Fine, Candleman. You win. The last chapter of Lost Light includes the best five levels in the entire game, the finale was stupidly effective at being uplifting, and the music that played at the credits was so perfect that I felt genuine tinges of emotion over a living candle person. Fine, then. You can have your positive review.
This is going to be short
The last levels in Candleman: The Complete Journey are so great that I don’t want to spoil them for anyone, but I’m nevertheless embedding a single level to give everyone an idea of what makes them so brilliant. In a word, fireworks. Like, literal fireworks that are used creatively throughout the chapter. You can light candles with the sparks! It’s also possible to use the glowing remnants of a firework to jump high, which is one of those things that’s kind of strange to figure out at first, but that’s used well regardless. These fireworks are colorful and beautiful and basically embody everything that was good about the base game, so ending with them feels like a perfect send-off to an experience that I’m bound to remember fondly despite how incredibly annoyed I was with the ghosts and nightmare sections yesterday.
This is why it’s important to always strive to make it to the end of games, even when they’re beginning to get under your skin. You never know if a truly brilliant experience lies just beyond where you are, and honestly, “brilliant” isn’t overstating how enjoyable the end of Candleman: The Complete Journey (or the free Lost Light expansion if you’re playing on an Xbox One) is. It really is that great.
I should have left a candle behind
By the time I reached the end of the game, I had collected all of the candles. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t a great idea; it would have been smarter to leave one of the easy early ones behind to test whether or not 100% completion affects the ending. The only way to test that now would be to clear all of my save data and play through the whole thing again, but I’m hesitant to do that if I can’t back up my current save—whenever I delete it from the folder and start the game up, it’s instantly restored, and I’m thinking that this has something to do with Steam’s cloud saves, but I’d rather not risk wiping my save in-game if it turns out that saves are located somewhere else that I haven’t backed up. There’s no option to enable or disable cloud saves, furthering the confusion, but the achievements haven’t been triggering either, so I’m chalking this stuff up to the game not officially releasing until the 31st.
Anyway, finishing the game unlocks a time trial mode. I had three levels completed already when it unlocked, which I’m assuming is because they were finished quickly in normal mode, but I’m not quite OCD enough to need to finish this particular aspect of the game. It’s nice to have it present for the added replay value, though.
[EDIT: Okay, I lied, I am exactly that OCD. After realizing that time trial mode doesn’t require lighting any candles along the way, I decided to play through all of the levels again to at least beat the minimum time for each. Doing so was surprisingly enjoyable, as avoiding candles allows you to focus on efficiency of movement. I’d almost go so far as to say that it’s the most fun way of playing the game.]