Platforms: PlayStation 3 / Vita / PC Genre: 2D Action-Platformer
Developer: Drinkbox Studios Publisher: Drinkbox Studios
Platform Reviewed on: PC
After an impressive debut on PlayStation 3 and the Vita, DrinkBox Studios has released a PC version of the beautifully created platformer Guacamelee! in the form of the Gold Edition. This package includes the same features as the original PlayStation version, but a few pieces of additional content. This adds to an already amazing platformer experience with new levels, new costumes and the ability to create your own custom skins.
The main campaign is the same as the PlayStation edition, those requiring further information on the games narrative should check out the original Guacamelee review here. Jamie Briggs, our Editor-in-Chief reviewed the PlayStation edition, giving it an impressive 8.9. The only difference between the PlayStation and PC is the option to use either a keyboard or gamepad for your PC. I personally would recommend using a gamepad over a keyboard, as it felt at home on the controller. Not to say you couldn’t use a keyboard, as you have options to remap all the buttons as you see fit. Whether you use a keyboard or gamepad comes down to personal preference.
The main campaign is a little on the short side, so the addition of more levels to continue smashing your way through with Juan was highly entertaining. The DLC opens up a whole new fiery undead world called El Infierno, which includes 17 different challenges to test every skill you learnt in the main campaign. With that said, it is best you obtain all possible moves before beginning this area, as each challenge focuses on certain abilities. Upon entering El Infierno, you encounter Diablo, the rooster who was cursed by Calaca in the campaign story. When you meet up with Diablo he explains the heroic Juan must clear a path to the top of the demon’s former headquarters, as the elevator is broken.
To get to the top you must obtain 10 gold medals, and to get those gold medals you have to beat the best score in the challenges. There are three different kinds of medals; bronze, silver, gold. Each coloured medal provides you with a new costume once you reach 10 medals of that colour. The challenges revolve around your ability to use abilities you have acquired to complete each challenge.
Challenges typically last up to three minutes; some even take 15 seconds if you’re going for gold. But don’t let that make you think these are quick and easy tasks. These challenges are tough, they are never impossible, but if you don’t stick to what you have learned in your luchador training you will press ‘retry’ more than you want to. If you get your abilities right, it should usually only take a few tries. Most of the DLC’s longevity derives from its unforgiving nature. One small hit can render your challenge useless. The challenges overall can take between one-two hours, depending on your skill level.
Challenges widely vary, in one you have to kill enemies as quick as you can to stop the bridge from overloading, in another you have to throw/punch/kick a chicken to the finish line. These challenges are an absolute blast, packing on to an already challenging game. I did find it frustrating however in a few challenges that relied on my ability to sustain a certain amount of combo hits. In one of the challenges I had to retry about six times in a row because enemies were not spawning quick enough to allow me to continue my combo.
It was frustrating, but it just meant I had to switch up my play in order to keep an enemy alive till the next bunch. The DLC also still lacked a desirable feature, that being the ability to get a broader look at what challenge lies ahead. With no option to zoom out and assess, it meant I had to die over and over again just to get the layout of what was ahead. I understand it adds to the challenge of the game, but it would still be a nice addition to have.
As well as more levels, three new costumes were included; El Portero (Bronze), Alebrije (Silver) and Diablo’s Suit (Gold). These new costumes are really fun to play, and the first two are really helpful in competing for the gold challenges. El Portero has a weaker melee attack; however his super-powerful throws make it much easier to accumulate a high combo count for challenges. While Alebrije can’t really take much damage, yet he makes up for it with strong damage capabilities. Savings the best for last, the Diablo’s Suit reduces your health bar, but it provides increased stamina and life stealing melee attacks.
The challenges you come across will feel similar to the vanilla, just dramatically more difficult and varied. El Portero was probably my favourite costume of the three, who was a famous Mexican goalkeeper, hence why his throws are so strong. It was also the most effective in the combo hit challenges, because once you could throw one it created chaos.
Additionally the Gold Edition includes the popular Steam Trading Cards, achievements, cloud save and Big Picture Mode. Also with Steam Workshop you can create your own costumes through an external editor. I don’t have much knowledge when it comes to create a costume externally, so it was a bit disappointing to not see an in-game option to create your own skins.
Guacamelee! Gold Edition is an absolute blast. It is a beautifully created game, with fantastic visuals and an entertaining soundtrack. Although there is no voice acting, every character was portrayed so well that I could still imagine what voice they would have. The combat system is where this game truly shines though, as you rack up combo hits and throw enemies across the room. If you actually pay attention to what sequence of melee moves you are doing, action sequences feel thoroughly rewarding.
The enemies are also varied, so fights are always different and require a specific set of abilities. Switching between the living and the dead world is combined really well with the puzzles and combat, and adds another layer of difficulty to an already challenging game. The puzzles although tough, are rewarding once you finally work it out. Although it often became a little frustrating having to continuously die just to get the layout of a certain area. The main campaign felt a little bit short, but the inclusion of the DLC added another few hours of tough challenges.
- Beautifully designed environments rich with colour
- Challenging traversal puzzles and in-depth combat
- Fun packed DLC with new features
- Absolute blast to play
- Short campaign
- Lack of zoom-out option for puzzles
- Slow enemy spawn often failed my challenges