Last year, I embarked on a very fun project and wrote about twelve pieces of media that touched me (#1 entry with full list included here), but 2018 didn’t shake out as neat as 2017. I could write about how Better Call Saul is still great or how Riverdale is still bonkers, and maybe fill out a list again, but it doesn’t feel quite right. So I’ll just highlight a few things that came out in 2018 I think you should treat yourself to. I’ll be keeping these brief!
Celeste (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, Linux)
“Just breathe. You can do this.”
What grabbed me the most about Celeste is that it holds your hand.
Not in the usual way, though. No, Celeste joins the ranks of Super Meat Boy and Cave Story in the ranks of ultra-tough indie platformers, but it takes a noticeably different attitude about this status. Super Meat Boy in particular always felt proud about itself, reveling in its status as a sadistic game For Serious Players.
Celeste instantly reassures you that, yeah, it’s hard…but you’ll get there.
Even aside from a storyline about accepting all aspects of who you are in order to truly realize your potential, the gameplay of Celeste instills an emotional throughline in the player that’s awfully rare in games. Especially over the past few years I’ve had too many friends that I’ve felt could use this sort of experience. I know I did.
It’s special to play a game that believes in you.
An article that’s the product of much more effort by Eryk Banatt is here. I’m sure he would also appreciate if you follow him on Twitter. Meanwhile, Celeste’s soundtrack is also wonderful! Lena Raine’s compositions for it are available on her YouTube channel.