Guacamelee originally released last year on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, thanks in part to the Sony Indie Pub Fund. The game eventually made its way to PC, and it is now available on new-gen consoles, Wii U and Xbox 360 as the Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition.
Upon its initial release, we fell in love with Guacamelee. Due to its satisfying gameplay, gorgeous graphics, amazing music and an engaging story, the game was named one of the best handheld titles of 2013 by Gaming Illustrated. Now with more content and other tweaks, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition enhances an already great game.
Like an Orphaned Cabbage
Juan Aguacate was an average man. He farmed agave and lived on the outskirts of Pueblucho. It started out as a simple favor for Father Ayayay, but El Presidente’s daughter showed up and made things complicated. One favor became two and all of sudden El Presidente’s mansion exploded. Suddenly, Juan finds himself staring down an evil charro skeleton.
This mean hombre is Carlos Calaca, he turned the devil into a rooster and plans to make El Presidente’s daughter his bride. Oh, he also wants to merge the World of the Living and the Land of the Dead together and become supreme ruler.
Sadly, Juan meets a terrible end at the bony hands of Calaca. Yet, hope is not lost as he finds the power to save everyone in the Land of the Dead. There, Juan discovers a mysterious mask and a guardian Luchadora, Tostada. Tostada grants Juan the power to become a true Luchador so he could save El Presidente’s daughter and defeat Carlos Calaca.
The writing in Guacamelee has such great sense of humor. It is hard not to fall in love with the world and characters of the game. Despite being a silent protagonist, Juan gains a good amount of depth throughout the game with a few choice details.
Carlos Calaca and the other villains under his control all have smart backstories that help create a rich sense of purpose between the fight of good and evil. Additionally, there are smaller details to piece together that paint a more complex picture of Guacamelee’s world.
The love story between Juan and El Presidente’s daughter works because the writing only ever hints at the particulars of their relationship to each other. It makes either a good or bad ending valid in the context of their love story.
You’re Not Even a Luchador…
Super Turbo Championship Edition shakes the structure of the game up with the addition of new areas and new moves. It changes the way players interact with the world map in significant ways. Additional levels based around backtracking can feel tacked onto games, but they add a completeness to Guacamelee. It is hard to say that something was missing from the original version of the game, but the addition of the Canals, Pico de Gallo and El Infierno make the game feel whole.
The new version of the game also introduces new enemies and moves. New enemies appeal later in the game, which gives new and old players alike the opportunity to familiarize themselves with movesets. New demon skeletons are much tougher and trickier versions of base enemies. They have more health and they teleport after being hit. Juggling these tougher enemies along with familiar foes can become difficult.
Also new to Guacamelee SCTE is the Trio of Death boss fight, which adds another fight and additional story elements.
Juan and Toastada gain a few new moves to help deal with the increasingly difficult enemies. The main new weapon in their arsenal is the INTENSO mode. The fighters do much more damage and can be upgraded to regain health in INTENSO mode. Strategically using this power can change the tide of battles.
The other new move, the Pollo Bomb, is more exploration based. This gives Juan and Toastada their very own Morph Ball bombs. While in Pollo mode, players can lay a purple bomb to open up new secrets littered around the world and locations to explore. It is a nice addition that seemed absent in vanilla Guacamelee.
Does She Like Baaaaaad Boys?
The game creates a colorful, vibrant and engrossing version of Mexico. There is a great sense of life to the game, even when traveling to the Land of the Dead. When the world switches between the living and the dead, it never feels superficial. The animation and feel of the setting changes completely.
When Juan climbs through the snowy heights of Sierra Morena, he switches between living and dead realms, and the architecture changes but the snow begins slowly rising up. Changes like that take place throughout the numerous locations in Guacamelee.
Pico de Gallo is desolate and barren in the World of the Living, but becomes bursting with life and color in the Land of the Dead. The new areas of Canals, Pico de Gallo and El Infierno add to the color and variety of the world. They don’t feel half assed or thrown together. They each have a significance to the story, gameplay and the overall look of the game.
Farewell Skin Guy…
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition retains all the charms of its original release, while adding smart additions to create a complete package. Nothing seemed missing before, but it is hard not to feel that the additional areas, enemies, moves and boss make the game feel more substantial. Anyone who missed Guacamelee on the first go round has the perfect excuse to play the game now.