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Deltarune Chapter 1 Review

Deltarune's soundtrack is an amazing piece of art, the rest lacks heart.

Written by Luke Heyen on March 3rd, 2019.

By Luke Heyen – @StickersPlays, @HitStartPod, co-host of the Hit Start Podcast

Deltarune is developed and published by Toby Fox, the creator of indie success Undertale. Fans of the series will be happy with this new entry. It is currently available for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC for free.

Deltarune is a turn-based RPG where you play as the protagonist, Kris, a student who discovers a different world called the Dark World in their school’s supply closest. You are accompanied by Susie, another student in the Dark World, where you meet the third member of your party, Ralsei. Your mission is to restore balance to light and dark in the underworld. There are a total of seven different enemies including the final boss which I thought lacked any personality and was very uninspired compared to the bosses of Undertale. I would have liked to see a wider variety of enemies and a deeper combat system.

The combat system is the same as Undertale’s, where the turn-based fighting mechanic is a mix between your standard turn-based attacks and a bullet hell style system where you control a small heart (Kris’s soul) confined to a small box. The team loses HP when your soul is hit by enemy attacks. You gain Tension Points during the bullet hell sections which can be used for spells like heal prayer and pacify. You gain TP just by avoiding enemy attacks, which slowly builds your TP meter up. Small sections of bullet hell areas are scattered throughout the game and are pretty easy.

Deltarune’s bullet hell style combat system.

Toby Fox continued with the art style he used for his previous title, Undertale. I’m quite a fan of the 16-bit art style and it works very well in this game. The level design doesn’t do anything new or exciting, and with very minimal NPCs the world feels a little empty. The NPCs that are in the game only have one line of text but it is very well-written and enjoyable. The game is only 3-4 hours long, however, and it feels like it’s missing some liveliness.

The soundtrack is one of my favorite things in Deltarune. All the tones set within the game are accompanied by its soundtrack perfectly, and considering Toby does the soundtrack himself makes it even more impressive.

Whilst I enjoyed my time within Deltarune I don’t think I’ll be dipping my toes into Chapter 2. While the battle system was well designed and satisfying, and the soundtrack was perfect for the mood it gave off,  the characters didn’t pique my interest in any way and the world felt empty. The story was enough to pull me through to the end, but I can’t say I enjoyed it enough to continue to the next chapter.

Final Rating: 7/10

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