Tag Archives: nintendo switch

FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Which Is Better?

I can’t remember the last time both of these games so underwhelmed.

In recent years both have had their individual highs and lows. FIFA’s last pre-Frostbite seasons were rough, and PES has long been walking a knife’s edge between eccentric brilliance and outright embarrassment.

This is not a normal Kotaku review

Sports game reviews are usually pretty boring, so for a few years now I’ve decided against giving each of these titles a spotlight of their own, instead pitting them in a caged fight to the death. Only insane people are going to get both of these games, so most football fans probably just want to know which of the two is the one to pick up. Most years it’s FIFA. Some years it’s not.

Every time one stumbled, though, the other was there to carry the day, whether it was PES’ Fox Engine revolution or FIFA’s surprisingly excellent single-player story mode, “the Journey.” I’d always be able to point to one of these two games, combatants in the last genuine competition in the sports game market, and say this one is definitely the one to get.

This year, instead of a confident thrusting of my finger, I can only half-heartedly wave my hand. PES is stuck in the same rut it’s been in for years now, capable on the pitch but increasingly a shambles off of it, while FIFA has somehow, in a genre defined by its obsession with incremental upgrades, managed to go backwards.

Here’s how this year’s head-to-head review is going to work. I’m going to give you what I like most about both games and what I don’t like. I’ll give a reluctant endorsement to one of them, and then we’re going to go our separate ways and reconvene same time next year to see what’s up.

“Volta,” FIFA 20’s new indoor/futsal mode, complete with story-driven campaign, was supposed to be this year’s big new addition. It’s sadly not very good.

FIFA 20

THE GOOD STUFF

CAREER MODE – This is less of a big 2019 update and more of just the slow accumulation of features over the last few seasons, but FIFA’s career mode—especially as a manager—is now so fully featured that it’s like a Football Manager Lite, down to keeping players happy and getting into the nitty gritty of international scouting. The new contract negotiation system, which plays out with agents in a tense cinematic office/restaurant environment, is fantastic.

SETUP TOUCHFIFA’s new “setup touch” makes it far easier to either hold the ball up in tight spaces, set the ball up correctly for a long pass (see below) or take a player on 1v1. Stopping a ball dead at your feet, rolling it a bit, doing a stepover then blasting past a flat-footed defender is one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in a football game. I know this sounds like one of those annoying little incremental bullet point updates for a sports game, but this really does make a big difference to the way I played the game.

MISKICKS – While for the most part FIFA has tried to get more realistic over the past decade (it was originally a decidedly arcade experience), one area where it always lagged behind PES was the way you could string together pinpoint passes regardless of the direction the person receiving the ball was facing in relation to where he was kicking it.

In FIFA 20 there are now very strict rules regarding this, so if you try and just spam quick throughballs into the centre of midfield with your back to the opposition’s half, your players won’t perform leg-snapping miracles, they’ll just completely miskick it. Combined with the physicality and 1v1 “strafing” of the setup touch, it really helps to slow down FIFA’s pace, and really helps with allowing for calculated build-up play in an opponent’s final third, a ploy previous FIFA games just weren’t interested in accommodating.

THE BAD STUFF

VOLTA – Ah, this one stings. I’ve been dying for the return of indoor football to mainline FIFA for decades. This year it’s back, and…it sucks. FIFA’s rubbery player animations struggle on the tighter confines of Volta’s fields, and the Hello Fellow Kids attempt at a storyline is absolutely excruciating.

ULTIMATE TEAM – Every year Ultimate Team inches closer, NBA 2K-style, to becoming the central focus of the FIFA experience, and every year that bums me out a little more. This mode is essentially gambling, it’s bad news for kids, and it has no place in a retail video game that’s already asking for you a big up-front investment.

PES 2020

THE GOOD STUFF

“THE PITCH IS OURS” – Every year PES’ gameplay, with its methodical player animation and 1:1 ball physics, gets a little closer to playing like the real thing. This year it got a little closer still. I never, ever score the same goal twice in PES, and its midfield battles are far more tactical than FIFA’s breakneck race to the penalty box.

MENUS – This seems like a minor thing to heap praise on, but for the longest time PES’ front end has been a nightmare to plod through. This year it’s much nicer, which for a game you might be spending hundreds of hours with, makes a big difference!

One area PES really excels, and I don’t think it gets enough credit for this, is its player models and animation. FIFA looks like a Saturday morning cartoon in comparison.

THE BAD STUFF

SLOPPYPES 2020 is just so rough around the edges. It launched without correct team rosters, data updates take forever, in-game replays are doubled in length due to constant splashing of the game’s logo…everywhere you look, there’s just stuff there (or not there) that feels unfinished.

COMMENTARY – I think Peter Drury is the worst commentator working in football today, so his mere presence in the game isn’t helping here, but even were I a fan I’d still be criticizing PES for this. Its commentary is repetitive, slow and bizarrely unspecific, and after a few games got so tiring I just played games without it.

AI – Here’s the real deal-breaker with PES though: Throughout my review, the AI would continually just break down, especially when it came to player movement off the ball. Sometimes my striker would start to make a run behind the defense then just stop and wander off, while my defenders would see an opposition striker heading at them and turn their backs. It didn’t happen all the time, but it happened more than enough for it to make a difference on the scoresheet in several key games, which was absolutely unforgivable.

THE VERDICT

Both games underwhelmed this year because neither failed to progress significantly from where they were in 2018. FIFA 20 in particular feels like a lesser offering than FIFA 19, because “the Journey” was such an accomplished and enjoyable addition to the game; its absence this year is sorely felt, especially when Volta’s own story is so poor by comparison.

We’re here for a recommendation, though, not commiseration, and so despite its shortcomings I think FIFA is once again the better overall offering. Volta might be a misfire, but the way I can try and take defenders on 1v1 is now more fun than it’s basically ever been in a football game, regardless of the publisher, and the state career mode is in threatens to pull me away from Football Manager (of which I’m admittedly a pretty casual player) entirely.

PES, meanwhile, tried a little harder than usual this year, spending more on licenses (not having Juventus in FIFA is weird) and changing the name of the series itself. As befitting a game mired in quicksand, though, the more it struggled, the more it found itself stuck.

The overwhelming impression I got playing both games this year is that they’re just tired. Both series are in need of a fresh shot of adrenaline (and a fresh coat of paint), and they were never going to get it in 2019, in the twilight of the sixth console generation. We can only hope that this year’s stagnation is just a result of something bigger and better coming along next year.

