Monday, February 12

Celeste Review

I was looking forward to more games from Matt Thorson whose an independent developer with a great track record. They developed TowerFall Ascension, which left me with a great taste in 2014. But what I didn't imagine, was that Celeste was going to be so well, one of the best platform games of recent years, an authentic delight for lovers of the most challenging jumps, which also makes you fall in love with their images, with their sound and even with their narrative


The phases, or rather chapters, which are quite long, are divided into dozens of small sections (more than 600 according to their creators), and at the entrance each of them establishes a control point where you reappear when you die . The longer these sections are, the more complicated they are to overcome, and due to their difficulty and playable proposal, this remembers to Super Meat Boy, although Celeste manages not to be so stressful, because of her charming and colorful setting, for her beautiful soundtrack.


The playable proposal of Celeste is extremely simple, and with just three actions, you have to overcome the numerous and varied situations that it proposes: jumping, being able to bounce on the walls; push in the air with a dash, which can be recharged by picking up some crystals or by bouncing on one of the springs and other elements; and grab the walls and other surfaces, being careful because when climbing the character gets tired and falls.

While assimilating the basics of it's gameplay, the first thing you check is that it's control is excellent, extremely accurate and very reliable, the base that has to have a great platform game. The difficulty curve begins in a friendly way, although it doesn't take long to discover that it will be a very difficult game, and in which you will die a lot and have to repeat the same situation many times, something that almost never becomes annoying (and it has a lot of merit), since you reappear immediately to very close. This is obviously very subjective, and if you don't like constant trial and error and repeat the same situation many times, unfortunately Celeste is not your game.

When you have wanted to realize, within a few minutes of starting, you are already immersed in complicated and imaginative sections of platforms, which test everything you have learned so far. Although the first chapter is kind and could almost be considered a great tutorial, in it you already find a multitude of secondary, collectable and secret paths that sting your curiosity, and you want to explore and investigate every nook and cranny of the levels, in which you never know that you you will find, paying attention to every detail.

The great triumph of Celeste is that despite being a game of platforms undoubtedly challenging, it has several layers of depth, and can reach all types of public, as long as it is lover of jumps. This is something that you check very naturally when trying to pick up the strawberries that are spread across the levels, totally optional, and where you find the most difficult moments. But there is much more to collect these collectibles, such as B-side of each chapter, tremendously complicated and only for the most expert, and many other secrets that the game hides.

Celeste is going to be a feast for the speedrunners, and a condemnation for the complete players, since to take control of everything is really complicated, and will play with your patience if you propose it. At the end of the chapters you see the statistics of the times you have died, and the Dark Souls is a joke next to this.

They have even thought of players who are easily frustrated and don't want or can't face a challenge too complicated, since you can activate a curious assistance mode, in which you can change the speed of the action, jump double, infinite resistance or even be invulnerable. A blasphemy for many, but a way to enjoy a very beautiful game and with a great story for others.

Graphics & Design

Celeste is a surprisingly round game, which has enraptured me in all it's aspects.
Yes, including it's graphics, that pixel art style that indies has abused so much in recent years and that many have crossed, but when it is well done, with good taste and care, it can be very nice, as it happens in this game. An excellent use of color, scenes with many details and small effects that make life transmit, and surprisingly expressive characters with very few pixels.

The soundtrack composed by Lena Raine has also enchanted me, with environmental melodies that wrap you up, even relaxing, and that help you not get nervous despite having to repeat a situation more than twenty or thirty times. At the beginning this reminded me a lot of the great work of Disasterpeace in Fez, but then she stands out and surprises with her variety of styles and tones, knowing how to convey the emotions of the protagonist and the urgency of the moment very well in each moment.


Climbing the Celeste mountain has given me some of the best moments i've ever experienced in a platform game. One of those indies that shows that with very little, you can do a lot, at the touch of talent: a perfect gameplay, a waste of good ideas, a great level design, a well written story and a very careful audiovisual section that puts the icing on the cake. If you like the platforms is an essential game, one of the first big surprises of 2018 that has started in an unbeatable way.

*Game was provided for this review


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