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Do you own a PlayStation 3? If you do then go and download Guacamelee! Do you own a PS Vita? If the answer is again yes then go and download Guacamelee! If you own a PlayStation 3 AND a Vita then WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE WASTING MY TIME AND YOURS?!?! GO AND DOWNLOAD THIS GEM OF A GAME NOW!!!

If you couldn’t guess, I’ve fallen in love. Guacamelee is not just one of the best PSN games available but also one of the best games on Sony’s Vita. Bought to you by those fine people at Drinkbox Studios (the same Drinkbox Studios that made one of the best games at the Vita’s launch, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack) you know that the expectations for this Mexican fiesta are high. So let’s just dive right in and see what all the fuss is about then!

Guacamelee is a metroidvania style game that takes all of the best elements from the great action platformer games of yesteryear (Castlevania and Metroid) whilst mixing up the tried and tested formula with elements from more contemporary indie games such as Super Meat Boy and Shadow Complex. And it does this with amazing flair and style.

As the player you are cast into the shoes (sandals) of Juan Aguacate. Who sets out on a mission to save El Presidentes daughter after she is kidnapped by the evil charro skeleton Carlos Calaca. All of this is set up about five minutes into the game after Juan gets killed by Carlos and you are resurrected as a superhuman lucha libre wrestler. Yeah the story is pretty far out there and littered with fantastic humor similar to that seen in Monkey Island and other classic old school adventure games.

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Anyone who has played a Metroid game or Shadow Complex will instantly feel at home in this bright and beautiful Mexican setting. The aim of the game is to explore your surroundings whilst finding new abilities and moves which will in turn allow you to backtrack and reach previously unreachable areas. However what sets this apart from other similar games of the genre is its combat. You start off with merely basic melee moves at your disposal, then as you unlock new moves for your repertoire this gives you access to combos that, in length, would give Tekken reason to stop and stare.

Furthermore there is the fact that Juan can switch between the world of the dead and the world of the living. At first you don’t have control over this ability but soon into the game you can do this at will with a simple button press. This adds a whole new experience to proceedings as some enemies and platforms can only be interacted with when you are in that certain spectrum. This makes for some fiendishly difficult but insanely satisfying combat and platforming sections that are just as well thought out and implemented as any of the NES era Mega Man games.

The only complaint that I have with the game is its length. It took me about 6hrs to reach the final boss and complete the game. However my total percentage of the game complete was 76% so I have plenty of reason to go back and continue exploring all the nooks and crannies for health and stamina upgrades. There is also an unlockable hard mode (essential for obtaining the games elusive platinum trophy) and a hidden ending rewarded to you after collecting the games ultra-rare and even harder to get secret orbs. So all in all I think my time with Guacamelee is far far far from over.

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It’s been years since I have been able to look at a game and find it so hard to pick any faults. I have always said that the only Xbox exclusive game that I am truly jealous of is Shadow Complex. However now with the release of Guacamelee I can say that’s not the case anymore. This game out performs every other attempt at a metrodvania style game since Castlevania Symphony of the Night. And if that’s not high praise for a game that is so clearly inspired by and cut from the same cloth as these timeless classics then I don’t know what is.

PLAY. THIS. GAME.

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Comments
  1. […] Guacamelee Review (bridgeburnergaming.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Let’s get one thing straight. It broke my heart to put Guacamelee at number two. This had been my Game of The Year since first completing it when it was released in early 2013. Everything about this game is old school metroidvania style gameplay tweaked to perfection. I did do a full review of this game and you can read my thoughts on it here, https://bridgeburnergaming.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/guacamelee-review/ […]

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