Stop if you've heard this before: a peculiar and pixelated video game gives new life to the side scrolling genre similar to Mario. Or, those games used to give life, before they became common. Super Meat Boy set off this kind of resurgence almost a decade ago. That's a long time in the lateral displacements.
A look at Celeste this week – which favors pixelated designs and soft and bouncy characters – could make any skeptical bystander sigh in that "My God, other one of these ? " path. I get it.
But I insist that there is something here. In recent years, we have seen a few super beautiful platforms emerge away from the pixels with serious fans. Cuphead made a big splash in 2017 by emphasizing brutal difficulty and hand-drawn beauty. Fans of 2014 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze swear by its breadth and production values. And 2015 Ori and the Blind Forest injected beautiful designs and wild platform maneuvers into a " Metroidvania " adventure.
Celeste does not look very much like the three games, but its brilliance comes from borrowing its best ideas and increasing its jumps to offer the most intense, memorable and satisfying platform game ever released. the years 2010. Place Celeste on the top of your side-scrolling shelf, right next to Super Meat Boy and Yoshi's Island .
Tower … climb? 19659006] How the hell are we going to get that key ?
If Celeste seems familiar, that's because its creators have already made a dent in some serious pixel art games, particularly Towerfall . (We love Towerfall .) On his face, Celeste looks and feels similar to [TowerTower as if it had been reused as a solo game. Your character's design seems almost lifted from Towerfall as well as his default motion suite: running, jumping, jumping on the wall, climbing a wall and an air-dash with a cardinal direction.
Bow and Arrow combat of Towerfall This air-dash is used primarily to dodge attacks. Celeste does not have any combat, however. As a result, the air-dash becomes something totally different.
You control a young girl with no name (if you did not call her, her name is Madeline) in her inexplicable quest to climb a huge Canadian mountain. A story eventually develops when Madeline meets a friendly climber, a strange old woman and some mysterious locals. Before the conversations take depth and depth, there is the question of escalation. Just go up
The initial challenges of the game are quite simple. Enter a room, use the air-dash to "double jump" effectively to higher platforms, and go through an opening in the upper right of the screen to enter the next room. Almost immediately, Celeste teases you with her common "strawberry" collectibles, which are always placed in complicated places to jump, jump on the wall and run into the air. (In addition, you can not "reclaim" the fruit until you finish a series of jumps and climbs and land safely on your feet.) They gently incite you to flex the muscles of the air board, although the game makes it very clear that these collectibles do not They affect your progress or unlock anything.
But nobody who plays this type of games ignores the collectable shines, a fact that Celeste appreciates a lot. Forget accumulation of series such as Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie . In truth, there are two types of collectables in this game: strawberries, which each world hides approximately between 20 and 25, and a very small number of supersecret "hearts", which require ingenious methods, movement and research to discover. Celeste keeps it simple.
Most importantly, the game places these collectibles around the world to discover something that I have found in my own real experiences of hiking and climbing: that the most satisfying route arrives. of a very successful mixture of difficult but feasible grips and of "My God, I am so closed". The satisfaction of picking up another strawberry in Celeste does not come from increasing your count one higher; it is to stop once it has landed safely and has pocketed the fruit, then looking at the screen to examine the jumps and the maneuvers necessary to catch it. Like, look at that. Look what I just achieved there.
But just taking a walk through a bunch of smart corridors would not cut it, which brings us to another genius from Celeste : putting Madeline's incredible powers and maneuvers in the game world, not in Your button design required. Each world presents at least one new thing that Madeline can touch or manipulate while she climbs, jumps and throws herself into the air. The first is a green jewel, in the air, that refreshes your ability to run outdoors; Normally you can only fly into the air once per jump, with the possibility of resetting each time you land. But if you can jump and go through the screen until you reach a green gem, you can make that single jump last longer.
Climbing beyond their platform pairs
As Madeline advances, these new elements increase drastically. Soon a series of blocks from another world will appear, which you can not cross, but if you cross them in the air, you cross them in a straight line, which can quickly propel you to where you should go or will send it directly to your death . (However, your power in the air-dash is restored when you exit from the other side.)
