harvest Moon.

The full list of new releases can be found below, along with discount highlights and new pre-orders. There’s also a new release for New 3DS – the ever-popular Minecraft!

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Sep 02
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

If animals could talk, would we still eat them? It’s an age-old question that’s often discussed. The common response is that if an animal could talk, it would possess a similar level of intelligence to that of a human. It wouldn’t be merely content to graze in a field; it would have questions about its existence – a desire to survive, form friendships, and live its life to its fullest.

Toby Fox’s indie hit Undertale poses a similar question. If a monster doesn’t want to fight, would you still kill it? Before handing you this moral quandary the opening to this role-player throws a curveball. The first enemy our human hero encounters, after tumbling into an underground monster-filled world, spares them no mercy. It’s a kill or be killed situation, and after a swift battle, the protagonist is left injured. A mild-mannered creature known as Toriel comes to their aid and after teaching the basics – her name is a wordplay on ‘tutorial’, see – she reiterates that the world is a dangerous place.

More importantly, though, she teaches the importance of showing mercy.

After leaving Toriel’s cosy abode – on a quest to meet the King and return to the surface – it soon transpires that the majority of critters our hero meets pose little threat. Most are either intrigued by the very presence of a human or downright terrified. It was humans that forced monsters into their underground domain, a story that has been passed down for generations. As such, humans are seen as being both strong and powerful. Some monsters don’t want to fight, while others only attack as a means of self-defence. Others just want to talk; a few even want to flirt.

And so Undertale is less about fighting and more about befriending. During the turn-based battles, the ‘Act’ screen features different options depending on which monster you’ve run into. The idea is to try and show empathy and understanding, using prompts, body language and speech bubbles to work out what the opposition requires to bring a conflict to a peaceful conclusion.

If this sounds fascinating, perhaps even revolutionary, that’s because it is. A degree of trial and error is called for, sometimes with humorous results, and once you’ve learned how to leave a monster be, the same trick can be applied to all future encounters. It’s a good job, then, that every area has unique monsters. They can also attack in pairs, altering their attack formations.

The battle system always gives the option to bludgeon enemies to death during an encounter, requiring a well-timed button press to a perform critical hit. Play Undertale this way – affectionally known as ‘The Genocide Route’ – and you’ll find it no different to any RPG, save for the fact that enemy attacks must be dodged via Wario Ware style impromptu mini-games. Play it either neutrally or pacifistically, however, and you’ll be treated to one of the most heart-warming gaming experiences.

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Aug 16
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

The ‘AAA’ drought comes to an end with the arrival of Deep Silver’s Agents of Mayhem. This vivid and colourful shooter has more in common with Crackdown than the studio’s own Saints Row series, thanks to a focus on destruction and over-the-top weaponry.

Review scores are wildly mixed, ranging from GameSpot’s 4/10 and an equally critical mauling from GameCritics, to 8/10s from Push Square and God is a Geek. While we don’t doubt that it’ll manage to break the UK top ten next week, it may have a hard time remaining there.

Arguably the biggest release of the week is Sonic Mania. We spent a few hours with it last night and so far it’s nothing short of excellent – a triumphant return to the hedgehog’s glory days. As noted during our round-up, reviews are full of praise. It may even be the greatest Sonic game of all-time.

We’re slightly concerned that Sonic’s arrival will impact sales of Undertale. Toby Fox’s hit RPG comes to PS4 and PS Vita this week, at the bargain price of £11.99. Toby made a name for himself by creating hacks for Nintendo’s Earthbound, and so – somewhat unsurprisingly – Nintendo’s cult RPG is the biggest influence here. Don’t let the lack of visual prowess put you off – it’s lovingly crafted, full of likeable characters and quirky humour.

Then we have Cities Skylines on PS4. While we can’t vouch for this belated PS4 conversion, the Xbox One version is very good indeed – a contender to Sim City’s throne, streamlined in all the right places to make it far easier and more enjoyable to play. It’s a demanding game, too, with your city’s citizens always requesting a new school, police station or similar.

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