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Celeste Video Game Review

Chris Ocker, Staff Writer

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If you exclude Nintendo, platformers are almost exclusively maintained by the indie community. Games like Super Meat Boy, Shovel Knight, and Cave Story are some of the best the genre had ever seen and they are all created by individual developers. To join the group is Celeste, a phenomenal indie platformer that should not be skipped over if you are a lover of the genre.

The main mechanics of the game remain very simple, but it is what Celeste does with these few mechanics that make the adventure rarely feel boring. Your main character can only jump and dash in the air. However, each chapter introduces its own unique stage hazards such as wind, carrying objects, and fast moving platforms. Each mechanic on its own works great but the final screens combine them together into one finale. This keeps the game design simple but still allows for complexity within each stage. Not to mention, these levels are filled to the brim with collectibles that reward the observant player. These include strawberries that usually require a complicated meunever to grab or crystal hearts that force you to think outside the box with brilliant puzzles.

The best part about Celeste is also the same thing that makes it very off-putting: the difficulty. This is an incredibly hard game that asks the player to master each screen to near perfection. It surprising to die at least a couple hundred times in each chapter. However, those challenges are child’s play when compared the B-side levels. These chapters take the basic level designs of each chapter and super-charges them in incredibly difficult and complex platforming challenges. Completing a single screen can take minutes but the satisfaction of doing so is immense. It is an addictive cycle that keeps pushing the player to get better and better at the game. However, if you are not willing to spend potentially hours a single hard stage, Celeste will not appeal to you in any way.

If you are even remotely interested in Celeste, I would highly recommend it. While the game is not long (taking around 5 hours if you are not going after collectibles or B-side levels), it rarely ever drabs on and is a joy to play from start to finish. If you are willing to deal with the game’s intense difficulty, you will experience one of the most simplistic yet fun indie platformers in years.

Photo Credit: Knowyourmeme.com

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