Review

Guacamelee! Gold Edition Review

  • First Released
    released
  • Reviewed
  • PC

Grappling with the devil.

The intrepid luchadors from Guacamelee bring their acrobatic martial art to the PC--after months of exclusivity on the PlayStation Network--in Guacamelee Gold Edition. The combo pack includes a set of six unlockable costumes, as well as the El Infierno expansion pack with 17 exacting trial stages to master. In addition to compiling every bit of Guacamelee content in one place, DrinkBox Studios has added support for Valve’s Steamworks, enabling players to create and share custom character skins. Guacamelee’s a fantastic action-platformer with a grin-inducing sense of humor, and with the inclusion of downloadable content and exclusive modding tools for the same price as the stand-alone PSN game, the PC version is a great way to experience everything the game has to offer.

It starts with the tale of the lovelorn agave farmer, Juan Aquacave. His village has a huge problem: an undead sourpuss named Carlos Calaca can’t handle the repercussions from striking a deal with the devil, and now he wants to force his ill fortune onto the good citizens of Pueblucho. Kidnapping the mayor’s daughter and killing the wanna-be hero Juan is a good place to start, but what Calaca didn’t count on was Tostada, a.k.a. the Guardian of the Mask, granting Juan the power to return from the land of the dead with a new found ability to kick demonic, skeletal butt.

What follows is a Metroidvania-styled adventure. Guacamelee’s sprawling world map contains hidden pathways behind obstacles and atop lofty ledges. By locating power-ups that advance Juan’s abilities, you will eventually be able to break down these barriers and gain access to more power-ups and new areas to explore. What makes Guacamelee stand out from other games with a similar structure is its presentation, for one, which is vibrant, comical, and filled with parodies of popular game characters and franchises. Its combat and platforming are also spot-on, and the challenging aspects of each scale along with Juan’s repertoire of moves, which are a joy to perform. Though you can team up with a friend for some hard-hitting co-op action, the game rarely takes advantage of the opportunities a second player brings to the table.

The lighthearted atmosphere, challenging gameplay, and tight controls draw you in and blissfully bear-hug you into submission, but Guacamelee’s not without faults. It has a small roster of enemies and the campaign comes up short on length. Thankfully, the included DLC extends your to-do list with a healthy dose of fresh content. The included El Infierno expansion pack contains a series of platforming and combat trial stages that experienced players will find challenging to complete, and perhaps near-impossible to master. Earning sets of bronze, silver, and gold medals are the only way to unlock three of the alternate skins for Juan and Tostada, and since every alternate costume changes their stats, you stand to gain more from your efforts than mere cosmetic changes.

If, however, a new look is what you seek, then the PC-exclusive skin creation tools may help you scratch that itch. There’s a succinct yet helpful tutorial document that outlines mod constraints and gives you a general overview of the production pipeline for new skins in Adobe Flash CS5.5 or above. The design templates for Juan, Tostada, and the chicken are well organized, making it easy for Flash veterans to jump in and alter the existing skins. The clearly outlined hit detection box provides a good guideline for scale and proportion, and so long as you leave the length of character animations intact, you’re free to adjust the stylings of each character's animations to your liking. Sadly, if you don’t own Adobe Flash CS5.5, there’s little you can do out of the gate other than download other people’s creations.

Juan hates skeletons, but he especially hates conquistador skeletons.

Guacamelee Gold Edition is a fantastic package in terms of gameplay and value. It may not last as long as you want it to, but the inevitable desire to keep playing is testament to its finely-tuned action and creative level design, and with the handy modding tutorial paving the way for Flash users, there’s great potential for the community to jump in and add to the fun. Even if 2D platformers aren’t your thing, Guacamelee’s bound to have something for everyone, whether it’s the humor in the writing and world design, the great combat, or even the ability to transform into a chicken. It’s an excellent ride while it lasts, and with the extra content on board, the PC version is the best way to travel through the troubled town of Pueblucho in style.

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The Good
Charming characters and dialogue
Flashy and nuanced hand-to-hand combat
Fantastic use of color
Great balance of comedy and drama
The Bad
Co-op play is underutilized
Mildly repetitive enemy designs and encounters
9
Superb
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Guacamelee!

About the Author

Peter's got 25 years of platforming under his belt, and yearns for the day he can wear his luchador mask to the office.
123 comments
dexter-404
dexter-404

this was a pleasant surprise and a really fun game hard to start but it's easy to get used to after 5 minutes had mildy repetitive sections but it deserves the 9 it is just soooo much fun

themc_7
themc_7

This is a game that I'd never buy, but if it's free on XB1, I'll try it out

ahztek
ahztek

@themc_7 Funny you should say that, its free at the moment, I just got it.


themc_7
themc_7

@ahztek @themc_7 what? This is free right now on Xbox?


pedrolopes1313
pedrolopes1313

@themc_7 Failbox one no no,but mother Sony as given this game for free to all fortunate PS4 owner's

dipdish
dipdish

I've nothing against the colour palette and the art style, but the game controls are a bit frustrating. I gave up playing, both on PS3 and PS Vita after about an hour because of that.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@dipdish  I nearly gave up, too. but I stuck in there and finished. I'll never pick it up again, it's that kind of game.

iHarlequin
iHarlequin

Great game. The platforming difficulty at first but it really romps up to some pleasurable parts near the end, specially the optional luchador mask parts (Tree Tops anyone :P?)

thorn3000
thorn3000

finished the game and its great, one of those great platformers....two things stand out - a great fun frantic, but well controlled combat and a total joy using special powers...whereas the start is a bit boring, by the time you get goat climb and goat fly you will realize how much fun it is to use them as well as other abilities

outlawst
outlawst

it's not a game,it's a piece of art.

faizanhd
faizanhd

This game will probably not come out on Xbox Juan. :) 

xavier141524
xavier141524

It's funny this comment is out here still cause now this game will be free on the xbox one in July

HesamB
HesamB

sadly in iran we can't purchase games (I mean any foreign game !) , so we have to download the pirated ones . but if we could we'd buy games and support developers for their hard work .

if this game had a co-op like shank , it will be awesome .

WantYouBad
WantYouBad

I guess it takes Juan to know Juan!

WantYouBad
WantYouBad

@Junior_AIN The enlightened ones forever in the light of favor passed down to the loyal followers of the rightful gods, while the unwashed masses continue to waste their time on the inferior deities, the consoles.

EL_Bomberdor
EL_Bomberdor

I was never interested in these type of games until I received a few through PS+ and then I woke up and realized how fun this format is when done correctly. Not played this game but it is on my to do list.

DWalker131
DWalker131

@EL_Bomberdor thats what i been saying, this game is CRIMINAL !!!, game looks crap, no voice acting, graphics aren't impressive, not my type of artstyle, so whats with all the great reviews ?.... lol now i know and i take all the $hit i said back, only crime this game commited was its abit short lol..excellent game !!

sasami_adachi
sasami_adachi

Purchased! xD

I will always show support for good developers and well-ported PC versions of their games on Day 1.

Guacamelee! More Info

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  • First Released
    released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 7 more
    • PlayStation Vita
    • PS3
    • PS4
    • Unix/Linux
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Guacamelee! is a Metroid-vania style action-platformer set in a magical Mexican inspired world.
    8.2
    Average Rating274 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    DrinkBox Studios
    Published by:
    DrinkBox Studios, Spike Chunsoft, Activision
    Genre(s):
    Platformer, Action, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol