Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition was developed and published by Drinkbox Studios. It was released on Xbox One for $14.99 on June 6, 2014. It is also available on Xbox 360 for $14.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.
Guacamelee is an already well-reviewed and very fun game, so adding a dash of super, a bit of turbo, and a pinch of championship creates a slightly more delicious version. The folks at Drinkbox Studios have updated the title with a variety of new features, all of which are enjoyable for everyone, including Guacamelee veterans. The sense of humor involved with Guacamelee is great, and pays homage to Metroid, Mario, and Castlevania titles constantly. This is a classic side-scrolling experience and it really is one of the better titles to surface via the ID@Xbox program thus far.
De Colores — Presentation is everything and Guacamelee is presented in a super colorful Luchador-inspired style with roots in Hispanic culture. The colors are vibrant and bright, they really make the game enjoyable to play or spectate due to the ever changing environments. The addition of alternate costumes and their differing powers are also a neat and silly inclusion into the crazy visual experience. The updated version for the Xbox One looks extremely clean and plays equally well while maintaining a high frame-rate.
Growing power — The protagonist Juan becomes increasingly more powerful as he finds new powers. This instills a real sense of progression as these powers are needed to move forward throughout the game, often immediately after being gained. And though these powers grant new abilities, they’re subtle enough not to be overpowered: it’s a good balance. One of the most obvious salutes to Metroid comes in the form of abilities, and the very noticeable statues are a clear tie to the NES hit. Guacamelee STCE has abilities not found in the original game including the Intenso combat mode and Chicken Bombs.
Fantastic Co-op — The co-operative play in in Guacamelee is fantastic. Players are able to hit in combinations unseen in solo play, while incorporating the many costumes for the second player. Juan and his companion Tostada remain on the same screen, which makes for a great co-op experience similar to the NES titles of old.
Press that button — Guacamelee is a very sound platformer; it doesn’t lack much. That being said, it does have a slightly repetitive play style. The abilities are all generally tied to a pair of buttons, and then modified by moving the thumbstick in a certain direction. This mechanic is a double-edged sword. On one hand it makes the game simple enough for the most casual of gamers, but the downfall of this aspect is that the game can become monotonous in terms of input. This is certainly no reason to bypass the game, simply a small gripe that develops over time spent playing.
Guacamelee is a great game, and if you happen to have a Gold subscription you can get it for the Xbox One for free until the end of July. There are some fantastic updates: new levels, bosses, abilities, and more. This is more than likely the best co-op experience available through the ID@Xbox titles currently available, and is suitable for essentially any audience. So strap on that Luchador mask, and go “el intenso” all over your enemies in this great rendition of Guacamelee.
Score: Buy it