Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition or Guacamelee! for short is a 2D platformer, beat em up, wit a heavy Mexican influence. Or, at least that is how I would describe it. The game was released at the beginning of July as part of the Games with Gold for Xbox One, this to me initially suggested that the game would not be very good, despite reviews of the earlier versions, so I went into it with as much of an open mind as possible. “I’m getting a game for free, can’t really complain about that.” To my surprise when beginning to play I was finding this game was great.
Drinbox Studios originally released the game on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita in April last year, and that went down a storm. Drinkbox then launched the game on Steam as the Gold Edition, which came with the previously released DLC, as well as Steam Workshop support, then finally Drinkbox announced the Super Turbo Championship Edition for both latest-gen consoles and for the first time, Xbox 360, which adds additional levels and bosses in addition to previous DLC. So let’s see what’s new.
Immediately you’re thrown into the game as a simple Mexican farmer named Juan with two loves Tequila and El Presidente’s daughter. One of his loves is in mortal danger almost as soon as you begin the adventure, so that was a pleasant surprise. Oh and don’t worry, the tequila is fine! The culprit behind this awful plot is the undead Calaca, a man more evil than a Scooby Doo villain (he likely has a mask too). Juan attempts to stop the crime unfolding and does not want to see his love fall out of his grasp but is thwarted and Calaca sends him to the eerie land of the dead.
In this realm, Juan meets a female Luchador named Tostada and receives a very powerful wrestling mask. With this he sets out to stop the evil Calaca and rescue his damsel in distress from the clutches of evil and save the world. Even though its a very well used storyline, saving the princess from the evil guy who wants to make her his wife, the characters bring an unseen aspect of humour to this type of game.
One of the biggest factors that bodes well for this game is it’s art style and gameplay. The game seamlessly switches between traditional platformer puzzles with sections of beat em up and epic boss battles without blurring the lines too much and no one aspect overshadowing another.
Throughout the game you travel through different areas with different boss slowly crawling up the chain of command to beat Calaca. There are checkpoints dotted around the map which act as vendors where you can upgrade your abilities or purchase Juan a swanky new outfit with your har earned silver. Progressive abilities that you need to acquire whilst going through the story will not only help solve particular puzzles usually indicated by coloured blocks but can also be used and combined in order to reach places otherwise inaccessible. For example a jump may be slightly too high for your double-jumping Luchador so using that powerful uppercut ability gives you the extra few feet in height to scramble onto that ledge.
INTENSO is an ability added in the game which is exactly how it sounds, it puts Juan in a craze which will boost strength, health and speed. It will also stun the enemies in the immediate area when activated which can buy you some valuable time to quickly plan the chaos. To gain INTENSO you have a meter which will gradually fill as Juan slaughters the undead army. Once the threshold has been breached both thumbsticks can be pressed changing Juan’s costume, engulfing him in flames. In case you were wondering yes when in chicken mode you will also run around in flames. The easiest way to fill your INTENSO meter is by searching the area and smashing chests finding orbs and also creating a bit of a mess.
Positioned around the several different maps are collectible items usually hidden in treasure chests which are slowly unveiled on the map as you explore will also grant boosts to your stamina and health without you having to purchase them.
Overall the Super Turbo Championship Edition means exactly that. This is not just a simple port from the older generation to the new. The game has been worked on a lot improving on some frustrating issues from the original game, including 2 player couch co-op that allows a second player to slip in and out of the game seamlessly. An added bonus is that past DLC is included in this game adding around 30% of campaign content. The game is still maintaining all of the great features, the main one being the El Inferno trials. It is located in the same location on the map where you get to test your ability.
The game is a great addition to the series and considering it was a free title on the Games with Gold programme is an added bonus. That however has come to an end which means if you want to battle it out like a Luchador on the Xbox One, you’ll need to fork out £11.19, which in my opinion is still a bargain.