If you are stuck in the Great White North like me, your summer was probably a little less than appealing with the constant rain and the unsavoury cold weather. With October approaching and the warm weather nearing its end, the fun is almost over. But have no fear! Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is here to brighten up your day and bring a fiesta to you!
If you skipped out on the first editions of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, the story follows a typical farmer named Juan who meets up with a long lost friend, El Presidente’s daughter. Their reunion is short lived as the lord of the underworld, Carlos Calaca, appears and all hell breaks loose (literally). Now with the El Presidente’s Daughter captured by the evil skeleton bandit, it’s up to Juan to don a powerful Luchador mask and rescue his long lost love, restoring balance between the world of the living and the world of the damned.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition embodies everything that is a Metroidvania type game and more as you are left in a world to explore, certain paths can only be opened by obtaining certain abilities or items. The game’s main feature is its focus on travelling between the world of the living and the world of the dead to complete puzzles and defeat foes. As you progress through every level, new challenges will present themselves with this mechanic as well as the new moves you learn throughout the game; some paths are blocked until you learn a specific ability to get by.
What’s unique about Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition over other Metroidvania games is its combat system, as it blends a more tactical approach with elements you’d see more in a brawling type game. Both styles are needed to progress through, as various foes have different abilities and weak spots. They should be taken advantage of rather than going through with guns ablazing as it’s not the wisest choice. A more thoughtful approach when combating foes is a far better method to try and bash down the baddies.
As I played Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition on the Wii U, I got to try out the other functions the game offered. With having both options of having a mini map on the Gamepad’s screen as well as Off-TV play, it does make it easier to navigate.
The game is a real treat visually, having a similar style to early 2001’s hit cartoon show Samurai Jack, while bringing all the colours you would expect from a Mexican fiesta. The bright eye-popping colours truly bring out the best in the game as everything is so vibrant and alive, even when playing in the world of the dead. The graphics themselves are not much of an upgrade over its original counterpart, but the artstyle is as lush and captivating as the first time around; even the loading times that take away from the fast-paced flow are not an issue.
Between the time it takes finish the game as well as collect every item and upgrade, the game is rather short, as it falls in between the 10-15 hour range. Even the extra content doesn’t provide much more playtime over its original release which makes the Super Turbo Championship Edition title a little underwhelming, but you will enjoy every second of that short time in the world of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. I would still pay $15 for the original, so you can imagine how the enhanced version compares to its previous counterpart.
It does have a certain charm with all the many video game references the game has, but I found that because it had so many, took away from the game’s own design. There are countless nods to past, references like the Choozo statues and the Mario Bros wrestling posters are funny in small doses, but to have them at every turn while being part of the game’s main story loses its appeal. Rather than having an easter egg fest, they should have built on making a reputation for the game, embracing its own culture to make Guacamelee stand out better.
While Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a good game, it does have stiff competition against the many other indie platformers as well as the third and first party’s own batch of side scrollers. Even if the Super Turbo Championship Edition is an upgraded version of the original release last year, it still has to try and fight off the bigger developers on the sales charts. What does help the game is that its gameplay mechanics and artstyle can appeal to those who are looking to try out something different, even if its charming use of past video game references can sway some people’s opinion. It will be interesting to see how well Guacamelee! does this time around against the big boy platformers we have out now.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a great buy for anyone who is looking to spice up their video game collection. It brings ideas from classic games and blends them together in a unique and colourful world what will have you flexing your muscles and mind with its many puzzles and lively foes.It does take a few blows with its overusage of retro game cameos, as well as the fact that it dosen’t feel overly different from its first rendition, but that is quciky fought off with its captivating visuals and great gameplay. Everybody should kick into this year’s summer greats.
This review is based on the Wii U version of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Champion Edition. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.