vikingboybilly asks:

I really really want your opinion of Undertale. Is it the antithesis of pokémon? Forcing pokémon into the subject matter will make you obligated to write about it.

Oh, FINE, but only because Undertale deserves to be talked about.

Note: if you haven’t played this game, then 1) you should seriously consider it because it is fantastic; in my opinion it pushes the current boundaries of what video games as a medium can accomplish, and it does that in maybe 6 hours of play time and with a $US 10 price tag, and 2) avoid spoilers like the plague; I mean it.  As a corollary to 2), I’ll speak here in only the vaguest and most circumspect terms possible.

Anyway.  Is it the antithesis of Pokémon?  Well, no, but I suppose the contrast is interesting.  In some ways they’re similar; one of Undertale’s quirkier features in comparison to other RPGs is that it allows you to “spare” monsters instead of killing them, and you could compare that to the way, in Pokémon, almost every battle is supposed to carry the potential to end with the creation of a new friendship (whether that’s with a new Pokémon partner, or with an opposing trainer).  The difference is that Pokémon is… I suppose in a word I would call it escapist.  It’s a game that’s all about fighting, but almost always in a context that is assumed to be basically friendly on some level, and the result is that your actions and choices rarely have serious consequences.  You can do what you want in this lighthearted fantasy world and be fairly safe in the knowledge that no one is ever going to be seriously hurt by your actions – or at least, nothing that a trip to the Pokémon Centre won’t fix.  Undertale has its escapist side too, in a way (if you’ve managed to get the “happy ending” you know what I’m talking about), but one way or another it will make you face the consequences of your actions.

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