Celeste Review


Celeste, an Indie game made by Matt Makes Games Inc., is a precision platforming video game with easy-to-learn controls and a great, relatable story. With a 97% recommendation rate on Steam and over 500,000 total sales on PC, Switch, and PS4, it is obvious that the community loves this amazing game. Furthermore, it was recognized as the best indie (non corporate) game of 2018, and many critics believed that it could even take the award for the best game overall.

Other than moving around with the arrow keys, Celeste has three main controls: jump, dash, and climb. Jump does what you think it does, dash allows you to “dash” a short distance across the ground or through the air before touching the ground again, and climb allows you to hang on and climb up/down walls. Also, you can combine controls by dashing upwards after a jump to go higher, jumping upwards off of a wall to go over a spike on the top, or even try advanced movement such as jumping at the end of a dash across the ground to jump very far and still keep your ability to dash (also called dash cancelling). Although individually these are very simple mechanics, each level uses them in so many different and original ways that it is just remarkable. For example, there are green crystals that allow you to dash a second time in the air (before touching the ground), blocks that move in different directions when you touch them, blocks that allow you to dash through them (and even let you jump out of them for a speed boost), blocks that throw you in a direction based on where you touch them, feathers that allow you to fly through the air as a ball, and much more. Furthermore, after introducing each new mechanic, the level slowly gets you used to them by building up the difficulty while also introducing unique ways to use these new mechanics.

Celeste’s story is a whole other topic. The main character, Madeline, travels to Celeste Mountain to try to reach its summit. Although it is infamous for its insane difficulty and deadliness, Madeline’s only reason to climb the mountain is because she just needs to. With a cast of relatable characters and an amazing story about a struggle against oneself (both figuratively and literally), Celeste creates a story that is, in my opinion, the best story in the history of all platform games.

Overall, I would highly recommend Celeste to anyone who likes platforming games and a good story, and even if you aren’t one of those people, I still believe that you should try it out.

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Stick Fight: The Game Review

Stick Fight: The Game is a 2-4 player PvP-only fighting game with thousands of players. You and your opponents play as stick figures who battle it out on very interactive stages. With many different weapons and stages, there is no end to the fun that this game brings. Boasting an 89% recommendation rate on Steam with over 17,000 reviewers, it is shown that the community loves this cartoon-like fighting game containing infinite possibilities.

Stick Fight: The Game was published by Landfall and later released on Steam on September 28, 2017. It is currently $4.99, and solely multiplayer. However, to make up for the lack of a single-player mode, it is possible to play both locally and online, or even both at once. You can join friends who invite you, or you can host a game yourself. There is also an option to let anyone in, so you can play with both your friends and random people at the same time. As the game supports 2-4 players, you don’t need to wait for other people: you can start a game once you get at least one other person to join. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t connect in time, because they can join in the middle of a match. The host of the lobby is able to control certain aspects of the game, such as the frequency and type of weapon spawns, the health of all players, and the next stage. There are also general settings that anyone can change, since it only affects the computer of the person that changes it. These include settings that control graphics, sound, and other game-specific options.

 

Stick Fight: The Game has many stage packs, and each of them have their own unique style and mechanics.

The laser pack, as its title suggests, contains a lot of lasers that can move, spin, and turn on and off, and do heavy damage to players on contact. This pack also contains platforms that tilt based on the position of players, so a good strategy is to tilt platforms that have lasers attached to them to try to hit your opponents with the beam. The overall feel of these levels is very futuristic.

The ice pack contains stages that have both normal and icy platforms. The ice platforms can be broken by weapons, causing anyone standing on the platform to fall if they don’t react fast enough. One stage in particular is great for 1v1s, because it spawns both players on opposite sides of the map, and the easiest way to be victorious is to shoot and destroy the platform below the other player, as it is impossible to jump to the other player’s platform.

The western pack includes a more western-like feel with barrels that explode, countless snakes (which trap and continuously hurt you), a sandy background, and wooden buildings. There is even a stage where exploding barrels fall from the sky, causing players to have to worry about getting cornered into an explosion while fighting.

The special Halloween pack, which was recently introduced, consists of platforms that appear and disappear, a dark and dreary background, and stages that contain powerups. These powerups trigger what is basically a boss battle between the collector of the powerup and everyone else playing, and the “boss” is able to use special attacks that nobody else can use.

 

There are two main types of weapons: ranged and melee. Ranged weapons, which include pistols, shotguns, SMGs, machine guns, and game-specific guns, like the black hole gun, are normally used more than melee weapons, since the latter is only effective when you are close to the other player. However, unlike the spear or katana, which have this flaw, there is a knife that allows you to teleport a short distance in the direction of where you click, damaging whatever you pass by. This allows you to virtually fly around the stage while attacking everyone, since there is little to no cooldown between teleports.

 

Overall, Stick Fight: The Game is very fun and creative, and it is always a blast when I play it with my friends.