Note 1: I played a retail copy of PES on PC, and had a prerelease copy of FIFA on PS4.

Note 2: I am never calling PES by its new, dumb name.

Source: Kotaku.com

Blizzard, Please Put Link In Overwatch

While this animation video looks exactly like something Blizzard would release, as part of some dream Zelda x Overwatch crossover event for the upcoming Switch version, it’s amazingly/sadly just the work of some fans instead.

This is actually the third time I’ve posted about this design, imagining Link as a playable character in Overwatch. The first time was when we led with Jeremy Vitry’s original artwork for his Fine Art feature. The second was when Aaron Walker turned it into a 3D model.

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Now, though, in collaboration with Vitry, Walker and some other folks (Stéphane Vidélo and Philémon Belhomme), VFX artist Etienne Pov has turned the art into a full-blown animation, complete with special moves and Zelda-specific loot box opening.

Source: Kotaku.com

Untitled Goose Game’s Developers Stopped Work On Launch Day To Attend The Climate Strike

Today is the long-awaited launch day of Untitled Goose Game, the avian sensation that’s been sweeping multiple nations since its first trailer came out in 2017. It’s also the day of the Global Climate Strike, meaning that people across more than 150 countries are walking out of school and work to demand urgent action in response to the rapidly intensifying effects of climate change. Despite their game’s launch, the strike was too important for Goose Game’s developers to miss.

Designer Nico Disseldorp told Kotaku today that he’s been awake for nearly 24 hours straight. That’s both because game launches are frantic sprints fueled by adrenaline, anxiety, and last-second bug fixing, and also because he and the other members of his game studio House House had a strike to attend.

“We stopped work in the middle of our video game’s launch day and went to the Global Climate Strike because we want our government and other governments around the world to take urgent action to mitigate the worst effects of climate change,” Disseldorp said in an email. “Business as usual is destroying all of our futures, and things need to change now.”

In the lead-up to Untitled Goose Game’s release, House House tweeted about the strike and mentioned it in interviews. While Disseldorp and company very much want people to enjoy their game today, they want even more to still have an inhabitable planet to live on in the coming decades. If you skip playing Goose Game today to hit the streets, that’s fine with Disseldorp.

“If striking for you means that you can’t play our video game on launch day, that’s okay,” he said. “People can play our game, or another game, some other time. The climate emergency is urgent, and needs us to drop what we are doing and demand that governments act immediately.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Untitled Goose Game: The Kotaku Review

The way Untitled Goose Game’s goose moves, I think, is what makes it so endearing. Its self-assured waddle. The way it leans its feathered neck forward, with an almost innocent inquisitiveness, before turning on some poor guy’s sprinklers and drenching him. How it flaps and flutters after its plans have been thwarted by a human, only to immediately compose itself and clap back with a look that says, “Actually, I’m the one who should be feeling offended after you took back the priceless vase I stole from you and was planning to shatter into a million pieces.” The goose is a piece of shit. I love the goose.

Untitled Goose Game became a phenomenon long before its release today for PC and Switch. A 2017 pre-alpha trailer, which depicted a goose messing with a groundskeeper whose blood pressure will probably never recover, tapped into something essential and primal: Geese are assholes. They’re equal parts haughty and inscrutably mean. They while away their days performing mundane acts of domestic terrorism—blocking paths, honking angrily at anyone who dares approach them, and just generally displaying a smug, unearned confidence. The power fantasy underlying Untitled Goose Game is a tantalizing if dark glimpse into the most remote recesses of the psyche. What, the game asks, if the bullied (humanity) became the bully (a lone goose)?

The result is a chill mashup of sandbox-y stealth and puzzling. You, the goose, are turned loose in a series of small town environments, including the aforementioned groundskeeper’s garden, a storefront, a tavern, and some neighbors’ backyard. Each environment seamlessly flows together, but you’ve got to complete most (though not all) objectives on a list before you can move on to the next. Objectives, you will not be shocked to learn, center around ruining people’s days.

In the sparsely populated garden, this might involve stealing the groundskeeper’s veggies or timing a honk just right so that he accidentally hammers his own thumb while trying to put up a “no geese” sign. In the more crowded tavern area, you might need to be a little stealthier, sneaking in by hopping inside a delivery person’s box and crawling around in the space beneath a patio to avoid the bouncer who doesn’t want you anywhere near the establishment’s patrons. Then, and only then, can you carry out your master plan of dropping a bucket on his head.

There’s always some amount of distraction involved. You’re a goose, after all; you’re not a subtle creature. So you honk until somebody comes over to investigate and then dart out and steal something from where they were sitting. Or you unplug somebody’s radio so that they have to dedicate their time and attention to plugging it back in. Or you steal somebody’s slippers and repeatedly drop them in a pond so they have to slowly, painstakingly retrieve them. There’s a cat-and-mouse element to these human-and-goose battles of wit and will, but at the same time, it’s not like people are going to murder you. If you mess up, they’ll just take back their stuff or push you off the premises with a broom. You can resume what you were doing quickly, so why not experiment? Or, better yet, why not seek immediate vengeance by stealing something out of somebody’s hand or chasing them into a phone booth or honking until goose cries haunt even their fondest memories?

There’s a dedicated honk button. You can honk whenever you want. It’s useful for accomplishing objectives when you need to lure somebody away from whatever otherwise idyllic task they’re trying to perform, but before long, I found myself using it to role-play. There’s this wonderful intimacy to Untitled Goose Game; if you get close enough to a person, the goose’s gaze becomes trained on them. If they notice, they stare back. Every time I pulled off some maniacal goose prank—moving somebody’s prized rose, knocking down a portion of their neighbor’s fence, getting the second person to chop the first person’s rose in half—I’d get the person to stare at me, wait a beat, and then emit a single, faux-quizzical HONK, as though unable to comprehend why they were staring at me. “You expect me to feel guilty?” it was as though I was saying (in honks). “I’m a dang goose.” Then I’d waddle away like I hadn’t definitely just spent 20 minutes meticulously orchestrating the demise of that person’s good day.

