Gucamelee! Gold Edition

20 Sep 2015

Guacamelee! is available for various platforms in various forms including Mac, PC, XBox1, and PS4. I happened to play it on my MacBook Air with an XBox 360 controller.

I’ve been on a Metroidvania kick for the passed few months, having played through CaveStory+ and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. On several “Best Metroidvania” lists I’ve found, Guacamelee! was ranked very highly. Somewhat to my surprise, when I tried to buy it on Steam, I realized I already had it!

Starting the game, I quickly remembered why I had never bothered playing much. The game featured an interesting combo system that was difficult to control via a keyboard. Since I had a controller ready this time, I was ready to play.

In Guacamelee, you play a luchador (Mexican for wrestler) who’s trying to rescue la hija del presidente (the president’s daughter) from Carlos Calaca, a dead luchador trying to become the ruler of both the world of the living and the dead.

Although it’s the reason why I didn’t play the game sooner, the game’s combo system was my favorite part. The fighting system combined with some of the unique platform mechanics of the game resulted in a unique very experience. As you battle enemies, you can use special moves that you can link together to create combos. You can also grapple enemies and throw them into each other, which makes for interesting combat solutions. Check out this 1005-hit Combo in Guacamelee.

As for the platforming, as you progress through the game, you’ll gain different abilities that will not only increase your combat ability and open new areas, but also enhance your movement possibilities. Think of the ice-beam from Super Metroid, which is not just a weapon, but also provides movement options.

In addition to the excellent combat and platforming, the dialogue is fairly humorous and there are a wealth of secrets to find, including the entrance to El Infierno, Hell, where Calaca has supplanted Diablo as leader.

Having finished the game, I definitely agree with the lists I’ve found that rank Guacamelee! as a top Metroidvania. Indeed, it probably takes the top 2 in my list, nudging out SOTN and coming right after Super Metroid.

Guacamelee! Gold Edition on Steam

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