Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review
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Juan Aguacate is a simple man. He spends his days as an agave farmer, toiling in the fields of Pueblucho, and pining for the daughter of El Presidente’. After helping a local holy man he gets invited to a fiesta by the very apple of his eye, only to be cut off while on his merry way by Carlos Calaca and his troupe supernatural ne’er-do-wells. Amidst the resulting fire, Calaca escapes with the young lady and Juan is no more. That is just the beginning of Juan’s journey. After Juan awakens in the death-realm version of his hometown, a female Luchador named Tostada meets him. She is the guardian of the mask that Juan now wears, empowering him to right the wrongs in the world of the living.
In this era of “what is old is new again”, the 2D side scrolling platformer has made a wonderful comeback. The newest jewel in this crown in Gucamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition. This Metroidvania champion is the love child of DrinkBox Studios, a Canadian firm best known for smaller titles “Tales from Space: About a Blob” and its follow-up “Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack”.
The combat in Guacamelee! is tight and fantastic. As you progress through the story, you are presented with a wacky goat-man who teaches you new fighting maneuvers, but only after smashing his comically-named (and blatant tip of the hat to Metroid-named) Choozo statues. For every destroyed piece of art, you get one new wrestling move that will help you not only destroy your skeleton enemies, but also opens up new areas for you. As you progress and gather abilities, your goatly pal Uay Chivo gets tired of naming them so you go from impressive-sounding attacks like “Rooster Uppercut” to the lackadaisical-sounding “Dashing Derderp”. Don’t let the name fool you though, each attack has its merits and will help you along your path to face-punching your enemies.
The story is a twist on the classics, but with a Mexican flair. Rescuing El Presidente’s daughter is the main motivating factor of Guacamelee, and as usual she is always in another castle. What really sets the story apart is the brilliance in its writing. The characters are all (clears throat) fleshed out and very much individuals in their own right. The scripting is tight and funny and if you are like me, you will have some laugh-out-loud moments along with a few poignant ones to even out the comedic foundation. You will want to know more about Juan and by the end you are rooting for his victory.
Guacamelee is fun, beautifully maddening, and a joy from beginning to end. The crispness of the controls are only matched by the impeccable art and writing that leaves you wanting more. The Super Turbo Championship Edition also includes new powers (Intenso is a sight to behold), a new boss, new music, and every piece of DLC from the previous versions.
I highly recommend you play this latest version and ask you this question: Will you be able to save your love with your new powers? Take on Calaca and find out for yourself.
We give Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition a
Reviewed on Xbox One