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Celeste

25 January 2018
Celeste - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.13 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,677 Ratings / 10 Reviews
#81 All-time
#3 for 2018
A young woman undertakes the challenge of climbing a mountain with dangerous perils and mysterious powers. Throughout her journey, she is confronted by Part Of Her, her bad side doppelgänger.
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US 8 19976 02195 3 LA-H-ACF3A-USA
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JP 4 589886 950235
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Title
To get the elephant in the room out of the way (as most people here on Glitchwave seem to do), I think the story and dialogue is really overhyped. It actually dissuaded me from playing the game for the longest time because of how much people were saying it's the second coming of Christ almighty. At its core, it's a pretty basic, tropey shadow archetype narrative, and while that can obviously still be effective enough for the right kinds of people, as it's designed to be very broad, I'd say that for 99% of people, it's not gonna be life-changing or drastically alter your views of storytelling as a medium or change your gender or what have you.

However, Celeste is splendidly well-crafted in all the right areas. The artstyle is fantastic, the atmosphere is great (I'm personally impressed how much environmental variety they were able to squeeze out of just the single idea of climbing a mountain).

And most importantly, the level design is top-notch, and I really respect how they were able to make the game accessible to just about anyone without sacrificing any of the challenge for those jumping off a game like Super Meat Boy, due to both the built-in accessibility settings as well as the Strawberries in each level: they're entirely optional and don't do anything so newer players are completely free to skip em, whereas players like me can easily spend dozens upon dozens of attempts just trying to grab a single one; not to mention the B-side (and god forbid C-side) levels that were so challenging that even I stopped by Chapter 4. It's something I notice a lot more with time, where games often do so much right but fail right at the end by refusing to take into mind how they can make their game more accessible to new players or more engaging for the die-hard crowd when they can easily have it both ways, and I was so pleasantly surprised that Celeste of all games did this near flawlessly. More games should learn from Celeste.
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Tarluk 2022-12-20T10:20:30Z
2022-12-20T10:20:30Z
4.0
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Amazing game
Amazing platforming, amazing graphics, good soundtrack, good story, all of these things along with its accessibility make Celeste one of my favorite games that I've played. I love all the collectibles and the clear feeling of improvement- I've played the game three times, and with each time I beat it with less deaths and more collectibles. If you want a challenging but fun and charming time look no further.
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mavemavemave 2022-12-26T20:06:07Z
2022-12-26T20:06:07Z
5.0
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never managed to complete the game without assist mode because i'm pretty bad at platformers, but this is an absolutely amazing game, with an amazing story, an amazing soundtrack, and i will always hold it close to my heart, i love it so much
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andreapesthebigtizio 2022-12-17T16:19:49Z
2022-12-17T16:19:49Z
4.5
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(written jan 30, 2018)

I recall the exact moment Celeste crushed me. It wasn’t the intimidation of the mountain’s many obstacles, or one of the hundreds of deaths that befell our hero, Madeline. It was a monologue from Madeline that shifted my perception of the game entirely. When asked why she’s climbing the mountain in the first place, the only answer she can muster after detailing a lifelong battle with depression is: “I need something to challenge me. And I can’t just do something a little bit. It’s all of me or nothing.”

No longer did I believe Celeste was focused solely on platforming, smooth as gelatin and tough as gemstone. The act of climbing the mountain became a question that I’ve asked myself many-a-time when struggling with staying determined: why are you doing this in the first place? Is it worth it in the end? Do you want to succeed or are you just fighting through gritted teeth at this point? While titles like Undertale depict the strength determination can give through epic, feel-good finales, Celeste questions how to utilize that strength every step of the way.

Celeste is a hard game, but it’s attitude towards the player is what makes the difficulty stand out in the “masocore” genre. I admire the usual snark from God Hand or RUINER, but Celeste‘s gentle demeanor is refreshing, to say the least. The mountain’s obstacles are split into “screens,” where failure only means lightning-quick, no-pressure respawns, but such a choice in design is countered by the amount of architectural study required to bypass such obstacles, let alone with grace. Expose yourself to Celeste, methodically or through brute-force, and it starts to rope you into a hypnotizing, yet motivational pattern.

