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Counterpoint: Celeste is a great game with great art (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 09:34 (29 days ago) @ Robot Chickens
edited by Cody Miller, Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 09:56

You don’t think that’s intentional? Maybe mirrors the message of the game? You don’t climb a mountain in one go, you do it a step at a time. That’s how you accomplish anything in life—focus on the thing in front of you, find joy in doing so, then move on to the next thing.


Except that's not how it works… you train in a wholistic way before you even attempt to climb a mountain. You don't go in there knowing nothing and learn step by step as you go… in part because failure can kill you. Really kill you.

To succeed in climbing a tough mountain you must already be a master when you step foot at the base.

And like, ok the game isn't REALLY about climbing a mountain, but rather overcoming anxiety/depression/whatever… but the way that's manifested in the mechanics isn't that satisfying to me. Maybe the mountain metaphor the game was using just wasn't a good one in the first place.


Wait what? You're saying that the game mechanics aren't punishing enough to live up to the stakes of metaphor they're using? Almost no game's challenge level matches the stakes of the metaphors they evoke -- even really hard games. That seems like a crazy arbitrary burden/metric to put on a game.

That's not what I'm saying.

In a more typical game, without checkpoints every 2 seconds, you have to develop a wholistic mastery in order to conquer all the challenges at once. You must be good enough at the game that you can play for long stretches surviving, learning what you have. Celeste is not like that. You can progress by merely trying again and again until you happen to get to the next checkpoint through sheer number of attempts, not necessarily having mastered it.


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