Tag Archives: platformer


Towerfall is a beautiful game that I never got around to playing. During research like I do though, on the people behind it, I came to follow Matt Thorson (@MattThorson) on Twitter. When I started seeing art for Celeste and Matt was tweeting about the number of levels he was building for Celeste, I knew it was going to be something I would like. A day from Launch, I’m sure it will be and since it was announced for Switch, I was going to buy it.

The soundtrack is great. There are systems in place to skip out on parts of the game that a player finds undesirable. Unlike Fez, where the game is designed with no enemies, no death, no consequences, Celeste allows you to turn those things off. Don’t like the stamina system, turn on unlimited. Don’t like the spikes, turn on invincibility. Don’t like the pace, turn on slow-mo. Don’t like the story, click through it. Instead of designing those things out, the game allows you to filter those aspects yourself and tells you that even though that’s not how the game was designed to play, you can play through that way.

I will absolutely be writing more about Celeste, reaching out to those that made it for insight, and to the top players in the speedrunning community that is sure to build up around this game. I see Celeste being a thing for a long time, the spirit of which may be even closer to Super Meat Boy than SMB Forever will be.



Celeste, release 1/25/18


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Shovel Knight: 20 Hour Review

Shovel Knight continues to charm after a playthrough on my 3DS, half way through NG+, some Plague Knight, and now replaying for this, to write about it. I was attracted to the game shortly after getting my 3DS, the first games I downloaded were all NES classics and Shovel Knight seemed to have enough of that mold still unbroken that I would be into it. Making a short review shorter, get this game if you like classic platformers, whether you are just getting into the genre or are for whatever reason nostalgic, this game will certainly scratch that itch; at around 12 hours completion time on a first play through it won’t have you questioning the value of your time, or it could, more on that below. Do not buy this game if the trappings of the 80’s aren’t your thing. If Mega Man is too cutesy or pisses you off, and Mario 3’s level design is too tedious for you, Shovel Knight will not be for you either.


Shovel Knight Logo

Shovel Knight, one of the best.


Yacht Club is doing several things right, chief among them, difficulty. Shovel Knight is a mechanics heavy, player vs. level game. The boss fights are interesting but probably won’t be standout experiences. They fit the level well in that most of the time the difficulty spike isn’t too great in comparison to the level, mini bosses included, that you will face on your way to the boss. Enemies are introduced in Super Mario fashion, but the levels are more complex. There is an early way to increase the difficulty , rewarding you with more gems than you would normally collect to use on upgrades. Integrated save points in the form of clear orbs encased in the end of a stake can be passed by to save your progress or shattered for a reward that increases with each check-point you break. After the 6th check-point the reward is well worth it if you can manage to stay alive through the whole level. Even if you do die though, and die repeatedly, yes it will hinder you, but only just; you can recover what you lose when you die. It works out so that you have to die several times for it to really set you back. It will happen though, as you progress, the Plague Knight’s level had me frustrated after a few attempts.

This game really is one that you should play, if not only for a glimpse into the creative minds of people who are preserving nostalgia right. Shovel Knight is deep, once you complete the game, starting the NG+ will give you what you need if you want an increased challenge. All of this with no mention of Yacht Club vowing the release of several expansions this year featuring playable bosses from the original game. Shovel Knight is solid, and the developer is committed; after purchasing for 3DS and Steam, and the Plague Knight expansion, the Shovel Knight franchise has been worth the money.

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Super Star Wars

After slipping through my latent 3G iPhone 4’s crappy lag, I chose to forego ebay for one of our local flea markets to acquire Super Star Wars from the 91-100 chunk of the top 100. This one set me back eight bucks, the guy I bought it from was sitting behind the counter taking apart an Xbox controller to clean it so I didn’t haggle. Odds are he cleans his pieces.
I’ve been binge playing in a rotation. About 2 hours at a time every chance I get. It doesn’t take long for me to get locked in, dry mouthed, and frustrated when I’d slip up and game over. And over, and over. These games are hard.
Super Star Wars reminds me of the incomplete control over most characters in early games. Especially early games, and this one counts, coming out in ’92, seemed to take that clunky feel from the previous generation of consoles.
Compared to the feel of the other games, TG2 is lacking, though at the time, the depth of upgrades and variable weather make it a game that would be cool as an iPad port. UMK3 feels the best, though again, at the time, the Mortal Kombat franchise was well through the tweaking phase of development. They way Midway was doing graphics compared to Gremlin Interactive was night and day. TG2 and Super Star Wars don’t compare to UMK3 in animation or feel.


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