Review: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is mucho fun!

* Review code provided by Drinkbox Studios and was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 *

PLATFORMS:PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One
PUBLISHER(S): Drinkbox Studios
DEVELOPER(S): Drinkbox Studios
GENRE(S): 2D Platformer
RELEASE DATE: July 2014
PRICE: $14.99

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 that wasn’t 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.

Juan!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Hey, who's the new guy?

Juan!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Hey, who’s the new guy?

But Fear not gamers, 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 Calaca and his minions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp0KC4DCJYk

“And this my friends is where the true game begins!”

Gameplay

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a “Metroidvania” styled platformer, so those familiar with games of that genre such as Super Metroid or Castlevania (The 2d versions) will feel right at home. There’s plenty of navigation, upgrades to be had, secrets to find and yes even 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 goat 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? But I’m sure you’re wondering how the action is? 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  luchadore 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 as it will test your mantle especially when a puzzle involves this plus requiring you to use your other abilities to solve them.

Since you are able to earn currency you can use your hard earned coin to upgrade several stats such as health and stamina, as well as using it to upgrade your wardrobe which can add or remove bonuses.

As an added plus is since it’s on the PlayStation 4, if you also own a PS Vita then you can take advantage of Remote Play.

Oh and you get to turn into a chicken. No fooling!

Ken Masters ain't got nothing on me!

Ken Masters ain’t got nothing on me!

Graphics

The world of Guacamelee is vivid, colorful and very detailed. This is definitely some of the best 2D I’ve seen in awhile 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! I didn’t think it would work out very well and I’m happy to say was 100% wrong. It works and then some. In fact don’t mind the fact that not only did Drinkbox Studios create a beautiful looking world but they also threw in some fan service or rather tributes to other games or films that were either inspiration or favorites of theirs 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.

choozo_1

Hmmm, this looks familiar. I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve seen this somewhere before.

Sound

A colorful soundtrack that mirrors the look of Guacamelee! Full of trumpets, guitars, electronic beats all tuned to a Mexican inspired world that. 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.

What?

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!

Value

The game it’s self will last you a good 4-5 hours witch 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.

 

Should you check out Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition?

Summary

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a fun filled adventure that is fun to play and look at. Co-op player is even more so and there’s just enough content to keep you happen unless you happen to one of those who just loves to blast through it all.  The diffuculty 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, so your opinion may vary on that.

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!

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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 styled games (Leaning toward the later).
  • 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.
  • Wish it was also coming out for the PC and PlayStation 3.
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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.