April 9, 2013 4:37 PM | John Polson
Playing DrinkBox Studios' Guacamelee! on the PS Vita at night was just wrong. I ended up with baggy eyes two nights in a row going for 100% completion on one of the finest metroidvanias, and possibly the finest luchador one, ever. I also played in silent the first night, which was a major mistake because the siesta-fused music is just as stirring and refreshing as the graphics.
While the damsel in distress trope may feel a bit overplayed as the driving narrative, the always invigorating, 7-8 hour exploratory, beam 'em up platformer feels perfect for the tactile Sony systems. All of the moves Juan earns from a mysterious goat-man allow him to advance to new areas (a genre staple). But more importantly, most increase his fighting ability. Suffice to say that 100-hit combos are not hard to come by in the game.
You'll see and hear two distinct sounds and settings, as Guacamelee takes part in living and dead worlds. Why that is so, well, would give away part of the game's plot and mechanics. You can expect to backtrack some to find every health, power, and secret upgrade, but between's Juan's fast moves and some teleporters, you can cover the map easily.
A lack of challenge might be the game's only fault, with only a couple hard boss battles and complicated jumping sequences impeding play. There were definitely two puzzles I needed help with, too, but I may have solved them if I wanted this post to come out much later.
Guacamelee supports the Cross-Buy function and is available now for $14.99 or $11.99 for PS Plus customers in North America. Cross-Buy means you buy the game once and get both the PS3 and PS Vita. European customers should get it tomorrow. Those craving a Symphony of the Night or Super Metroid style game really must own this. Forget Taco Bell, Guacamelee was my delicious fourth meal, and I believe it will be your late-night indulgence, too (without the crappy side effects)!
Finally, those familiar with Drinkbox will enjoy the humor in this spoiler-filled, photo collection by Kotaku. Seriously, Mutant Blob Attacks just felt like a warm-up for the main event that is Guacamelee! DrinkBox will no doubt rock the top of the review charts with their latest entry.
I can't wait to try it again this weekend to explore the co-op play!