IGN Rating: 10/10
Developer: Matt Makes Games
Publisher: Matt Makes Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
It’s not one of the most popular games right now, the one that most gamers like best. However, “Celeste” is a simple platformer game, teaches you some lessons about learning from mistakes. Video games like this are not something new with the concept. You can call it such as “Super Meat Boy,” “Spelunky,” “Cuphead,” and one of the games that I’m currently playing right now, “Dead Cells.” Platform or 2D side-scrolling games are arguably one of the genres which did have a repetitive impression, said the gamers who really love “Call of Duty,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” and even “Fortnite.” This is one of the games which take up a lot of time because of artificial and the difficulty. Are there not enough spikes to put on every level? Well, it’s not a really complain but “Celeste” is one of the most difficult games for modern video games today.
Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight, hand-crafted platformer from the creators of multiplayer classic “TowerFall.”
- A narrative-driven, single-player adventure like mom used to make, with a charming cast of characters and a touching story of self-discovery
- A massive mountain teeming with 700+ screens of hardcore platforming challenges and devious secrets
- Brutal B-side chapters to unlock, built for only the bravest mountaineers
- IGF “Excellence in Audio” finalist, with over 2 hours of original music led by dazzling live piano and catchy synth beats
The controls are simple and accessible – simply jump, air-dash, and climb – but with layers of expressive depth to master, where every death is a lesson. Lightning-fast respawns keep you climbing as you uncover the mysteries of the mountain and brave its many perils.
This is it, Madeline. Just breathe. You can do this.
The story follows Madeline, a cute young girl who has a goal of climbing the highest mountain, Celeste. The story is not sure why the main character wants to climb the mountain. Does anyone motivate it? Is there something on the top of it? Or is there someone waiting for her. Spoiler, you would also get an answer from everything of your questions. What’s certain is that you must know first of how to play this game, you just have to climb a mountain which is very meaningful for this Madeline. Every trip, Madeline will find other characters who help her and together climb along too. Each of the levels gives a twist shows like Madeline’s “Part of Me,” a dark figure from Madeline itself. Although it seems simple, the story is one of the most meaningful and most memorable ever. You learn about mistakes, you learn about knowing yourself, and you learn about dealing with fear. Seems a simple story but it’s quite memorable from all aspects.
“Celeste” went easily from the beginning. The way you can climb every platform is run, jump, and run-and-jump. Every platform, which you need the most to survive in every trap of spikes or gap, dash jump is the main thing in this game. When “Iconoclasts” uses a wrench as the most important thing, “Celeste” also has it. You must be able to master how to use this skill and it’s so easy, right? Old quote: easy to learn, hard to master. The problem and the difficulty using the skill are that you can only use one time while in the air. When you touch the ground, you can only use it at one time. The problem is the situation of how to use it. It’s not arbitrary because if you use it in an incorrect position, then you have to repeat from the checkpoint, from the beginning of the obstacles. Each level, you also find various objects such as an elevator that moves when you touch it, a gummy ball so that the player’s more impetus to each obstacle, a crystal which’s useful for using the skill dash once more, a feather useful for flying, a black blob which’s useful for straight dash, and so on. These features allow you to need it on the right placement, just like the dash skill and must be quick to create a scenario. Therefore, the more you die, the easier your experience of mastering these obstacles.
Unique things which are found at certain levels are when they meet with “Part of Me.” There is some boss, the battle between characters where you have to pass through obstacles as quickly as possible so that you will survive that endless chase. It’s a sin when I talk about the character more deeply unless you have to find out the mysteries included in this game. Every dialogue is absurd yet funny. I love how the character dialogue between characters carries conversations which sound gibberish and I found that’s funny. Simply put, the dialogs are simple and carried out via text. But, if you are not too interested, you can skip the existing cutscenes. Every dialogue between characters is full of intense, full of charming, and emotion. Although with a simple premise, the dialogue between these characters is so memorable at certain points such as the dialogue between Theo and Madeline who tells their life story before becoming a hitchhiker. All the characters in this game look memorable in each particular scene and I find it melancholy. I was so impressed with how the developer created all of this with a simple premise about someone trying to reach the top of the mountain without being obvious yet wrapped in a way that is so memorable in each. It’s not about twist or emotional when talking about the ending of the game but it’s so fascinating; the right sentence. Bottom line, it’s simple but the way the developer designed is a masterpiece.
The graphics remind me of SNES. In contrast to “Iconoclasts“, which each pixel uses animation to illustrate its character’s feel breath, “Celeste” has its own uniqueness. The visual is so beautiful every time you look whatever on the background, the depiction of a city at night, it’s so well-pixelated from one developer who is full of dedication. “Celeste” is like a 16-bit video game that doesn’t use too much on-screen animation except the avatar on each character. It’s not a realistic one or whatever people call it like old, cheap, or crap, the graphic has fantastic art elements thanks to the developer. The soundtrack is so remarkable and shows exactly at each level. The music has varied in every scene and level. Not too repetitive when you try to enjoy it one by one. All shown it sometimes in the form of melancholy, catchy, trap music at night or peace, but sometimes drawing some intense. In short, the music is so kickass.
The level, at least, has seven levels for the main story, one level for the extra, and the B-side from the alternative side of the story but with the addition of difficulty and so many obstacles, especially the spikes that almost all are on every platformer. In short, there are some secret paths or obstacles when you play one level on the main story. When you access the room, you can take a cassette tape where you will open a bonus level from the level itself but with a more difficult tone than the main level. B-side tries to get the main strawberry so that it can open an extra level after successfully completing this game. The rest, you need “only” four to access that level. I put the quote on the word “only” because B-side is the one who loves you most because of the brutality to the point you wants to throw your controller. I still don’t find out what the strawberry uses which I talk about the strawberry on the main level. Strawberries are only intended at completing this game at 100% and no other purpose. Strawberries are sometimes placed in a place that put riskier so it takes more consequences to did that.
A high dedication to Matt Thorson as the writer, Lena Raine as the composer, and Matt Makes Games of every member and staff. “Celeste” almost throws out half of my time to complete each level, especially the B-side levels which is one of the infamous. With a story which seems to be full of twist, the characters are so memorable along with the dialogue filled with a variety of small humor, “Celeste” in short teaches how to learn from mistakes. It’s about playing again, again, and again. When you play it continuously, you could master every of the level without dying once. With a good level and memorable music for each level, “Celeste” is, at least, one of the “difficult” games which it could be enjoyed by all people. A video game full of innovation, especially on platforming games. A game that has a lot of inspiration from any platform games. “Celeste” is beyond that and passes through an endless boundary.