Review of Celeste – Perfection in each pixel

Lately in the world of video games mixed. Dear and big studios like BioWare is rapidly losing respect and previously unnoticed indie developers just gaining popularity. We have long ceased to expect surprises from corporations, but who knows what new we will show you an independent company? Celeste has become a surprise, appearing almost out of nowhere, she instantly made us forget all the other games, and has proudly considered to be one of the first true masterpieces of 2018.

Externally Celeste’t seem anything special – yet another pixel platformer that’s designed to get players to throw my controller in a fit of rage. Ideological successor to Super Meat Boy, Celeste created to become the new Golden mean between asculai hardcore and modern convenience. Celeste looks like many other similar creations, but it is distinguished by a perfectly adjusted gameplay and a surprisingly decent story, which – again – don’t expect watching the trailer.

The story of the creation of Celeste is very interesting: the original prototype for authorship Noel berry (author Skytorn) and Matt Thorson (TowerFall) was created in four days for Game Jam. The prototype was made very quickly and for a fictional console, Pico-8. The result is a very interesting little game, reminiscent of a complicated platformers of the days of the Super Nintendo. And it is still possible to play inside Celeste – you just need to find the hidden computer Pico-8 in one of the levels. Such is the video game matryoshka doll.

The protagonist Celeste stands Madeline – a girl who went to conquer the fictional mount Celeste in Canada. Why? Who knows. It’s something that she wants – needs – to do. As this impressive adventure she meets different characters, each with his secret or history. As it passes we find out that Celeste is a mountain with magical properties. Gradually the story gets deeper and more interesting. Madeline does not fight with monsters, and with myself. In the game topics self-loathing, anxiety neurosis, stress, depression, and so on. It’s incredibly deep story, especially for a game with such seems simple facade.

The rest of Celeste – this is what it looks like. This is a classic platformer where the protagonist has to overcome many obstacles and reach his goal. One “but”: the game is very difficult. From the beginning you should get used to the fact that you have to die a lot – and often. The gameplay is extremely simple, and the set of skills Madeline is modest: she can jump, do “super-jump” and cling to ledges. To ensure that gameplay is not boring, Celeste constantly introducing new elements that force them to reconsider. But there are virtually no upgrades – Madeline remains itself.

Impressive Easter eggs: the game within the game. Prototype Celeste significantly more complex and has no save. You should find it once, and it will always be accessible from the menu.
But do not be afraid Celeste: unlike other similar titles, it does not seek to punish the player for the mistake. Often death changes nothing: you simply return to the beginning screen. Don’t want to replay it later or count every life. Similarly, there are no screens Game Over – game instantly restarts. Change this only during battles with the bosses, which often have to walk a small marathon.

This may seem like a small thing, but the way Celeste looked into the issue of the failure of the player (in fact, offset the fear factor), changes everything. Even those who prefer a more relaxed game, you can safely try Celeste. Not only because she is very honest, but also thanks to a special auxiliary mode is designed for those who have no nerves/ability to deal with tricky management. Mode not simply makes the game easier, but, in fact, “break it”: make her immune to spikes, increase the number of possible jumps in the air, or even skip whole chapters. The developers have taken care of everything. Well, as the wisdom in the game, “proud of the death count. The more you die the more you learn”.

In essence, Celeste is very simple: as a rule, you just need to go from one screen to another. The problem is always the same: don’t die. But for those who are not afraid to take risks, there are additional challenges in the form of strawberries – a bonus feature that is hidden throughout the game. Sometimes strawberries just need to find, but most often it is in a very remote place. While the strawberry has no properties; it here, as written by the developers, in order to “brag to friends”.

Anyway, the game obviously was created and tailored to speedrunners who like to run games in record time. In the settings you can even include a timer to monitor their progress.

Not hard enough? In each world, hidden cassette with b-sides, which allows you to open a new variation level is more difficult, but with new music.

By the way, about music – she’s gorgeous. Soundtrack Celeste is so good that I want to buy it separately. It changes depending on what is happening on the screen, and remains in memory for a long time after turning off the game. In General, the sound deserves special mention: despite the fact that the characters are not voiced, they “speak” their language using the generated “speech” like that used in Animal Crossing. But even their “speech” surprisingly expressive: when a character is angry, uses sarcasm or afraid, you can hear it. This, coupled with moving avatars, creating a sense that the truth listening to the conversation of people – just in a different language.

Dialogues in the game are not many, but they are always relevant and help to better understand the characters.
Celeste visually not particularly striking: we’ve seen a huge number of platformers in the style of a pixel, and there is little that distinguishes Celeste. It looks very nice, and really conveys the General mood. It is important to note the animation of the characters. In General, in January already out other similar game – Celebrating – whose visuals impressed me more.

Celeste is available on many platforms, but only became popular on the Nintendo Switch. This is the version that was before me. I can confidently say this is the best platform for such games: Celeste works perfectly in both portable and stationary modes. It is perfect for small gaming sessions: if you play too long, no nerves will not suffice.

The game works almost perfectly, if not a little but very unpleasant moment: during the passage of one time the game crashed. This is the first game that got kicked off on my Switch. Very frustrating: I had to replay a lot of very difficult levels. As I understand it, crashes are very rare, and developers are already working on a patch.

Regardless of what kind of platformer do you like best, Celeste will likely be pleased. It’s a surprisingly deep game that boasts one of the best stories in recent times, amazing presentation and brought to the ideal gameplay. To it is almost impossible to find fault: she does everything not just good, but great. This is a great platformer that is bound to win awards and to enter the list of the best titles this year.

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