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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a quirky, pixellated video game breathes new life into the Mario-like side-scroller genre. Or, well, those games used to breathe life, before they became commonplace. Super Meat Boy set this kind of resurgence into motion nearly a decade ago.
That’s a long time in side-scrolling years.
A peek at this week’s Celeste—which favors pixellated designs and squishy, bouncy characters—could make any skeptical passerby sigh in that “Gosh, another one of these?” way.
I get that.
But I insist there’s something here.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a few super-beautiful, far-from-pixellated platformers emerge with serious fans. Cuphead made a huge splash in 2017 by emphasizing brutal difficulty and hand-drawn beauty.
Fans of 2014’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze swear by its breadth and production values.
And 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest injected gorgeous designs and wild platforming maneuvers into a “Metroidvania” adventure.
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