This game sort of came out of nowhere for me, but everyone on my social networks seemed to be talking about it so I checked out it. So glad I did. This is a gem.
Basically it is an RPG that has the sort of odd zaniness that you find in a game like Earthbound, with a battle system that is essentially like playing WarioWare mini-games. It also has a mechanic where you can decide whether to kill or have mercy on the enemies and it actually seems like it is going to have a point. So far the pacing has been great too, and it has a bunch of really well-timed comedic moments that made me laugh out loud (the early game living block who moves itself to the switch for you... with some misunderstandings... was hilarious.)
The only platforms at the moment are PC and Mac (look Mac people you get a great game for once), but it seems like it is going to be a success so hopefully it will come to others as well.
If you like Earthbound play Boot Hill Heroes too! (Holy cow I think I wrote that way back before we really knew each other? Also all of the image links are dead for some reason.)
Actually I probably sold another copy of BHH the other day. Shirley has these two friends who are a couple and always looking for games to play together and we were out at dinner and somehow the conversation got to old RPGs and he was talking about how no one makes them like they did in the SNES days anymore and how awesome Earthbound was and I was like OH RLY? CHECK THIS MULTIPLAYER SNES-STYLE RPG OUT and whipped out your business card and they both seemed pretty pumped by it.
@sirmastersephiroth Basically when enemies attack you are this little heart in a box and you need to move around and dodge their attacks for like 5-10 seconds or so. Every enemy has its own type of attacks. But that is really simplifying things, because especially for bosses, the system evolves and expands in a lot of ways. He really got creative with it.
If you check the trailer above it shows off the battle system at the 20 second mark and again at the 50 second mark.
@TriforceBun I have suggested to him that when the trilogy is finished he releases the whole package as its own thing and market it to new platforms as a new game. But assuming NX is coming soon that would be hitting too late for Wii U.
Also I don't recall whether I ever specifically mentioned Nintendo platforms. Or whether he thought it was a good idea or not.
Alright I need to gush about Undertale some more, because it’s just that good. So what is Undertale really? I guess on the surface it is an “old school” sort of SNES-era RPG. But it’s kind of not really like anything I have played before.
On a presentation level, it kind of has a sort of odd Earthbound-esque goofiness to it, but with some pretty touching themes and a great storyline as well. Graphics are pretty unique and charming, and the soundtrack is excellent.
One of the big themes in the game is avoiding killing. So you have battles, but pretty much every conflict can be ended without killing. Sometimes it is as simple as wearing the enemy down with attacks. Others are more like puzzles though. You use certain dialog choices within the battle, or take certain actions and if you pull it off correctly, no one has to die. Sometimes the enemies run off, or you make friends, or you grant them mercy and move along.
The battle system is super unique too. Your attacks are kind of basic (probably since you’re often trying to find ways to NOT attack), but when enemies attack it turns into a WarioWare like mini-game where you are this little heart in a box and have to avoid a variety of attack patterns for like 5-10 seconds or so. It gets VERY creative here, especially during boss fights, just constantly adding to and reinventing this basic idea in new ways, breaking its own rules to recreate them, etc.
The pacing is exquisite too. It’s only about 6-7 hours long (although, without spoiling anything, you will probably want to play through it at least twice), but it is packed with all kinds of things going on, there is rarely any fluff and definitely no grinding or anything like that (“basic” enemies attack randomly, but rarely enough that it is never an annoyance... the game knows not to bog you down with battles.) In fact, part of its brilliance is it keeps adding in so many unexpected new game elements.
Another part of its brilliance is how it sort of simultaneously works as a great RPG and as a deconstruction / parody of RPG tropes. For example, one of the running themes is this character who keeps creating these overly-complicated puzzles for you to solve, but for a variety of reasons you never have to actually solve them. And well… I won’t spoil anything but a lot of the core RPG terminology you thought you knew gets sort of turned on its head eventually in this game.
