Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is Mucho Fun!
* Review code provided by Drinkbox Studios. Gaucamelee! was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 *
If you're new to the Guacamelee series then you're in for a treat my friends. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is an upgraded version of Drinkbox's previous Guacamelee! that was released for the PlayStation 3 and Vita and the more recent release of Guacamelee! Gold Edition for the PC, MAC, and Linux. The game takes places in a small Mexican village where you play as Juan, a humble farmer who is also secretly in love with the El Presidente's Daughter.
So when the baddie of the game, Carlos Calaca kidnaps her, Juan decides to take it into his own hands and attempts to rescue her. Sadly this is not to be, as Calaca quickly dismisses the would-be hero to certain doom. Oh right, I completely forget to mention that Calaca just happens to be the Lord of the Undead.
But fear not, for this isn't the end for Juan. In fact you are merely transported to the spirit world where Juan takes possession of a mask that transforms him into a mighty luchador and grants him the power to take on Calacaand his minions.
This is where the real game begins!
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a "Metroidvania" styled platformer, so those familiar with games of that genre such as Super Metroid and Castlevania (the 2D versions) will feel right at home. There's plenty of navigation, upgrades to be had, secrets to find, and tasks to be completed.
As the title of the game suggests, you main method of attacking is using punches, kicks and grabs to pummel your enemies into submission. Along the way you'll encounter some pretty zany characters such as a donkey who's actually a trainer that will help you on your journey by teaching you several techniques such as a flaming uppercut, wall jumping and more as well as a bizarre giant chicken who will instruct on how to use your combo system to the fullest. Did I mention that the chicken also has his own Gym?
I'm sure you're wondering how the action. Well I'm happy to inform you that the action is fun and fast-paced. The combo system is very user-friendly and after a few tries you'll be punching, kicking, and uppercutting foes. You can even mix it up by adding grabs and throws into the frenzy or knock an opponent up and toss another towards him or continue to knock the previously airborne opponent even higher with a well placed "flaming uppercut." Seriously gang, this a luchador fighting at it's finest!
Beyond the fighting there is a much deeper system that allows our hero to switch between the living world and the spirit world. While this mechanic is mainly used in puzzles it does appear in combat as well, allowing enemies to hide in either the living or spirit world however you also can swap through the worlds for both combat reasons, solving puzzles and even for exploration. I won't lie and say that the world jumping isn't a bit nerve-wracking; it will test your mettle, especially when a puzzles involves platforming in combination with your other abilities.
As you earn currency, you can use your hard-earned coin to upgrade stats such as health and stamina, as well as upgrade your wardrobe which can add or remove bonuses.
As an added plus: if you play on your PlayStation 4 and if you also own a PS Vita then you can take advantage of Remote Play.
Oh and you get to dress up as a chicken. No fooling!
Ken Masters ain't got nothing on me! SHORYUKENNNN!!!!!!
The world of Guacamelee is vivid, colorful and very detailed. This is definitely some of the best 2D I've seen in a while in a game of this caliber. The characters are animated beautifully while the backgrounds give each location it's own distinct feel. I've never played a game that involved a Mexican theme and when I first heard about Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition! I didn't think it would work out very well and I'm happy to say was 100% wrong. It works and then some.
I don't mind the fact that not only did Drinkbox Studios create a beautiful looking world but they also threw in some fan service and tributes to other games and films that were either inspirations or favorites including: Super Mario Bros, Super Time Force, Zelda, Mega Man, Castle Crashers, Donkey Kong, Wreck-It Ralph and more. I'm sure I haven't found all of the references just yet.
If you played the previous versions of Guacamelee! then you know what to expect and you won't see a difference graphically, but that's not a bad thing at all.
Hmmm, this looks familiar. I can't put my finger on it but I've seem this somewhere before.
The soundtrack is colorful and mirrors the look of Guacamelee! Trumpets, guitars, and electronic beats are all tuned to a Mexico-inspired world . The music can be so catchy at times that you can find yourself putting the controller down and just listening to the music instead of playing the game. That's all I can say and that's all that needs to be said.
You need more convincing? Well you're in luck as I even provided a link to the original Guacamelee! soundtrack below. I'll let your ears do the convincing.
You're welcome by the way!
The game itself will only last you about 4-5 hours, which is a bit of a bummer. However, with 2-player mode, a ton of hidden stuff to find and do, plus the addition of two new areas, new enemies and a new boss (who actually appears early in the game) to tackle there is still mucho to do.
Just don't try to rush through it all and enjoy it while it lasts.
- Controls are very responsive.
- Combo system that is rewarding as well as fun.
- The learning curve for the game isn't very hard and guides you along your journey.
- The world is vivid, colorful and detailed.
- The soundtrack and sound effects are well done.
- If you'll never played Guacamelee! before then GSTCE will also grant you all the content found in Guacamelee! Gold Edition and all of it's DLC.
- The game seems a bit on the easy side. That said, I can't say if that was by design or if I'm just used to Metroidvania-style games (leaning toward the latter).
- Game is on the short side. I know it's only $14.99 but I would have liked at least a solid 10 hours of gameplay.
- I wish it was also coming out for the PC and PlayStation 3.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a fun-filled adventure that is fun to play and look at. Co-op is even more so and there's just enough content to keep you happy unless you happen to be one of those who just loves to blast through it all. The difficulty varies, I'd say it depends on how skilled you are with these types of games. Some may think its hard while others may think that the entire game was a breeze.
For you Guacamelee veterans, the addition of two new areas and the boss as well as new costumes, INTENSO combat as well as the other additions make this a worthwhile upgrade for you.
That said no one can deny that Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is definitely well worth the ride. Don't let the Mexican theme throw you off as you'll miss out on some of the best gaming so far in 2014! Seriously gang, just get this!
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Fathoms_4209July 7, 2014, 4:04 pmFeatured ColumnistIt's totally unforgivable that I've never played this. :(