The player gets closer and closer to the mountain’s peak. New mechanics are introduced at every chapter. A rhythm starts to build; the player’s air dashes and wall climbing go at the same tempo of falling into spikes and bursting into light. Death begins to feel like part of the player’s moveset, beats between failure and retrying fade away, mistakes are miracles. This is how Celeste becomes your ringside coach, the Mickey Goldmill of masocore. It never lets up but it never lets you down.

Let’s go back to Madeline; as the quote shows, her story is a deeply personal one. Throughout the game, Madeline encounters a “Part of Her,” a recolored, ghostly Madeline that tries to convince her how this trek is just a pipe dream, and she ought to give up already. I haven’t seen many reviewers mention the quality of Celeste‘s narrative; I was completely gripped by how Madeline comes to terms with that Part of Her, the conversations the two have with each other. In arguments, Madeline begins to have panic attacks. The screen fills with protruding purple branches, groping at Madeline as her anxiety swells further. How the player soothes Madeline anxiety and how her relationship with herself evolves is something I dare not spoil; for now I can only admire Celeste for intertwining such uncomfortable topics and the tact used to tackle them with platforming you can lose yourself in.

Of course, Celeste does have an assist mode, and rather than having an “easy” button, players can slow down game speed, toggle invincibility, increase the max number of dashes they can use without stopping, etc. It trusts the player to use this tool at their discretion, only if their experience jumps from mentally challenging to physically impossible. Celeste has a very personal story to tell, one meant to be played personally. I’ve been needing a new pick-up-n-play title on my Switch; perhaps I’ll recover from the emotional whiplash once I collect all 180 strawberries. I know nothing can stop me now.
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keublitz 2022-12-10T04:52:29Z
2022-12-10T04:52:29Z
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Great gameplay
While the dialogue isn't great, this is an indie game made by two people, and I don't mind it. It speaks to a very specific audience, and some people won't enjoy the story. What nobody can disagree on is that the gameplay is amazingly good. I have about 150 hours on the game, counting, and there is still so much to improve. I don't think I'll ever get tired, especially with all the mods that are out there. This is a game where you need to mod it, but that is certainly not a negative.
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engired 2022-07-25T07:38:34Z
2022-07-25T07:38:34Z
4.5
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Would have been much better if nobody talked
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floppdopp 2022-01-27T04:53:45Z
2022-01-27T04:53:45Z
4.0
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Catalog

Lucariun Celeste 2023-02-01T21:59:33Z
2023-02-01T21:59:33Z
1.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
junkybrassmonkey Celeste 2023-02-01T21:26:50Z
2023-02-01T21:26:50Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nanowarrior Celeste 2023-02-01T20:07:48Z
2023-02-01T20:07:48Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
platformer
eradakovich Celeste 2023-02-01T14:17:01Z
2023-02-01T14:17:01Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bgelinas Celeste 2023-02-01T14:02:27Z
2023-02-01T14:02:27Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Arauder Celeste 2023-02-01T13:53:14Z
2023-02-01T13:53:14Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lamourderer Celeste 2023-02-01T08:35:51Z
2023-02-01T08:35:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
johnny_providence Celeste 2023-02-01T01:58:19Z
2023-02-01T01:58:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hunterw Celeste 2023-01-31T22:50:34Z
2023-01-31T22:50:34Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
teomarina Celeste 2023-01-31T22:06:21Z
2023-01-31T22:06:21Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AristotelisPPD Celeste 2023-01-31T19:18:19Z
2023-01-31T19:18:19Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1068396 Celeste 2023-01-31T15:52:34Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2023-01-31T15:52:34Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (90) Loading...
  • dias4 2022-12-21 16:24:29.993063+00
    awful dialogue but cool game
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  • FleegalFlargel 2023-01-02 19:38:50.061348+00
    I cannot wavedash.
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  • Awsomename10 2023-01-04 16:16:33.420764+00
    Great game, but don't like how many times I went into a new area and there would be a barrier to lock me out of going back to get stuff I missed unless I just replayed the whole level.
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  • feargm 2023-01-25 04:38:58.020205+00
    happy 5th!
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  • xNobility 2023-01-25 19:15:14.329241+00
    This is just a blatant rip-off of Ice Climber [アイスクライマー]
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