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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Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Review

Marvel’s Spider-Man is an action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and released on September 7th, 2018, to the PS4, receiving praise from both critics and gamers alike.

The question I am here to ask is: does it really live up to the praise? Is this truly a genre-defying game? That’s what I am going to answer. This is my review of Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Quick note: this is just my opinion. If you disagree with me, that is completely fine.

The story of this game revolves around Spider-Man, who beats Wilson Fisk, a crime lord he has been dealing with for years. Spider-Man’s triumph over this does not last long, as he is plunged into a uprising of criminals.

Story-wise, this game is superb, with a plot that will keep gamers engaged and Spider-Man fans squealing for its roughly 10-hour completion time. The story also has some events that may surprise you.

The game also explores Spider-Man’s life as a regular person, Peter Parker, and shows that he has his everyday struggles, just like all of us.

Without giving anything away, the story is absolutely amazing. 8.5/10

Gameplay: The game’s combat system involves battling the AI with normal fist to fist combat, and gadgets and upgrades you get as you progress through the campaign and complete side tasks.

The focus bar is a bar that fills up as you battle your enemies, and you can use it to heal yourself or, once the bar is full, perform a takedown on an enemy.

Stealth combat involves performing perch takedowns or web strike takedowns on enemies who are safe to take out. If an enemy is not safe to take out, another enemy is very close by and can see the other AI. You can lure the enemies out with web shooters, making it safe to take down the other AI.

Finally, stealth sections with other characters are present in the game. These are definitely the more mundane parts of the game. These consist of sneaking around to an objective, and not getting caught by enemies by interacting with the environment.

Gameplay: 8/10

Overall score: 8/10

My answer to the questions earlier is: Yes. This game is absolutely spectacular, and I hope other superhero games can be as good as this one.

This is starwarsguy124, signing out.

 

Overwatch: Game Review

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Overwatch is a first person team based game that was released on May 24, 2016, to overwhelming praise from both critics

Overwatch is based in the near future. Thirty years before the current events of the game, robots known as omnics turned against humans and started the omnic crisis. To combat this, the world set up a group called Overwatch, consisting of members Jack Morrison, Gabriel Reyes, Torbjorn Lindholm, Reinhardt Wilhelm, and Ana Amari. The group ended the omnic crisis. Years later, the public turned against them, and the government shut Overwatch down.

Around 8 years later, in the current events of the game, a genetically modified gorilla named Winston (Yes, I’m not joking. A talking gorilla) activates a recall for the group, as Talon, a terrorist organization, is posing a threat for the world.

I will now describe the gameplay.

This game is amazing. It is incredibly fun. Most game modes involve an objective, in which you are either defending or attacking. The game is easy to play, but hard to master. Both teams battle it out with the heroes the team selected. All of the characters have weapons they can use to damage and eliminate other players, and their abilities also help out their team, either from damaging, healing, or leaving a player on the enemy team vulnerable.

Mechanics: Characters are set into groups.

Tanks are able to withstand tons of damage. They are also able to inflict damage.

Damage characters are designed to do damage, as implied by the name. They do not have as much health as tanks.

Support characters are meant to heal teammates and keep their health in tact to prevent them from being eliminated and having to respawn at spawn point. Support characters also inflict damage.

Ultimates: Ultimates are charged by inflicting damage on the enemy team. Each character has a vastly different ultimate than the others and once charged, is capable of wiping out the entire enemy team. An example of one is Junkrat’s riptire, where he unleashes a controllable exploding device.

I would recommend Overwatch because on the surface, it looks fairly simple, but after a while of playing it, you’ll learn it will take more than just charging at the enemy team to get to the objective.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

This is starwarsguy124, signing out.

 

Sonic Unleashed

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Sonic Unloaded is a game released in 2008 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and Wii systems. The game follows Sonic the hedgehog as he stops Dr Eggman from unleashing a monster known as Dark Gaia. Sonic does so with the help of an amnesiac Light Gaia. Meanwhile Sonic has to deal with his werehog form, which he turns into at night.

There are two versions of the game, version one was released for the Xbox360 and PS3, and version two was released for the PS2 and Wii. Version one was pretty fun to play. The daytime levels are fast placed and action packed, but the nighttime levels are bland and boring. Not to mention it has the worst difficultly of any video game I’ve ever played. I love the open worlds that you explore in between levels.

Version two had action packed day levels, but they were kind of bland. The night levels are more fun, but still not that great. I also hate how in between levels you point and click on pictures of the world, rather than exploring it.

Overall this game is good, but not great. I can’t decide which version I like better. My final score is a 7/10.

Alto’s Odyssey

I like games that look and feel good. Crisp, artistic graphics? Intuitive controls? Either one of those would sell me on a new app, but when they’re combined, they blow other options out of the water. Alto’s Odyssey does a great job of integrating gorgeous scenery and easy controls into a genuinely fun and uncomplicated time-killer.