Also it is just hilarious at times. There is this bit early on about a block that wants to help you press a switch on its own, but uh… has its own way of “helping”. Everything about that part was perfectly paced for maximum comedy, and the game keeps throwing these moments at you over and over.
I feel like words are failing me though. I have never played a game like this. If you love RPGs you have to play it, and if you don’t love RPGs you should probably still give it a go because it’s not really like any other RPG I have played.
Welllllll I don't want to spoil anything but there is a fairly dark backstory and technically you CAN kill pretty much everyone if you want to, it's not like the game forces you to choose mercy. Though RE the conversation with Anand the other day, it definitely pushes you in that direction. Also it's very not everyone wins... at least in the first playthrough.
But yeah, there is definitely a focus on choosing the non-killing options. Not really sure choosing to not kill makes someone a hippie though, isn't there some room in between killer and hippie?!
Its the way that Society as a whole has become, and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. No, I'm not all Gun-Toting KILL 'EM ALL, but yeah. Its like people are afraid to commit to something or they'll get torn up on TWITTER. Gotta leave as many possibilities out there to please as many people (like Star Wars: Episode I!!...). Can you imagine Chrono Trigger getting panned because theres no Mercy / Let 'Em Run Away system? Gimme a break.
The only thing that people DO commit to now are all genders, all races, all ideologies, all whatever. If not, you're sexist, racist, and everything else, into the night. For shame.
I hope T-Bun does what he wants with his game, 100%. (Haven't played Boot Hill Heroes, but I hope that Dave did what he wanted to, too, and didn't feel outside pressure.)
@Mr_Mustache You seem to have made some odd assumption that this developer decided to make a game about choosing non-violence / mercy because of social pressure or something? What a strange assumption. I have seen him talk and I can assure you that there is no reason to think he made anything but exactly the game he wanted to make. And it works brilliantly with the story he chose to tell, which I won't spoil here, but is well... it's an interesting one.
It's weird though, there is always this odd backlash against any game in a genre that traditionally has violence yet chooses not to focus on violence. It's such a bizarre notion to me. I can't fathom what it would be like to have a mind that works that way.
You also have a very warped view of "the only thing that people do commit to now". Like, have you looked at the game industry around you?
Like, have you looked at the game industry around you?
I'm on Negative World daily, so, yes.
Whatever, we all know how you work much closer to everyone who matters, and talk to people who aren't steeped in privilege, so I'll just take the L here (per usual) and move on.
I will say that I hear one thing from you often, and I'm made to believe that its the full truth, but then I hear the exact opposite of what you've said -- from multiple people -- (usually with a thought that I've led with) and then I don't know what to think. I don't know why I instill so much belief in what you say. THAT'S a weird way of thinking. Blame it on my warped mind.
Well, for instance, how many current RPGs focus on not killing versus killing? You're talking like this is something EVERYONE HAS TO DO NOW OR FACE THE PC POLICE but like... next to no one does it. Which is part of why this game stands out. But it's not like anyone had a heart attack that uh... what recent RPGs have even released... The Witcher or Dragon Age or Dark Souls has killing. Have you seen anyone here bagging on Xenoblade X or SMT X FE for having killing in them?
Still, it's not like "not killing in RPGs" is some insane new liberal idea. Lots of RPGs have battles that don't end in killing. Earthbound, for instance... you rarely (if ever?) actually kill anything. You don't actually kill most of the critters / people you fight in Boot Hill Heroes either, mostly only the bosses. I think a lot of games inspired by Earthbound will naturally follow that path in some ways. It's just most don't really build the story / gameplay around finding out how to not kill like Undertale does, so that is the "new" thing.
I dunno. It's just bizarre to me that by simply focusing on not killing a game can get you so steamed.
If it makes you feel any better you can only play as a single character with no options on what they look like, so no racial or gender diversity there. I don't know why lack of diversity would make you feel better but it sort of sounds like it would.