Moments like these are what make Untitled Goose Game great. The environments are nice. The objectives are generally creative and enjoyable. But the real magic of the game lies in brief, endlessly funny interactions. There’s an insidious joy in drawing out increasingly infuriated reactions from the small town’s people—all of whom are, in their own way, kinda douchey. They had it coming, I think. Or maybe I’ve come to so thoroughly inhabit the goose’s headspace that now that I have an implicit bias. I appreciate that the game’s humorous sensibility rarely tips over the ledge into outright absurdity, preferring instead to take an understated route where the punchline is almost always “Wow, that goose is kind of a dick.” You, the player—the artist of avian assholery—paint within those lines.

This low-key, easygoing vibe also makes it easier to overlook the game’s shortcomings. I wouldn’t necessarily call them flaws, but there are things that I suspect some people won’t like and that frustrated me on a few occasions. Sometimes controlling the goose is a little awkward, which I suspect is intentional. There’s an almost willful sense of momentum to the goose’s movements, like it won’t allow even the player to fully tame its wild, dickheaded impulses. Taken in conjunction with a fixed camera perspective, it caused me to run into people I was trying to avoid a handful of times. The AI is generally decent, but characters act like they have eyes on the sides—if not the backs—of their heads from time to time, which caused them to spot me when they shouldn’t have on a few occasions. While most objectives are pretty straightforward, a few either didn’t make intuitive sense until I’d racked my brain for longer than I enjoyed or pushed the AI to its limits.

Lastly, Untitled Goose Game is pretty short. I finished it in about two and a half hours, at which point I unlocked some bonus challenges, many of which I completed in another hour. Again, though, Untitled Goose Game is a sandbox in which objectives sometimes feel more like suggestions. I still want to get back in there and just mess with people more—see what happens when I get certain characters to chase me into certain areas, or if others will react to particular items. Then there’s the simple pleasure of seeing how much widespread chaos you can cause with a few well-timed honks.

Even with those things in mind, I don’t see Untitled Goose Game being as replayable as close genre relatives like (bear with me on this one) the Hitman series of stealth sandbox games. But I also don’t think it needs to be. It does not bill itself as some vast, unceasing experience, a behemoth that overstays its welcome. Rather, it’s like taking a nice walk through a sleepy town on a sunny afternoon. Except, of course, for the fact that all the characters in the game are the ones taking that walk, and you’re there to honk at them until they change their minds and decide to never go outside again.

Source: Kotaku.com

Nintendo Switch Lite: The Kotaku Review

The Nintendo Switch Lite is one of the finest handheld gaming devices I’ve ever used. It’s sturdy, stylish, and comfortable. It launches with a library that’s already over 2,500 games strong. If all you’re looking for from the Nintendo Switch is personal, portable play, it’s perfect. But is that all you’re looking for?

From its first trailer, with its rooftop parties, car trips, and esports tournaments, the $300 Nintendo Switch has been a device that’s not just about which games to play but how to play them. Basic portable play is part of it, but so is connecting to a high-definition television in the living room, or slipping off a Joy-Con and passing it to a friend as easy as sharing a piece of candy. Those amazing little removable controllers, paired with hardware features like HD rumble and infrared cameras, allow Nintendo to explore new ways to combine real-world activity and gaming with products like Labo and the upcoming Ring-Con. Versatility defines the Switch.

The $200 Switch Lite is not a versatile gaming device. It plays Switch games in handheld mode. It does not support television mode. While Joy-Cons, purchased separately, can be connected to the Lite, the Lite’s smaller screen (5.5 inches to the Switch’s 6.2) and lack of an integrated kickstand make tabletop play inconvenient. There is no rumble. There is no infrared camera. It still supports near-field communication for Amiibo support, and has a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope for motion control, so not all of the Switch’s extra features have been stripped away. But most of them have. As has been pointed out time and time again since the hardware was announced in July, there’s not much “Switch” in the Switch Lite. “Switch Lacking” would be more accurate, if far less marketable.

Though I don’t see it as such, many consider the Switch Lite to be Nintendo’s successor to the 3DS, the dual-screened portable gaming system that’s been desperately clinging to life since the Switch launched in early 2017 and is now all but dead. I understand the comparison. Both the 3DS and the Switch Lite are devices exclusively made for portable gaming. But where the 3DS and its kin had their own ecosystem of unique games, most of which can’t be played anywhere else, the Switch Lite plays Switch games. To me the Switch Lite is to the Switch as the 2DS is to the 3DS. Both play the same games, but one is cheaper and stripped of features that some players never bothered with anyway. I would not trade my 2DS XL in for a Switch Lite.

Nintendo portable meet-up.

Judged strictly as a portable personal gaming system, the Switch Lite is better than the original Switch. It’s more compact, which makes it more portable. Since it has no removable parts, the Switch Lite feels much more solid and sturdy than the regular Switch in handheld mode, even though it weighs slightly less at .66 pounds versus .88. The plastic that makes up the Switch Lite’s casing has a soft and slightly rough texture to it that’s a joy on the fingertips. The three colors Nintendo chose for for the initial batch of Switch Lites, yellow, gray, and turquoise, give the device a hip, retro look.

The battery life is slightly longer than my launch Switch, though not as long as the newer models. And then there’s the D-pad, that lovely little white cross in place of the regular Switch’s dinky buttons. I’ve been playing with the Switch Lite for several days now, and every time my thumb brushes that D-pad there’s still a tiny burst of joy. It’s only slightly bigger than the D-pad on my 2DS XL and just as shallow, but it’s responsive enough, and most importantly it’s not four disconnected pieces of round plastic.

Mmmm, d-pad.

As a portable system, the only real downside to the Switch Lite is the screen size. Most of the time, the .7 inch difference between the regular Switch and the smaller Switch Lite isn’t a problem.. But when I play games like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, recently categorized by Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra as one of the Switch’s “extremely good games with tiny text,” my poor, aging eyes struggle even harder on the Lite. Maybe the launch of a portable-only Switch with a smaller screen will make developers more conscientious of tiny text. Or maybe we’ll just have to squint more.

If my only desire was to play Switch games in handheld mode, I would choose the Switch Lite over the regular Switch, hands down. It’s $100 cheaper. It plays all the games I want to play. It looks and feels better in my hands, and it’s impossible for my chonky fingers to accidentally disconnect a Joy-Con during heated play. Yes, I have done this.

But the original does a whole lot of cool stuff the Switch Lite does not do—stuff I’ve grown used to, and now feel awkward going without. Removing Joy-Cons to play multiplayer games is a Switch feature I hardly ever use, but when I have, it’s led to some pretty magical moments. My gaming is normally a personal thing, but the ability to make it social with the click of my Switch means it doesn’t have to be.

