In Guacamelee, a 2d platform game from Drinkbox Studios. You star as Juan a wrestler from a small village in Mexico, who seems to have a thing about the El Presidentes Daughter.
You’re woken up as your help is needed for preparations for the towns festival. While being a good citizen of the town and helping clear out barrels in the church, who happens to wander in while you’re doing your neighbourly thing but, the El Presidentes Daughter. Now’s your chance Juan, better stand up straighter, have a shave and get going to the festival and woo with all your Mexican charm eh?
Sadly, something always has to happen to today’s man in love. Gone are the days of flowers and chocolates.
Everything starts off grand, help the El Presidentes Daughter with chairs, get the girl, you know that kind of thing. But as you run off to help with the chairs, the El Presidentes mansion goes up in flames!
Before you can say enchiladas, you’re met by the Ruler of the Dead World Carlos Calaca and Flame Face. The meeting is simple, defeat bad guys!
But before you get the chance to, Calaca cheats, kills you and transports you to the world of the dead and kidnaps the El Presidentes Daughter. Lucky for you, you meet Tostada the Guardian of the luchador mask, who helps you back to the land of the living and your journey begins.
I’ll be honest when I started the game, I had no prior knowledge of it (yeah I know, bad gamer!). The first five minutes of gameplay, I thought Woah! I’m really going to hate this! I disliked the fact there wasn’t character voices present and I wasn’t sure how to jump down from ledges, don’t worry, that’s explained. You’re safe if it takes you time to get to gripes with stuff like me (I blame my lack of gameplay time on having children!) because it explains later in the game what to do. Once I’d got back to the ground work of what I needed to do, I loved it.
I thought the game was brilliant. It’s a silly game with silly tasks, it hilariously funny and does an incredible job at keeping you playing. It can also be frustratingly difficult at times, while at the start, it gives you the impression its going to be an easy game that you can sail through, you’re met with harder challenges later on.
You can buy health and upgrade moves as the game progresses. Which you’ll need, as the skeletons progress and become harder to defeat, while I know I’m not meant to, I quite enjoyed the fact some of them throw bones at you.
What’s a game without a few bosses as well? This game has plenty of them. My favourite has got to be Jaguar Javier. Once human but now a loyal servant of Carlos. There’s other enemies and bosses to defeat in the game, but I don’t want to tell you too much, as I strongly recommend you check out this game as soon as possible.
The game does start as a single player, although very early on you’ll get the option to add a second player as Tostada, whom can use the PS3 controller or add a Vita system and use that. Though if you play on the Vita version of the game, that’s single player only. But for the price of one, you’ll get both the PS3 and Vita versions of the game, so you can play at home and out, Bonus!
I’m also in love with the music, I love how different sections of the map has different music, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to tap my feet or mash the buttons for faster game play.
There’s influence from the God of War series in Guacamelee, which you will see when you defeat the bad guys, you’ll also notice the triangle symbol appear when you’re able to finish someone off. Heavily borrowed from Kratos. I also saw nods to Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. There were some influences from LittleBig Planet and strangely Crash Bandicoot. I also think someone’s been watching too much Star Wars. There’s a bit of everything in this game. It proves you can take old games and films and create something new and fresh for the market.
Guacamelee has great re-playability, in that as you progress, you’ll learn new moves and be able to gain access to places previously inaccessible during the game. A technique Travellers Tales have tried and proven works with their Lego games. Guacamelee has mastered this art as well and if Drinkbox Studios did another game like this, I’d buy that too!
Trophies are also plenty in this game. Get to the Chruch, trophy, get back to the land of the living after finding a mask from Tostada, trophy. Defeat skeletons in church, trophy. Its Trophy a go-go! Which I can’t complain with, I love trophies, makes me look like an excellent gamer!
They say to never judge a book, or in this case, a game by its cover. In Guacamelee I did pre judge and was proven wrong, a thousand times over. Adults will love it, kids will think it’s cool. I always reached for the Lego games with the kids, but I think even Lego Lord of the Rings is about to gather dust for a while.
Guacamelee is out today on the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita for €12.99/£9.99.