Meanwhile, the floating red spheres will throw Madeline in a fast, unidirectional line if you touch them. She can run off the line at any time (and must escape from it at precisely the right times for the toughest challenges), while the yellow feathers allow her to float in any direction she wants for a limited time.
Those are some of the objects in the world that do something really clean: they take the very fast and high speed superpowers of a game like Ori and the Blind Forest and distill them in a way that eliminates to track, collect elements, level up and complicate control of that game. Players enter the challenge rooms using just one joystick and two buttons, and the room itself feeds all the exotic complications and stimulating moments of "I can not believe I've made it."
Throughout my game, I could not help, but think of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze a platform game that according to fans was not received as well as it deserved when it landed on the Wii U in 2014. I like DKC: TF as a beautiful fulfillment of the heavy exploration of momentum of that series, but I am much more impressed by how Celeste allows players to enter a Defiant room, evaluate your madness and then manage a series of quick jumps, scripts, warps and more. I would begin to explore (and die many times) in a room of Celeste would understand how the game wanted to overcome it, then find the correct pattern of synchronization and movement to achieve it, which is a very different type of " moment "that the movement of reaction and almost automatic movement of DKC .
Something related is my appreciation of the pixel art style of Celeste which players surely differ in. For my money, the perfect motion technology for frames and pixels of Celeste lives and dies by reading its large and bold pixels, normally compensated in a clear and colorful way by a variety of game worlds. A platform game like last year Cuphead can work with expressive and musical art and design, but I only needed about 10 minutes with Celeste to appreciate and express gratitude for the way in which the latter uses fleshy and thick pixels for equal parts of utility and expression.
You need this type of art style to believe in your motion technology, and yet the MattMakesGames design team still infuses so much personality in this block shapes, whether by animation, by screen fill effects, or by incredibly moving narrative, which begins to creep through his travels in an appreciably organic way.
Nice view here
Each world in Celeste is composed of approximately 100 rooms, and its seven primary worlds will take a relatively skilful player no less than 30 minutes each to understand and master, if you choose to collect some, but not all, of the worlds & # 39; the hardest strawberries. (Related: The beautiful soundtrack, which combines the classic beauty of Final Fantasy VI with the great wave of Mo & # 39; Wax Records, is particularly good at keeping players engaged as they die up from 250 times per half-hour world.) The unlockable variations of the "B-side" of each world add another list of challenges, and these increase the difficulty and insanity, if you're that guy in the virtual climbing gym who longs for nothing less than a "level 9" wall Celeste . (I'm not close to beating all sides B. They're crazy.)
Super-hard platform games have exploded in recent years, especially those made by enthusiasts who use simple tool sets (or Super Mario Maker ) for the torturous Twitch and GamesDoneQuick games. I would argue that absolute brutality is not an adequate measure of quality, and that Celeste understands this in the same way that Super Meat Boy did when he first flew us all in 2010
Celeste does so many incredible things. Organically teach players while intelligently inserting new powers to change the game in their worlds. It gives the players a break so they can play as they want, all while choreographing some of the most memorable platform sequences I've played. Pay homage to the classic and resistant platforms while climbing your own path.
Celeste left me breathless at the top of its incredible mountain. I love the view from up here. Come and join me.
- Mario-style side-scrolling games have not felt simultaneously so familiar and refreshing in years.
- A simple control set is reinforced by the wild twists integrated into the surreal worlds of the game.
- Pixel art makes perfect jumps possible in the frame, but it looks beautiful and has a great variety of designs.
- Follow the difficult but windy route if you wish. The game is fun no matter how difficult the path you choose is.
- Normally, I'd say "it's not long enough" here, but the "B-sides" mode adds a ton of brutally difficult levels, if you feel that the five-hour campaign is missing.
- The screams you can utter after failing many of the challenges of the game "My God was so close".
Verdict : Buy. Celeste is the first single-player game of 2018.