Guacamelee! Review

Guacamelee! is a really refreshing game that is developed by Drinkbox Studios for the PS3 and PS Vita.

The story is really cheesy where you play as Juan–an ordinary Mexican farmer–who dies at the hand of Carlos Calaca, a menacing skeleton early on in the game.

It is a 2D platformer and is one of the most unique games I have ever seen. The visual aesthetics, soundtrack, and the combat, combine together to give an experience that is very hard to find in the genre nowadays. I honestly wasn’t expecting this game to turn out to be something special, but it really is.

After dying, Juan reaches the undead realm where he finds a mask that makes him the Luchador–and it’s something that’s already featured in the Mexican culture. He gets a lot of powers and athletic abilities to carve his way through the levels, and also defeat enemies that will come in all shapes and sizes, including something like a Dragon.

guacamelee! screenshot 3

The basic controls are finely tuned and you won’t find any input lag. It’s a joy to be able to control Juan and it also helps in a way becomes some of the platforming mechanics in the game are difficult. You will also have to chain multiple moves to get out of a tricky situation. It’s not too difficult if you pay attention to the moves once you get them though.

Sometimes it can get a little confusing but that’s the beauty of the game; it challenges you and if you were craving for an authentic game like this, Guacamelee! delivers in that aspect.

The visuals are great with a gorgeous colour palette, and small details which will no doubt make you laugh. The developers have paid attention to the Mexican culture and tried to replicate that here accurately in the game. The influence shouldn’t be taken that seriously because it’s just meant to be lighthearted.

There are plenty of levels in the game from forests to temples, and later on you also get a power where you can revisit these levels in a different form where everything doesn’t look so lively. It’s the same thing that happened early on in the game when Calaca killed you and you ended up in an undead realm.

guacamelee! screenshot 2

The game supports cross play, which means you can get access to the PS Vita version of the game when buying the PS3 version and vice versa. This is a great game to feature that support though, as it is really fun on the Vita, although, it may become difficult when you need precise and sturdy controls of the DualShock 3.

It is a short game and will take you around 6-7 hours to complete but that doesn’t really matter because it’s such an unique game filled with great content. There’s a local co-op mode but an online version would have been preferred. Harder difficulties can prove to be really challenging, especially the boss fights, which are not only well designed but fun as well.

Guacamelee! is something PS3 or PS Vita owners really need to buy because not many games tend to pack in so much varied flavour and offer some old school gameplay with great pacing. Drinkbox Studios have done a marvelous job with this game and people really need to try it out.