Being able to drop a portable game I am playing into a dock and have it show up on my television set looking even better than it did in my hands? Also very cool. It might not seem like much of a jump, going from a small 720p screen to a large 1080p display, but the higher resolution coupled with the Switch’s increased processing power when docked can make quite a difference. Here’s a screenshot I took of the recent Switch exclusive game Astral Chain in docked mode.

Here is a similar shot taken in handheld mode.

See the jaggy hair and glasses? Compare the textures on the uniforms. It’s night and day. And while the graphical difference might not look as dramatic when playing on a 5.5 inch screen, many Switch games also perform better in docked mode, with better lighting effects and higher framerates. Even if 99 percent of my Switch play is portable, I’d still wonder if I was getting the most out of the games I am playing with the Lite.

Plus the Switch Lite lacks a very important feature for a person like me who enjoys sharing their gameplay online. It has no external HDMI support. Not only does that mean no TV mode, it also means no connecting it to a capture card for grabbing footage or streaming. I spent years kicking around the idea of spending a couple hundred dollars to have my Nintendo 3DS modified with an HDMI port for recording and streaming. Scraping together an extra hundred for a Switch with that capability included makes perfect sense to me.

Perhaps you can see the appeal of both models of Switch, and consider buying both of them to get the best of both worlds. I currently possess both a Switch and a Switch Lite. My plan is to keep the Switch proper, with its more delicate build and extra power, firmly seated in my Switch dock for television-based play. The more rugged and sturdy Switch Lite will become my travel companion, tucked into its little blue pouch and safely wrapped in a protective shell cover that I will never have to remove to disconnect a Joy-Con.

I’ve set up my Nintendo account on both devices. The Switch Lite is designated the “primary” Switch on my account, which means I don’t have to connect to the internet to verify I have permission to play games loaded on it. My “secondary” docked Switch has to connect to the internet before I play a game, to verify I don’t currently have that gamerunning on the primary Switch. That’s no problem, since it never leaves the range of my Wi-Fi router.

Don’t worry, your hands are probably smaller.

Transferring save data between two Switches is a painless enough process, right there in the Settings menu. As long as the save belongs to the same user, you can transfer it wirelessly. Cloud saves can be downloaded between systems as well, as long as the game being saved supports the feature. Alternatively, I could just not transfer saves at all, keeping unique records on each system. That would just mean I have to level two Puzzle Quest characters at once. Oh no. Not that.

Now, I don’t need two Switches. You probably don’t, either. But if you want to add another Switch to your family’s game collection, something your kids can abuse a little bit more as they throw it into their backpacks or at their siblings’ faces, the Lite might be the answer. And there are people out there who don’t ever dock their Switches or remove the Joy-Cons who will be perfectly happy playing their games exclusively on a Switch Lite. But it’s far from a total replacement for the existing Switch.

As I began, it’s one of the finest handheld gaming devices I’ve ever used. It’s larger, and feels more mainstream, than the quirky 3DS. It’s more rugged and earthy than Sony’s precious-looking Vita. It’s the sort of gaming hardware I wouldn’t feel bad just tossing in a bag unprotected. It’s console gaming in the palm of your hand, and you can pull it out during a rooftop party without feeling obligated to share.

Source: Kotaku.com

Everything You Need To Know About Ni no Kuni Remastered

This week, the charming role-playing game Ni no Kuni will come to three new platforms. On two of those platforms it’ll be all fancy and remastered, and on the third it’ll be portable. Here’s everything you need to know about this new release.

What’s a “Ni no Kuni”?

Good question. Ni no Kuni is a gorgeous JRPG made by developer Level-5 in conjunction with the iconic anime house Studio Ghibli. It came to North America in 2013 for PlayStation 3, and I loved it to death. The story is cute, the production values are top-notch, and the game is full of charming flourishes that make it all flow very nicely, although the combat can feel a little tedious at times.

And there’s a remaster out this week?

Yep, Ni no Kuni Remastered Edition comes out Friday for PS4 and PC. This remastered version doesn’t add anything new to the game but does promise enhanced graphics—1080p and 60 frames per second on a normal PS4, with options for 4K/30fps or 1440p/60fps on PS4 Pro. It also includes all the DLC from the PS3 version.

How does it run?

Not bad. I’ve played about 30 minutes of the PS4 version (on a normal PS4) and it seems to run at 60fps as promised, although there’s some stuttering when you rotate the camera while on the world map. It’s also a little jarring when the game switches to anime cutscenes that play at 30fps.

Cool! Can’t wait to play it on Switch.

Cool! But hold on. The Switch version is actually not the remastered one. It’s just a port of the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni, at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second. (It also includes all the DLC.)

Oh. Well, how does it run on Switch?

Kotaku editor Natalie Degraffinried has played for an hour and says she’s run into no problems so far.

What’s up with the sequel? Didn’t that also come out recently?

Yep! Ni no Kuni II came to PC and PS4 in 2018. I liked it a lot. It’s got better combat than the first game, although it’s wayyyy too easy. No word on a Switch version just yet.

Where could I go to read more about Ni no Kuni?

Why, I’m glad you asked.

Source: Kotaku.com

Daemon X Machina: The Kotaku Review

Daemon X Machina, out September 13 from Marvelous, is a game about gigantic customizable mechs. Here is another way to describe it: the worst filler episode of your favorite anime series. It is a mess of a game, with a story mode chock full of unintelligible cutscenes, repetitious anime tropes, and a core of mech gameplay that is highly customizable but starts to blend together due to repetitive gameplay and drawn out gunfights.

This piece was first published on September 11, 2019. We’re bumping it today for the game’s release.

The Switch exclusive is a third-person action game in which you pilot an Arsenal, a weaponized mech. You spend time customizing your mech’s appearance and loadout, and then you accept missions from an AI called Four on behalf of mercenary supergroup Orbital. The missions are largely repetitive: fight some AI, or protect a building by fighting some AI. As you continue to increase your rank, you might fight some AI and other mercenaries, or protect a transport vehicle by fighting some AI and other mercenaries. Those fights drag on just a little too long for how samey they are. While I enjoyed moments like finding an acid gun that cut right through my enemies’ health, or double fisting bazookas every now and again to be silly, most of the guns felt a little bit too weak and dull even as I completed missions and upgraded them.

