Review

Guacamelee! Gold Edition Review

  • Game release: April 9, 2013
  • 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.

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.

Discussion

120 comments
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

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.

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. :) 

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!

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.

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.

nu1mlock
nu1mlock

Question: How are the controls with a keyboard? My 360 controller broke and I haven't bought a new one yet, is it still playable?

guilhermepaypal
guilhermepaypal

Gamespot reviewers love this kind of platform games, it reminds them of the old days of atari 2600.... I find them silly, childish,, something like candy crush

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

Still getting on the Vita.  It needs these types of games

Stesilaus
Stesilaus

This just goes to show that anything a console can do, a PC can do at least as well!

The reverse isn't true, though: When does Rome Total War 2 come to consoles?

:P


halBU
halBU

I don't know if anyone pointed this out or not, but right now the game is 10% off on Steam and comes with Mutant Blobs Attack (83 Metacritic score). $13.49 for the pair is a great deal.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

I would say at this point cue the fanboy rage, but it appears that already happened.

nate1222
nate1222

Saw this available on Steam. It may just get my money. If only I could lay off La Mulana (GOG) long enough to play another platformer right now.

kohle36
kohle36

Oh dear. A pair of heaving cartoon breasts. Are you sure you don't want to revise your stance Peter?

keviac
keviac

wow I love gamespot but some of there reviewers polish turds like no one else.

ahztek
ahztek

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


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.

xavier141524
xavier141524

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

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.

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 !!

thorn3000
thorn3000

@nu1mlock they are great, probably better than on console, though this is just my opinion as I am reading everywhere on videos and such how hard certain parts of the game were, yet, I managed to do even the hardest in a fairly standard amount of time (8 hours for 100 percent completition) without major problems...either I am great at platforming OR the controls on the pc are better and easier to master than on the console

EL_Bomberdor
EL_Bomberdor

@Stesilaus  

In all fairness I see Rome Total War as a true PC game. A game that most console gamers are not interested in. Most PC gamers play console games on their PC where as I feel Rome is a proper PC game which most console gamers are not interested in.

69
69

@halBU i literally just bought it/them on steam like an hour ago. good deal for sure. also bought PayDay2 and Papers, Please


evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@kohle36 What does a pair of cartoon breasts have to do with the rating of a game? Do you have a phobia about angry cartoon breasts attacking you?

themc_7
themc_7

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


Stesilaus
Stesilaus

@evil_m3nace @kohle36 I'm pretty sure kohle36's remarks were a stab at Mr Brown's review of "Dragon's Crown".


Guacamelee! More Info

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  • First Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 7 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • 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 User RatingOut of 257 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    DrinkBox Studios
    Published by:
    DrinkBox Studios, Spike Chunsoft, Activision
    Genres:
    Platformer, 2D, Action
    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