Alto’s Odyssey is basically a running game with snowboarding. Tapping makes your character jump, and holding down makes them do a backflip. This simple mechanic is tested by the terrain and features of the game. Alto and his friends can grind on vines and ruins, boost off of waterfalls, and slide on the sides of canyons in the desert environment of the game. Combining tricks can get you an extra boost, but if you misjudge a landing, you will lose it all. There are mischievous lemurs to avoid that will knock you off your board. And if you forget which character you’re playing, the individual strengths, weaknesses, and abilities of the six characters can trip you up. It’s not hard to remember what to do, but gameplay is just tricky enough to make achievements rewarding without making them frustrating.

This game was based on an earlier and simpler app with the same mechanics called Alto’s Adventure. That game was set in the snowy Andes, and although it had largely the same characters and moves, it lacked the new terrain and biomes that have made Alto’s Odyssey so fun for me. Odyssey sends the snowboarders from Adventure into the desert. Their snowboarding moves translate well to sliding on the sand (Sandboarding? Is that a thing?). The best part of the new game is the biomes. You can only find vines and ruins in the Temples biome. Floating hot air balloons (great for bouncing on to make combos!) appear more often in the Dunes, and canyon walls show up in, uh, the Canyons. Biomes gradually shift over a single run. The variety makes every run fun.

Characters and power-ups are perfectly balanced – just helpful enough to make them interesting and useful, but not so pricey or overpowered that they ruin the experience. Speaking of pricey, it is possible to buy in-game currency, but you earn it rapidly enough through normal gameplay that it’s not really necessary! It’s kind of refreshing.

And it’s pretty! The scenery is gorgeous and as the weather changes and the day slides into night, the shifting colors make the game feel entirely new. It can be a bit hard to see in sandstorms, though. The lighting is calm, chill, stress-free, and beautiful.

If you’re looking for a low-stress running game, this one’s probably one of the best out there – and my new favorite. 4.5 out of 5, because Nothing is Ever Perfect. 🙂

Alto’s Odyssey – iTunes, Google Play

Alto’s Adventure – iTunes, Google Play

Super Mario Bros Wii review

Super Mario Bros Wii is a fantastic game for making memories with your family. Super Mario Bros Wii has legendary multiplayer, so I would recommend playing the game with friends or family. The courses are as original as it gets, which makes Super Mario Bros U look like nothing more than a boring remake. I like the new powers in this game because they were very fun to use and they were very useful. All of the worlds are so well-made that I can’t tell which world is my favorite. This game has so many fun challenges like coin rush, free-for-all, and trying to find all of the star coins. The enemies and bosses were the best I have ever faced in Super Mario Bros.  One thing I would have liked to have seen was more levels that could be unlocked through a secret passage, because that would increase the excitement of the game even more. The atmospheres in the levels were exciting; they gave me an experience I wanted when playing this game. The bubbles used to save yourself in multiplayer is useful because you can make a mistake in a level without having to lose a life.

Monument Valley 2

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Monument Valley 2 is a surreal, beautifully interactive work of art, a moving story, and a wonderful experience. Don’t get this if you’re into hardcore puzzles or vast realms of content. Do get this if you’d like a low-stress game that lets you marvel at beautiful vistas of pixels or if you enjoyed the first game.

Monument Valley 2, from ustwo games, has been out for a few months, but I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I played (and reviewed) the first version. That game was interactive, mysterious, immersive, and magical.

I am happy to tell you that Monument Valley 2 is just as good. “Just as good,” though, has some modifiers — an obvious downside of the original Monument Valley was the lack of content. It’s about an hour or two to play through it the first time. Monument Valley 2 has about the same amount of content. Knowing this, I consciously rationed my play to spread the game out over four days. This second game’s gameplay has a distinct lack of challenge to it. The puzzles seem to be there for show. I only remember feeling challenged at three points in the entire game.

Now for the good stuff.

The characters are Ro, her unnamed child, and several ghosts. Ro and her child explore Monument Valley, working together and separately to solve puzzles and discover themselves.

The art is just as wonderful as ever. Beautiful new mechanics, an emphasis on plant life and water, and a consistent theme throughout levels even improve on the original. I don’t really have anything to say about the art that I haven’t said before — magical, minimalistic, surreal, etc., etc. I could not stop playing the game on the first few occasions I started it up — the old familiar “just one more level,” for slightly different reasons. The game was so beautiful I only wanted to see more.

The music is even better than the original game’s. In this game, sounds create an immersive effect that pulls you into the story. At the beginning of the game, text even states that “this game is best played with sound.”

The story is quite a lot more immersive. Simple motions, sounds, and memories included in the game imply a level of emotional depth and attachment that wasn’t so obvious in the first game. This second story is far more open-ended, but it is much, much more relatable. I’m not saying that the first game’s story was bad. It wasn’t. But this one informs the level order, the level design, the characters’ journeys, and your sense of Monument Valley’s history. When compared to this story, the first story seemed like it was written in as an afterthought.

The gameplay mechanics are still easy to understand and use. There’s a pretty cool new ability to draw the sacred geometry that Ro and the child create. It has me incessantly striving to make my geometry even prettier.

I rate this a 4/5, because there is still not enough content. This irritates me deeply. All I really want is more Monument Valley, but even when they released this new game, I didn’t get what seemed like my money’s worth. Four more levels at least, please, and I’ll throw all my money at ustwo games.