Returning to Celeste

Celeste’s DLC, the Farewell chapter, just released, so I decided to pick up the game again, which I hadn’t played since January.

I couldn’t play the DLC yet, as I never played through Chapter 8: The Core. I got stuck at the beginning, not realizing I needed 4 crystal hearts from previous levels to progress, and then my school semester started and I never got around to playing it.

Luckily, I was able to pick it right back up. I’m not really into masocore games. I had played through the game, not doing much in the way of extra stuff (strawberries, b-sides, c-sides), because it was hard enough for me anyway. So I was a little nervous about going back to get crystal hearts so I could play through the core.

I went back to the first few chapters, which I assumed would make things easier, and I was pleasantly surprised at the use of game mechanics for acquiring some of the hearts. Dashing back and forth between screens to “climb” up thin air? Neat. Being able to interact with the background elements of a scene? I love it.

I only went back and got enough hearts to progress through the Core, so I’m looking forward to going back and getting more.

The Core was HARD. There were several screens I spent at least an hour on. But like the rest of the chapters, it always felt extremely rewarding when I got through a tough spot. At first, it was tough to get used to not having a dash recharge. But it added an interesting new dimension to this chapter, with deciding when to use your dashes.

I love the way the level switches back and forth between fire and ice, even if things got a little intense when the lava/ice water was rising through several screens.

The one thing I missed on this chapter was story. The story was so strong throughout the game, and it was a little light in the Core. However, it does seem like more of a challenge chapter, and from the little I’ve played of the Farewell chapter, it seems like it picks things back up in the story department.

I wanted to write more about the Farewell chapter this week, but I also didn’t want to rush through it (although I don’t know if that’s possible, it seems even more difficult than the Core so far), so I’ll leave that for another post. I will say, without getting spoiler-y, that it deals with death and grief, so I’m interested to see where that goes. Yomawari, the game I took a break from to play Celeste, also deals with death and grief, so I guess I’ve got a theme going here – even if they have very different takes. Also, from what I’ve heard so far, the new soundtrack is stellar – Lena Raine is amazing as usual.

Bonus: I’ve been working on a logo for my site – I think I’m gonna use the second one, because I’m not even sure if I can use the first.

Happy gaming!

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