The game occasionally shakes things up with a gigantic mech boss that dwarfs you in size, which adds some desperately needed variety and is the real core of the game’s fun. One encounter has you facing a huge spider-like mech that jumps around the battlefield and tries to crush you as you maneuver to aim for its weak underbelly. Another has you fighting a tanker aircraft with lasers that tries to ram you between charged shots. These encounters are far more fun than fighting other pilots, which at a certain point begins to feel like aimlessly firing bullets into an endless morass of enemy health. It doesn’t help that the game’s lock-on system feels a little bit too fast and loose, even after optimizing your build.

The gameplay is fine, with flashes of fun, but isn’t good enough to outweigh Daemon X Machina’s storytelling problems. The game fills the checklist of anime cliches and is dense with forgettable terms and aggravating characters who say things such as: “I’m big bad Gargantua, twerp! I don’t need no details! Let me get to wreckin’ already!” Your created character is a Reclaimer, a very diplomatic way of describing a group of mercenaries who pilot mechs to essentially resolve territory disputes in a resource-rich area called Oval. Complicating this task is a war with rogue AI beings called Immortals, or at least, that’s what the game tells you.

In reality, after a certain point, Daemon X Machina shifts to a formula that is at once comically predictable and frustratingly oblique: You have a standard mission to destroy rogue AI machines. At some point, you and your mercenary allies are shocked—every time!— to find that another group of Orbital mercenaries has a mission that directly opposes yours. Again and again and again.

The game goes so far out of its way to tease its secret sci-fi plot that it never actually gets far enough into what’s actually happening to stay interesting. What are the Immortals really? What is each mercenary group’s aim? Which political consortium is doing what? Instead of getting a sufficient explanation for this, you spend rank after rank of the game getting an agonizing drip feed of troped-up anime quotes and characters who someone desperately tried to make mysterious but just come off corny and poorly written. “I know a thing,” they essentially say, “but I cannot tell you the thing yet. Just watch your back, Rookie.”

The game very badly wants to impart to you, the Rookie (and bafflingly the only pilot who continues unaffiliated for a substantial portion of the game), that each group has their own reasons to fight. And each pilot has their own reasons to fight. And that these pilots all understand that other pilots have their reasons to fight. There are sincerely dozens of cutscenes and chats and mid-mission dialogue options about reasons to fight. For some of them, it’s money, which in this game means several “they better pay more for this” jokes that quickly stop being funny. There are also several pilots who tell you, “Just don’t get in my way,” or some variation thereof.

Supplementing mid-battle chatter are between-mission messages from outside characters and groups, which are intended to worldbuild and provide background but are so poorly written they just come off silly. Each political consortium ends up sounding like an overwrought supervillain stroking a cat, making it difficult to distinguish them. “While this situation has been entrusted to Orbital, we believe it will be difficult for them to address it through the…proper means,” writes consortium Horizon, and I couldn’t help wondering why this message was even being sent to my character in the first place. Is this a mass email? Will I die in seven days if I don’t forward it? There’s a certain level at which the weird, stilted nature of communicating with Four and these consortiums seems intentional, but I just ended up frustrated with the game’s forced sense of mystique.

…Huh.

By the time you finally get the scent of some plot advancement at the end of your C-rank missions (you start at E), the game has tangled itself in confusing situations with characters you don’t have context to care about as they act on motivations and feelings that are hinted at but don’t actually seem to exist in any meaningful way. That confusion continues through to the end of the game, where the exposition dumping continues to ramp up. As the story unfolds, some compelling ideas about artificial intelligence and narrative twists actually emerge, but they’re both sparse and tardy. There could have been a genuinely interesting story here, had it been told with more care.

As a person who loves worldbuilding and lore, it’s hard for me to say that you should just skip the cutscenes and play the missions, but…you should probably just skip the cutscenes and play the missions. Since I’m a longtime player of Japanese RPGs, getting me to throw my hands up in the air and ask for fewer cutscenes is a feat.

The gameplay, unfortunately, is hurt by the same tendency toward excess that wrecks Daemon X Machina’s story. A lot of what I was able to do with my mech felt superfluous. There are different configurations you can use, like an offensive option or a speedier option, each with lowered defense, and you also have the ability to make a “Mirage,” a clone of yourself that draws enemies in and fights alongside you. These options can be helpful, particularly the Mirage, but they feel jammed into a game that already has a lot of stuff you can play with. There are also moments where you have to pilot equipment that’s not your own, including a gigantic Immortal that would be cool if it weren’t slow with limited tools. It sort of feels like a “this is the mech game you could be stuck with” moment, but it lasts for way too long.

Between fights, you can use equipment you’ve looted on missions to customize your Arsenal. You can also buy equipment or trade in parts to have new armor and weapons developed, as well as adding attachment to these parts, like increased ammo power or lowered memory usage. There are a lot of ways to customize both your Arsenal and the parts that make it up, but the gear you collect is unexciting and doesn’t feel worthwhile to min-max. On top of that, I found myself more than once wondering why I couldn’t just have certain abilities I could find or enhance.

Another feat: making a JRPG lover ignore the numbers.

For example, I could deal with the fact that I essentially had to be on top of enemies to aim at them at first, but having to use an equipment slot for a downward boost was irksome. The only other way to descend without it was to just slowly fall from the sky. I started to feel like a hoarder as a bunch of barely distinguishable parts piled up in my Arsenal’s arsenal, scarcely making enough of a difference for the mixing and matching to go as deep as all the in-game stats imply. I didn’t get excited about new decals or paint options, either, though at least there’s a hotdog decal. I’m never in life going to put that shit on my actual mech, but I’m tickled and happy that it exists.

You can also customize your pilot, or Outer, who can actually run around outside of a mech on the battlefield. It’s rarely fun to run around on foot, though you can eventually gain a skill to repair your mech. There are also some missions that require you to run around without your mech, like one where you have to stealthily steal an Arsenal and escape. They’re fine. They don’t feel totally broken and out of place, but they also aren’t a real highlight.

Tulah, my adorable, mostly silent protagonist (she grunts sometimes). I appreciated the black hair options in the game.

These issues are less pronounced in co-op, which has its own set of missions you can play with up to three other players. These missions consist of fighting versions of bosses you encounter in the main campaign, from gigantic mechs to other Arsenals. It was fun and challenging, and I could easily see multiplayer being the real draw of the game, though the limited number of missions could get old fast. I’m not sure the game is complex enough for strategy to figure much into the co-op gameplay, but it could be fun to team with friends to fire bullets and acid and lasers into a big ol’ mechanical monster.

