Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guacamelee​! Review Saturday Morning Luchador Fun

 by Jonathan Bilski Editor of TTDILA

 $14.99 PS Plus price: $11.99

Talk about good titles being released out of nowhere. You have this mucho delicioso spread of Gucamelee! and you can choke down BattleBlock Theater to finish filling you up. These two titles were in development for a while and came out with little build up announcement last week. Gucamelee! has been on gamer's radar since early showings online from Drinkbox Studios! and just a taste with a live demo at the local IndieCade. Is Gucamelee! filling? Find out after munching down the review.

Gucamelee! is a action-platformer, so while rescuing the princess your child-hood friend who happens to be the El President's daughter from an evil skeleton in a sombrero you die. Then you come-back with luchadore powers or you slowly gain them from a transforming lecherous goat-man. Now you must use your luchadore moves to platform jump in-between the dimensions of life and death while fighting Calca's, that evil skeleton, minions.

Delicious! This rich cartoony story seems ripped out of a Saturday morning cartoon. The writing has little in jokes and homages to many other game titles as does the backgrounds of the game. Look at all the signs and banners and statues. The game has many jokes based on other video games and internet memes all around the different areas you will transverse. Don't look on-line if your going to play, it's fun to discover them when entering a new era. The evil minions have back stories and even running gags. I love old flame head and how a witch's long hair flows constantly in the wind. There's even a strong sentiment by the towns people on what it means to be a luchadore as though it's the most important thing in that world. Design and story bring back the feel of older titles with little word from you as the main character. Perhaps it's the Olmec head system to get to far places instantly or how dirty and old goat man can be, but this title succeeds with a very filling story and impeccable design.

Did someone just add parkour to platforming? No, they didn't it's just wrestling moves. Wrestling moves shattering the existence between life and death. At a point you'll gain the ability to switch any area between the normal world and dead world. So for every area there's a dead space world area. You'll need to switch to perform special jumps, find secrets and just access areas you couldn't before. You can also see everything as a skeleton and dead, which is quite nice for the goths among us. This is a later element, before world jumping on the fly you'll have to time your special lucahdore moves and dodging skill to get around. You will also become a chicken. Ba-gok!!! That's the noise a chicken might make. Becoming a chicken to get into those tiny place you normally can't becomes handy, it's ally just fun to suddenly transform into a chicken for no reason.

Combat might have been better. It's still hard beating down evil skeletons, mind you. There's more complex moves to learn, but eventually it comes down to hurling your foes. Hurling them at each other or at the ground. As a luchadore I wanted some more complex moves, but found it more or less dodge, punch, throw. Different enemy types do make you work for your love, you childhood friend/El Presidente's daughter, however the platforming gets more severe than the fights.

At a point the games platforming level goes way up and you'll have to concentrate to get out and about to find your stolen love. You'll feel betrayed, but like the titles this game comes from you'll have to work hard to master your moves to overcome wall jumps and eventually take down an evil skeleton that beat Satan.

You can get a friend to help you along the way, which can help in a fight, but doesn't make the platforming any easier. The main compliant from Super Mario titles was not being to play with friends this has made game makers smarter so you have local co-op.

Gucamelee! is a delicious dish that you should scoop up right now for the Vita or PS3. It's cross play so you buy one you get it for both.

Game was provided by publisher for review.