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Celeste: platforming perfection! (PS4)

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We all have games which talk to us on some kind of emotional level. Celeste definitely is one of mine.

The game, developed by Matt Makes Games, is a gorgeous 2D platformer which has a lot more to say than is initially apparent.

When we meet our protagonist Madeline, she is just starting her arduous trek up Celeste mountain.

Her motivations are not altogether clear to begin with, but as she journeys onward and upward a compelling and heartwarming tale emerges.

Without going into detail - because it's best experienced firsthand - Celeste surprised me as its story addressed some important topics such as mental health.
It gave Madeline's epic journey up the treacherous mountainside an added level of depth which not many platformers have managed  to pull off - for me at least.

As she continues to climb, Madeline meets a likable cast of supporting characters - each of whom bring something to the story.

In practice, her efforts to reach the summit translate to some pretty damn fun pl…

Gato Roboto: A delightful "meowtroidvania" (Switch)

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I am a real sucker for both Metroidvanias and retro-inspired games.

So when I came across Gato Roboto (quite by accident) on the Nintendo store and saw it combined both, I was quick to add it to my collection.

I picked it up the night before it launched so when I sat down to play, it was very fresh because little was out there in the way of reviews or letsplays which was a lovely way to experience it.

Gato Roboto, by Doinksoft, is a "meowtroidvania" which puts you in control of a cute kitty named Kiki.

At the start of our adventure, Kiki must set out to explore a hazardous alien underworld after a crash landing leaves her human companion Gary stuck on board their spaceship.
Before long she gains access to her mech suit and can start really kicking ass.

The style and layout of the environments (particularly the earlier ones) strongly reminded me of the old Metroid games - which was delightful.

I loved the simplicity of its art and the fact that finding various hidden cassette…

Fave game of May?

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It's been a good month for games in my house.

As well as the amazing and mind-blowingly huge Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Switch, I've really enjoyed some titles by smaller studios too.

These include Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight, Inside, Firewatch, Defunct and Fez.

So which was my favourite?
Zelda is fantastic, of course. Its sprawling world is absolutely teeming with things to see, do and discover and as well as being a joy to play it has an absolutely gorgeous art style.

But that was to be expected - it's a main series Zelda game made by an enormous team. It was always going to be good.

For that reason I'm giving it to Inside this month. That game genuinely surpassed my expectations in all kinds of ways.

It unsettled me and had me on the edge of my seat. It went to some really dark, unforeseen places and left me scratching my head as to the meaning - I love it when a game does that.
And on top of that its gameplay felt very smooth and highly polished, no…

Fez: An artistic masterpiece (PS4)

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Fez is a game I saw in a magazine some time before it released in 2013 and I was immediately interested.

I also saw it in Indie Game The Movie a little while back (which is a fantastic documentary by the way - well worth a watch!) and knew I just had to play it for myself.

Since then I have bought it on Steam, Xbox 360 and most recently PS4 because I like it a lot.

Anyone who is familiar with the game will no doubt be aware of its creator, Phil Fish.

Many people seem to have taken a dislike to him due to some of the things he has said online and in interviews.

I've even seen some of these people posting that they won't play his games, which is a great shame - I think he came across rather well in the documentary and imagine a project of this scale must take a huge toll on a person, so he has my respect for that.

If you've never played Fez I strongly recommend you put aside whether or not you like Mr Fish, try this wonderful game and judge it on its own merits. In my opinio…

Defunct: High speed fun! (Switch)

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I found Defunct on sale for £4 recently and having seen videos of its high speed gameplay, I just couldn't resist.

The game, by studio Freshly Squeezed, is described as an "indie adventure game with a focus on flow, speed and an engaging world".

You take control of a little wheeled robot who must catch up to the ship he falls out of at the start of the game.

To do this, you have to utilize the many hills, boosts and slopes to pick up speed and really tear through a variety of areas.

Defunct has a very nice momentum based system where our character can use a "gravitize" engine to maximize speed when going downhill.

Applying this when travelling uphill will drain your speed however, so it's important to get your technique right if you don't want to be trundling through areas at a snail's pace.

It took me a few tries to get the hang of it but once I did I was pretty much flying over entire sections as I launched off slopes and made use of the character…

Firewatch: Beautifully intriguing adventure

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Firewatch has been on my radar for quite a while, but I've managed to avoid pretty much all information about its plot.

To my delight I found it on the PS4 sales for £4 (down from about £15), so I immediately hit purchase.

Developed by Campo Santo, Firewatch places you in the shoes of newly recruited fire lookout Henry.

As the game opens we find out a little about Henry's background (I wont go into the details) and see him settle into his watchtower for his first day.

The adventure unfolds in a first person perspective, so we see everything Henry sees.

And it has to be said - Firewatch is gorgeous. The mountainous wooded area where the story takes place is stunning and vibrant, changing throughout the day as the sun changes position in the sky.

There isn't a constant soundtrack playing  and I found the use of music to be just right - not taking away from the immersion by being too noticeable but just enough enhance the moments where it is used.

Throughout the game, your on…

Inside: Delightfully gripping and dark (PS4)

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Inside is a game I'd heard of quite some time before getting round to playing it.

And while I did see some bits of gameplay on channels like Game Grumps, I purpousely steered clear of watching lengthy videos because I wanted  to experience it for myself first.

I'm glad I did, because just like with their previous game Limbo, independent game developer Playdead has created a completely unique and shockingly memorable adventure with Inside.

I'll try to avoid dropping any major spoilers regarding what the game has in store for you.

Our adventure begins with a young boy alone in a dangerous environment and like Limbo, we must guide him safely through a series of deadly situations and traps.

To me, the game has a sombre but somehow beautiful look. Many of the environments are dark and dreary, which only adds to the atmosphere and sense of foreboding.

Animations are amazingly smooth, particularly those of the boy. His movements feel very lifelike and fluid - for example when he …