Sunday, 16 February 2014

Anytime Reviews: Guacamelee!

Oh, muy macho señor! Excellente, Excellente!

Guacamelee, developed by Drinkbox is a Mexican themed Metroid-vania side scrolling beat-em-up. You play as Juan, who acquires a magical luchadore mask about 10 minutes into the game and can travel through to the world of the living and the land of the not so living. The gameplay is smooth and responsive and the game gives you a good sense of progression, as you pick up new abilities regularly throughout the course of the game. It’s also got variety, with upper cuts, throws and combos galore. The writing is tongue-in-cheek greatness, and superbly silly, and the art style. Oh the art style. The art style is a smorgasbord of colours with a paper cut out style, and that too is humorous, with references to other games of the same type and pop culture (such as the Choozo statues and the Emperor’s New Groove inspired old man who transforms into a goat). They also modelled the whole game twice, as the living and dead realms have different art styles, with living being more realistic and dead being vibrant but macabre. Some things are also opposite in the dead world; snow falls upwards, so does rain, and water sometimes turns to lava. The day of the dead inspired enemies is reminiscent of the brilliant Grim Fandango and the music is catchy and perfectly fits with the Mexican theme.

What I don’t like about it is… I don’t really have anything to dislike. The fights get a little repetitive, but the variety of combos and challenging circumstances, as well as enemy types always keeps it interesting. I guess overall it’s a brilliant game, with an awesome art style, amazing gameplay and music and great writing.


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