I wanted to like Daemon X Machina, but as I played, I kept wondering how much more fun it might have been if the developers had zeroed in on some of the more enjoyable elements instead of providing so many customization options and wrapping everything in such a convoluted story. There are some genuine bright spots in the gameplay and even some enjoyably ridiculous characters, but there’s honestly just too much of…everything. It should be a good problem to have, but in a world that’s changing for good, Marvelous never truly figured out what they were fighting for.

Source: Kotaku.com

Daemon X Machina: The Kotaku Review

Daemon X Machina, out September 13 from Marvelous, is a game about gigantic customizable mechs. Here is another way to describe it: the worst filler episode of your favorite anime series. It is a mess of a game, with a story mode chock full of unintelligible cutscenes, repetitious anime tropes, and a core of mech gameplay that is highly customizable but starts to blend together due to repetitive gameplay and drawn out gunfights.

The Switch exclusive is a third-person action game in which you pilot an Arsenal, a weaponized mech. You spend time customizing your mech’s appearance and loadout, and then you accept missions from an AI called Four on behalf of mercenary supergroup Orbital. The missions are largely repetitive: fight some AI, or protect a building by fighting some AI. As you continue to increase your rank, you might fight some AI and other mercenaries, or protect a transport vehicle by fighting some AI and other mercenaries. Those fights drag on just a little too long for how samey they are. While I enjoyed moments like finding an acid gun that cut right through my enemies’ health, or double fisting bazookas every now and again to be silly, most of the guns felt a little bit too weak and dull even as I completed missions and upgraded them.

The game occasionally shakes things up with a gigantic mech boss that dwarfs you in size, which adds some desperately needed variety and is the real core of the game’s fun. One encounter has you facing a huge spider-like mech that jumps around the battlefield and tries to crush you as you maneuver to aim for its weak underbelly. Another has you fighting a tanker aircraft with lasers that tries to ram you between charged shots. These encounters are far more fun than fighting other pilots, which at a certain point begins to feel like aimlessly firing bullets into an endless morass of enemy health. It doesn’t help that the game’s lock-on system feels a little bit too fast and loose, even after optimizing your build.

The gameplay is fine, with flashes of fun, but isn’t good enough to outweigh Daemon X Machina’s storytelling problems. The game fills the checklist of anime cliches and is dense with forgettable terms and aggravating characters who say things such as: “I’m big bad Gargantua, twerp! I don’t need no details! Let me get to wreckin’ already!” Your created character is a Reclaimer, a very diplomatic way of describing a group of mercenaries who pilot mechs to essentially resolve territory disputes in a resource-rich area called Oval. Complicating this task is a war with rogue AI beings called Immortals, or at least, that’s what the game tells you.

In reality, after a certain point, Daemon X Machina shifts to a formula that is at once comically predictable and frustratingly oblique: You have a standard mission to destroy rogue AI machines. At some point, you and your mercenary allies are shocked—every time!— to find that another group of Orbital mercenaries has a mission that directly opposes yours. Again and again and again.

The game goes so far out of its way to tease its secret sci-fi plot that it never actually gets far enough into what’s actually happening to stay interesting. What are the Immortals really? What is each mercenary group’s aim? Which political consortium is doing what? Instead of getting a sufficient explanation for this, you spend rank after rank of the game getting an agonizing drip feed of troped-up anime quotes and characters who someone desperately tried to make mysterious but just come off corny and poorly written. “I know a thing,” they essentially say, “but I cannot tell you the thing yet. Just watch your back, Rookie.”

The game very badly wants to impart to you, the Rookie (and bafflingly the only pilot who continues unaffiliated for a substantial portion of the game), that each group has their own reasons to fight. And each pilot has their own reasons to fight. And that these pilots all understand that other pilots have their reasons to fight. There are sincerely dozens of cutscenes and chats and mid-mission dialogue options about reasons to fight. For some of them, it’s money, which in this game means several “they better pay more for this” jokes that quickly stop being funny. There are also several pilots who tell you, “Just don’t get in my way,” or some variation thereof.

Supplementing mid-battle chatter are between-mission messages from outside characters and groups, which are intended to worldbuild and provide background but are so poorly written they just come off silly. Each political consortium ends up sounding like an overwrought supervillain stroking a cat, making it difficult to distinguish them. “While this situation has been entrusted to Orbital, we believe it will be difficult for them to address it through the…proper means,” writes consortium Horizon, and I couldn’t help wondering why this message was even being sent to my character in the first place. Is this a mass email? Will I die in seven days if I don’t forward it? There’s a certain level at which the weird, stilted nature of communicating with Four and these consortiums seems intentional, but I just ended up frustrated with the game’s forced sense of mystique.

…Huh.

By the time you finally get the scent of some plot advancement at the end of your C-rank missions (you start at E), the game has tangled itself in confusing situations with characters you don’t have context to care about as they act on motivations and feelings that are hinted at but don’t actually seem to exist in any meaningful way. That confusion continues through to the end of the game, where the exposition dumping continues to ramp up. As the story unfolds, some compelling ideas about artificial intelligence and narrative twists actually emerge, but they’re both sparse and tardy. There could have been a genuinely interesting story here, had it been told with more care.

As a person who loves worldbuilding and lore, it’s hard for me to say that you should just skip the cutscenes and play the missions, but…you should probably just skip the cutscenes and play the missions. Since I’m a longtime player of Japanese RPGs, getting me to throw my hands up in the air and ask for fewer cutscenes is a feat.

The gameplay, unfortunately, is hurt by the same tendency toward excess that wrecks Daemon X Machina’s story. A lot of what I was able to do with my mech felt superfluous. There are different configurations you can use, like an offensive option or a speedier option, each with lowered defense, and you also have the ability to make a “Mirage,” a clone of yourself that draws enemies in and fights alongside you. These options can be helpful, particularly the Mirage, but they feel jammed into a game that already has a lot of stuff you can play with. There are also moments where you have to pilot equipment that’s not your own, including a gigantic Immortal that would be cool if it weren’t slow with limited tools. It sort of feels like a “this is the mech game you could be stuck with” moment, but it lasts for way too long.

