Guacamelee / Version Played: PS3-Vita
DrinkBox Studios / PS3-Vita / April 10th / RRP $18.45(Cross Buy)
Guacamelee! sees you taking control of Juan Aguacate. As Juan Aguacate, you’re objective is to save the El Presidente’s daughter from the Evil Carlos Calaca. The game is primarily set in a small village in Mexico where there are a wealth of characters with their own quirky personalities.
Guacamelee is a very clean and crisp looking game. Everything on the Vita extremely pops. There are so many different variations in scenery to the breakup of worlds that you will never get tired of looking at the game. On the PS3 everything is so much more detailed and the art style is something that will stay with you days after finishing. The game is silky smooth and runs at 60FPS at all times.
The soundtrack is stunning. Every level in the game has its own theme song, so you never get sick of the music. The tunes are catchy, and a joy to listen to. It’s going to be one of those sound tracks that you’ve got stuck in your heads hours after putting the controller down. I really enjoyed all of the visual cues that gamers will love throughout the game. It has DrinkBox’s creativeness throughout the entire game.
At heart Guacamelee! is a Metroidvania style game that encourages exploration. The game has you searching through a different number of worlds looking to rescue a princess. At the end of each of these worlds is a boss fight who fits into the world that you’ve just explored through. The whole game is extremely clever in its mechanics. Every so often you break a statue that gives you a core skill. These core skills are colour matched to certain blocks which will only let you through once you’ve learnt the corresponding move. I really found this clever as it always kept you on the right track, never guessing if you could go into a certain area, or if you were heading in the right direction.
The game features a beat-em-up style fighting mechanic which fits the game brilliantly. You are awarded coins based on how big your combo is. These coins are then used at the shop to buy health, stamina and new moves. The game gets clever with incorporating coloured shields which have to be matched with the corresponding move I spoke about earlier, which really makes the action get more complicated as the game goes on as it prevents button matching. I really liked this idea rather than making the enemies themselves harder.
The main difficulty comes in the form of the ability to change worlds. Not only does this completely change the look of the world on the fly with a press of a button, it also makes for some intense platforming that really requires a lot of skill to pull off. This was easily my favourite mechanic in the game and made working out how to get through each level extremely satisfying.
The game features Cross platform Coop in the sense that one can use their Vita to play as the second player with the person who is playing on PS3. The game only needs to be bought one for both platforms and also features cross save which works brilliantly like always. The main campaign is quite short at 5-6 hours but I felt like it was the perfect. I enjoyed every minute of gameplay without ever feeling like I had to push myself through.
Guacamelee! doesn’t really do anything outside of the box however It does execute a lot of gaming mechanics perfectly to create a game that is entertaining from start to finish. There is something in this game for everbody, whether it be the great artstyle, amazing platforming, addictive action or just the down right silly story.