After completing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, I was after a new game to play.
I tried the critically acclaimed and much fawned over Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, but after a couple of hours’ worth of play it hadn’t grabbed me. It was too dark and dingy and it seemingly took forever to beat every single bad guy I came across. That might be fun for some people, but not me. More to the point, while it started out in a gloomy dungeon, I was hoping for some lovely visuals and a world akin to the Elder Scrolls game beyond that. Alas, when I was told that wasn’t going to happen, my urge to carry on fell by the wayside.
Next, I tried another highly regarded game I’d bought in the Steam Sale last year, Rogue Legacy. Again though, I just couldn’t really get into it; hell, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I died immediately, was replaced by a different character (a fun gimmick, but not one that has any real purpose) and then came back to find another castle with a different layout. And I died again. And repeat. So I moved on from that. Seemed to me like it was one of these Spelunky type games I can’t abide.
So would it be third time lucky with my next attempt, Guacamelee! Gold Edition?
Well considering I’m actually writing a review of it rather than dealing with it in the introduction of a different game’s review, you might be able to guess…
Games – Guacamelee! Gold Edition Review: What Is It?
The premise of Guacamelee! is simple; you play a Luchadore – a masked Mexican wrestler – on a quest to save his love interest from an evil Mexican Gentleman/Burning Skeleton.
So it’s a standard gaming storyline with a twist.
The game itself comes in the style of the Castlevania/Metroid games, mixing side scrolling platforming with action, and in this case, as a Luchadore, your weaponry is essentially punches, kicks and throws.
Guacamelee! is quite a short game, in that it only took me 6 hours to complete, but I liked that. Like I always say, some games go on too long, and being a budget title anyway, this offers a great deal of bang for your buck.
There’s no question it looks great, with the cell shaded animation style, and the Mexican theme is also pretty fun, allowing for some racially stereotypical music and dialogue to help you along your way.
The key to the game though is in the mechanics. It’s easy enough to immediately get into, but as the game develops, what comes with it is a rather sharp difficulty curve.
The further into the game you go, the more moves you are given to help you, but towards the end, the platforming/obstacles became a pretty intense exercise in skill and muscle memory, to the point where getting from one side of a room to the other brought with it a sense of achievement. It was tough, but not too tough.
The enemies you face become more challenging as well, with the final boss in particular being a hard nut to crack. Basically, you had to learn his moves to be able to block, roll and counteract them with yours.
After a long session playing this yesterday I thought I’d never manage to beat him, but I did it this morning, and I was happy with that; it felt like I defeated him with skill, rather than luck.
So the game was rewarding in that sense.
Guacamelee! Gold Edition Review: Final Thoughts
Here’s a game that looks great, is easy to get into, won’t consume your life and is both challenging and rewarding to complete.
Most of all, it’s fun, and that’s what I thought was missing with the other two games I tried before playing this.
Maybe at £11.99 it’s a bit steep, but I got it for 50% off so I was happy with that price.