Between fights, you can use equipment you’ve looted on missions to customize your Arsenal. You can also buy equipment or trade in parts to have new armor and weapons developed, as well as adding attachment to these parts, like increased ammo power or lowered memory usage. There are a lot of ways to customize both your Arsenal and the parts that make it up, but the gear you collect is unexciting and doesn’t feel worthwhile to min-max. On top of that, I found myself more than once wondering why I couldn’t just have certain abilities I could find or enhance.

Another feat: making a JRPG lover ignore the numbers.

For example, I could deal with the fact that I essentially had to be on top of enemies to aim at them at first, but having to use an equipment slot for a downward boost was irksome. The only other way to descend without it was to just slowly fall from the sky. I started to feel like a hoarder as a bunch of barely distinguishable parts piled up in my Arsenal’s arsenal, scarcely making enough of a difference for the mixing and matching to go as deep as all the in-game stats imply. I didn’t get excited about new decals or paint options, either, though at least there’s a hotdog decal. I’m never in life going to put that shit on my actual mech, but I’m tickled and happy that it exists.

You can also customize your pilot, or Outer, who can actually run around outside of a mech on the battlefield. It’s rarely fun to run around on foot, though you can eventually gain a skill to repair your mech. There are also some missions that require you to run around without your mech, like one where you have to stealthily steal an Arsenal and escape. They’re fine. They don’t feel totally broken and out of place, but they also aren’t a real highlight.

Tulah, my adorable, mostly silent protagonist (she grunts sometimes). I appreciated the black hair options in the game.

These issues are less pronounced in co-op, which has its own set of missions you can play with up to three other players. These missions consist of fighting versions of bosses you encounter in the main campaign, from gigantic mechs to other Arsenals. It was fun and challenging, and I could easily see multiplayer being the real draw of the game, though the limited number of missions could get old fast. I’m not sure the game is complex enough for strategy to figure much into the co-op gameplay, but it could be fun to team with friends to fire bullets and acid and lasers into a big ol’ mechanical monster.

I wanted to like Daemon X Machina, but as I played, I kept wondering how much more fun it might have been if the developers had zeroed in on some of the more enjoyable elements instead of providing so many customization options and wrapping everything in such a convoluted story. There are some genuine bright spots in the gameplay and even some enjoyably ridiculous characters, but there’s honestly just too much of…everything. It should be a good problem to have, but in a world that’s changing for good, Marvelous never truly figured out what they were fighting for.

Source: Kotaku.com

Haven Is A Sci-Fi RPG About Being In A Long-Term Relationship

Usually, video game romances are about hot and heavy beginnings or fiery ends. Even visual novels often focus on the new and novel, rather than relationships that are doing their best to withstand the test of time. Haven, set to release next year, is different. It’s a game about a long-term relationship—ups, downs, squabbles, awkward moments, and all.

It’s a change of pace for French studio The Game Bakers, which previously made tough-as-nails boss battler Furi. Speaking to Kotaku at PAX West last week, executive producer Audrey Leprince jokingly described Haven as an exceedingly French game, given that it revolves around “talking, drinking wine, and kissing.” Its story centers around Yu and Kay, a couple that has escaped from their home world for mysterious reasons and arrived on a seemingly human-free planet. There, they explore, scavenge, study the local wildlife, cook, chill, and just generally try to live their lives. It’s about as far from Furi’s furious boss rushes as you can get.

“We did Furi, and it was the complete opposite experience,” said Leprince. “It was intense, challenging, and skill based. We didn’t want to do a Furi 2 because you can only surprise players once. If we did another, it would be good, but less memorable. We also wanted to a love story for a very long time, so we decided to work on this love story about a relationship—a couple that is already together. It’s not dramatic, it’s not the beginning, it’s not the end, it’s not vengeance, or any of those classic things. It’s just a couple who are happy together. We wanted to give players a moment of peace and relaxation between Furi and Persona 5 or some other game that is very long and demanding.”

Of course, extreme isolation will do a number on even the most attached-at-the-hip couple’s tolerance for each others’ quirks, and Haven intends to explore that, as well. In the demo I played, Yu and Kay started out on their ship, the Nest, where an initially steamy moment was interrupted by a sudden power outage, which quickly led the couple into an argument about who was supposed to charge up the ship.

Where many romance-focused games would continue to explore this conflict through text, Haven’s characters opted to go outside and perform the most intimate act that two people could possibly do together: gameplay. I controlled both characters as they hovered across the landscape, collecting an energy source called Flow by sailing through shimmering jet streams of the stuff. Movement felt a little floaty, but soaring, tumbling, and freewheeling through a not-quite-endless diamond sky felt good. It was exhilarating, but also chill, like bounding through new locations in Journey.

During this sequence, I was also able to collect various plants for dishes Yu and Kay would cook once back aboard the Nest. This ended up being a source of minor conflict for the two. Kay wanted more variety in a diet that, up to that point, had consisted largely of the same fruit. The two bickered over this issue, but it ultimately turned into loving banter. Haven’s goal, said Leprince, is to depict the tension that lies at the heart of a relationship between two very different people.

“We tried to have two personalities that are quite different,” she said. “Yu’s the hothead, quick to annoyance and action. Kay’s more careful, always has a plan. They have this tension, but they still work together.”

In the demo I played, the little touches went a long way. At one point, Yu and Kay discussed bigger concerns, like what might happen if their idyllic planetary paradise was shattered by unnamed forces that could be pursuing them. The conversation got heated. Kay said they needed to prepare for the worst. I was then given a dialogue choice for Yu in which I could have her say that if outer space anime bogeymen busted down their door, she’d either kill them or kill herself. I picked the “kill them” option, which surprised Kay, who had seemingly not witnessed this side of his partner before. This whole conversation, I should add, took place not in some sci-fi corridor or out in the pastel-hued plains, but with Yu and Kay laying in bed, getting ready to go to sleep. The scene felt different than it would in another game—more vulnerable and intimate, but also more surprising, given the fever pitch it eventually escalated to. In the end, Yu told Kay not to be afraid of her, and the two snuggled up and fell asleep.

This, said Leprince, is Haven in a nutshell. “How many times have you seen two characters in a video game in a bed under a sheet talking to each other?” she said. “Or hugging? Or kissing? This is how we’re going to present it. There’s going to be a lot of those moments where you know they are together… It’s an adult, open, mature relationship. And they don’t only talk about those concerns; they talk about all the other little things in everyday life.”

