Guacamelee STCE is a reboot of a game brought to us by the independent studio, Drinkbox Studios. Originally called Guacamelee, the Super Turbo Championship Edition is added because the story has been extended; all DLC has been incorporated and there are also new moves, new enemies and new areas to explore but in this modern world of realistic graphics, is there room for a simple 2D platformer in the style of Metroidvania?
You play the role of Mexican Juan Aguacate, a reincarnated Luchador who is battling the forces of evil in order to rescue “El Presidente’s Daughter” after she is kidnapped by an evil skeleton. While the plot is as basic as it sounds, it’s backed up by a brilliant script which supplies more than a few laugh-out-loud moments along with a beautiful art style. The story takes place around a small village in Mexico, and has the player travelling through alternate dimensions on his quest to rescue the girl he loves.
The game is inspired by Mexican culture and folklore and features an abundance of interesting and unique characters.
Exploring the world of Guacamelee is also great fun as there is so much to see and do. There’s a shed load of collectibles to find including all important upgrades which, as well as making you stronger, add abilities you will need in order to reach certain areas of the game. As well as the collectibles though there are the countless NPCs you can talk to that always have something humorous to say. Many of them also offer side quests that you can complete in return for coins or more upgrades. The coins can be spent on further upgrading yourself or even on a multitude of crazy costumes. The upgrades themselves come in all shapes and sizes, from a powerful uppercut down to the ability to transform into a chicken. All upgrades are useful though and as you collect them, you find the platforming sections become easier making you feel like you have become more powerful.
The combat is frantic but fun and with your eventual multitude of moves you can rack up huge combos of around 150 to 200 hits. There are also many boss fights on your way through the game, all requiring different strategies and all being deal with by the game as an epic event. It even throws up a Street Fighter like Vs. screen before each one. Another mechanic within the game is the ability to switch back and forward between the dead world and the living world. This is used for a few puzzles for some tricky platforming areas as well as in combat. It increases the challenge quite significantly and is a great addition. It is especially awesome to see the change in scenery when you switch worlds allowing you to see the dead or living versions of each.
There is also a challenge arena mixed into the game where you get to test out all the skills you have gained in combat zones, speed platforming sections or puzzle areas.
Wait, there is more – there is even a local co-op mode where a second controller can join you and kick butt right alongside you.
Graphically the game is bright, cartoony and colourful but well detailed. It is very appealing. Musically it is mainly a mixture of the quaint sounds of Mexican folk music along with faster paced rhythm in boss fights and the more challenging areas.
In terms of difficulty, I am not an expert gamer by any means but completed the game on Normal in around 10 hours which also incorporated collecting every collectible. On Hard mode though I found it to be very challenging with Juan basically dying after a single hit in the early stages. You will eventually start getting those upgrades though and things get easier…….slightly.
Collectibles aside, the game is short though as just playing the story would only take maybe 6 hours or so but they are 6 very enjoyable, high quality hours.
Guacamelee is a relatively short game which isn’t too difficult but overall is a fantastically fun experience. This is genuinely one of the best games available on the Xbox One at the moment. I had a great time playing it and was disappointed to have completed it. It looks great, sounds great, is funny and despite its retro look, it never feels anything other than a modern high quality game.
Definitely worth playing.
Guacamelee - Super Turbo Championship Edition
- The Final Score - 9/109/10