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A quest to conquer an ever growing backlog of games.

The Daily Backlog 107

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Climbing a mountain is hard, but so is Celeste by Matt Makes Games! That won’t stop me from absolutely loving it though!!

Never Skip Thumb Day

Happy Wednesday backloggers!! Oh GAWD, I just realized it was still only Wednesday… but realizing it’s still the middle of the week and still getting up to do all your adulting things (like work and such), kinda reminds me of a certain game I’ve been playing. Where I find myself having to repeat the same steps over and over again ad infinitum, just trying to scrape by and make ends meet. Though, the game has a definite end, isn’t required to put food on the table and is probably exponentially more fun and entertaining than having to get up for work. That and the only thing scraping by is my thumb after extended play sessions.

Oh, and the game I’m referring to, is the fantastic, and fantastically challenging, platforming puzzle game Celeste by Canadian devs extraordinaire Matt Makes Games! And now that I’m 3 worlds, 64+ strawberries, well over 500 deaths and a set of slightly broken thumbs in, I thought it was about time I start talking about my feelings on this little gem. As you may or may not know, I’m a huge fan of games like this, so it’ll come as no surprise that I give this two crippled thumbs up, but let’s dive into the strawberries and pectin of this jam and figure out why that is!

A Climb to the Top

In Celeste you play as Madeline, our young protagonist who set out to climb to the top of the infamous Celeste Mountain where she’ll not only face the challenges and dangers of its steep cliffs, but also her inner demons. And one of my favorite parts of Celeste is how there is a succinct one-to-one correlation between the design and challenges of the game and the inner struggles Madeline is facing as a character along the way. That, and the undertakings you as a observer/player are facing while playing it. Themes like loneliness, depression and anger are laced without and the constant give and take of trying to cope with such emotions while working to overcome them.

And that’s really where the gameplay ties in so perfectly. I mean, in a much more video gamey way, but the key points still hold true, I think. You’re usually faced with a task that initially seems insurmountable, and try as you might you just keep failing. But through perseverance, determination and the knowledge that it’s been done before, you’ll eventually succeed. Because it is solvable and you always had to ability to do it in the first place! And of course this is a video game and it would be poor design to make it unobtainable!

Like a Well Oiled Machine

Speaking of design, I honestly struggle to find much wrong with Celeste. Short of it’s slightly off putting discrepancy in the the way the dialog boxes and menus were designed versus the in game graphics. But, I mean, that’s me being super nit picky, so I wouldn’t even take that into account. Truthfully though, how the levels are laid out and the dead on responsiveness of the controls are magnifique! Not to mention how the devs expertly mixed things up with their gradual learning curve in the main story levels and then how they throw you off the deep end in the the b-side (and eventually the c-side) challenges! I gotta say, those challenges are probably my favorite part. But I’m a bit of a sucker for that kind of stuff.

And with the addition of secrets, fun dialog, killer music and engrossing atmosphere, there’s more than enough to keep even the most picky of platformer-ers occupied and entertained for hours. Like I said at the top, it’s no surprise that I’m loving this game and that’s because there’s nothing to not love! In fact, it may just go down as one of my fav backlog completions of 2019! I’m also sure it’ll come as no surprise that I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to recommend playing Celeste. Especially if you’re a fan of charming platformers with a dash of thumb crippling challenges. Actually, it’s probably closer to a “hefty helping”, but who’s counting.

If you’re interested in checking out Celeste you can find it right now on pretty much every platform, but more specifically you can find it on the Xbox One (where I’m playing it) for $19.99 here:

Celeste (Xbox One)

107, The 28th Prime Number

Well my cheeky little backloggers, I think that’ll do it for today! I gotta say, I expected to enjoy Celeste, but I grossly underestimated how much I would! It’s hitting all the right chords for me and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! I’ll most certainly be playing more in the coming weeks and I’m sure you’ll hear more from me before then. Though I may just save my final thoughts until after I beat it. Mostly because I don’t want to spoil anything for all of you, since you should definitely experience it and play it for yourself!

Until tomorrow folks, have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Currently Playing

Our World is Ended (Switch)

Celeste (Xbox One)

Total Backlogged Games: 721 …The number of deaths it took to write this review!

Total Completed Games: 28 …The number of strawberries per second I consume!!

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