Real Talk By: KJ
Guacamelee is a Metroidvania style game. Large levels with plenty of secrets await players who are up to the challenge. Our hero: Juan is a normal civilian with a love jones. That all changes when his villa is attacked by the evil Carlos Calaca. CC kidnaps the love of Juan’s life. The protagonist is killed trying to rescue the damsel in distress. He awakens in the spirit world, only to find a mystical luchador mask. Once he puts the mask back on, our hero is sent back to the world of the living with new strength and an assortment of combat abilities. Both worlds of the dead and living is a massive part of the game. You will see and need both to make it.
The villa is loaded with civilians who will have side missions to offer, and plenty of other bonuses. Stages start off simple, but will demand more out of nowhere. The pacing could be a bit more organized. I say that because the worlds are so well designed, so i hated to be shoved along through some of them. The game really brings you into this world.
The enemies are all from the spirit world. Primarily skeleton warriors, you’ll need to fine tune grappling techniques to stay alive. The combat system feels different from most titles, relying heavily on players aiming and juggling abilities. At the end of a combo your prompted with the grab button. From that point you can use unlocked wrestling moves, such as a pile-driver, or even a suplex. The most important one is the ability to launch enemies at each other. Its fun watching them fly from a far away distance and collide into another goon. Some enemies can only be defeated in the land of the living, or vice versa. More on that below.
One of his powers later in the game helps you get to previously unreachable areas. He turns into a little pollo. The chicken is fast (and loud). Other tools come that really help out. The ability to switch between worlds on the fly. Some foes will require you to be in the proper world to even cause damage. Some can only be attacked with particular moves you’ll unlock later. Guacamelee eventually throws all of this at you in unison. This makes combat more than a simple button mashing grind. The same can be said for the platforming segments. While the game certainly gets tough, players wont reach their boiling points. When falling to your death, players are simply “teleported” back to where they started. No real death plenty’s exist except when fighting enemies in closed off rooms. The game’s length is okay, most will complete within 6-7 hours. The shelf life might have been longer if more death hurdles were put in place.
Its fun going back to areas with new-found powers. The game does a great job of rewarding its players for going the extra mile. The humor in the game is really good. While the dialogue, sadly isn’t voiced there’s plenty of entertaining things to read and easter eggs in the background to enjoy. The art style is impressive, very colorful and reminiscent of a Gennedy Tartakovsky cartoon. The game overall is a fun take on the luchador culture. The music is charming, we wish there was a soundtrack available for purchase. Guacamelee is a game that’s light on the wallet, but heavy with its versatility. The game has tons of borrowed elements, yet it brings its own spice to the table. Those wanting a Cross play title, this is it! A solid buy for PSN players.
Out of Five
+Fresh combat system
-No major death penalties
-A little short for this style of game
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