Celeste

I know it's a week late, but Happy Birthday Celeste! It's been lovely having you around this past year.

Really, I'd like to merge the Switch's gallery with my phone. To have all these recorded shards of Celeste gameplay rightfully placed, spliced throughout my year alongside other cherished moments like - I've just checked - my gym bike times, a car parking permit, the sun setting behind a maize field, and a really good bread and butter pudding (multiple angles).

But from Celeste mountain I'd get the Old Site, and its star-glow that falls soft as snow. I'd get that single satellite dish with a playful secret. The stills I took of that lovely campfire conversation. A mystical ascent through northern lights. Reflection's floating jags of pink light. Of course, Madeline at the mountain summit. And also: lots and lots of proud recordings of inspired, flow-state control and grace (without the lots and lots of deaths that led up to them).

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Celeste

Celeste creator Matt Thorson has provided an update on the popular indie platformer's upcoming DLC, due early this year.

Writing on Twitter over the weekend, Thorson apologised that the DLC would not be ready in time for Celeste's first birthday, but confirmed its new levels would be released free on all platforms.

Celeste launched on 25th January last year, and is available for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One. Don't have it already? It's currently free on Xbox via Games with Gold until the end of the month and well worth a try.

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Celeste

Celeste was one of last year’s standout games, and we’re all surely pretty excited about the fact that it’s getting a free farewell DLC with some ultra hard levels soon, right? Well, not too soon, because according to developer Matt Thorson it won’t be ready for the game’s anniversary on January 25th, as he’d hoped. In a post on Twitter, Thorson did confirm that the coming levels are are a continuous chapter harder than the current hardest levels in the game. The new levels won’t have strawberries, the hard-to-find collectibles that players must hunt down throughout the game in order to change the ending. The DLC levels will, however, have new items and mechanics—and again, they’re free to everyone with the game on every platform. 

Our review was quite high on Celeste, calling it out as a twitch platformer that wasn’t hard for hard’s sake, but rather because there were interesting themes to explore in its difficulty. A strong narrative is what keeps players in the game, rather than the adrenaline high of pushing their skills to the limit. That praise bears out in numbers, since Celeste sold over 500,000 copies in 2018.

You can learn more about the game at Celeste’s official site. It’s available for $19.99 on Steam (With 25% off for a weekend sale), Humble Store, and even the Microsoft store

Hollow Knight - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jay Castello)

I hope you didn t have anything planned this week, because speedrunning extravaganza Awesome Games Done Quick starts today at 4:30pm GMT.

If you ve never tuned in before, AGDQ is a weeklong, 24/7 marathon of games, all played as fast as possible, while streaming on Twitch and raising a whole shedload of cash for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. What s not to like?

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SpyParty - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

The doors have been opened, the games inside have been devoured, and now it’s time to recycle the cardboard. Below you’ll find all of our picks for the best PC games of 2018, gathered together in a single post for easy reading.

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Celeste

Skytorn, the procedurally-generated Metroidvania from many of the folks behind Celeste, has been cancelled, developer Noel Berry has announced.

Berry started working on Skytorn more than five years ago, but he and the rest of its team halted development to make Celeste, which came out in January this year. Just before Celeste released, Berry said that Skytorn wasn't dead, and that the team would finish it off in the future. But that plan has now changed—in a blog post this week, he revealed that the team has abandoned Skytorn, largely because they "just never figured out what it was".

The game was "broken" at its core, Berry said: it was a procedurally-generated adventure game without permadeath, which "clashed" with the Metroidvania themes. 

"Taking out the procedural parts felt like it defeated the purpose of what the game was, so as it shifted towards a more linear adventure, the procedural map stayed but simply got more and more constricted, until the procedural-ness of it didn’t really mean anything — it was just… there," he said. 

"And this is a lot of overhead for basically no payoff. Why make a procedural game at all if you don’t really get the benefits of it being procedural?" Finishing Skytorn would require the team to "throw away a lot of the code and gameplay design", he said, which he and others weren't prepared to do.

"I’m really sorry for those of you who were excited about this game. We were too. We poured a lot of time, energy, and heart into the project and we’re definitely sad it’s never going to see the commercial release we were hoping for." 

You can watch some 2016 gameplay of Skytorn below.

Lastly, Berry said that the Celeste team would be "sticking together", and would share news about their next game in the new year. That echoes what his Celeste co-creator Matt Thorson said last week while announcing new, free, ultra-tricky levels for the platformer

You can read Berry's full blog here.

Celeste - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alyse Stanley)

It s been a pretty stinking great year for indie games. We ve seen the release of several long-hyped darlings (finally) as well as a few surprise hits that went on to dominate newsfeeds. You easily could have missed them, though, what with all the big budget map fest games making huge waves this year. I know there are about a million games demanding your attention right now, but if you have some time over the holidays, each of these titles experiments with or otherwise builds on their genres in a way that stands out amidst all the noise.

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Celeste

New "very hard" levels are coming to platformer Celeste early next year.

In a couple of tweets thanking fans and expressing disbelief at having reached so many people, creator Matt Thorson confirmed the "farewell" levels would be coming in early 2019, as well as hinting that their next project would be announced "in the new year" too (thanks, PC Gamer).

"Celeste sold over 500,000 copies in 2018," Thorson tweeted. "Thank you everyone who played it. We never expected it to reach so many people."

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Celeste

Matt Thorson, creator of tricky platformer Celeste, is giving away a late Christmas present to fans of the game: free levels. These "very hard" levels will be ready early next year, he announced on Twitter this week. 

He also said he'll be revealing his next game around the same time the levels are ready—other than Celeste, he's best known for co-op platformer TowerFall Ascension.

It's no surprise it's sold as many as 500,000 copies this year. As Shaun wrote in his review, it's a vibrant, challenging platformer, and adds the kind of narrative that so many games in the genre lack. It's also one of the best indie games you can play right now.

It's on sale on Steam for $16/£12.

Celeste - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Look out. The year 2018 is going down in a storm. There are hundreds of games aboard, running, jumping, trying their best to survive the maelstrom. But there s only one tiny lifeboat, and only enough room for three games. It falls on the sorry shoulders of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, to decide which trio of games clamber onto the life raft and which games drown and become lost to history.

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