Haven is more than just a story game with exploration and cooking, though. It’s also got a JRPG-style combat system. Many of the planet’s monsters are friendly, but some are not. In battle, you control each character with one side of your controller. Combat looks turn-based but occurs in real time, with the player holding down buttons to fill corresponding meters that will allow them to execute attack and defense abilities. This gives battles a rhythmic feeling that’s further accentuated by team-up attacks, which are required if you want to put a dent in bigger, more powerful baddies. It feels satisfying to break the individual rhythms you’ve established for Yu and Kay by using one of these team-ups; you could opt to hold down, say, the right arrow on one side of the controller and the square button on the other to unleash a big blast attack. And again, it underscores the central dynamic of the game: two unlike characters turning their differences into a synergy.

This, said Leprince, is why she and the rest of the team decided to make Haven an exploration-driven RPG and not a more straightforward narrative game.

“We really experimented at the beginning,” she said. “We tried more of a visual novel, more of a Firewatch-like genre, and then we went all the way in the other direction toward action and drifting and gliding. It didn’t work. So we ended up going with this formula where, because you play with them together at the same time, because you fight with them at the same time, because you see them talk together, it becomes a game about intimacy. It’s not just a story of two characters you could see in a movie or read in a book. You are going to make decisions that will impact their relationship and what will happen to them.”

This also means the player’s imagination can do a lot of heavy lifting, which Leprince believes can be more effective than literal depictions of physical intimacy, difficult as these moments can be to pull off using mannequin-like video game characters. “That helps us avoid the uncanny valley or people’s arms going through whatever,” she said. “The scenes are simple and suggestive. You can see a bit of what you want in them.”

Same goes for sex, which you will not see while playing, but which will be implied because these characters are adults, and sex is a natural part of many (though not all) romantic relationships.

“We could either be too cheesy or too much a narrative game, or we could go into adult-rated territory,” Leprince said. “We don’t want to be in the middle of that. We just want it to feel natural. You don’t have to see a sex scene to know they just made love. We want you to just piece it together, imagine it, and feel at ease with it.”

Though Haven’s larger plot hints at some fairly serious beats to come, Leprince repeatedly emphasized the ideas of ease and relaxation. The game also has co-operative multiplayer. Whenever they want, a second player can pick up a controller and play as one half of the couple, at which point both players have to communicate about dialogue choices and collaborate in battle. Ultimately, though, the goal is for players’ respective skill levels to be a non-factor in collaborative play. “There should be no stress about skill,” Leprince said. “We don’t you to have to worry about your combat and upgrades. We want you to just enjoy your life.”

This theme in the game’s design and narrative is inspired by the development team’s own experiences. Regardless of how people choose to play Haven, Leprince and company hope that players will see a bit of themselves in the characters and recognize that relationships don’t have to be a series of seismic turnovers or revelatory meet-cutes. Sometimes, just existing together is more than enough.

“The creative director and myself, we are a bit older—40 plus,” Leprince said. “We have been in long-term relationships for a long time. We really wanted to show that it’s possible to be happy in everyday life with the same person for a long time. You don’t have to just be breaking up and dating again and breaking up.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Farewell Is A Fitting Goodbye To The World Of Celeste

Celeste is a perfect a platformer as has ever been made. Its mixture of charming visuals, fantastic music, and challenging levels added up to one of 2018’s best games. That seemed to be the end of it; the story was over, the mountain was climbed. But a final epilogue chapter, added this week, brings a whole new level of challenge. This ninth chapter, Farewell, pushes Celeste to unparalleled heights and might just be one of the smartest things I’ve played all year.

In Celeste, players controlled Madeline on a journey to climb the titular mountain. Along the way, she contends with a shadowy version of herself and learns to become a stronger individual. In addition to eight chapters, there were “B-side” and “C-side” level remixes that brought heaps of challenge for players eager to test their skills. Farewell follows a similar mold, taking the hardest parts of the main game and iterating upon them to create some of the finest and most rewarding levels yet. They are, perhaps, some of the best designed levels of any game. Farewell doesn’t pull punches and has been meticulously crafted by developers who know their mechanics in the most intimate detail. Casual players will likely struggle, as these levels offer trials worthy of the game’s most skilled players. But Farewell is a perfect capstone to a game about which, when I reviewed it, I could not list anything I disliked.

In events following the main story of the game, Madeline returns to Mt. Celeste to visit the grave of Granny, the mysterious old woman who simultaneously guided her and teased her throughout the main game. Celeste’s main story was about accepting who we are, finding peace in the struggle of life. Farewell is about finding a similar comfort in the face of death, learning to press through unexpected darkness until you can climb up and up into the light.

There’s not much story here, but what exists is evocative and builds nicely upon what came before. Madeline, like anyone who has faced a difficult personal challenge, stumbles once more. It doesn’t feel out of step with the main game. She has grown, but life isn’t simple; there are always more difficulties and more tests. Growth comes through endurance, progress sometimes won inch by inch. And Farewell is one hell of an endurance test.

Farewell comes out swinging and hardly ever slows down. Even the earliest rooms require intense dexterity and deduction. You need to find the path through a room and its obstacles, and also manage to pull off the actual traversal. Celeste has always been split between a puzzle game and a platformer in this regard; Farewell drives this home with rooms that seem to have one solution but have another hidden in plain sight.

Instead of bouncing off springs where they are, you might need to let platforms fall down to hit those springs from new angles. It might seem like those puffer fish⁠—devious additions that explode if you dash from certain angles⁠—are only useful if you bounce on their heads, but maybe their explosions can blast you over a spike-laden trap. Farewell plays with expectations, constantly reinventing itself with new mechanics and new ways to engage with the world.

That this difficulty doesn’t come at the expense of playfulness is Farewell’s greatest strength. While it expects players to complete difficult levels and master advanced techniques, every moment brims with lightness and charm. The setting, a dreamworld in the sky, makes bold use of bright colors and abstract design to craft a space as inviting as it is challenging. Composer Lena Raine continues to deliver fantastic music that ranges from string-laden ballroom dances to upbeat, driving piano tunes. You might die again and again, but frustration wanes quickly when you’re immersed in such charming spaces.

Farewell is good. It is almost too good. Returning to Celeste is a joy that’s made all the better thanks to challenging levels and a lush world. It is sad to finally part with Celeste, since designer Matt Thorson says there are no immediate plans for a sequel. But its final levels are a wonderful sendoff, both for the game itself and as a final thank-you to fans.

Source: Kotaku.com