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Combine mountain climbing with Super Meat Boy style antics and you should have a solid idea of what Celeste is all about. Reviews for the platformer (available for PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One) lifted this week and we’re looking at critical acclaim all around, it seems.
“Even when Celeste is playing things straight it’s a wonderfully challenging proposition. A platform will start to move when you jump onto it. Moments later, a gap will seem uncrossable until you realise that you can hurl yourself further if you use the moving platform’s momentum to provide an extra shove,” Eurogamer explains in its review, giving the game a “recommended” badge.
“Carefully placed gems allow you to refresh your air dash without first hitting the ground. Pretty soon you are chaining moves together so confidently — or with the wild abandon encouraged by the fact that the game saves your progress at the start of each screen and offers endless restarts — that someone peering over your shoulder might think Celeste is a game about flying between platforms rather than jumping.
The publication also praised the game for being ideal speed-runner fodder, while noting that it was a tough endeavour as well.
“…for times that it becomes ovewhelming, you can dip into the assist menu and slow the speed of the game, perhaps, or grant yourself infinite air dashes, infinite stamina while clinging to walls, or even complete invulnerability.”
Is Celeste 2018’s first hit indie game? Gaming publications certainly seem to think so
Stalwart gaming platform IGN bestowed a 10 out of 10 upon the title, finding that it was more than just “another retro pixel-art 2D platformer”.
“All of that character is wrapped around one of the most blissfully fluid, responsive, and fun platformers I’ve played since Super Meat Boy. For more than 20 hours of gameplay, Celeste has surprised me with consistently creative and fun platforming challenges and secrets that found unexpected depth from its relatively simple mechanics,” read an excerpt of the review.
The publication’s review also pointed to the generous checkpoints and quick respawning — no “you died” screen here.
Polygon offered an eight out of 10 score, calling it a “gateway drug” to the “masocore” genre of games. It also pointed to simple controls hiding a lot of depth.
“Early on you’ll explore an abandoned city, a crumbling castle and a haunted resort, each with its own environmental mechanics to master. The city, for example, has moving platforms that can launch you across chasms, while the hotel introduces deadly poison that coats the floors you’ve already walked, making retreat a no-no. As with any great platformer, these mechanics return throughout Celeste, becoming intertwined with other, more dangerous traps.”
The reviewer also notes that the polished platforming mechanics are “just the tip of the iceberg”.
“There’s far more underneath the surface. And maybe that’s worth dying for.”
Popular YouTuber videogamedunkey has also taken to reviewing the title, watch the slightly NSFW video below.